As of August 2018, the City of Toronto has allowed laneway suites (accessory dwelling units) to be built as-of-right in the Toronto and East York area of the city (subject to meeting some criteria).
This was a tremendous step forward for the city. And I know a number of people who are currently taking advantage of these new planning permissions.
Toronto is now looking at expanding these permissions across the entire city and they have just started their community engagement phase. The first public meeting took place today and the next three will be taking place over the course of this month. Click here for the when and where.
This is a natural extension of the policies that have already been put in place around laneway suites and I’m excited to see this moving forward.
For those of you who already own property in Toronto & East York and are considering building a laneway suite, there are two programs that you should be aware of.
The first one allows eligible property owners to defer development charges on the new secondary dwelling unit for up to 20 years. This is meaningful. And the second is a $50k forgivable loan if you make the laneway suite an affordable rental for at least 15 years. (The cap is the City of Toronto Average Market Rent.)
I still remember what happened when I tried to build a laneway house almost 10 years ago. I was told, by the city, that a house cannot be built behind another house. I knew that would change. Now look at how far we’ve come.
I used to do a lot of residential stuff in TO many many many years ago and I recall the house behind a house rule which was put in place as a reaction to something or other. The rule ruined many a smalls scale infill project as well as blocking laneway housing There was this however..the CMHC healthy house which got built in 96.http://www3.sympatico.ca/rolf/toronto.html and is still there and still lived in. A totally self sufficient home built on a teeny tiny lot on a lane behind the Bain co-op.It was originally envisioned by Martin Liefhebber the architect as one of a series of laneway homes which would replace garages and turn laneways in pedestrian enclaves. They say all the best ideas take the longest to come to fruition
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