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Garden Suites are coming to Toronto backyards near you!

Attention Torontonians! Garden suites will be popping up near you! As options for affordable housing dilute in Toronto, a variety of housing types are beginning to be introduced. Thanks to a new Toronto by-law, garden suites are now permitted to be constructed in the backyard of an existing home, if certain eligibility requirements are met.



A garden suite is defined as a housing unit in the rear lot of a property. Unlike other secondary dwellings, however like garages, garden suites are complete homes containing all essential rooms and utilities. Garden suites are usually used for guest housing, offering individuals their own extra space without having to get a mortgage that they may not be able to afford.


There is an extensive list of benefits to building a garden suite, resulting in the popularity of the option. Some may include with applicable approvals and permits:

  • Higher affordability housing in Toronto’s market

  • Multigenerational family living

  • A place for guests

  • Additional income (rent)

  • Raised property value

Solely residential areas are qualified to build garden suites, and most neighborhoods in Toronto fit the zoning bylaws to do so. Since the City of Toronto has introduced this type of dwelling, other cities outside of the GTA such as Brampton and Guelph are hoping to do so as well.

Before building a garden suite, however, there are certain eligibility requirements to consider including but are not limited to:

  • The property must have a clear emergency access path in accordance with Ontario Building Code regulations

  • Suites cannot result in the removal of by-law protected trees

  • The property must be rectangular in shape

  • The height of the garden suite can be a maximum of 6 metres for two-story buildings

  • A maximum of 645 sqft per floor

To apply to build a garden suite, you must submit a formal application to the city to build a garden suite and post a public notice on the existing property for neighbors to be aware of the building. It is recommended to consult with a licensed professional prior to your application.


We can guide you through the complex legal processes associated with building a garden suite in the backyard of your existing home. This material is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice and is solely in accordance with the laws of Ontario.


Contact Us:

To book a consultation with Buzaker Law Firm regarding the construction of garden suites alongside your home in Ontario, contact us at: info@vblegal.ca or (905) 370 – 0484


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