Secondary suites

A secondary suite is a self-contained dwelling, located within a single family dwelling, that has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and living area. It must be inter-connected to the primary dwelling and is restricted in size based on the size of the principal dwelling. Secondary suites are allowed in most residential zones other than townhomes and multi-family complexes.

What is an illegal suite? An illegal secondary suite is one that was not constructed with the appropriate building permit. There is cause for concern if you live in or own a dwelling with an illegal secondary suite because it may not have been constructed to proper specifications for life safety, and it has never been inspected by a City Building Official. It is possible to legalize an illegal secondary suite, please give us a call and we can help you through the process.


Review the Secondary Suite requirements within a single family dwelling . After reviewing the requirements and ensuring you will be able to meet them, you will be required to apply for a building permit  and a  plumbing permit.

  1. The building permit application will include verification from you (supported by the submission of floor plans), that your application is in compliance with Section 9.5a, Secondary Suite Regulations, of Zoning Bylaw 8000 . The application will also include a site plan which identifies the required open space, parking stall and lighted pathway for the proposed suite.
  2. The application will be forwarded to a plan check to confirm compliance with BC Building Code & applicable zoning regulations.
  3. Building permit and plumbing permit will be issued upon approval.
  4. The building inspector will inspect for compliance to BCBC and zoning regulations in accordance with the issued building permit.
  5. After the final inspection, an occupancy permit will be issued.

The following items are required for permit application: