An Additional Residential Unit (ARU) is a self-contained residential dwelling unit, with its own cooking facility, sanitary facility and sleeping area, and that it is located either within a single detached, semi-detached or townhouse dwelling (second unit), or within an ancillary building (garden suite). ARUs are also known as second(ary) units, garden suites, granny-flats, in-law suites, laneway suites, and/or coach houses.
Per Bill 23, ARUs are permitted as-of-right across Ontario, whether or not a municipality adopts an Official Plan Amendment and enacts zoning to recognize these units. In accordance with Bill 23, single-detached, semi-detached, and/or townhouse lots may be permitted up to a maximum of two ARUs per lot. Either:
- A maximum of one attached ARU located within the single-detached, semi-detached, and/or townhouse dwelling, AND a maximum of one garden suite in an accessory structure; OR,
- A maximum of two attached ARUs located within the single-detached, semi-detached, and/or townhouse dwelling (e.g., two basement apartments)
In 2019, the Province of Ontario introduced Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, to expand the options municipalities have for providing a wide range of affordable housing in their communities and increase housing stock to address Ontario’s housing crisis. To comply with Bill 108, municipalities are required to amend their policies to permit additional residential units within an accessory structure on the same lot as detached, semi-detached, or townhouse dwellings.
All ARUs are required to be registered with the City under the Additional Residential Unit Registration By-law.
The City’s registration process for ARUs is intended to make units safe, legal and livable. Completing the one-time registration process ensures the ARU meets all requirements under the Ontario Building Code or Fire Code, and local Zoning By-law.
Sheds and detached garages may be converted into a form of a garden suite, subject to meeting zoning requirements and the Ontario Building Code. Any conversion of structures to a garden suite requires the same application process and fees.
Shipping containers or pre-fabricated houses may be used as a form of a garden suite, subject to meeting zoning requirements and the Ontario Building Code. Mobile homes are not permitted as a form of garden suite. Any conversion of structures to a garden suite requires the same application process and fees.
- Can your property accommodate a garden suite based on zoning requirements (building setback, lot setbacks, etc)?
Services and utilities
- Does your property have full municipal services available?
- Can you extend your existing lines to service the garden suite?
- Do you need to upgrade your water service? Complete the pipe sizing and plumbing data sheet.
- Do you have buried cables, pipes and wires on your property? Contact Ontario One Call.
- Contact utility companies (hydro, gas, water) separately and early in the process to set up services for the new unit.
Heritage and conservation
- Is the property listed or designated under the Ontario Heritage Act? A heritage permit may be required.
- Is the property located within the floodplain or located within the Credit Valley Conservation Area or Toronto Regional Conservation Area? A permit may be required.
- Have you retained services of a professional architect and/or engineer to prepare a site plan, building elevations, floor plans, and roof plans?
- Have you acquired a legal survey of the property?
Builders and contractors
- Is your builder/contractor licensed by The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA)?
- Professional services (Architect, engineer, arborist, landscape architect, etc)
- Architectural and engineering drawings
- City’s custom home review fee ($200)
- City’s registration fee ($200)
- City’s Building permit fee(s), starting at $1,792.85
- Utility and service upgrades
- Construction costs such as building materials, fixtures and labour
- Educational Development Charges (EDCs)
- Cash in Lieu (CIL) of Parkland Dedication
- Securities ($5,000)
Before you build a garden suite in Brampton, you’ll need to follow this process: (1) preliminary zoning review; (2) custom home review (zoning, urban design, engineering), application fee ($200) and securities ($5,000); (3) registration and registration fee ($200), building permit and associates fees (cost varies); (4) building inspections; (5) occupancy and associated fees; (6) complete final registration.
Educational Development Charges (EDCs) and Cash in Lieu (CIL) of Parkland Dedication is collected prior to building permit issuance. The City collects EDCs on behalf of the school boards, based on the EDC rate at the time of building permit issuance. EDC rates for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board and the Peel District School Board can be found here.
Cash in Lieu of Parkland Dedication is calculated based on Land Value x 5% (dedication rate) x 50% (pro rata to total # of units on the lot after the garden suite is built). For more information on the Parkland Dedication By-law and how to calculate CIL, visit the City webpage.
Builders/contractors would need to be licensed by The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA). Tarion (the consumer protection organization established to administer the Province’s new home warranty program) considers garden suites as a new dwelling and must be enrolled with Tarion.
Many factors affect the value of a home, including location, floor area, lot size, quality of construction, number of bathrooms, etc. Information regarding the building permit for the ARU will be forwarded by the City to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which may result in a revised assessment value of the property, and an increase in property taxes. The revised assessment will depend on the size of the ARU, materials used, location of the property, etc.
Property tax rates are not based on the number of people that live on a property and renting an ARU will not increase the property taxes that a City collects.