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New Garden Suite Building Permit Guiledlines

Obtaining A building permit for a new additional self-contained living accommodation, usually located in the rear yard, but not on a public lane, and is separate or detached from the main house on a residential lot.

All drawings to be drawn on standardized sized sheets, drawn to scale, fully dimensioned, signed and dated.

If drawings were prepared by a qualified designer (as defined under Div. C, Part 3, Section 3.2 of the Ontario Building Code), drawings must include the designer’s name, registration number, qualification identification number, signature, and stamp/statement that the person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the design activities.

All drawings, reports, and forms, including the completed Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish, must be provided in a PDF format.

Access for emergency services must be provided from the street that the existing house faces. The travel distance to the proposed garden suite must not exceed Toronto Fire Services requirements for firefighting access.

To ensure access to a garden suite in the case of an emergency, Toronto Fire Services, Emergency Services and the Building Code require a firefighting access with:

  • a maximum 45-metre travel distance measured from a public street to the entrance of the garden suite to a fire apparatus on a public street, where the fire apparatus is within 45 metres of a fire hydrant; and
  • a minimum width of 1.0 metre and a 2.1 metre vertical clearance from the fronting public street. The 1.0 metre minimum width must be unobstructed with the exception of hydro and gas meters and other similar localized protrusion only, into the path of travel width.

For more information about required emergency access to a new Garden Suite, please see:

Illustration Sketch

In cases where it is not possible to provide the minimum 1.0 metre wide path of travel for fire department access, this required width may be shared with a neighbouring property, provided both owners enter into a Limiting Distance Agreement with the City of Toronto.

The Solution: Establish Shared Access through a Limiting Distance Agreement.

  1. Download this template agreement that has been prepared by the City of Toronto. [Garden Suite LDA Fire Access Template]. The template gives prompts for where the relevant property details are to be entered.
  2. An owner of property will likely want to retain a lawyer to assist them with the following:
    1. Filling out the template agreement with the relevant property details;
    2. Providing the property owner with any necessary legal advice in relation to the agreement;
    3. Registering the agreement on title of the property once it has been signed; and,
    4. Preparing and submitting the required title opinion.
      It is highly recommended that property owners refer their lawyers to this webpage and these instructions.
  3. Establish communication and coordinate with the adjoining owner of land. It is likely best to give the adjoining owner of land a link to this webpage and these instructions.
  4. Fill out the template agreement with the relevant property details. Have a sketch prepared for schedule C of the agreement. For an example of an acceptable sketch, refer to the sketch showing garden suite fire access travel distances on a sample site plan 
  5. Once the template agreement has been filled out (changes must be tracked), submit it to one of the following Toronto Building contacts:
    1. Rocco Nardi, Building Consultant, North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street, 1st floor, Phone: 416-395-7510, Email: rocco.nardi@toronto.ca, City of Toronto, Toronto Building
    2. Nathan Wood, Building Consultant, City Hall, 1st floor, 100 Queen St. W Phone: 416-392-7575, Email: nathan.wood@toronto.ca, City of Toronto, Toronto Building
    3. Marseel Shehata, Building Consultant, 2 Civic Court, 1st floor, Phone: 416-394-8024, Email: marseel.shehata@toronto.ca, City of Toronto, Toronto Building
  6.  Toronto Building will forward the filled out template agreement (ensure sketch at Schedule C is included) to the City’s Legal Services Division for review by a City Lawyer.
  7. Assuming the agreement is in a form that is satisfactory to the Deputy Chief Building Official, the City Lawyer will advise that the agreement can be executed by the non-City parties. An invoice will also be provided to the property owners for the City’s fees related to the limiting distance agreement. *Pursuant to Chapter 441 of the Municipal Code there is a Solicitor Fee for the time spent by the City’s Legal Services division. The fee is $251.36/hour. A typical limiting distance agreement will require between one and four hours of time spent by the City’s lawyers.
  8. Property owners sign the agreement and submit it to the City to the attention of the City Lawyer along with the required fees pursuant to the invoice provided. The agreement can be sent by email.
  9. The City will execute the agreement and return it to the property owners. It will generally be sent to the attention of the lawyer that the property owners have retained to register the agreement on title.
  10. Property owners submit to the City, to the attention of the City Lawyer, the title opinions required by the agreement. A template opinion letter is provided here for the property owners’ lawyers’ consideration. [LDA Opinion Letter Template] 

Important Notes:

  • Questions about the process should be directed to Toronto Building staff whose contact information is provided above.
  • The City cannot give the property owners any legal advice.

