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Finally — garden suites are now permitted in Toronto

Some of you might remember that Toronto City Council approved new garden suite policies earlier this year. Garden suites (also known as accessory dwelling units) are kind of like laneway suites but without the adjacent lane.

Unfortunately, these new policies were subsequently appealed by a group of Resident’s Associations, and so they haven’t been in force. Thankfully, the Ontario Land Tribunal has just dismissed this appeal:

What this means is that, as of today, you’re now free to build a garden suite in the City of Toronto. So hire an architect and file for a building permit — it’s go time. If you need any referrals, please feel free to reach out.

The Ontario Land Tribunal is often criticized for its ability to overrule local communities on land use matters such as these. But this is a good example of why it is needed and why it is important to have some kind of neutral arbitral.

Because these sorts of decisions should not be based on what any one individual or group thinks; these decisions should be based on what makes for good planning and what makes the most sense for the broader city and region.

Invariably, this is going to piss some people off. But in my mind, it’s kind of like that asshole teacher you used to have. Sure, you hated him/her at the time, but in retrospect you end up appreciating what they were trying to do to help.

This could be a bad analogy.

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