I want to to increase the size of a residential garage in Scarborough Ontario.
Are there any restrictions on doing so? Or can I demolish the old garage and build a bigger one?
Check with the city. They only allow you a size of garage based on your lot and the size of the house. If its over the size they say you can have, you would need a verance first beforethey allow it. If you don't, they could make you tear down the new garage, Or they will cross all you t's and dot you I first.
Could have problems if you don't.
In Ottawa, the city adopted the old City of Kanata policy. As a result, when all the cities merged citizens of Ottawa must abide by the new rules.. i.e. No garage is permitted to be built any closer than 1.5 Meters from shared property line etc..
Now for the grandfathering clause...If your garage is on or near the property and you take it down the new rules will also apply.
To make sure your covered by the old rules, "grandfathering clause", you may remodel, as long as you do not destroy the old garage structure. You need to find a way to engineer support for the old structure from inside, before you can expand your walls. You can't take down the old walls or remove a roof or other supports until you find a way.
As far as I know It's the only way you can restore or expand an old garage in Ottawa and avoid the new bylaws.
To answer your question: YES, there are restrictions, specifically zoning.
Check with the zoning department at 150 Borough Drive (Scarborough Civic Centre), unfortunately they do not give any zoning information over the telephone any more but you can speak to a representative at the desk.
First you want to determine the zoning for your property (usually R1, 2, etc.).
This will tell you things like your set backs and restrictions to out buildings (if detached).
DO NOT ASSUME that because you have one a certain size now that that will be possible once you knock it down. Once it comes down or is substantially altered, any Grandfathered clauses disappear and all new zoning kicks in.
This does not mean that it is not possible. It quite likely is, however, it is extremely important that you gather all your information before investing in design work or more importantly, knocking anything down.
As a secondary note, if by chance you are affected by zoning, and the new by-laws do not permit the size you are looking for all is not lost. The next step is the Committee of Adjustment. This is time consuming and gets your neighbours involved. Essentially you are requesting an exception or alteration to the by-law specific to your property.
Of course it is equally possible that you are permitted to construct what you wish to and can then proceed with the assurance that you have covered all of your bases.
Best of luck with your project.
The Cedarbrook Group
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