Site Plan

  • Survey or site plan showing property lines, lot area, right-of-way or easements (referenced to a current survey)
    Location of existing/proposed buildings with overall dimensions and include setback dimensions to property lines and adjacent buildings.
  • Summary of permitted and proposed zoning provisions to include lot area, building area (GFA), coverage, and grade elevations to confirm height.
  • Indicate dimensioned parking areas, driveways, hard & soft landscape treatments, accessory structures (sheds, decks, detached garages, etc).

Lot Grading Plan

Submit a plan showing the proposed grading of the lot, designed in a manner that will result in no new instances of ponding on existing adjacent properties and the subject property as a result of construction, in conformance with the Lot Grading Criteria for Infill Housing.

Floor Plans

Fully dimensioned, for each level showing existing & proposed uses of all spaces, including location of smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors and all plumbing fixtures.

Provide existing/proposed construction with foundation & exterior wall information, showing interior partitions and structural framing above.

Roof Plan

  • Existing/proposed roof layout showing roof structure, skylights, roof slopes, hips/valleys/peaks and ventilation.
  • Truss Drawings and Floor Joist Plan
  • Where Engineered roof trusses or floor systems are proposed.


  • Exterior finishes with roof slopes, window/door type, locations & sizes including height of sills above floor level.
  • Provide area of exposed building face, percentage/area of unprotected openings and required limiting distance(s).Show exterior decks/landings, stairs, guards/handrails.
  • Provide overall building height dimension.


  • Cross section(s) to show existing/proposed building construction and specifications of all floor, wall, & roof assemblies.
  • Provide footing & foundation wall details including height of exterior grade above basement floor.
  • Show floor to floor, floor to ceiling and overall building heights.
  • Detail stairs, landings, guards & handrails.

Construction Details and Notes

  • Building materials & specifications of all wall, floor, and roof assemblies with typical wall section and typical roof detail.
  • Provide guard details including connection detail.

Mechanical Permit & Requirements

Mechanical (HVAC) Permit 

If your project includes an HVAC elements please review the Residential Mechanical (HVAC) Guide for additional requirement

Plumbing & Drain Permits

Plumbing Data Sheet 

If your project includes a plumbing or drain and water service elements, please submit a Plumbing Data Sheet (below) with your building permit application. For one- and two-unit houses or garden suites, no plans are required unless the project includes a reverse-sloping driveway. If the project includes a reverse sloped driveway then drawings must be submitted showing details of reverse sloped driveway and drain plan. All other residential plumbing and drain permit applications must include drawings showing layout of plumbing and related fixtures on each floor level.

Service Requirements

All new Garden Suites must comply with (Div B. (4) Separate Services) of the Ontario Building Code for Separate Services:

(4) No plumbing serving a dwelling unit shall be installed in or under another unit of the building unless the piping is located in a tunnel, pipe corridor, common basement or parking garage, so that the piping is accessible for servicing and maintenance throughout its length without encroachment on any private living space, but this Sentence does not prevent plumbing serving a unit located above another unit from being installed in or under the lower unit.     OBC Div B

To submit an application by email please use the ‘Email’ button on top of the

Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish .

Detailed steps for the email submission process  are also available to assist in making your application.

Building permit application form required for all submissions

Application to Construct or Demolish form 

Energy Efficiency Design Summary – Part 9 Residential

Required when applying to construct a new Part 9 residential building or an addition to an existing Part 9 residential building, to establish compliance with the energy efficiency requirements stipulated in Supplemental Standard SB-12 of the Ontario Building Code.

Compliance using prescriptive method:

Prescriptive Energy Efficiency Design Summary Form 


Compliance using performance and other acceptable compliance methods:

Performance Compliance Methods Form 


This is a declaration form to be submitted to Toronto Building in order for the Owner or authorized agent of the owner to request an electronic copy of the Residential Infill Public Notice  from Toronto Building.

Infill Public Notice Declaration Form 

Applicant/owner is required to pay a damage deposit as a protection guarantee against damage to the curb, sidewalk, road, public laneway, boulevard and other services as well as tracking mud on City streets, or failing to clear snow and ice from sidewalks while construction is in progress.

Municipal Road Damage form 

Required for all designers, except Engineers and Architects when applying for any Construction Permit. Property Owners, if exempted, from Qualification / Certification must fill-in the form to specify the reason for exemption.

Schedule 1: Designer Information Form 


Required for all projects where there is a potential for damage to private or City trees. Applicant is also responsible to comply with other tree protection bylaws.

Tree Declaration Form 



Construction – Group C [Residential Occupancies]

TypeFee (per m², unless otherwise stated) Effective Jan. 1, 2024
Residential Unit Fee


Each new residential unit included in an application

Single Family Dwellings, Semis, Townhouses, Duplexes, Live/Work Units$17.16
(i) For Certification of Plans$8.59
(ii) Permits for Certified Plans$14.56
All other multiple unit buildings and any other residential occupancies$17.16