Building height restrictions

When looking at potential land sites for redevelopment or to build your own home, it is important to understand how the land’s zoning affects the maximum possible height limits for both your building and neighboring buildings.

10 meter or 12 meter height limits

In Category I and 2 Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zones, an absolute height limit of 10 meters or 12 meters applies. This rule only applies in these two zones. Buildings are limited to 2 ~ 3 storeys.

Road slant restrictions

A horizontal distance of 1:1.25 or 1:1.5 from the boundary of the opposite side of the road applies to the building.

In residentially-zoned neighbourhoods, the ratio is 1.25. In non-residential zones (commercial or industrial), the ratio is 1.5. In non-designated zones the ratio may be 1.25 or 1.5 depending on the decision made by the city planning council.

This applies to all zones, as well as non-designated zones.

Neighboring boundary slant restrictions

This applies in all zones except for Category I and 2 Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zones (these two zones already have 10m or 12m height limits).

In residential zones, the slant restriction applies to the building portion above 20 meters, and in non-residential zones it applies to the portion above 31 meters.

North slant restrictions

The purpose of the north slant height restriction is to allow some light and air flow to neighbors on the northern boundary.

The horizontal distance is measured from the boundary of the property on the northern side, or the boundary of the road on the opposite side of the street if the property fronts onto a street on the northern side.

The slant restrictions applies to the building portion above 5 meters for Category 1 and 2 Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zones, and 10 meters for Category 1 & 2 Mid/High-Rise Oriented Residential Zones. The restriction applies in these zones only.

Sunlight allowances

If the following properties fall within sunlight allowance districts, they must be built within heights that allow a prescribed minimum number of hours of sunlight to neighbors.

  • Buildings with eaves over 7 meters tall, or 3 stories aboveground in Cat. 1 & 2 Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zones.
  • Buildings over 10 meters tall in Cat. 1& 2 Mid/High-Rise Oriented Residential Zones, Cat. 1 & 2 Residential Zones, Neighborhood Commercial Zones and Quasi-Industrial Zones.

This rule cannot be applied in Commercial or Industrial Zones.

About this information

Exceptions may be granted to the above in some circumstances.

There are additional building restrictions not covered above such as footprint and floor area ratios that may limit building heights further.

*The above information is based on what is outlined in the Building Standards Act and is intended as a general guide only. Local districts may have additional height restrictions. If you have any questions regarding building heights in a particular area, please contact the local town office where the property is located.