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Toronto releases draft garden suite regulations

As most of you know, laneway suites (a form of accessory dwelling unit) are permitted “as-of right” across the City of Toronto. This has led to an explosion of new laneway housing. One framing contractor that I know recently told me that he is now doing a new laneway house every month. Incredible considering how out-there they were only 10 years ago.

However, there are a few barriers to participation with the current policies, one of which is that you need to be adjacent to a laneway in order to have an eligible lot. So the City has been working on adapting these policies to suit residential properties without a public lane. These new accessory dwelling units are being referred to as “garden suites.”

The draft garden suite regulations are now available online and will be heard at Planning and Housing Committee next week. The recommendations are that these regulations form the basis for further community engagement, and that a final report be brought back to the Committee in Q4 of this year.

This final report is expected to recommend Official Plan policies and Zoning By-law regulations so that garden suites, along with laneway suites, can be as-of-right across the city. This is great news. So if you have a lot without a public lane and you’re considering an ADU, now might be a good time to start planning.

The best place to start doing that would be with these draft regulations.

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