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Municipalities across Canada are recognizing secondary suites as a viable source of rental housing. They can also provide extra revenue or mortgage support for families looking to buy a home.

The City of Edmonton encourages the development of secondary suites to increase safe affordable housing options as part of the objectives outlined in The Way We Grow and The Way We Live, as well as Cornerstones: Edmonton’s Plan for Affordable Housing, 2006-2011, which was endorsed by Council in 2005.

To apply for a Secondary Suite, you must obtain a building permit and a development permit.

Secondary Suites FAQ

Secondary Suites Cornerstones Grant Program

Phase 1: Completed December 2007

The first phase was completed in December 2007 with Council’s adoption of Bylaw 14750.

Phase 1 Background

On January 30, 2007, Council asked the city administration to consider how to make it easier for people to operate secondary suites. This would make more affordable housing available, and require a bylaw change.

After extensive public consultations that included public open houses, a telephone survey and an online web survey, administration proposed:

  • Allowing more secondary suites within single detached housing, in the smaller-lot suburban zones
  • Allowing more secondary suites in large-lot mature area zones, with restrictions
  • Allowing garden suites (above a detached garage) in smaller-lot suburban zones, and in the mature area zones in certain locations at the discretion of the development authority

Phase 2: Completed in February 2009

The second phase was completed in February 2009 with Council’s adoption of Bylaw 15036.

Phase 2 Background

Phase 2 of the Secondary and Garden Suites Zoning Bylaw amendments is complete. Public consultation with Edmontonians included open houses, stakeholder meetings and a web survey.

Bylaw 15036 incorporates both consultation feedback and improvements to the Phase 1 amendments that address the issues found during the Phase 1 monitoring period.

Report to Council on Bylaw 15036

Council minutes for February 2, 2009 Public Hearings
(Item F.8 is Bylaw 15036)

Bylaw 15036

Bylaw 15036 includes clauses that:

  • Remove the location restrictions for secondary suites, which currently apply in the large-lot residential zones
  • Modify the location restrictions for garden suites in large-lot mature area zones and apply them to most other low-density residential zones (see Summary Tables:  Phase 2 Secondary Suites Zoning Bylaw Amendments for details)
  • Introduce at-grade garden suites (single-storey accessory suites, detached from the main house) at the discretion of the development authority

For More Information

Edmonton Service Centre

Sustainable Development
2nd floor, 10111 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T5J 0J4

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm



Fax 780-496-6054

Fire Code Inquiries (Secondary Suites)

Fire Prevention, Fire Rescue Services

Title Fire Prevention Coordinator


Sanitary Sewer Trunk Charge (applies to Secondary and Garden Suites)

Title Contact 311

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Building and Fire Codes-Provincial Standards

Title Municipal Affairs and Housing


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