Secondary Dwellings

A secondary dwelling is a freestanding detached single-family home located on the same parcel as the principal dwelling. The secondary dwelling (sometimes called a “Coach House” or a “Garden Suite” in other municipalities) must be smaller than the principal home. Secondary dwellings differ from carriage homes because they are freestanding and not attached to an accessory building like a garage. A secondary dwelling requires access to a main frontage road and must not rely on a laneway for road access. It does not have a Certificate of Title, and cannot be strata titled. A secondary dwelling will be assigned a separate address at the building permit.

To create a legal secondary dwelling, you must obtain a Building Permit. As well, your property must be zoned to allow a secondary dwelling.

Review the Getting Started page for frequently asked questions and the potential benefits of accessory dwelling units.

Secondary Dwelling Development

Check out the City’s full Accessory Dwelling Unit How-To guide for more in-depth information. 

The guide includes pre-planning considerations, including the steps involved to build an accessory dwelling unit, servicing feasibility, zoning bylaw regulations, design tips, getting your permits, useful resources, and questions to ask yourself when considering your future responsibilities as a landlord.

Contact the Development Department at 250-992-2111 and if you have any questions or are interested in discussing the possibility of a suite.

For questions regarding the Building Code, contact the Building Department at at 250-992-2111 and

If you own a rental property with two units and you do not live in one of the units OR if you own a rental property with more than two units, you must obtain an Accommodation Business LicenseTo discuss what you may need before applying for a Business License, contact the Bylaw Department at 250-992-2111 or