Can you have more than one principal residence?

For 1982 and later years, you can only designate one home as your family's principal residence for each year.

For 1982 to 2000, your family included:

  • you
  • a person who, throughout the year, was your spouse (unless you were separated for the entire year under the terms of a court order or a written agreement)
  • your children (other than a child who had a spouse during the year or who was 18 or older)

If you did not have a spouse and were not 18 or older, your family also included:

  • your mother and your father
  • your brothers and sisters (who did not have spouses and were not 18 or older during the year)

For 2001 to and subsequent taxation years, the above definition applies except that the reference to spouse is replaced by "spouse or common-law partner".

For 1993 to 2000, a spouse included a common-law partner. Therefore, common-law spouses could not designate different housing units as their principal residence for any of those years.


If you made an election to have your same-sex partner considered your common-law partner for 1998, 1999, or 2000, then, for those years, your common-law partner also could not designate a different housing unit as their principal residence.

For years before 1982, more than one housing unit per family can be designated as a principal residence. Therefore, a husband and wife can designate different principal residences for these years. However, a special rule applies if members of a family designate more than one home as a principal residence. For more information, see Income Tax Folio S1-F3-C2, Principal Residence.

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