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Registering Your Second Unit

‚ÄčIn Brampton, second units are permitted in detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings.  Registering a second unit is a one-time process aimed at making the dwelling safe for the residents of both units.  To be legal, the second unit must be registered with the City of Brampton and meet the following general requirements:

  • Zoning By-law Compliance
  • Building Code and/or Fire Code Compliance
  • Electrical Safety Authority Compliance
  • Verification of Homeowners Insurance
  • Payment of all Required Fees

You have up to 18 months from the date of application to complete the Registration Process to ensure your Second Unit meets all of the mandatory requirements.



Application requirements include:

  • Completed Application for Registration – Two-Unit Dwelling
  • Payment of non-refundable application deposit ($200)
  • Legal Survey of the property
  • Fully dimensioned Site Plan (may be incorporated into the survey) including:
    • building setbacks
    • setback to any side entrance into the second unit
    • location of any air conditioning units, accessory structures or encroachments located in the side yard
    • driveway length/width and configuration
  • Floor Plans:
    • Showing the location and layout of each unit
    • Including total floor area measurement for each unit
                                       Apply Online


The Provisions for Two-Unit outlined in the Zoning By-law require that a second unit comply with the following requirements and restrictions:

  1. Only one second unit is allowed per house.
  2. At least one additional parking space must be provided for the second unit, in addition to the required parking for the main unit.
    For most homes, a total of three parking spaces will be required.  All parking spaces must be located entirely within the property boundaries (not on the street or boulevard) and may include spaces within the garage and/or tandem parking spaces.  Required parking spaces must measure at least 2.7 metres wide by 5.4 metres long. 
  3. The entrance to the second unit can be located in the side or rear yard, as long as there is a 1.2 metre unobstructed path of travel to the entrance.
    Access to the second unit may also be provided from inside the garage or through a common vestibule inside the house.
  4. A second unit can be up to 45 per cent of the gross floor area (GFA) of the principal unit. If the house is a bungalow, the second unit can be up to 75 per cent of the GFA.
    For example:
    a. Bungalow with basement – if the GFA of the main floor is 1,000 square feet, the second unit can be up to 750 square feet.
    b. Two-storey house with basement – if the GFA of the main floor plus second floor is 2,000 square feet, the second unit can be up to 900 square feet.
  5. Second units are not permitted on lands zoned Open Space, Floodplain or within the area identified as the Downtown Floodplain Regulation Area.
    Second units that have been previously declared Legal Non-conforming by the City are not required to comply with the new zoning provisions for two-unit dwellings, but will be required to register.  Certification of Legal Non-conforming status must be submitted at the time you apply for Registration.



Creation of a Second Unit requires compliance with the Ontario Building Code (or the Fire Code if the unit has been previously deemed Legal Non-conforming).  Compliance with the minimum standards for health and safety will ensure appropriate:

  • Exiting
  • Early Warning Systems
  • Smoke and Fire Containment
When creating a second unit, an application for a Change of Use building permit must be submitted. Visit the Building Division website for additional information about the Ontario Building Code and construction requirements for second units at
Inspections will be carried out by Building Division staff following each stage of construction as required by the Building Code.  At the completion of all inspections, an Occupancy Permit will be issued.  You will require this Occupancy Permit to finalize registration.
Electrical Safety Authority Compliance
You must also contact the Electrical Safety Authority to confirm that all electrical wiring and devices comply with the Electrical Safety Code.  A permit may be required.  Visit the following website for additional

OR         FIRE CODE COMPLIANCE (only if the unit is legal non-conforming)

If the second unit has been deemed Legal Non-conforming, the owner of the property will be directed to contact Fire & Emergency Services to arrange for a Fire Code inspection (Fee for Fire Services Inspection - $450 + HST). Fire Services staff will conduct an inspection of the premises to determine compliance with the Fire Code and identify any required upgrades.
If upgrades are required, a building permit must be obtained for the alterations. Following completion of any required upgrades, a final inspection will be conducted by Fire Services staff and an occupancy permit will be issued.


Final Registration requires:
  • Occupancy Permit and Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Inspection report
  • Conformation of compliance with Ontario Fire Code (includes ESA inspection)
  • Verification of Homeowners Insurance for a Two-unit dwelling
  • Payment of Final Registration Fee by Applicant:    
    • $500 – if you, as the owner, are living in the house
    • $1000 – if you , as the owner, are not living in the house


As a landlord, it’s important that you have proper home insurance coverage. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, if something were to happen – such as a fire in your second unit – and your insurance provider is unaware that you have a tenant living there, your policy could be voided. As part of the registration process, you will be required to provide verification of insurance, including the name of your insurance company and the policy number.