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Garden Suites

Garden suites are gaining traction not only in Toronto but also in surrounding areas. Locations like Richmond Hill, Cavan-Monaghan, Bradford, Brampton, Hamilton, Welland, Guelph, Barrie, and Kitchener are all embracing the trend. These compact additional homes on residential properties have become a popular alternative housing option in Canada.

What Is A Garden Suite?

A garden suite is a self-contained secondary dwelling located in the rear portion of a property. Distinguishing itself from other secondary structures like sheds or garages, garden suites are fully equipped homes, complete with all essential rooms and utilities.

What To Think About Before Building Your Garden Suite?

Lot Size Requirements: For potential garden suites, the lot size should not exceed 60 m2 (645 ft2). The combined space occupied by your garden suite and any other secondary dwellings must not exceed 20% of your total property area. A garden suite's lot size should not surpass 40% of your backyard space.

Space Requirements: In Toronto, garden suites must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5m (5ft) from the rear property line and 0.6m (2ft) from the side property lines. All garden suites must maintain a minimum distance of 5m (16.4ft) from the primary residence.

Maximum Building Height: Garden suites have a maximum allowable height of 6.0 meters, measured from the average grade. The height measurement extends to the highest point of the roof structure. It's important to note that if a garden suite is situated closer than 7.5 meters to the main house, its height cannot exceed 4.0 meters, as previously mentioned.

Rules and Regulations

Allowed Uses: Garden suites are designated for residential use exclusively. The sole exception to this regulation is for home rentals, specifically long-term rentals. Short-term rentals are subject to distinct bylaws and necessitate specific permits.

Number Of Units: Toronto garden suites are restricted to a single unit. While you can build basements and second stories to expand the space within your garden suites, these may not be converted into separate apartments.

Parking Requirements: Parking spaces aren’t necessarily required for garden suites, but they’re something you should consider especially if your street is already sore for parking.

Preserving Healthy Trees: When you’re designing your garden suite, make sure that construction won’t involve cutting down any young, healthy trees, especially ones that are protected or owned by the city.

Emergency Access Requirements: Emergency access passage to your Garden Suite must be a minimum of 0.9m (3ft) wide and 2.1m (7ft) high.
Your Garden suite entrance should be no further than 45m from your street.

Do Garden Suites Affect Home Insurance & Property Taxes?

Making changes to your property, such as adding a garden suite, may impact your property taxes and insurance rates.

Property Taxes for Garden Suites: While the exact tax implications of garden suites are still being determined, they are expected to be similar to those of other secondary dwelling units, like detached garages.

Insurance for Garden Suites: Insuring your garden suite is similar to insuring any other structure on your property. Garden suites are typically covered under Detached Private Structure or Outbuilding policies. If you plan to rent it out, it may fall under Homeowner-Tenant Policies. Ensure your policy is updated to include the garden suite, and if necessary, consider a property reevaluation if your current policy doesn't provide adequate coverage.

Our work process make your dream true


  • Preparation

    • After finalizing your choices and confirming the design and budget, we will work out  comprehensive plans for site layout, foundation, and utility/structure
  • Municipal approvals

    • Our team will oversee and coordinate all necessary municipal approvals.
  • Survey for Garden Suite Site

    • We will assist you in arranging a survey with a third-party surveyor, which will be at your own expense.
  • Municipal permit fees

    $1,500-$2,000 at your own expense.


  • Foundation

    • Site Cleaning
    • Site work includes addressing slope adjustments, soil conditions, and the removal of existing structures.
    • Foundation construction at destination
  • Build in Factory

    • We build your garden suite with our in-house factory team
  • Delivery and on-site installation

    • Transporting the home from the factory to the destination and craning and hoisting it onto the foundation


  • Connecting utilities

    • Hooking up water, sewer, and electrical to the principal dwelling and discussion of the idea
    • Upgrading of electrical panel and incoming water line (additional cost)
  • Inspection

    • We will be on-site to assist with the final inspection and liaise with the local municipality to secure your warranty and occupancy certificates.
  • Implementation

    • The entire process, from start to finish, can be completed in as little as three months.
  • Opening

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