Everything You Need To Know About Building Secondary Suites In Toronto!
If you’re looking to create a legal secondary suite in your house or townhome in Toronto, learn all about what is allowed and what is required in order to get it done.
What Are Secondary Suites?
In the simplest terms, a secondary suite is a separate living unit inside a house with a primary living unit. The intent of secondary suites is to provide separate accommodation for rental purposes or multi-generational living. Each secondary suites contains its own living, dining, kitchen, sleeping space, and bathroom, exclusively used by the group occupying the secondary suite.
Secondary suites are permitted across Ontario. This means other cities in Ontario do allow them, but they generally have much stricter zoning requirements and by-laws to actually allow a homeowner to create one.
Because of Toronto’s lack of land to build out, our city has been making the secondary suites process much easier than other cities. Right now, you’re allowed to build secondary suites in all old and new detached homes, semis, and townhouses in Toronto.
Why Do Secondary Suites Make Sense For Real Estate Investors?
When a house it split up into two separate rental units instead of one, you can effectively maximize the rentable space and rental income in your investment property. This can mean the difference between negative cash flows and positive cash flows, bumps up your value-add appreciation, and maximize total returns.
Watch the video below as we walk through an example of how cash flows and returns can increase when you add a secondary suite in a single family home!
What Are The Egress Requirements?
Additional Notes On Egress Windows (If Required)
What Are The General Window Requirements?
What Are The Ceiling Height Requirements?
Other Fire Safety Requirements
What Are The Size Requirements?
Here Are The Steps To Building A New Secondary Suite In Toronto
How Do You Legalize An Existing Secondary Suite?
- Apply for a “Change Of Use Permit” with Toronto Building: This process is similar to building a new secondary suite. If your home is compliant with zoning, Toronto by-laws, and the Ontario Building Code, Toronto building will issue you a permit and your home will be inspected. If changes need to be made, you will be required to make corrections before your secondary suite can be legalized.
- Contact Toronto Fire Services (TFS) if your secondary suite existed before July 14, 1994: TFS will inspect your home to ensure it complies with Fire Code and the requirements under Part 9 Retrofit. You will also need to contact the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) to ensure electrical compliance. If changes need to be made, you will be required to make corrections before your secondary suite can be retrofitted. Toronto Building does not get involved in this option.
Want More Information About Secondary Suites In Toronto?
For a complete list of requirements and details on how to get a building permit for a secondary suite in Toronto, you can visit the following links:
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