Garden Suites


Garden Suites (Secondary Dwelling within a Detached Accessory Building)

Secondary Suite and Garden Suite Policy


Garden Suite: means a secondary dwelling contained within an accessory building other than a mobile home, located in the rear or side yard of a lot containing a principal dwelling and having a gross floor area not exceeding 90m2 or 75% of the floor area of the principal building.


Garden Suites are permitted in the following zones: A-2 Rural (Non ALR); RR-1 Rural Residential; RR-2 Country Residential; and R-1 Single Detached Residential.


The following regulations apply in zones where a garden suite is a permitted use:

  1. A garden suite is not permitted on any lot less than 830m2 (8,934 ft2) in area.

  2. A lot shall contain only one secondary dwelling, whether located within the principal dwelling or as a gardens suite.

  3. A principal dwelling must be constructed on the lot and issued an Occupancy Permit prior to the issuance of a building permit for a garden suite.

  4. A garden suite shall have a minimum floor area of 33m2 (355.2 ft2) and a maximum floor area of 90 m2 (968.7 ft2) or 10% of lot area, whichever is less.

  5. The height regulations for accessory buildings shall apply to garden suites.

  6. Notwithstanding 5.39.5, where a garden suite has direct street or lane access and the secondary dwelling is to be located on the second storey above a one-storey garage, the maximum height of the building may be increased to 6.0m (19.6 ft) as long as the elevation of the highest point of the garden suite does not exceed the highest point of the principal dwelling.

  7. The setback requirements for accessory building in the zone in which the secondary dwelling is located apply to the siting of garden suites, except that all garden suites shall be setback a minimum of 2.0m (9.8 ft) from the rear lot line.

  8. The distance between a principal dwelling and a garden suite in any zone shall be a minimum of 3.0m (9.8 ft).

  9. An unobstructed pathway at least 1.5m (4.92 ft) wide shall be provided between the front lot line and the garden suite.

  10. All garden suites shall be connected to the Municipal water and sanitary sewer system unless the lot is 1.0 ha (2.47 ac) or greater in area and an onsite sanitary sewer system has been installed in accordance with the Sewerage System Regulation under the Public Health Act.

  11. In addition to the off-street parking spaced required for the principal dwelling unit, one off-street parking space is required for a garden suite. Where possible the additional space shall abut and use an existing driveway for access to the street. At least one parking space for the principal dwelling and one parking space for the garden suite shall be located so as to provide direct vehicular access to the street without obstruction by a vehicle parked in another parking space. Tandem parking is permitted for the second space required for the principal dwelling.

  12. A Home Based Business shall only be permitted to operate in a garden suite if the Home Based Business of the garden suite resident is a Type 1 (Minor Home Based Business).

Click here to learn how to apply for a Suite Licence.

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