Building Services Department
70 Collier Street
P.O. Box 400
Barrie, ON L4M 4T5
Phone: (705) 739-4212
Fax: (705) 739-4240
Planning Services Department
City Hall, 1st Floor
70 Collier Street
Barrie, ON L4M 4T5
Phone: (705) 739-4208
Fax: (705) 739-4270
News Release, March 2016: County increases funding for Secondary Suites program
Simcoe County Ontario Renovates Program
This page contains information on registration of two-unit houses, Second Suites, and Boarding Lodging & Rooming Houses in Barrie.
A two-unit house is one that contains two separate dwelling units. Commonly, a two-unit house starts as a single dwelling unit (detached, semi-detached or townhouse) with a second dwelling unit later created (sometimes referred to as a second suite, in-law suite, or basement apartment).
On May 25, 2015, Council approved a policy to permit second suites, or adding apartments, to existing homes. The changes to the Zoning By-law came into effect shortly after. Any second suite that was created after February 18, 2015, is subject to the bylaw amendments.
The creation of a second suite involves the conversion of a single dwelling unit into a two-unit house. Living in a secondary suite is an attractive and affordable housing option for many residents. If you're thinking of constructing and registering a second suite in your home, please view the steps to add and/or register a second suite.
As per By-law 2004-025, every Two Unit House in the City of Barrie must be registered. There are two processes for registration:
1. If the two unit house existed prior to July 14, 1994, and the use has not changed to this date, the Application to Register a Two Unit House must be completed and submitted to Planning Services. The registration process will include inspections by Property Standards and the Fire Department to ensure the units are safe (NOTE: If there are any deficiencies found in these inspections, a Building Permit may be needed to complete any work required). Once the units have successfully passed all inspections, the two unit house will be registered.
2. If the two unit house did not exist until after July 14, 1994 or does not currently exist, a Change of Use Permit must be obtained. Once the units have passed the final inspection, the two unit house will be automatically registered.
The City of Barrie maintains a map of all registered Second Suites which can be found at discover.barrie.ca.
Second Suites are second dwelling units located on one property typically found in basements of single dwelling units. A Second Suite can also be located in detached garages that have been converted into a dwelling unit.
The Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act requires that municipalities across Ontario amend their planning documents to facilitate the creation of second suites. Second suites provide a form of affordable housing and help owners defray the cost of home ownership.
Second suites provide a form of affordable housing which is relatively simple to implement. Second suites will assist the City in increasing the vacancy rate to healthy standard while providing individuals defray the cost of home ownership.
The City has an Incentive program to help facilitate purpose built student housing in the Georgian College area specifically to mitigate the impact of students in established neighbourhoods and to ensure that dedicated student housing is provided which is safe, clean and properly administered by a property management specialist. Allowing second suites would undermine these efforts and exacerbate the existing issues in the area.
Grandfathering is a term used to allow for uses to exist without meeting all or some of the bylaw standards and provisions.
To find out if your property is grandfathered, legal proof will have to be provided to Planning Services indicating the date the subject property contained a second dwelling unit (Second Suite).
Generally second suites are enforced upon receipt of a complaint however pending the availability of staff resources, staff will also review rental advertisements both online and in printed media format.
Zoning bylaw standards for a second suite when contained in the principal dwelling shall have a maximum of 2 bedrooms, provide a parking space, meet entrance requirements to the second suite and that only one second suite be permitted per lot.
Should the second suite be located in a detached accessory structure (garage) the second suite shall be connected to full municipal services, not exceed 50m2 in coverage, meet accessory structure location standards and provide a parking space.
Every BLR house (small or large, new or existing) must be licensed by the City. Written verification that the BLR house is in compliance with the requirements of the Ontario Building Code, Fire Code and the City’s Property Standards By-law must be provided to the By-law Services Office.
A Boarding Lodging Rooming House, Small (BLR House, Small) is:
A Boarding Lodging Rooming House where lodging is provided for not more than six (6) tenants.
A Boarding Lodging Rooming House, Large (BLR House, Large) is:
A Boarding Lodging Rooming House where lodging is provided for more than six (6) tenants.
Yes, provided the following minimum standards are present:
BLR House, Small, are permitted in all residential zones;
BLR House, Large are permitted in the RM2, RA1 and RA2 zones.
Development of a BLR House, Large is permitted within the RM2, RA1 and RA2 zones. Please note that the BLR House, Large must comply with all other standards of the zone.
The following standards have been added to the Zoning By-law as part of the Boarding Lodging Rooming House amendments.
A BLR House, Small shall:
If you can prove that a Boarding Lodging Rooming House existed prior to December 10th, 2007 you are not required to meet the new minimum standards. The property in question would be considered a legal non conforming unit. You are required to be licensed by the By-law Services office.
Both small and large BLR houses are required to be licensed.
Step 1: Obtain an application from the By-law Services Offices at 45 Cedar Pointe Drive, Barrie.
Step 2: Arrange for a zoning and property standards inspection and approval while at the By-law Services Office (Additional User Fees Applicable)
Step 3: Arrange for a Fire Department inspection and approval -- call 705-728-3199 or attend 155 Dunlop St. W. Barrie (Additional User Fee Applicable) payable at time of inspection.
Step 4: Bring your completed application with all the required signatures and documentation back to the By-law Services at 45 Cedar Pointe Drive, Barrie.
Please Note: Your application must be accompanied by the following information about your building and property:
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