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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Ontario 10/16 square m exemption trick?
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# Posted: 12 Sep 2023 19:45

With the latest Ontario 10 sq m building permit exemption rising to 16 sq m. I am always suspicious when the rationale behind the change is not mentioned.

Before, about the only exemption was 'no plumbing'.

Now with the 16 sq m exemption, several more changes have been made. Must be only used for storage now, a height limit, no two stories etc.

I also have a feeling the "building area" is now defined differently.

My 2006 code says in the first part of 1.1 section: areal within the outside surface of exterior.

Now it says more specifically "area within the largest part" possibly removing the 'bunkie second overhanging story' sort of exemption.

Anyone else want to wade in?

Are my feelings valid?

thanks in advance for any input.

# Posted: 12 Sep 2023 22:37

Note: Im in Wisconsin, USA
But, the restrictions often put on such here are that the
proposed structure is an 'accessory building' to an existing habitable structure.
I could be wrong, but I think new regs are made to more define that and to better ensure said acc. blg. is 'a shed'.
Purposely going afoul of the powers that be is fraught with problems, and even cheap 'sheds' aint so cheap anymore especially when/if you get fined and/or have to tear it all down.
Now that said, I do appreciate that one can easily take a 'nap' in a storage shed, even cook up a meal or cuppa, btdt. Thing is, that when you do that more than a little that shed starts to look more like a small cabin than a storage shed......

# Posted: 12 Sep 2023 23:47

gcrank1 ...the same page here in NM

# Posted: 13 Sep 2023 07:47

As gcrank1 states "structure is an 'accessory building' to an existing habitable structure". All the new changes do is allow you to build a slightly larger accessory building, and the restrictions on use were spelled out before but now with some clarified. This does come up over and over again with people thinking they can build an accessory building as a cabin but there needs to be a main building first plus all the limitations on use of an accessory building - not that some don't away with it, until they don't.
I'm in Ontario (cabin is in Quebec).

# Posted: 20 Sep 2023 19:23

Yes, the 16 sq m "exception" is pretty carefully worded to apply to accessory buildings only, so it's not a back-end way to build a 16 sq m tiny house/cabin as your "main" structure.

That said, there are some townships that are fine with workarounds. For instance, our building inspector told us he would have no trouble with us having a sub-10m (less regulated than the 16m) unpermitted structure which would establish "hunt camp" as a use, and then a 10-16 sq m accessory shed with no plumbing, "and I won't go looking which one of the 2 someone actually sleeps in". Of course, ymmv, first based on how accommodating your township is, and also how much land you've got. Our township thinks very differently about >5 ha managed forest with a hunt camp completely out of sight, versus a 0.5 ha undersize cottage lot with grumpy neighbours.

# Posted: 20 Sep 2023 20:06

Quoting: Houska
grumpy neighbours.

Most likely, even in a location with a relaxed attitude, IF someone lodges a complaint the result will be enforcement of whatever rules had been relaxed.

# Posted: 21 Sep 2023 03:41

In Ontario the rules have been changed up a bit and they added provisions for "In-Fill & Laneway" homes but they (most typically) addressed in an urban context only... The village closest to me, has been trying to address the "lack of clarity".

Because the rules changed this year and some of it is somewhat "Dubiously Questionable" and now being looked at politically & criminally (geez they Do go hand in hand don't they), it's likely best to keep a Cautious Approach with careful questions of building inspectors & their "Interpretations".

There are far too many regions that insist on Minimum Building Sizes with some being a bit over the top... This does still appear to be worse near larger urban centres and crazy when close to Toronto area.

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