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Toronto approves city-wide expansion of laneway suites

This a big month for laneway (housing) advocates in Toronto. Last week, City Council voted in favor of expanding the policy provisions for laneway suites to all Neighbourhoods within the city. (Neighbourhood is a defined term in the city’s Official Plan.)

Previously, the policies — which allow laneway suites to be built as-of-right — only applied to the Toronto & East York Districts. Here’s a copy of the recent staff report in case you would like more information.

On Monday, my friend Alex Sharpe (of Lanescape) was on BNN Bloomberg talking about why this is a good thing for the city. Alex and the rest of the team at Lanescape have been instrumental in these policy changes.

If you’re a Toronto homeowner with a property that fronts onto a laneway, I would encourage you to consider this opportunity. It’s a way to increase the value of your home and it’s a way to create more rental housing in this city.



    Is there a clear plan on how these laneway houses will be services? Where I live in Cabbagetown, the city of Toronto takes no responsibility for the snowplowing, seldom replaces street lights, does not pick up garbage nor clean the laneway, and has never filled in pot holes. I suspect it is no different in the rest of the city.

    What happens if there is a fire? the fire trucks could not make it down many of these lanes?


  2. mageller

    There are tax consequences of building laneway houses that few understand. If unit is for rent, owner must pay GST on development costs. This may seem reasonable. But the must also self-assess GST on proportionate land value. Really! Moreover, when a principal residence with laneway house is sold (and declared on subsequent income tax filing) the principal residence exemption does not apply to the laneway house. So capital gains tax may need to be paid. Few in Vancouver know about this and will be in for a shock. We need to change the GST regs related to land.

    If the unit is for a family member, the tax rules are a bit different


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