Saanich explores housing options with garden suite study

March 7, 2018

News release
For immediate release


Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich is embarking on a study to explore potential regulations for garden suites as part of a larger effort to expand housing choices for residents. The public is invited to share ideas and concerns about garden suites at upcoming open houses and through a community survey.  Input will be used to help inform potential regulations. 

"As housing in our region becomes increasingly unaffordable, Saanich is looking for solutions that diversify and increase the opportunities for everyone,” said Mayor Richard Atwell. “Public input is important and it will help to inform the draft regulations. I encourage all residents to participate." 

A garden suite is a ground-oriented residential dwelling located in the backyard of a property with a single family home as its primary use. Garden suites contribute to the diversity of housing options and they add a supply of permanent rental housing at a time when housing shortages are known to exist. Garden suites are not currently permitted in Saanich, but Saanich Council approved a study to examine opportunities to legalize garden suites in September 2017. 

Saanich already allows secondary suites in most urban areas. The garden suite study is another component of a broader approach in Saanich to expand the range of housing options. 

Open houses 
  • Date: Saturday, March 17
  • Location: Gordon Head Recreation Centre auditorium, 4100 Lambrick Way
  • Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

There will be a brief presentation at 2:30 p.m. Recreation staff will be available to provide activities for children 12 years and younger at this location. 

  • Date: Tuesday, March 20
  • Location: Saanich Commonwealth Place Douglas Fir Room, 4636 Elk Lake Drive
  • Time: 4 to 7 p.m.

There will be a brief presentation at 5 p.m. 


In the coming weeks, residents can provide input through a survey. Stay tuned for details on the survey release. 

Pop-up displays 

Information displays with Saanich staff will be set up at recreation centres in Saanich in March and April. Details on specific dates and times will be posted online soon. 

Learn more

For more information about the garden suite study and to sign up for updates, visit




Media contact:

Cameron Scott, Manager of Community Planning