Accessory Dwelling Unit FAQ
1. What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?
2. Who can build an ADU?
3. Are there fees associated with an ADU?
4. How do I register my ADU?
5. How do I know if a house has a registered ADU?
6. How many bags of garbage can I put out and how does the garbage collector know that I'm a registered unit?
7. Do I have to renew the registration of my ADU? If so how often?
8. When I renew my ADU what do I need to do?
9. If I'm a new owner of a previously registered ADU is the registration still good?
10. Do I have to obtain a building permit to put in an ADU?
11. Do I have to contact the Fire Department to inspect the ADU?
12. Can my ADU registration be revoked?
13. How many parking spaces do I need and does the garage count?
14. Who can I contact to ask questions regarding ADU's?
1. What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? An accessory dwelling unit is one self contained unit created through converting part of or adding onto an existing dwelling. A dwelling unit is a room or a suite of rooms operated as a separate housekeeping unit that is used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more persons and that contains cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities.
2. Who can build an ADU? Anyone who lives in a single family or two family zone can have an accessory dwelling unit. To confirm what zone you're in please contact the Town's Planning Department at 905 953-5321.
3. Are there fees associated with an ADU? Yes, there are fees involved when constructing an accessory dwelling unit. These fees are based on the process the homeowner must follow to register their accessory dwelling unit. There may be fees for Electrical Safety Authority, Fire Department, Building Permits and an application fee to the Town.
4. How do I register my ADU? To register your accessory dwelling unit your must complete an accessory dwelling unit application form and pay the application fee, submit a copy of the final Fire department and Electrical Safety Authority reports or a final of a building permit inspection report. Application forms are available from the Legislative Services Department and can also be accessed by clicking here
5. How do I know if a house has a registered ADU? The Town has a registration list containing all units that are registered. This list can be accessed by the public by calling the Legislative Services Department at 905-953-5300 ext. 2205
6. How many bags of garbage can I put out and how does the garbage collector know that I'm a registered unit? The number of garbage bags for each house hold with a registered ADU doubles. This is because it is recognized that there are two units and thus each unit should have the same rights as any other household. (e.g. 3 bags for the upper unit and 3 bags for the lower unit for a total of 6 bags on the curb on garbage collection day).
Each ADU is given an "N" plate which is affixed to the front of the house visible from the road which identifies that it is a legal unit and allowed the 6 bags at the curb.
7. Do I have to renew the registration of my ADU? If so how often? Every registered ADU must renew the registration every 10yrs or on any ownership change. The new owner would need to renew the registration to continue the legal use of the ADU.
When I renew my ADU what do I need to do? In order to renew an ADU the owner of the property needs to complete a new ADU application form and have inspections performed by the Fire Department and Electrical Safety Authority.
8. If I'm a new owner of a previously registered ADU is the registration still good? Once the ownership has changed the new owner has 6 months to renew the registration of the previously registered ADU. This entails obtaining inspections from the Fire Department and Electrical Safety Authority and completing a new ADU application form to register the unit into the new owner's name.
9. Do I have to obtain a building permit to put in an ADU? New ADU's that are being created will require a building permit to ensure the unit meets the requirements of the Ontario building code.
10. Do I have to contact the Fire Department to inspect my ADU? The Fire Department only needs to be contacted if the ADU is being renewed or completed under fire code requirements. These units had to have existed prior to November 1995. All other units are inspected by the Building Department and Electrical Safety Authority.
11. Can my ADU registration be revoked? An ADU can be revoked for ceasing to meet the requirements of the ADU bylaw.
12. How many parking spaces do I need and does the garage count as a space? New ADU's are required to have 4 exterior parking spaces which does not include the garage.
13, Who can I contact to ask questions regarding ADU's? General questions on ADU's can be directed to the Legislative Services Department at 905 953-5300 ext. 2200. If you have questions about constructing a new ADU please contact the Building Department at 905 953-5300, ext. 2401. Zoning questions can be directed to the Planning Department at 905 953-5321.