New Opportunities for Additional Dwelling Units

The Province of Ontario has made changes to the Planning Act to increase housing within existing neighbourhoods.  Up to two additional dwelling units (ADUs) will now be permitted on most residential properties.

Representation of ADU Locations

For more information about constructing an ADU on your property, Email City Development, or call 905.420.4617

Pre-Approved Additional Dwelling Units - Coming soon

For more information, Email Paul Wirch, Principal Planner, or call 905.420.4660 extension 2140

Information Open House - November 23, 2023

The City hosted an open house to share information about how to construct and/or legalize up to two ADUs on a property.

Final Approval - September 25, 2023

 Pickering Council approved the ADU amendments on September 25.

Final Recommendation - September 5, 2023

The final draft amendments were approved by the Planning & Development Committee meeting on September 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Statutory Public Meeting - May 1, 2023

Feedback received at the public meeting will help inform the final draft of the City's new ADU policies and regulations.

Backyard Cottage     Entrance to Basement Apartment

What properties qualify for an ADU?

Based on recent changes to the Planning Act (through Bill 23), the following properties are permitted to have up to two ADUs:

  • Properties containing a detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling, block townhouse, or street townhouse.
What type of ADUs are permitted?

Qualifying properties are permitted to have either:

  • One ADU in the main residence;
  • Two ADUs in the main residence (considered a Small Building under the OBC);
  • One ADU in a separate building located in the backyard or side yard; or
  • One ADU in the main residence and one ADU in a separate building located in the backyard or side yard.

 

* Please contact the City Development Department to learn more about the existing zoning and building permit requirements based on the location of the property and the existing building type.

What regulations can the City make for ADUs?

 The City is permitted to regulate the following items:

  • Maximum size (floor area)
  • Maximum height
  • Minimum distance from property lines
  • Number of required parking spaces (to a maximum of one)

All ADUs will also have to comply with the Ontario Building Code.

Additional Dwelling Unit Registration

All homes with an additional dwelling unit (including basement apartments, tiny homes, coach houses, etc.)  need to be registered with the City of Pickering Building Services Department and Fire Services Department.

If you have any questions, please contact Building Services at 905.420.4631 or by email at binspections@pickering.ca.

Why Register

Registration of additional dwelling units is mandatory under City of Pickering Municipal By-law 8040/23.

 

Registration allows City staff to inspect a residence and confirm that the additional dwelling unit is safe for a tenant to occupy.

 

The knowledge of where additional dwelling units are located will assist the City in providing emergency response and community services.

 

Registration provides the property owner with a registration certificate, officially recognizing the property as being approved for one or more additional dwelling units. Possession of the registration certificate may assist in future real estate transactions and insurance coverage.

Who Can Register

There are a variety of dwelling types that can be applied for to accommodate an additional dwelling unit, depending on the neighbourhood where they are located. Please contact City staff directly to determine if your dwelling qualifies.

Registration Process

The application process is now conducted completely on-line. Once you confirm you are able to register for your property, fill out the registration application that will automatically be submitted to our Building Services Department for review and approval. The application form may also be circulated to the Fire Services Department depending on the age and/or circumstances of the added dwelling unit.

 

Registration cannot be completed until final construction is complete and inspected by both Pickering Fire and Building Services Inspectors and all outstanding fees are paid in full.

 

Once registered the City will provide the property owner with a registration certificate by email, officially recognizing the property as being approved for a legal additional dwelling unit.

What is an Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

There are many terms to describe additional dwelling units within a primary residence, including: Additional Dwelling Units (ADU's), second dwelling units, accessory or basement apartments, secondary suites, carriage houses, laneway suites, and in-law flats.

 

While the separate living space (unit) may be used by a family member or on an infrequent basis, it is considered a separate dwelling unit for building code and zoning purposes if it contains all of the following elements:

 

  • Sleeping facilities i.e. an area designed as a bedroom, combination bedroom living room or a sleeping area
  • Sanitary facilities / bathrooms
  • Cooking facilities i.e. stove/and or oven
  • In addition, the rooms above are designed for exclusive use by the occupant (i.e. not shared with the rest of the house). This is usually indicated by:
    • Doors or partitions separating the suite from other areas of the house
    • A separate entrance from the exterior to the suite 

 

The self-contained unit may be located in various locations including a main or second floor, in the basement, or in an accessory building like a garage.

Register an ADU

Registration of additional dwelling units is mandatory under City of Pickering Municipal By-law 8040/23. View the Registration Form.

 

Registration allows City staff to inspect a residence and confirm that the second dwelling unit is safe for a tenant to occupy.

 

The knowledge of where Additional Dwelling Units are located will assist the City in providing emergency response and community services.

 

Registration provides the property owner with a registration certificate, officially recognizing the property as being approved for a legal additional dwelling unit. Possession of the registration certificate may assist in future real estate transactions and insurance coverage.

Registration Fees

Once an application is received, a Building Services Clerk will advise you when to make payment.

 

A one-time registration fee of $500 is required at the time of application, as per our Schedule of Applicable Fees.

 

Payment can be made in person, or online. Please retain the confirmation email as proof of payment.

News & Updates

 

March 2024
Intern Notification 

In response to the government’s More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 and changes to the Building Code Act, 1992 Pickering has created its own internship program for Building Officials under the guidance of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The program has been designed to provide opportunities to those who have faced obstacles in obtaining the qualifications to become a building official. The program is in line with Standard Operating Procedure: Intern Inspector – Building Services.

We appreciate everyone’s interest in the program. To view current opportunities, please visit the City of Pickering’s career page.

For general questions, please contact Human Resources.

Effective June 28, 2023:
Online City Permit Application Portal is Live for Small Residential Building Permits. 

Visit mycity.pickering.ca

January 1, 2023
The Temporary Patio Program is closed

All requests for new, temporary or seasonal patios are now subject to review under standard Site Plan and Building Permit approval processes. Please contact our Planning Department at 905.420.4617 or citydev@pickering.ca for more information, or to speak to a Planner.

November 28, 2022 Bill 23:
New regulations for Additional Dwelling Units

View our Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) page

Effective January 1, 2022:
New OBC requirements including Stairs, Guards & Handrails

On January 1, 2022, changes to the Ontario Building Code (OBC) related to Stairs, Guards, & Handrails came into effect and may have significant impact to the construction and/or design of proposed projects or buildings.

Complete building permit applications and developer Certified Models with sitings, submitted for OBC review prior to Friday, December 31, 2021 will be reviewed and processed under the previous OBC provisions.  Applications received after Friday, December 31, 2021 will be reviewed under the new OBC provisions.

If you have any questions about this Code change, we encourage all applicants, designers, and developers to consult Building Services staff prior to submitting your application.