Use the drop down below to colour the map based on national scoring for neighbourhood amenities.
For more information on this data, visit the Proximity Measures Database on statcan.gc.ca.
ADUSearch.ca is an online tool intended to educate and inform property owners, policymakers, non-profit housing providers, and researchers interested in the availability of ADU-eligible properties in their communities.
By looking at individual lots, neighbourhoods, and an entire city, users can get a sense of where ADUs currently exist, where they are possible, and how construction of further ADUs can be encouraged.
Developed as part of the Data Driven phase of the Housing Supply Challenge offered by the National Housing Strategy, the Government of Canada, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), ADUSearch.ca is a pilot project submitted by Family Services Windsor-Essex.
We want to thank and acknowledge the City of Windsor for the use of land parcel and building permit data from their Open Data Catalogue, as well as for their participation in this proof of concept. Both were instrumental in the success of this project and we thank the Planning Department for their support.
This website is intended for convenience only, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for construction, engineering, architectural, or legal advice. ADUSearch.ca and its affiliates do not assume responsibility for errors or oversights resulting from the use of this website.
ADUsearch.ca adheres to Family-Services Windsor-Essex's Privacy and Confidentiality Policy: https://fswe.ca/about/privacy-policy/.
An ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit, is also known as a secondary suite, a laneway house, an in-law flat, or a basement apartment, among others. This secondary living area includes private kitchen and bathroom facilities, and may be within, attached to, or completely detached from the main dwelling.
This was calculated by considering a number of factors, including:
Some of these factors can immediately disclude a lot from building an ADU, including:
Some of these factors may exclude a lot from building an ADU, but further information and investigation would be required. These factors include:
"All requirements are met, but located in RD3"
Properties zoned as RD3 are high-density housing areas, meaning they are eligible for medium- to large-scale multi-unit dwellings, and are therefore potentially ineligible for an ADU.
"All requirements are met, except for parking"
Our estimates indicate that there is not space on the lot to accommodate the required parking spot. If this is the only missing requirement, a lot may still be eligible for an ADU if a parking space can be made available elsewhere (for example, in the existing driveway), or special permission is given to not have one.
Amenity Proximity Score
Measures how close a Dissemination Area is to another Dissemination Area that contains a particular amenity. This proximity is then expressed as a score between 0 and 1, with 0 being farthest and one being closest to that amenity. The score is determined based on how well this area's proximity to that amenity compares to the rest of Canada.
For more information, visit the Proximity Measures Data Viewer on statcan.gc.ca.
This space is calculated by configuring the appropriate setback from property lines and the main dwelling. It does not account for secondary structures (such as detached garages, pools, and sheds), and there may be some overlap between the ADU buildable area and these structures.
The smallest standard geographic measure in Canada, Dissemination Areas (DAs) are drawn to have a population between 400 and 700 people.
An area of land that is prone to flooding. Municipal bylaws restrict ADU construction in these areas.
High Density Housing
Residential area containing a medium to large multi-unit dwelling (double duplex, lodging house, multiple dwelling).
"Located in RD3 and parking requirements are not met"
This lot is zoned for high-density housing, and our estimates show that it may not have the space to allow for the necessary tenant parking. However, depending on the type of building on the lot, and parking availability not visible in this tool, an ADU may still be possible.
Low Density Housing
Residential area containing predominantly single unit dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, and/or townhomes.
Main Building is less than 40 sq. m
ADUs are intended to be smaller than the main dwelling, and the minimum size for an ADU is 40 square meters. With a main dwelling sized at 40 square meters or less, these two requirements cannot be met simultaneously.
Medium Density Housing
Residential area containing predominantly small to medium multi-unit dwellings, typically less than 4 units (duplex, triplex, double duplex,).
Minimum and Maximum ADU Size
Our tool assumes a 40 square meter, one storey ADU. The minimum and maximum ADU size combines both lot coverage restrictions and size restrictions in relation to the main dwelling.
For lots larger than 400 square meters: the minimum ADU size is 40 square meters, and the maximum ADU size is 100 square meters, but not more than 10% of the total lot area, and must be smaller than the main dwelling.
For lots less than 400 square meters: ADUs can be no smaller and no larger than 40 square meters, in order to adhere to lot coverage and minimum ADU size requirements. This means that an ADU may end up as larger than 10% of the lot coverage, but only when necessary to ensure it meets the minimum 40 square meters minimum.
e.g. If the lot is 390 square meters, 10% of the lot area would be 39 square meters. This would violate the 40 square meters minimum size of an ADU and therefore, an ADU on this property can only be 40 square meters.
"No single-unit, townhome, or semi-detached"
The building type on this lot is not eligible for any additional dwellings.
In order to develop more detailed planning policies, municipalities may divide their geography into smaller parcels called "Planning Districts." These districts are often of unequal size, and are chosen based on physical, social, and economic characteristics of the region.
"Secondary structure exists, but can have ADU"
Despite the secondary structure present on this lot, there is still enough buildable area to accommodate an ADU within the lot coverage restrictions.
"Secondary structure must be removed or modified"
This lot would be able to accommodate an ADU if the secondary structure (garage, shed, etc.) did not take up as much of the buildable area.
This is the minimum distance from the property line that a building is required to be built.
I.e. The side and rear property lines have a 1.2m setback for a detached ADU. This means that the ADU must have at least a 1.2 metres space between the ADU walls and property boundaries/main dwelling.
ADU stands for "Accessory" or "Additional Dwelling Unit." These secondary living spaces are also known as:
ADUs offer private kitchen and bathroom facilities. They can be inside the main house (e.g. basement apartment), attached to the main house, or completely detached from the main house, but they must exist on a property that already contains a dwelling.
ADUs provide numerous benefits in a variety of ways.
ADUs benefit property owners by:
ADUs benefit renters by:
ADUs benefit the environment by:
ADUs benefit communities by:
ADUs are permanent housing that exist in addition to a larger, main residence on a lot. Tiny homes are often the only residence on a small piece of property, and/or they are in some way mobile.
Yes, generally speaking, ADUs need to be registered by their municipality. The exact requirements and cost of this will vary from city to city. Check with your local planning department for more information.
While laws may differ between cities and provinces, in general mobile homes are not classified as ADUs. Check your local building regulations to be certain.
The cost of building an ADU can vary greatly depending on factors such as the location of your property, the type of ADU being built, the size of the ADU being built, and the choice of construction and interior materials. As a rough approximation, ADUs can cost between $120,000 and $400,000.
There are many independent companies that offer designs - and sometimes even building kits! - for ADUs. Additionally, property owners can hire an architectural firm to design a custom ADU for their space.
In general, property owners are restricted to building only a single ADU. Check your local building regulations to be certain.
Often ADUs will have their own mailing address, but rules may differ depending on your city. Check with your local planning department to make certain, and to learn how to register a new address.
ADU Poll Results (PDF)
Conducted by EKOS on behalf of Family Services Windsor-Essex in July 2021
ADU Estimation in GIS (PDF)
Application to the City of Windsor
ADU Principles and Best Practices (PDF)
Produced by not-for-profit urban planning firm Arpent and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), 2018
City of Windsor Zoning Bylaws
Regularly updated documentation of Bylaw 8600, provided by The City of Windsor
Adding a Second Unit in an Existing House: Ontario Building Code Information
Produced by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2019
Secondary Suite Standards (PDF)
Produced by Safety Codes Council Alberta, 2021
Changes to BC Building Code for Secondary Suites (PDF)
Produced by British Columbia Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2019
Canada Backyard Housing Association
An education and advocacy-based non-profit devoted to supporting the development of backyard housing in cities across Canada.