The City of Hamilton has a housing wait list of over 7,000 applicants. One third are seniors, one third are families and the balance are individuals and couples of all ages.
By-laws in Hamilton 'proper' allow the creation of legal secondary suites in detached homes with various restrictions . Revisions are currently being discussed.
We will keep you posted on updates!
The general call in number for the building department is 905-546-2489 Ext. 2720
Hamilton Zoning/Planning Department:
Hamilton Building Permit Department:
Unfortunately communities surrounding the city such as Waterdown, Flamborough, Stoney Creek, Ancaster and Dundas have yet to allow legal secondary suites. Contact your councillor and ask them to make these by-laws a reality in the near future.
Halton Region has a housing wait list of 3,500 applicants. By-laws are in place in Burlington, Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills allowing secondary suites in detached homes and also in semi-dfetached and townhouses in some areas if certain conditions are met.
Halton Region offers incentives for homeowners creating legal secondary suites to house families and individuals on the wait list. Contact Egality or the Halton Housing Help Centre (311) for details
Burlington Zoning Department:
Burlington Building Department:
Oakville Building Department:
Milton Building Department:
Waterloo Region has a housing wait list of 2,680 applicants. The Region offers homeowners a forgivable loan of $25,000 to build a legal secondary suite on their property when it is rented to a tenant who is under the low income threshold. Details of this program are found at:
519-747-8712 or email email@example.com
Bruce County is studying various aspects of housing including older adults' options as they look to downsize affordably. There are ten municipalities within Bruce County including two First Nations Reserves. Saugeen Shores is actively exploring secondary unit options for their residents.
Bruce County Housing: 519-396-3450
Saugeen First Nations
Grey County has secondary suites amongst its strategies to increase affordable housing stock in their 5 year update.
Housing Department: 519-376-5744
There are nine municipalities within Grey County. Contact your local municipality to explore the secondary suite allowances in your community.
Wellington County has over 2,500 applicants for housing. Their housing services division can be reached at: 519-824-7822
There are two towns and five townships in the County
Guelph/Eramosa has taken the lead on many by-law initiatives to encourage the creation of legal accessory apartments as well as the conversion of illegal ones.
Building Services: 519-837-5615 firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to other municipalities are:
The County of Brant has created a very informative package on creating an 'Additional Residential Unit'.
The City of Brantford currently has over 1,700 households applying for affordable housing. Mayor Kevin Davis convened the Mayor’s Housing Partnerships Task together with County of Brant Mayor David Bailey. We will keep you updated!
Building Department: 519-759-4150
Housing Services: 519-759-3330
With over 76,000 household applications for affordable housing, Toronto carries close to half of Ontario's demand. While COVID-19 has exposed many additional needs, the lack of housing stock in the city is very real. A 2019 report revealed that 246,639 purpose built rental units were built in the city up until 1979. Since 1980 only 18,243 have been created. Today there is a 7 year wait time for a bachelor unit, 12 year wait time for a one bedroom and 10 year wait time for larger units.
In May 2019 by-laws were passed which updated the allowances around secondary suites. Highlights included no additional parking requirements; townhouse options; the possibility of 2 secondary units in 1 property; and laneway housing.
You can determine what you are allowed to do on your property by calling the Zoning department at: 416-397-5330 or online at:
The city has also produced a helpful Homeowner's Guide to Building Permits
Community housing help centres can be reached at: 416-285-8070
A map of their locations is here.
Their website is here.
Peel Region has just announced financial incentives up to $30,000 for homeowners who are willing to convert illegal secondary suites into legal ones! Click to get the details of the plan.
There are 14,997 households applying for affordable housing in Peel. Current wait times are 5-12 years. Like all urban areas, innovative housing ideas are very much needed.
To explore your secondary suite options in Mississauga please visit their website:
Mississauga ensures all legal units are registered. You can see the list of 100's of registered units here.
Brampton also has a registration for legal units at a modest one-time fee.
The Region of Peel Housing Outreach line is: 1-877-848-8481
Their website is here.
York Region's detailed Housing Solutions Plan does not appear to have secondary suites on their radar but they are allowed in these municipalities:
King (no info found)
Click on the township you are located in to go directly to their website providing information on creating a legal secondary suite.
York Region's Housing Access Centre can be reached at: 1-877-464-9675
Their website is here.
London's by-laws have recently expanded to allow "additional residential units" (ARU's) in more types of housing and, in some cases, TWO suites can be added to one property!
All ARU's must be licensed.
For more information call 519-930-3510 or e-mail: email@example.com.
London is also offering loans for homeowners building a secondary suite on their property to provide housing for an individual or family through the Affordable Housing Community Improvement Plan.
To see if your project qualifies, please contact Planning Staff for pre-consultation before any works starts.
If you have a property and would like to explore how it could be used to serve those in need, please e-mail:
If you have a larger affordable housing development in mind, please contact the London Community Foundation to explore their affordable housing funding application.
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