Secondary Dwellings & Suites

Secondary Dwelling Units

What is a Secondary Dwelling?

A Secondary Dwelling is a separate, independent dwelling unit located on the same site as a principal single unit dwelling.
In most cases, only one secondary dwelling unit may be permitted in conjunction with a principal dwelling on a site. Additionally, there are several different kinds of secondary dwellings including:
  • Farmhand Dwelling;
  • Garage Suite;
  • Garden Suite;
  • Secondary Suite; and
  • Temporary Construction Dwelling.

Am I allowed to have a Secondary Dwelling?

Depending on your Zoning District, a Secondary Dwelling may be permitted, discretionary or prohibited. All residential and agricultural
If you are operating a home based business, child care home, bed and breakfast or a residential care facility, a secondary dwelling unit cannot be permitted unless additional review is completed to determine that suitability of the two uses onsite.

How many Secondary Dwellings are allowed on my parcel?

A maximum of one secondary dwelling unit can be permitted accessory to a principal dwelling on a site, unless otherwise stated in the applicable Zoning Bylaw.

Where can I put a Secondary Dwelling on my parcel?

Secondary Dwellings are to appear accessory to the primary dwelling located on the parcel, therefore they shall be placed close to the principal dwelling and shall not be located between the principal dwelling and a road allowance, internal subdivision road or provincial highway. If you have further questions regarding this requirement, please contact
Secondary Dwellings must conform the setback requirements of your Zoning District. For example, Agricultural Residential and Agricultural properties have a minimum setback of 15 metres to all sides, excluding those flanking a roadway which are 45 metres.


For more information on Secondary Dwellings, please see the applicable Zoning Bylaw found here. To determine if a secondary dwelling is permitted for your parcel, you will have to know your zoning and policy area. For help determining your zoning information, contact or the Planning Department.

Garage Suite

A Garage Suite is a type of secondary residential dwelling unit which is apart of a detached garage or other permitted accessory building. A garage suite may be located within, attached to or above the permitted accessory building, and must conform to the secondary dwelling, garage suite, and all other requirements of the applicable Zoning Bylaw found here. For secondary dwelling requirements, please click here.

Floor Area Requirements:

The minimum floor area of a garage suite is 375sqft (34.8sqm), while the maximum floor area is 1200sqft (111.5sqm). A Garage Suite can equal up to 80% of the total gross area of the accessory structure, as long as it is compliant with the Zoning Bylaw and previously stated size minimum and maximum. The areas which are excluded from the floor area of a garage suite include any mechanical rooms, common areas or egress shared with the accessory building or structure, as well as the remaining portion of the structure which is not dwelling space.

How large can the entire accessory building with garage suite be?

The size of the entire accessory building is determined by the zoning of the property. For example, Country Residential Zoning Districts limit the size of each accessory building to be less than that of the dwelling and have a maximum gross accessory building space depending on the number of acres within the parcel (For example, a 2.47-4.9 acre CR1 property can have up to 3067.7sqft of accessory building space).

What permits are required to build a garage suite?

If you are constructing a new building, a building permit is required.

If you are utilizing an existing building for your new garage suite, you will require a renovation/addition building permit. Existing buildings may require additional changes to the existing structure to ensure it is capable of being altered to be used as living space.

For more information on Building Permits, please see the R.M.’s Building Permit Webpage.

Garden Suites

Garden Suites are meant to provide temporary accommodation for individuals or couples as a means to give care and support to physically dependent persons. The Garden Suite may be used by the persons needing the care or the people providing the care on-site.
Garden Suites are placed within the yard of an existing residential dwelling unit and since they are meant to be temporary in nature, they are typically modular or mobile homes that are easily removed from site, once the care and support is no longer needed.  One of the key considerations in allowing a Garden Suite is that they are meant to be temporary in nature therefore they must be constructed for easy removal (e.g. no basement development) or renovation (e.g. additional sleeping facilities, sanitary facilities and kitchen or kitchen components removed).

Floor Area Requirements:

The floor area of a detached Garden Suite cannot be less than 35 m2 (375 sq. ft) and not greater than 111 m² (1200 sq. ft), constructed on grade without a basement. Mobile homes can only be used as a Garden Suite in Agricultural Zoning Districts and must be smaller in size than 113 m (1,216 sq. ft).  The maximum height of a detached Garden Suite cannot exceed 5 m (16.4 ft) and shall have only one (1) story.


A Garden Suite should be located on a site where it can be serviced by existing utilities.  Please contact the Saskatoon Health Region, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskWater and/or other relevant service providers to ensure existing utilities are sufficient or if upgrades are required. Please review the Before You Build document for more information.

Approval Period

The approval of a Garden Suite is for a maximum period of 4 years and may be renewed at the discretion of Council providing the requirements of the Zoning Bylaw in effect continue to be met.  A new application must be submitted including a new application form and any associated application fees to the R.M. at least 6 months prior to expiry of your development permit approval to ensure there are no lapses in approval.

**UPDATE: A new 4 year time limit on Garden Suites was approved in 2016. Any development permit for a Garden Suite approved prior to the bylaw change has an approval under the previous 2 year time limit. A new application must be submitted including a new application form and any associated application fees for an extension to the 4 year time limit. Please contact the Planning Department for more information on your current approval timeframe.

Development Agreement

The applicant will be required to enter into a development agreement with the R.M., which will be registered on title of the property, to ensure the Garden Suite complies with all relevant requirements of the Zoning Bylaw.

As part of entering into this development agreement, a cash deposit or irrevocable letter of credit with automatic renewal, as determined by the R.M., must be submitted to the R.M. as financial security. Where the applicant disagrees with the letter of credit amount, he or she will be required to provide two written estimates prepared by independent, qualified, bonded moving experts in the field for consideration by the Development Officer. This financial security will be returned upon removal of the Garden Suite or drawn upon in the case of an enforcement action against the landowner due to the terms of the development agreement.

Development Permit Application Requirements

The following is required in order to make an application:
  • A completed Garden Suite Application Form and receipt of full payment of the $425 application fee; and
  • Evidence must be provided by the applicant that shows the occupant(s) of the Garden Suite require care and support provided by the residents of the principal residential dwelling unit, or the inhabitants of the Garden Suite provide care and support to residents of the principal residential dwelling.

Please contact the Planning Department for more information on Garden Suite development permit applications.