Single Room Occupancy Buildings and Units

The City of Niagara Falls is currently experiencing a trend, particularly on Lundy’s Lane, where older style hotel and motel rooms are being converted for use as residential units.

Rooms previously rented to the travelling public on a nightly basis are now being rented to City residents on a weekly and monthly basis as their primary housing unit. In some situations, the occurrence is seasonal and the hotel or motel reverts to overnight accommodation during the busy summer season when there is a greater influx of tourists.

These residential housing units are being created outside of zoning regulations and licensing

The City of Niagara Falls is currently experiencing a trend, particularly on Lundy’s Lane, where older style hotel and motel rooms are being converted for use as residential units.

Rooms previously rented to the travelling public on a nightly basis are now being rented to City residents on a weekly and monthly basis as their primary housing unit. In some situations, the occurrence is seasonal and the hotel or motel reverts to overnight accommodation during the busy summer season when there is a greater influx of tourists.

These residential housing units are being created outside of zoning regulations and licensing controls. The effect has been substandard living conditions for residents and land use compatibility issues for nearby businesses.

MHBC Planning was retained by the City to study the situation and to prepare policies and regulations to control these uses. MHBC brought forward a preferred option for Council’s consideration in November, 2018 that would introduce a new land use, Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings (and units).

An SRO is defined as:

“a separate independent unit which is used as the primary residence of an occupant and is not self-contained in that it provides only some of the necessities of daily living and requires access to other parts of the building to complete all tasks of daily living.”

Council directed that more public consultation take place and that staff report back on the results.

A copy of the draft amendments to the Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Licensing By-law can be found in our Document Library.

The City is interested in your opinion on the concept of Single Room Occupancy, and the policies and regulations proposed to control these uses. We encourage you to fill out the survey below. The results of the survey will be included in staff’s report to Council.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded. For more information please contact John Barnsley, our Manager of Policy Planning, at planning@niagarafalls.ca.

    Survey results will be included in our report to Council.

    Survey results will be included in our report to Council.

    Complete Form