Extended Driveways

The following is a brief and legal summary of the City of Markham's Extended Driveways By-law taken from the City's By-law Guide for Markham Homeowners.

It explains, in plain language and with information links, what residents must know about specific City services and operations, which may affect a Markham homeowners' property.

Extended Driveways By-law Summary

In Brief

The Extended Driveways By-law 2006-96 applies to all driveways in the City of Markham. It controls the extent to which driveways may be widened, in order to maintain the beauty and value of our neighbourhoods while satisfying homeowners’ increasing need for more parking on their properties.

What You Must Know

In most cases, the by-law allows for parking two cars (or vans or non-commercial trucks) in front of a single-car garage, and three cars in front of a two-car garage. Widening your driveway to accommodate this is allowed, up to a point. The guidelines outlined are aimed at preserving the beauty of Markham’s residential neighbourhoods and prevent the excessive paving of properties, which may:

  • cause the loss of storm-water absorption surfaces (lawns and gardens) which increases the potential for flooding;
  • reduce available snow storage areas, leading to higher clearance and maintenance costs;
  • contribute to the unsightliness of derelict and commercial vehicles in driveways.

How much can I extend my driveway?

If your home is on a smaller lot, less than 10.1 metres (33’ - 4”) across, a driveway extension must preserve 25% of the original landscaping (such as grass, gardens, walking paths and bushes) across the front of your property. If your home is on a larger lot, more than 10.1 metres (33’ - 4”) across, a driveway extension must preserve 40% of this landscaping.

You can estimate the maximum width of your proposed extension by measuring the width of the existing garage door, or doors. This width is measured across the face of all garage doors and includes any middle brickwork. In most cases, you can extend your driveway up to 2 metres (6’ - 6”) in width beyond this measurement. If you are planning a driveway expansion, you may wish to contact the By-law Enforcement & Licensing Department: 905-479-7782, for information and guidelines before starting work.

Important Points to Consider

A permit is not required to extend your driveway;

  • The homeowner is responsible for ensuring the extended driveway meets the by-law’s standards;
  • Driveway contractors must be licensed by the City of Markham to work in the City. (Driveway Paving Contractors By-law 2012-158). See list of Driveway Paving Contractors currently licensed by the City.
  • a contractor’s license number must be displayed on the company vehicle;
  • Every licensed contractor must provide a written estimate and diagram of proposed work to the homeowner.

In addition, cars must be parked on a driveway (or a hard-surface parking pad) facing the home or the street. Parking of one car across the boulevard (the end of your property between the sidewalk and the street, which is owned by the City) is permitted.

All driveways must comply with the City’s Extended Driveways By-Law, but there are some exceptions. If you are not certain that your present or planned driveway meets these general guidelines, please call the By-law Enforcement & Licensing Department to discuss your situation. A staff member will advise you of all the options available within the new by-law.

Step By Step Calculating Your Driveway Extension

The width of your garage door will be used for your calculations.

If you don’t have a garage, or a garage door: measure the paved parking area on your property.

  1. Measure the inside width of your garage door’s frame. If your home’s design includes two garage doors, treat them as one, including any space in between (for example, if you stood right in front and looked at the two doors, the far left side of the frame on the left, to the far right side of the frame on the right, is the width you will work with). This measurement is the minimum width of your driveway.
  2. You will also need to know the lot frontage of your property.

If the planned extension area includes water shut-off valves, electrical boxes or municipal access plates, you must contact the City at 905-479-7782 before proceeding.

When in doubt, check it out! Help is always available.

For more information call the By-law Enforcement and Licensing Department at 905-479-7782 or email customerservice@markham.ca.

Related information: