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Additional Residential Units


An Additional Residential Unit (or ARU) is a self-contained living unit with a private kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area. Additional residential units can take various forms, including basement apartments, coach houses or a detached structure.

The province has recently introduced changes that allow more property owners to add additional residential units to their property. Here’s what you need to know about these changes and how you can add extra residential units to your property legally.


In Woodstock, you may be permitted to add one ARU within your existing dwelling and one within an accessory structure if your property is zoned R1, R2, R3, C3 or HD. If you are not sure what your property is zoned, you can find a map at It’s always important to check if you’re eligible because special zoning conditions may also apply to your property.

Permits and Approvals

A building permit is required to create an additional residential unit legally and ensure the work complies with the Ontario Building Code. Depending on the work that needs to be done, you may also need to hire an architect, engineer or other professional. Failure to get a permit could have serious implications including orders from the building department, the fire department and potentially voiding your insurance. 

Contact the building department to ensure your property is eligible and to learn more about the permit process and how to submit the necessary drawings and plans.

Diagram of different types of ARUs

Other resources

To help more residents access safe, affordable housing, Oxford County offers a My Second Unity grant program. Conditions do apply and you can learn more about the eligibility requirements at

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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