Secondary suites offer homeowners a variety of benefits and increase the amount of safe, affordable housing in Victoria.
The City of Victoria has implemented relaxations to secondary suite zoning and regulations that make it easier to install a secondary suite.
Secondary Suites Made Easier
Click here [PDF - 436 KB] to read what it takes to create a suite in the City of Victoria.
For more information on the zoning and regulation changes in the last few years click here [PDF - 200 KB].
Secondary Suites Design Guidelines
Victoria homeowners who are considering installing a secondary suite in a single family home have some helpful design tips to guide them. The City's Secondary Suites Design Guidelines are meant to assist homeowners develop a secondary suite that will enhance the unique features of their home and neighbourhood.
The guidelines are easy to use and are divided into five categories:
- Overall Design of the House
- Landscaping and Parking
- Private Outdoor Space
- Design of Secondary Suite Entrance
- Suite Livability
When is a suite considered legal?
A suite is considered legal when all the required building, plumbing and electrical permits have been applied for and approved; and where all work has been completed, inspected and a final Occupancy Permit has been issued by the City of Victoria.
If you are planning to construct a secondary suite, your first step should be to ensure that your property complies with all necessary zoning and other requirements for the construction of a secondary suite. The City's Sustainable Planning and Community Development Department, located on the second floor of Victoria City Hall, can assist you with these inquiries. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Once you have confirmed that your property complies, you must apply for a Building Permit at Victoria City Hall. To learn more about the process and to have your specific questions answered, contact: Zoning at 250.361.0316 and/or Permits and Inspections at 250.361.0342. A Building Permit requires that a homeowner comply with the secondary suites standards in the BC Building Code.
Greening Your Suite
The City of Victoria is committed to being a sustainable community.
There are a number of resources you can access in order to construct an energy efficient suite:
- Grant Application Form [PDF - 44 KB]
- Zoning Maps
- Secondary Suites Made Easier [PDF - 436 KB]
- Secondary Suite Design Guidelines [PDF - 302 KB]
- Secondary Suites Grant Program Questions and Answers [PDF - 1.2 MB]
- BC Building Code
- Canada Revenue Agency - Rental Income
- CMHC Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) - Secondary/Garden Suite
- LandlordBC 1.800.330.6707
- Residential Tenancy Branch