//Be informed on Laneway Housing and Secondary Suites

Be informed on Laneway Housing and Secondary Suites


The City’s Changing Lanes initiative is moving forward quickly. It is important to learn about and understand what these guidelines entail and how resulting policies can impact your situation and even property values. Equally important to know is that this policy will involve as of right permissions to build without requiring any consultation with neighbours. Neighbours will not have the right to appeal.

It is also important to understand the advantages and disadvantages that laneway housing would have to the Seaton Village community:

Topics of discussion and concern:

  • Affordable housing
  • Affordability, costs and inherent inequities – is it just good for the house rich?
  • MPAC
  • As of Right
  • Design Guidelines – size, height, massing, shadowing, privacy, overlook + noise + interpretations of zoning – Laneway Canyons and “creep.” Existing laneway structures + guidelines. Potential for liberal interpretations of policy
  • Impacts to main building (the house)
  • EMI requirements and emergency accessibility
  • Accessibility
  • Storm Water Management? Are Green Roofs enough..?
  • Trees and softscaping provisions
  • Infrastructure demands
  • What about prefab options (to reduce impacts on neighbourhood)
  • Any idea of the anticipated number of units? 
  • AirBnB, types of rentals – minimal regulations – enforcement?
  • Parking – cars + bikes – local and accessible car and bike share provision?
  • “Shoehorning” – Impacts of “densification” especially if density is already high within the area/neighbourhood
  • Gentrification
  • Neighbourhood stability: consider existing character overlay- does one size fit all?
  • What about the rest of the GTA?


From the Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA) website: “In Summer 2017, responding to interests and concerns about back-yard and laneway housing expressed by members and by City Council, HVRA conducted a detailed study of all 28 lanes in Harbord Village. The report maps and measures them all and analyses their suitability for laneway housing as it is currently envisaged. Toronto East York Community Council received this study as background material for its meeting of July 4, 2017—and promptly recommended it to City Planning. Read more Laneway Housing: HVRA Contribution to City Deliberations

Changing Lanes VS. Second Units: Draft Official Plan Amendment

PG 28.1 Report – Second Units: Draft Official Plan Amendment

Responding to a request for “explicit reference” from the provincial government to provide for an Official Plan amendment to permit second suites throughout the city. 

Planning and Growth Management Committee Meeting April 5, 2018

Second Units: Draft Official Plan Amendment
(March 9, 2018) Report from the Acting Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning

This report presents a draft Official Plan Amendment for second units for the purpose of public consultation.  The draft policy is intended to clarify the existing Official Plan second unit permissions across the City and to strengthen the existing Official Plan policies that provide for a full range of housing and intensification and infill that is consistent with the Official Plan.

Currently, the City’s Official Plan does not reference or set out specific provisions for second units. The draft Official Plan Amendment provides a clear policy framework under which second units would be permitted throughout the City…read more

What’s the difference?  The need for clarification and “relationship status” Secondary units/suites and Laneway housing units 

Given the City’s Changing Lanes Initiative goes to Toronto East York Community council on May 2, 2018 several residents’ associations and community groups called for clarification and to learn any relationship of these policies.


Communications all requested the item be deferred until after May 2, 2018 TEYCC

(April 3, 2018) Letter from Ralph Daley, President, Grange Community Association (PG.Supp.PG28.1.1)
(April 4, 2018) Letter from Sue Dexter, Harbord Village Residents’ Association (PG.Supp.PG28.1.2) 
(April 4, 2018) Letter from John Caliendo and Ian Charmichael, Co-Presidents, ABC Residents Association (PG.New.PG28.1.3)
(April 4, 2018) Letter from Henry Wiercinski: Vice-Chair of Annex Residents’ Association (PG.New.PG28.1.4) 
(April 4, 2018) Letter from Geoff Kettel and Cathie Macdonald Co-Chairs, Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (PG.New.PG28.1.5) 

Questions and commentary at PG Meeting:

  • Speaker/Deputation: Geoff Kettel, Co-Chair FoNTRA (pls see letter)

In response to Geoff Kettel’s deputation, Councillor Shiner (Chair) asked Planning why FoNTRA would have a concern with this?


  • he shouldn’t have a concern;
  • they are separate;
  • The plan has to be read as a whole;
  • Planning will look at Second Suites as City-wide zoning with consultations beginning in May 

Councillor Fillion asked: Is there anything new?

Planning: No

Motion carried

There was no recognition of the letters and positions/concerns expressed in the letters sent into the committee

There was no further clarification provided.


Seaton Village Residents’ Association has CONCERNS

The Planning staff have not uploaded any of their presentations, draft guidelines or meeting briefs onto the Changing Lanes portal. There is virtually NO information on this portal

There is a serious lack of transparency as a result.

  • Are you clear on all the draft guidelines?
  • Do you know exactly how these draft guidelines could affect you and or your neighbours?

What’s the rush? 



The Changing Lanes Report will be released the week of April 16th, so please stay tuned. 

This item goes to TEYCC May 2 – it is important you have your say!

Connect with Graig Uens, City of Toronto Planner/Project lead: graig.uens@toronto.ca

Connect with the SVRA: seatonvillagetoronto@gmail.com