Secondary suites and backyard suites

Secondary suites and backyard suites

What is the difference between a secondary suite and a backyard suite?


A suite may be considered existing and need to be legalized if all of the below are true:

  • The suite includes a bathroom, cooking facilities and sleeping/living facilities.
  • The suite is accessible from outside without passing through the main dwelling unit. (A shared stairwell is acceptable but each unit must have a private entrance.)
  • The suite was built prior to March 12, 2018.
  • The suite is located in the same building as the main residence and not a detached garage.

If all of these requirements are not met the suite will be considered new. See add a secondary suite for more details.

If there is more than one suite on the property or in the building, contact the Planning Services Centre for assistance.

A building permit is required for all secondary suites, regardless of when they were constructed. 

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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. ​

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