Second Suites Ontario is managed by Landlord’s Self-Help Centre, a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of LAO.

About Second Suites

Second Suites are an important part of Ontario’s rental housing landscape.  They offer affordable housing solutions throughout the province. Second Suites are self-contained residential units which are generally allowed in single detached, semi-detached and row houses. They are also allowed in ancillary structures (i.e. Garage, laneway house or garden suite).

Changes were made to the Planning Act in 2011 when the Government of Ontario passed new legislation (the Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011).  This legislation was made to promote the creation of Second Suites province-wide.

These changes, however, do not automatically legalize existing Second Suites, and they do not allow new ones without a building permit.

Health, safety, housing and maintenance standards must also be met by all Second Suites built in Ontario.  These standards include but are not limited to the Ontario Building Code, the Fire Code, and municipal property standards bylaws.  This site offers a wealth of information about Second Suites in Ontario including information specific to the municipalities across Ontario.

Local Resources for Second Suites

Find local support, resources and contacts in your community. This interactive map has links to local Second Suites information, fire safety requirements, and your local building, zoning and planning departments.

Click on the map to go to our Service Directory section and get started today!

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