What is a DADU?

Updated: May 3, 2021

A DADU is a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit. Esquimalt Council has begun the process of legalizing DADU’s in designated areas of the Township—including much of West Bay.  


This legalization will permit the construction of a smaller home in one’s backyard,  sometimes referred to as a Laneway House.  This was a much discussed topic in the Official Community Plan process and over the last couple of years through Township public engagement processes.

As a result of these processes and public support, Township staff developed draft policy/regulations to move the legalization of DADUs forward and in February 2021 presented the proposal to Council.  

The recommendations approved by Council include, but are not limited to, confirmation of areas where DADUs can be built, a development permit process rather than a rezoning application, design guideline requirements, parking requirements, owner occupation in either the main residence or the DADU, and that DADU’s not be permitted where there is already a duplex, or secondary suite, etc.  

If there was a 100 percent uptake from all eligible property owners in Esquimalt, there could be approximately 1,500 DADU’s approved.

The intention of DADUs is to provide the community with a mechanism for gentle densification and increased (hopefully more affordable) rental opportunities within what are currently single family zoned neighbourhoods; where home owners have a means to age-in-place; where rental revenue can provide a mortgage helper making home ownership more affordable for more people; and, to provide dwellings for family members as they grow and want to stay in the community.

The process moving forward will include a public hearing.  To date, a notification has been sent to all eligible property owners.  

Learn more about DADUs and these changes, and make sure you continue to check the township website for public hearing information.