Garden Suites

Garden Suites Update
A “Garden Suite” is a second, generally smaller, house built in the backyard of a detached, semi-detached, or townhouse property. The City is intending to pass city-wide zoning permitting these suites in all neighbourhoods subject to certain standards.

The Garden Suite Community Meeting Presentation was discussed at the consultation meetings.Planning presented a Garden Suites Proposal to the Planning and Housing Committee (PHC) on June 28

The residents associations are now reviewing the proposed Draft Regulations – a Summary of Proposed Draft Garden Suite Regulations is attached for your review.

Next Steps

We understand additional consultations are to take place over the summer. Planning is to submit a Final Report and Amendments to the Zoning By-laws for the Planning and Housing Committee and then to City Council sometime in Quarter 4 of 2021 (Oct-Dec).


Garden Suites Community Consultation Presentation
Here is a link to the slide deck that was used for the Presentation at the Community Consultations meetings on May 11, 12 and 13, 2021:

Garden Suite Community Meeting presentation


Garden Suites – Next Step – Community Consultation Meetings

As the next step in the consultation process, City Planning will be hosting a series of virtual community consultation meetings where residents can learn more, ask questions, and share comments about Garden Suites.  Three sessions have been arranged to provide additional date/time options but the same content will be reviewed at each meeting.

Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021    Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2021  Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2021    Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The meetings will be Online and phone-in only. To join pre-registration is required at (scroll to Page 6 for the meeting titled ‘Garden + Suites Study Community Meeting’).

Additional information about the Garden + Suites study is available at the study website.

For more information on Garden Suites, please contact the City Planning project leads David Driedger [email protected] and Allison Reid [email protected].


What is a Garden Suite?

A Garden Suite is a second, generally smaller house, usually located in the rear yard of a detached, semi-detached or townhouse property. Garden suites are also sometimes called “coach houses”, “carriage houses”, “detached accessory dwelling units” or “ADU”. Garden Suites are generally smaller than the main house and function as a rental housing unit. The City hopes these new homes will provide affordable rentals and homes for grown children and aging parents.

The City is looking into “Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods” in response to Provincial requirements. In 2018-2019, Laneway Suites of up to two storeys became permitted in backyards of homes on lots that are next to a public laneway.

The Garden Suites project will recommend policies and regulations for detached suites on properties that are not next to a public lane.  Garden Suites are non-severable, meaning they can’t be turned into a separate property from the same house, they remain under the same ownership as the main house, and are serviced with water, sewer and other utilities through a connection to the main house or the street.

“Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods”
You can visit the website to learn more about this program.

Garden Suites Website
For more information, please visit the study’s Garden + Suites Website .

Some Things to Think About
The Garden Suites Survey just released by the City is the first step in collecting information from the public about the opportunities and limitations of Garden Suites in neighbourhoods across the City. By responding to the Survey you can help define the rules and regulations for Garden Suites.

 Before you respond to the Survey, consider …

  • Would you like to build a small home in your back yard for family or to rent out?
  • Would you like your neighbours to build a small home in their backyard?
  • How high and how large will Garden Suites be? 
  • How would a one or two storey building on, or adjacent to, your backyard affect: your garden, your sunshine, your privacy, light intrusion at night or noise from AC and residents?
  • Should short term rentals (such as Airbnb) be allowed?
  • What obligation should there be for a person building a Garden Suite to consult with adjacent neighbours before they build?
  • Where would the residents in Garden Suites park their cars?
  • How will the construction of these new homes affect the tree cover, green space, and water drainage in your neighbourhood?
  • Will emergency access to these new Garden Suites and existing homes be adequate? 
  • Will Garden Suites trigger re-evaluations and property tax changes impacting affordability in the long term for property owners who are not interested in constructing a Garden Suite?
  • How many additional units are possible across the City and what effects might these have on the City’s infrastructure such as police and fire services, sewer, water, parks, schools, etc?


Garden Suites Survey

After reading the survey you may want more information about how any zoning changes will impact your home, your investment, your taxes, your family’s life, and the quality of life in your neighbourhood. 

Additional consultations will follow.  If you wish to be consulted on the details of the proposed standards and regulations such as size and height, lot coverage, impact on property values and municipal tax, etc., contact [email protected], 416-392-7613.