Second suites / basement apartments / granny flats are legal in the City of Toronto in all single family and semi-detached homes (provided they meet certain criteria). A second suite is a self containing living unit with its own kitchen and washroom. It is different from a rooming house.
In 1994 the NDP government anad Toronto City Council legalized these units in an effort to increase the supply of affordable housing.
Does your 2nd suite meet requirements?
Here are the key questions to ask:
- Does the apartment comply with the Fire Code?
- Does it comply with basic building code requirements?
- Does it comply with basic electrical safety requirements?
- Does it meet parking bylaws?
- Does the unit meet other local bylaws and definitions?
- Landlord and Tenant Board 416.645.8080
- Landlord’s Self-Help Centre 416.504.5190
- The second suite must be self-contained with its own kitchen and bathroom.
- The house, including any additions, must be at least 5 years old;
- The floor area of the second suite must be smaller than the remaining unit
- In most cases, homes with a second suite must have at least 2 parking spaces and parking can be in tandem (one behind the other). There is an exception for parts of the former City of Toronto (R2, R3 and R4 districts) where only 1 parking space is required for a house with a second suite
- All bathrooms need either a window or an exhaust fan
- The minimum ceiling height must be 6-feet 5-inches
- The entrance door size must be at least 32 inches by 78 inches