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Big Opportunities for Tiny Homes in YEG

On December 9, 2019 Edmonton City Council approved changes to the zoning bylaw that will allow for more types of tiny homes to be built under the Garden Suite, Single Detached Housing, and Multi-Unit Housing use classes.

When you picture a tiny home you probably think of this…

A tiny home on wheels; “a portable dwellings constructed on a metal frame and trailer, or chassis, which facilitates towing and can be moved from site to site” (City of Edmonton, 2019).

In Edmonton’s case, a different style of tiny home has recently gained some ground – tiny homes on foundations. According to the City, “tiny homes on foundations can include portable dwellings moved onto a site or dwellings constructed on-site, which are affixed to the land” (City of Edmonton, 2019). Ultimately, this means greater housing choice for Edmontonians to support diverse lifestyles. These changes create opportunities for mobile homes to be used as garden suites, with the ability to move them off-site in the future. The new bylaw no longer requires that homes are at least 5.5m wide, a barrier which prevented the construction of truly tiny homes.

Tiny homes on wheels are still not permitted, due to provincial build code complications, and all homes must still be built to code, which limits the use of some tiny home space savers like ladders, undersized staircases, and lofts. The new regulations also include performance standards to ensure the materials used are similar to surrounding development.

Tiny Home Villages

Under the new regulations, tiny home villages (cluster housing/courtyard housing) are now possible in RF5 zones. Clustered tiny homes are allowed with a minimum spacing of 2.4m between each home, as a multi-unit housing development. Based on feedback and engagement conducted through YEGarden Suites, we believe there is significant demand for this type of housing. It creates a balance between communal and independent living, while fostering a sense of community and neighbourliness.

Experimentation with this form of housing has already begun with Edmonton's tiny home village for veterans.

We look forward to seeing Edmonton’s first generation of tiny homes, and we’ll be scanning the alleyways to share what we find! We’ve already heard from several businesses who see these tiny homes as a big opportunity, and plan to open up shop or expand their operations in Edmonton to bring tiny homes to interested Edmontonians.


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