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How Many Residents in One Home?

Have a big family? Considering investing in a rooming house?

Here’s how many people the City of Ottawa by-laws permit in a home.

First you need to figure out how much habitable space the dwelling has. Habitable space is floor space under a ceiling, or set of joists, that is, or are, at least 8 feet above the floor. Habitable space includes space below ground. In this entry, all references to space are  references to habitable space.

The City allows no more than one person per 100 square feet. Children under 12 counts as half a person.

The City requires that all rooms used for sleeping by exactly one person be at least 6 feet wide and have an area of at least 60 square feet, and that all such rooms used by more than one person have at least 40 square feet of space for each person using the room.

Rooms in rooming houses need a bit more space. They require a width of 6 feet and 7 inches and 75 square feet of floor space if used by one person, or 100 square feet if used by two people.

Rooming house owners need one bathroom for every five residents or lesser portion thereof. (i.e. if you have one resident, you need one bathroom; if you have five, you need one bathroom; if you have six, you need two bathrooms.) Powder rooms don’t count.

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