Building a backyard suite

If you are building a backyard suite, this is the right page for you. Find information on the rules for your specific property, how to apply, and how to register your suite.​

We’re waiving up to $900 in fees until December 31, 2023

The City is waiving fees for the development permit and secondary suite registry for all secondary and backyard suites​ until December 31, 2023.

Please note

  • There must not be more than one backyard secondary suite located on a property
  • A backyard suite and a secondary suite cannot be located on the same property
 

Step 1: Review the rules and fees


Fees

​Suite type ​Permit Fee ​Safety Codes Council Fee (4%) ​Total
Suite type: ​New backyard suite Permit Fee: ​$1,252 Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​$50.08 Total: ​​$1,302.08

Step 2: Prepare your application


  • Use the Backyard Suite Checklist to determine your project’s drawing requirements.
  • Review the Backyard Suites How-to Guide
  • For online applications, review the criteria for information on how to organize your plans and documents
  • Complete plans and collect supporting documents. Review the sample drawings if needed.

Step 3: Apply


​​​​​Apply online​​

In order to get started, create a myID account.

​​​​Create a myID account​​

Businesses can register for a myID business account. A business account is intended for myID services to be submitted on behalf of a business or organization. Please follow the steps outlined on the myID business account page.

In person
You can also apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre. Make sure you have all of the required documents. To skip the line, book an appointment.

Step 4: Inspections and managing your permit application


Suites FAQs


Suite registry FAQ

What is the secondary suite registry?

The secondary suite registry is an online, searchable list identifying legal and safe secondary suites in Calgary. These suites have been registered and inspected to meet Alberta’s safety code requirements. View the suite registry bylaw and go to secondarysuites.calgary.ca to view the registry.

What is the goal of the registry?

The registry aims to build awareness with Calgarians about the importance of public safety, and the safety features of a legal secondary suite. Suites that have been inspected by The City and meet the requirements under Alberta’s safety codes provide the necessary measures to help protect lives.

What are the advantages of the registry and sticker for owners?

Registered secondary suites are listed on The City’s website and receive a numbered sticker that can be posted at the main entrance of the suite. Owners can use the registry and sticker as a means to promote their suite to current and future residents.

Is there a cost to be on the registry?

Not currently, however, in January 2022, we will reinstate fees for the suite registry. The registry program is intended to promote the importance of safe secondary suites for Calgarians.

How do I get a secondary suite sticker for my suite?

Please note it will take two to three weeks after the final inspection to receive your sticker in the mail.

Where do I place the sticker on my property?

We recommend placing the stickers on the entry point of the suite. This informs current and future residents that suite is part of The City’s registry program.

If the property is sold, does the registry transfer to the new owner?

Yes. The registry is connected to the address containing the legal and safe secondary suite.

How long is the sticker valid for?

There is no expiry date.

Can I make modifications to my secondary suite after the building permit is approved?

Any changes to your secondary suite could require additional permits and inspections. To ensure modifications meet the requirements of Alberta’s safety codes and do not alter the safety features of your suite, contact The City’s Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 for assistance.

What penalties might I face for owning an unsafe suite?

Safety is always top priority for The City. Our inspectors work collaboratively with secondary suite owners, and we determine appropriate timelines to complete work. However, if owners of illegal suites do not comply with minimum safety standards, we may take legal action.

Can I be removed from the registry?

The City investigates all complaints, should your secondary suite be found to no longer comply with Alberta’s safety codes, your suite will be removed from the registry.​

Suite addressing FAQ

The City of Calgary requires the assignment of a separate address for secondary suites to supplement the basic address of the main dwelling. The identifier for the secondary suite may be alphabetical or numeric. Suite numbers are shown at the start of the address for the following purposes:

Emergency response and wayfinding

If an emergency event occurs in the secondary suite, every second counts and a precise location will assist the emergency responders to locate the suite.

Current and future utility hookups

Utility hookups require the exact suite address where the utilities will be hooked up and for the utility bill to be sent.

Applications for future business licences

A requirement of a business licence is to have the exact suite address to where the business will be operating. Although there might not be a business operating out of the secondary suite at this time, an address will still be created to enable a business to be licenced at the suite when needed.

Applications for future short-term rentals

Although the secondary suite might not be used as a short-term rental at this time, a new address will still be created to enable a suite to be licenced for a short-term rental when needed. The licence requires the exact suite address and not the main dwelling address.

Canada post and other mail delivery services

Although not a City of Calgary requirement, having a separate address for the secondary suite will assist in the delivery of mail to the correct dwelling unit.

Planning Services Centre

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (MT)

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

Drop-off:
3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

Legal and safe: suite registry

Check the Secondary Suite Registry to find or verify a legal suite in Calgary.

Registry suites include all necessary permits and have been inspected to meet Alberta's Safety Code requirements. The registry is continually updated as we approve suites.

If an operating suite does not appear on the registry, you can contact Customer support to submit a complaint.

Click before you dig

Always contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig. Submit a locate request online or call 1-800-242-3447 for more information.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

pda/assessment,pd/permits,pd/home-building-and-renovations,pd/commercial-development,pd/green-building,calgary-land-use-bylaw-1p2007/floodway-flood-fringe-maps,pd/addressing,pd/help-us-building-calgary-together,centre-city/centre-city-guidebook,centre-city/centre-city-urban-design-guidelines-project,current-studies-and-ongoing-activities/,calgary-land-use-bylaw-1p2007/land-use-bylaw-land-use-districts,pd/development-how-long-will-it-take,current-studies-and-ongoing-activities/battistella-land-use-redesignation-application-hillhurst,myhome/buying-and-selling-a-property,calgary-land-use-bylaw-1p2007/calgary-land-use-bylaw-1p2007,planning-and-development-resource-library/planning-policy-information,planning-and-development-resource-library/publications,my-development/,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null