Garden Suites

City of Victoria

Garden Suite - Victoria

Back Yard Suite with Loft

600 SF

What is a Garden Suite?

A Garden Suite is a small, ground-oriented, unit located in the rear yard of a single family detached dwelling.

Eligible locations for a Garden Suite in Victoria include all properties that contain only a single family detached dwelling and are appropriately zoned. The proposal must meet all requirements of the Garden Suite Policy and should incorporate the design guidelines contained in the Policy. Properties that already have secondary suites are not eligible.

Character– Quality in the design, high quality architectural expression, and unique individual identity of a Garden Suite are encouraged. However, the Garden Suite should relate to the principal building on site in terms of materials, roof form, and general architectural expression. The intent, however, is not to create a “miniature version” of the primary building.

The garden “Plus Site” home is what Victoria residence are looking for in Victoria. These small residence are far enough away that everyone has privacy, but hopefully close enough to take advantage of the utilities set up from the main house – or at least make the extension cheaper. Some properties are just made for these upgrades and it’s cost effective to get to utilities from the main dwelling.


Properties in Victoria need to meet the following criteria to be considered an “Plus Sites”:

  • a corner lot
  • a lot with two street frontages
  • a lot with rear yard lane-way access
  • lots greater than 557 m2 (6,000 ft2) in total area.

On these “plus sites”, there may be an opportunity to increase the floor area of a Garden Suite up to a maximum of 56 m2 or (600 ft2). The additional floor area may be considered supportable if it can be demonstrated that it would not have a negative impact on privacy, shading, or overlook of or onto neighbouring properties.

Additional floor area may be achieved either by:

  • increasing the floorplate- though not to a level exceeding site coverage requirements- to accommodate all floor space on a single level.
  • exceeding the height requirement in order to incorporate a loft space with a floor area no greater than 50% of the building footprint, provided that interior floor to ceiling height of the loft space is kept minimal (approximately seven feet) and careful attention is given to prevent excess shading on neighbouring lots.

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