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What is a Backyard House?

Also known as Garden Suites, Laneway Homes, Granny Flats, Backyard Cottages, Accessory Dwelling Units, and previously Garage Suites

What is a Garden Suite?

Garden Suites...also known as Laneway Homes, Garage Suites, Granny Flats, ADUs...

Simply put, Backyard Housing is housing in people's backyards. They are sometimes called Granny Flats, Carriage Homes, Secondary Suites, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), or Laneway Homes, but in Edmonton they go by Backyard Housing  (previously Garden Suites and Garage Suites). Backyard Housing are typically 400-800 square foot permanent structures that are permitted in most areas of Edmonton. They can larger than 2000 square feet if enough space is available on a property, and they can also be attached to other backyard houses, allowing for duplex or even townhouse style backyard housing.


Backyard Housing is a form of infill development that promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability. They allow us to build our city in, rather than sprawling out, and house people in neighbourhoods they might not be able to afford. Backyard Housing helps keep families together by housing seniors or university aged children, and they can help older adults downsize and age in their communities. Finally, Backyard Housing can act as a mortgage helper, and function as a form of affordable housing.

The City of Edmonton defines Backyard Housing as: "means a building containing 1 or more Dwellings, that is located wholly within the Rear Yard, and partially or wholly within the Rear Setback of the applicable Zone, of a Residential Site."

For more detailed information Backyard Housing rules in Edmonton, read Edmonton's Backyard Housing Zoning bylaw here.

What is a Garden Suite?: Feature

City of Edmonton: Backyard Housing

This City of Edmonton video explains what Garden Suites are and why they are an important form of infill development.

What is a Garden Suite?: About
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