A secondary suite is self-contained anywhere within the main home (often the basement) but secondary to it (smaller). A backyard suite must be smaller than the main house and be contained in a detached building behind the front façade of the main residential building. Examples are a suite located above a garage or a separate “laneway” or “garden” house. Legal suites contain 2 or more rooms designed to be used as a residence by one or more persons. Suites must have a kitchen, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities, and one parking stall on the parcel. They must meet all building codes for safety and construction and have passed inspection. Secondary and backyard suites do not have a separate title and cannot be sold independently of the main home. They can be rented out, owner-occupied, or occupied by other person(s) like a family member or caregiver.
Designated heritage homes may be eligible for the City’s Historic Resource Conservation matching grant program to help with retrofitting costs and all homes listed on the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources may be considered for parking bylaw relaxations, if parking for tenants can’t be accommodated on site. The City continues to update its tools and incentives to accommodate suites and retain heritage.