Share this page Print

Secondary Suites development permit requirements

Secondary Suites


R-C1, R-C1L, R-1

You will need to apply for a Development Permit and a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

Development Permit

Secondary suites are only allowed within single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 ft2). Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-1N

You need to apply for a Development Permit and a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

Development Permit

Secondary suites are only allowed within single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • The total width of the property, as this may affect the parking requirements.
  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 ft2). Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-C1N

You need to apply for a Development Permit and a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

Development Permit

Secondary suites are only allowed within single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • The total width of the property, as this may affect the parking requirements.
  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 ft2). Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-C1s, R-C1Ls

If you meet the following rules for your district, you can apply for a Building Permit. If you do not meet the rules, you need to apply for a Development Permit AND a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

Secondary suites are only allowed within single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 sq.'). Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-C2, R-2

If you meet the following rules for your district, you can apply for a Building Permit. If you do not meet the rules, you need to apply for a Development Permit AND a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

Secondary suites are only allowed within single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Side-by-side duplex homes

  • Please indicate the following on your site plan::The total width of the property.
    • A minimum property width of 9 m, or
    • A minimum property width of 7.5 m when located on a corner property or a property with a lane; and three or more parking stalls are provided
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 sq.') when the property width is less than 13 m. Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-2M

If you meet the following rules for your district, you can apply for a Building Permit. If you do not meet the rules, you need to apply for a Development Permit AND a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

Secondary suites are only allowed within single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Side-by-side duplex homes

Currently, applications for secondary suites within semi-detached dwellings (side-by-side duplexes) are only allowed in these  districts: R-CG, R-G and R-Gm.

On November 18, 2019, will review land use bylaw amendments that would makes this legal in the following districts: R-C2, R-2, R-2M, M-CG, M-C1, M-C2, M-H1, M-H3, M-X1, M-X2, CC-MH and CC-MHX. If you currently own a semi-detached dwelling with a secondary suite, Chat with us about how you can make the suite safe now, and prepare to get it registered early in 2020.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • Property width as it may affect maximum suite area and/or parking.
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 sq.') when the property width is less than 13 m. Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-MH

Currently, secondary suites and backyard suites are not listed uses in this land use district. To allow for this use, an approved land use redesignation. A planning application is required to change the district of a property to allow for a particular development.

R-CG

If you meet the following rules for your district, you can apply for a Building Permit. If you do not meet the rules, you need to apply for a Development Permit AND a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • Property width as it may affect maximum suite area.
    • when the property width is less than 13.0 m, the maximum suite floor area is 70 m2 *
    • when the property width is over 13.0 m, there is no maximum floor area.

Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

However, no parking stall is required when the floor area of the secondary suite is 45.0 m2 or less.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

M-CG

If you meet the following rules for your district, you can apply for a Building Permit. If you do not meet the rules, you need to apply for a Development Permit AND a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • Property width as it may affect maximum suite area.
    • when the property width is less than 13.0 m, the maximum suite floor area is 70 m2 *
    • when the property width is over 13.0 m, there is no maximum floor area.

Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

However, no parking stall is required when the floor area of the secondary suite is 45.0 m2 or less.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-G, R-Gm

If you meet the following rules for your district, you can apply for a Building Permit. If you do not meet the rules, you need to apply for a Development Permit AND a Building Permit. Be sure to review the following rules for your district AND the building permit requirements.

There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

Please identify the following on your site plan:

  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

  • Secondary suite amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').
  • Suites that are entirely located in a basement, do not have a maximum floor area. Internal stairways and landings that provide access to the basement suite do not need to be entirely located below grade. Suites that are not entirely located within a basement, have a maximum suite floor area of 100 m2* (or about 1,076 sq.'). Required floor area may be relaxed to a maximum of 10 per cent through development permit application.

* Maximum suite floor area does not include the area underneath stairs and landings.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

Direct Control Districts and Other Districts

Direct Control Districts/Other Districts:

Chat with us, or contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 for more information about secondary suites and backyard suites in this land use district.

Backyard Suites


R-C1, R-C1Ls, R-C1s, R-C1N, R-1, R-1s, R-1N

You must apply for a development permit for The City to review your proposed suite.

Development Permit

Backyard suites are only allowed on the same property as single detached dwellings or contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

You should read the Backyard Suites How-To Guide before beginning your application.

Please indicate the following on your plans:

Lot requirements:

  • Minimum property width of 9 m
    Or
  • Minimum property width of 7.5 m when located on a corner property or a property with a lane; and three or more motor vehicle parking stalls are provided on the property

Generalized backyard suite requirements: 

  • A maximum suite floor area of 75 m2*
  • A minimum building setback from a rear property line of 1.5 m for any portion of the building used as backyard suite.
  • A minimum building setback from a side property line of 1.2 m for any portion of the building used as a backyard suite.
  • A minimum separation of 5.0 m between the main residential building and the backyard suite.
  • A maximum building height of 7.5 m sloping down to a lower height next to a neighbouring property.
  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 5 (8 ft 3") x 5.9m (20 ft) when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 85 (9 ft 5") x 5.9m (20 ft) when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

* Maximum floor area does not include any area covered by stairways and internal landings not exceeding 2.5m2.

  • Amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

For the complete requirements, please refer to the land use district and section 352 in Land Use Bylaw, or call us at 403.268.5311 for information on the rules that apply to your property.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-2, R-C2, R-2M

You must apply for a development permit for The City to review your proposed suite.

Development Permit

Backyard suites are only allowed on the same property as single detached dwellings contextual single detached dwellings. There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

You should read the Backyard Suites How-To Guide before beginning your application.

Please indicate the following on your plans:

Lot requirements:

  • Minimum property width of 9 m
    Or
  • Minimum property width of 7.5 m when located on a corner property or a property with a lane; and three or more motor vehicle parking stalls are provided on the property

Generalized backyard suite requirements: 

  • A maximum suite floor area of 75 m2*
  • A minimum building setback from a rear property line of 1.5 m for any portion of the building used as backyard suite.
  • A minimum building setback from a side property line of 1.2 m for any portion of the building used as a backyard suite.
  • A minimum separation of 5.0 m between the main residential building and the backyard suite.
  • A maximum building height of 7.5 m sloping down to a lower height next to a neighbouring property.
  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

* Maximum floor area does not include any area covered by stairways and internal landings not exceeding 2.5m2.

  • Amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 ft2), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

For the complete requirements please refer to the land use district and section 352 in Land Use Bylaw, or call us at 403.268.5311 for information on the rules that apply to your property.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-MH

Currently, secondary suites and backyard suites are not listed uses in this land use district. To allow for this use, an approved land use redesignation is required.

R-CG, M-CG

You must apply for a development permit for The City to review your proposed suite.

Development Permit

Backyard suites are only allowed on the same property as a dwelling contained in a single detached dwelling, contextual single detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling, contextual semi-detached dwellings, or rowhouse building.  There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

You should read the Backyard Suites How-To Guide before beginning your application.

Please indicate the following on your plans:

Lot requirements:

  • Minimum property width of 9 m
    Or
  • Minimum property width of 7.5 m when located on a corner property or a property with a lane; and three or more motor vehicle parking stalls are provided on the property

Generalized backyard suite requirements: 

  • A maximum suite floor area of 75 m2*
  • A minimum building setback from a rear property line of 1.5 m for any portion of the building used as backyard suite.
  • A minimum building setback from a side property line of 1.2 m for any portion of the building used as a backyard suite, except where the backyard suite shares a party wall on the property line with another dwelling unit. See section 539 for additional scenarios.
  • A minimum separation of 5.0 m between the main residential building and the backyard suite.
  • A maximum building height of 7.5 m sloping down to a lower height next to a neighbouring property.
  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

* Maximum floor area does not include any area covered by stairways and internal landings not exceeding 2.5m2.

  • Amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 sq.'), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

For the complete requirements please refer to the land use district and section 352 in Land Use Bylaw, or call us at 403.268.5311 for information on the rules that apply to your property.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

R-G R-Gm

You must apply for a development permit for The City to review your proposed suite.

Development Permit

Backyard suites are only allowed on the same property as a dwelling contained in a single detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling, or rowhouse building.  There must not be more than one suite located on a property.

You should read the Backyard Suites How-To Guide before beginning your application.

Please indicate the following on your plans:

Lot requirements:

  • Minimum property width of 9 m
    Or
  • Minimum property width of 7.5 m when located on a corner property or a property with a lane; and three or more motor vehicle parking stalls are provided on the property

Generalized backyard suite requirements: 

  • A maximum suite floor area of 75 m2*
  • A minimum building setback from a rear property line of 1.5 m for any portion of the building used as backyard suite.
  • A minimum building setback from a side property line of 1.2 m for any portion of the building used as a backyard suite, except where the backyard suite shares a party wall on the property line with another dwelling unit. See section 539 for additional scenarios.
  • A minimum separation of 5.0 m between the main residential building and the backyard suite.
  • A maximum building height of 7.5 m sloping down to a lower height next to a neighbouring property.
  • A parking stall for the tenant(s) on the parcel, in addition to the parking stall(s) required for the property, with the following minimum dimensions:
    • 2.5m (8'3") x 5.9m (20') when not abutting a structure (like a house or garage)
    • 2.85m (9'5") x 5.9m (20') when abutting a structure on one side

Street parking does not count toward the requirement, nor tandem parking stalls located directly behind or in front of other required stalls.

* Maximum floor area does not include any area covered by stairways and internal landings not exceeding 2.5m2.

  • Amenity space is an outdoor space designed for the tenants’ active or passive recreational use. The area must be shown on the site plan drawing, and be at least 7.5m2 (81 sq.'), with no side smaller than 1.5m (5').

For the complete requirements please refer to the land use district and section 352 in Land Use Bylaw, or call us at 403.268.5311 for information on the rules that apply to your property.

Timeline for application review: 60 days to approval. For more information, review the development permit process.

Direct Control Districts and other districts

Chat with us, or contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 for more information about secondary suites and backyard suites in a Direct Control District.

​​​​​​​​