Laneway Buildings: Commercial and Residential Secondary Suites

During the late summer of 2017, the SVRA created an inventory of neighbourhood laneway buildings and garage conversions. While some of these may be zoned and or approved for commercial use, with the exception of two buildings (46R Vermont Ave + 988R Bathurst,)  none of these buildings currently used as a residential conform to City of Toronto zoning bylaws.

We identified potentially 42-43 auxiliary/laneway buildings currently used for commercial and or residential purposes. Given the challenges involved in learning the specific use of many of these buildings and in deference to the properties’ owners, we will delay publishing the list until we  have all specific details and permissions.

The City of Toronto is conducting a pilot study, entitled Changing Lanes to review the potential for secondary residential suites/Laneway houses in Toronto and east York.  Please go to that page on this site for a complete project summary.

Evergreen and Lanescape, a group of planning, design, and development professionals who have long considered laneway development to be a potential resource and opportunity for the City of Toronto to thoughtfully improve housing options in existing residential neighbourhoods, have also published a report and set of recommendations to guide laneway housing in Toronto. To learn more, please explore their respective  websites 

Spacing magazine published Torontonian Kelsey Carriere’s Current Issues Paper . Department of Geography & Planning . University of Toronto . 2017  “Backyards: Way Forward Assessing the potential for detached secondary suites in Toronto” (the report was prepared in partial fulfillment of a Masters of Science degree in Planning from the University of Toronto, April 2017.)

Vancouver, Ottawa and a few other North American Cities are exploring Secondary Suites/Auxiliary Buildings/Laneway Housing/Garden/Granny Suites and Coach Houses as a means to increase the stock of rental housing in Toronto.

Vancouverhttp://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/laneway-houses-and-secondary-suites.aspx and https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/11/how-cities-get-granny-flats-wrong/546392/

Ottawa: http://www.kellysantini.com/articles/city-ottawa-nears-completion-coach-house-consultation  and http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/coach-house-under-construction-1.3942856 and http://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/documents.ottawa.ca/files/how_to_coach_en.pdf

Portland Oregonhttps://www.citylab.com/design/2018/01/the-granny-flats-are-coming/550388/ and

Californiahttp://www.businessinsider.com/granny-flat-law-solution-california-affordable-housing-shortage-2017-3

Other Identified goals include: the potential for affordable housing and the promotion of  sustainable construction and design.