Suites – Legal or ILLegal!




This information has been simplified and is not totally conclusive – however, this will give you an idea of the interpretation and if you want more information I strongly suggest you visit – visit

1) Illegal
Suite that was built ‘illegally’ WITHOUT all the required permits or DID NOT meet the rules. Often these are referred to as MIL or a mother-in-law suite – these are ILLEGAL

2) Non-Conforming (the courts have determined that anything constructed or in use prior to 1970 is considered non-conforming) Suite that was built LEGALLY ‘at the time of construction’, HOWEVER DO NOT meet the present day rules – this is usually the result of the land use (or zoning) being changed or the rules actually being changed. This is referred to as ‘legal – non-conforming’ because they ARE considered to be legal. –

Now – the bylaws in effect between 1970 and 1983 said that COOKING facilities (stove, 220 volt wiring, hot plate, microwave oven, toaster oven ) were NOT allowed in a basement suite!

1983-2008 bylaw 2P80 states that the stove, 220 volt wiring, hot plate, microwave oven, toaster oven, sinks, lower cabinets and countertops in combination with sleeping, living and sanitary facilities is NOT allowed as a basement suite

2008 to TODAY bylaw IP2007 states that a kitchen which includes the components listed above, means facilities used or designated to be used for the cooking or preparation of food is NOT allowed in combination with living, sleeping and sanitary facilities

Suite that have been constructed with PROPER permits and met all the rules at the time constructed and STILL meet the present day rules.
MAY have been approved on a development permit allowing a relaxation of the rules

The City of Calgary responds to complaints about illegal suites and inspects these properties to see if there is a violation. If they are found in violation the property owners are required to remove either the full kitchen or just the cooking facilities.

The City of Calgary will NOT inspect properties for the benefit of lawyers, realtors or perspective buyers. In order for 2 dwellings on one property to exist – the rule states that the property also MUST have a minimum 15 metre frontage and 466 sq. metres of lot area

Again I strongly suggest you visit or call 403-268-5351

Thank you for visiting –

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