tiny homes

Tiny Homes & Garden Suites – Should they be allowed in Dufferin County?

Wednesday Sep 18th, 2019


What is a Garden Suite?

A garden suite is a tiny, self-contained home built or installed in the back or side yard of an existing single family home. These tiny homes are generally under 400 square feet. Traditionally these homes were used to house senior relatives or young adult children just starting out. Garden suites can offer a benefit of allowing the senior resident independent living with peace of mind that care and support is not far away. These may be a more affordable alternative for housing for seniors.

Some municipalities see garden suites as temporary housing only to be used while the family member is in need of the housing then removed.

Municipalities have bylaws which detail the minimum size of a home allowed. Most tiny homes are below this minimum size. Ontario only has 3 tiny home communities, in Kingston, Hamilton and Keewatin. The Edmonton, AB city council just tabled a proposal to update zoning bylaws which would allow for the addition of tiny homes in Edmonton communities. 

According to a recent Orangeville Banner article, the province is exploring alternative housing ideas and “Bill 108 is calling on municipalities to provide more varied housing options for Ontarians. In Dufferin, this includes policies to allow second dwellings on any property that isn’t part of the Niagara Escarpment.” Many different municipalities in Dufferin have minimum size requirements for building sizes currently.

While it may sound great to build a garden suite on your property for rental purposes, there are some costs on top of the cost of building the tiny home/garden suite. Water and sewer and hydro all have to be hooked up which could be costly.

What do you think? Should garden suites be allowed?



Could tiny homes solve Dufferin County’s housing woes? “People are in love with the idea,” mayor says; Orangeville Banner; Alexandra Heck July 31, 2019
Small space, big impact: Tiny homes could soon be coming to Edmonton properties CBC News Tricia Kindleman Sep 6, 2019
CMHC: Garden suites can help seniors maintain independence CMHC Michele McMaster Feb 24, 2015

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