All homes with a separate dwelling space need to be registered with the City of Pickering Building Services Department and Fire Services Department.

What is a Two Dwelling Unit?

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, in-law flats and Two-Unit Dwellings.

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, i.e. 2 pc or 3 pc bathroom
  • 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 second 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.

What kind of homes can apply to be a Two Dwelling Unit?

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

How do I Apply?
The application process is now conducted completely on-line. Fill out the registration application that will automatically be submitted to our Building Services Department for review and approvals. 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 Fee
A one-time registration fee of $500 is required at the time of application. The payment can be made online through pickering.ca/eStore (please retain the eStore receipt as proof of payment).
Why Register?
  • Registration of Two-Unit Dwellings is mandatory under City of Pickering Municipal By-law 7579/17.
  • 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 Two-Dwelling Unit residences 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 Two-Dwelling Unit. Possession of the registration certificate may assist in future real estate transactions and insurance coverage.

For more information, contact:

Building Services
T. 905.420.4631
Email: binspections@pickering.ca