Addition of Secondary Suites to Single Family Residences

WHAT is a Secondary Suite?

  • Secondary Suites are constructed private residential additions to single family residences.  Sometimes referred to as “granny suites”, they provide the basic requirements for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation.
  • A Secondary Suite is a private self-contained living space located EITHER within an existing home or on the property.  It has its own entrance, bathroom, bedroom(s) kitchen and living area, but may share other spaces such as storage areas, parking spaces and yard with the primary home.
  • Refer to the City of Winnipeg Brochure and diagrams showing how Secondary Suites can be attached to a single family home:  Secondary_Suites-Planning-and-zoning-guide


WHY are the City and Province Promoting Secondary Suites?

Secondary Suites serve a number of purposes:

  • Alleviate housing shortages, make it easier for property owners to afford mortgage payments and increase the city’s density.
  • Reduce stress on the healthcare system by enabling aging family members to live close to caregivers
  • Increase the number of affordable rental units available in the housing market and create more opportunities for home ownership.


City Programs

  • The City of Winnipeg approved use of Secondary Suites in 2008.  In July 2016, the City reduced some of the regulatory hurdles for attached Secondary Suites by making them a permitted use instead of conditional.  Refer to the Secondary Suites Report  (NOTE: See the maps in the report that show locations of secondary suites).


Cost of Secondary Suites and Adherence to Building Codes

All Secondary Suites must meet Manitoba Building Codes. Satisfying the requirements of the provincial building codes can be costly, especially when constructing a detached Secondary Suite. Professional consultation will help identify site servicing considerations and costs for Winnipeggers who want to install a suite inside their homes for relatives or tenants,  Key building code considerations may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Egress from Suites
  • Window Egress
  • Height of Suite
  • Fire Protection
  • Heating and Ventilation
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

Fort Richmond

A total of 148 Secondary Suites across the City have been approved to date.   In the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert ward, from 2008 to 2015, a total of 5 permits for Secondary Suites were requested and approved on the following streets:

  • Rochester, Lafayette, Pasadena, Silverstone and Millikin


Public Information Session

I have requested a City of Winnipeg public information session for residents in the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert ward.  The Planning Department has informed me they will provide details on the following events in early 2017:

  • A public information / awareness campaign on Secondary Suites
  • Speaker’s Series on Secondary Suites
  • A new Planning Education Course devoted to Secondary Suites

As details are formalized, I will share them on my website.