What is a secondary suite in Toronto?

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021


What is a secondary suite and why are you hearing of them more often these days? A secondary suite is defined as a:


“self-contained living accommodation for an additional person or persons living together as a separate single housekeeping unit, in which both food preparation and sanitary facilities are provided for the exclusive use of the occupants of the suite, located in and subordinate to a dwelling unit”.


The City of Toronto has removed the restriction that the residence had to be five years old before a secondary unit could be constructed as well as they were previously not permitted to be constructed in a townhouse. In an effort to increase density and affordable housing supply, the City has in effect loosened the restrictions on creating additional housing.


This will allow more affordable housing in established Toronto neighbourhoods, like Don Mills. It will also allow new residents to make use of existing infrastructure and social services. This brings gentle intensification into low densely neighbourhoods.


Secondary suites may be constructed within a detached house a semi – detached house or a townhouse provided  they meet certain criteria:


• One secondary suite may be constructed In a townhouse, more than one secondary  suite may be constructed in a semidetached or detached home.

• There are floor area restrictions for units constructed on the first or second floor, none for the basement.

• There are restrictions on the entrance to the unit being on front or on the side depending on the type of structure.

• A full building permit is required, complete with floor plans, sections and construction details and notes.

• Survey, site plan and  zoning  calculations  for the lot must be submitted.

• An HVAC and plumbing  permit must also be obtained.



Article courtesy of: “Don Mills Residents Inc”


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