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Playhouses and play structures


Important ​terms

Playhouses: fully enclosed buildings designed for children to play in, and are referred to as accessory residential buildings.

Play structures:  designed for children to play, climb and stand on. They are open to the weather (there are no areas to shield from weather) and may include multiple platforms and levels.

Before y​ou start

First, determine what you want to build. If you are building a playhouse, visit garages and sheds for the rules (location, height, size, etc.).

Consider your neighbours when choosing where and how big to build a play structure. Tall play structures that look into other people’s yards are more likely to cause conflicts. If what you plan to build might concern your neighbour, consider talking to them before building it.

If you are looking to put up a play structure, please read the following information.

Know th​e rules

Buildings​ under 10 m2

If the covered part of a play structure has a maximum height of 4.6 m and a maximum area of 10 square metres, then you do not need any permits.

Note: the area of play structures is measured to the exterior wall. Any play structures over that height or area will require review to determine what  permits are needed.


Since play structures often include multiple platforms heights and levels for children, instead of adults, the height of the floor determined for garages is not considered for a play structure.

The overall height is measured from lowest grade (ground at the foot of the play structure) to the top peak. The maximum allowable height is 4.6 m.  The height of play structures with a top platform is measured to the top of the railing for that platform.

Where a play structure includes multiple platforms on multiple levels, these different levels are not considered individual storeys; they are part of the play structure as a whole.

Decks and​ balconies

Open platforms are considered part of the play structure and shouldn’t be evaluated as decks or balconies. The deck and balcony rules of the Land Use Bylaw do not apply.


Projections like slides, swing sets, and climbing walls are not considered when taking the measurements for the area of the play structure.​​​​​​​