Short-Term Rental Regulations

Understanding Short-Term Rentals in Tofino

The District of Tofino is dedicated to ensuring a balanced approach to accommodating visitors while preserving the quality of life for residents. At the March 12, 2024, Regular Council Meeting, Council voted to opt-in to the Principal Residence Requirement outlined in the Province of British Columbia's Bill 35 – Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act. ⁠

This page is provided for general information purposes only. Bill 35 is a piece of provincial legislation. For specific inquiries about Bill 35 and how it may affect a short-term rental operation, please contact the Ministry of Housing.

Principal Residence Requirement

Following the resolution passed by Council on March 12, 2024, District staff submitted an application to the province to remove Tofino from the lands currently exempt from the Principal Residence Requirement of Bill 35, effectively asking for the requirement to be applied to the community. The Principal Residence Requirement mandates that short-term rental activities must be limited to a host’s principal residence and either a secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit (ADU). For the purposes of Bill 35, a principal residence is defined as "the residence in which an individual resides for a longer period of time in a calendar year than any other place”.

The Principal Residence Requirement legislation will go into effect as of November 1, 2024, and will remain in effect unless a request is made from Council to reverse the decision by submitting a request to the province by March 31 of any future year.

This requirement will be enforced by the Province of British Columbia's Compliance and Enforcement Unit.

Legal Non-Conforming Use

Bill 35 also removes legal non-conforming protections for vacation rental operations (either Bed and Breakfast or short-term rentals). Any existing legal non-conforming permissions related to short-term rental operations will be extinguished as of May 1 within the District of Tofino. There is no option for the District of Tofino to either opt-in or opt-out of this part of Bill 35.

This part of the legislation will go into effect on May 1, 2024.

Any existing legal non-conforming operations that do not come into compliance with current District of Tofino bylaws by this date may be subject to enforcement actions.

Tofino's Current Bylaws

The District of Tofino has specific bylaws related to short-term rental operations. The regulations in these bylaws help protect long-term rental housing stock while allowing owners to participate in the local tourism economy. These bylaws will continue to be enforced by District of Tofino Bylaw Services.

The requirements outlined in Bill 35 provide the minimum requirements for operation of a short-term rental within the province. Local bylaws that exceed the provincial requirements, such as most of those adopted by the District of Tofino, still remain in effect and enforceable.


District of Tofino Bylaw Services will continue to enforce District bylaws related to short-term rental operations. The Provincial Compliance Unit will enforce any requirements, such as the Principal Residence Requirement, related to Bill 35.

If you are a resident concerned about an illegal nightly rental, contact Bylaw Services.

Frequently Asked Questions


As Bill 35 is provincial legislation, the District of Tofino can only offer limited information and interpretations of Bill 35 and how it may affect specific rentals. Please contact the Ministry of Housing for specific inquiries.

For further inquiries or clarifications on short-term rental regulations within the District of Tofino, please contact the Planning Department.

Peter Thicke

Manager of Planning Services

250-725-3229 ext. 702
Email Peter