We often see on MLS listings "Seller or Agent do not warrant retrofit status of basement", and if there is no mention that the unit is legal, it's probably not . The legality of basement apartments or converted rental units (i.e. granny flats, in-law suites, accessory apartments, non-retrofit units)  are often in question, considering there are tens of thousands of basement apartments currently in the City of Toronto.

Under certain zoning by-law, basement apartments are permitted in single family homes as long as it meets certain requirements.   In order to assist home owners, the City have a kit which will explain "how to create a legal second suite" through Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or can be obtained at the desk. There is also an alternative site which provide a more detailed explanation of the physical requirements to meet building codes at Carson Dunlop Home Inspection and Consulting Engineers.

For anyone thinking of buying, selling or retrofitting a home with a basement apartment,  These are the typical 4 questions to ask:

1. Does the zoning by-law in your area permit a basement apartment unit?

2. Does the retrofit meet fire code and minimum building code requirements (i.e. minimum ceiling height, fire rated walls, entrance sizes, egress, provision of parking spot etc.) ?

3. Does it meet the basic electrical safety requirement?

4. Has the unit been registered with the City and has a certificate of compliance?




HomeLife/Realty One Ltd., Brokerage*
501 Parliament St.
Toronto, ON  M4X 1P3

Phone: 416-922-5533
Fax:      416-922-5808 

* Independently owned and operated.