May 8th, 2018 | Homes

Laneways: Another Opportunity To Build?

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Is Toronto Really Behind On The Laneway Housing Policy?

Toronto, the largest city in Canada has 300 km of laneways.  However, only residents with unusual lots who devoted plenty of time to get an exception to the bylaw have succeeded in building a laneway house. Meanwhile, cities such as Vancouver and Ottawa already have backyard housing policies in place.


A group is trying to get things going in Toronto. A bunch of architects proposed that the policy only applies to suites serviced from main homes avoiding additional infrastructure investment. It remains to be seen whether the city will agree with their conclusions and finally allow laneway housing. Meanwhile, residents are trying to get a pilot project going with U of T for laneway houses in that neighbourhood. Some streets such as Croft St. between Harbord and College Sts are already being considered.


But will they really provide affordable housing? These are a few factors to take into consideration.

  • Cash up front is needed to build
  • Allowing to build laneway housing will benefit homeowners who own property where there’s potential for laneway housing, providing them with rental income.
  • So, laneway housing will bring more rental inventory, but how expensive will the rent be as owners have to factor in building costs, etc?
  • Will the laneways be wide enough to allow for firetrucks and garbage removal? Or will more money need to be spent by the City to get the laneways up to code?


What are your thoughts on laneway housing policy? Let us know in the comments section below.


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