Opening the Door to Laneway Suites in Toronto

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2016

Opening the Door to Laneway Suites in Toronto

Lanescape, Evergreen, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) and Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18, Davenport) have announced that they are working together to advance the dialogue around ‘laneway suites’ in the City of Toronto.

Laneway suites are small, detached dwelling units, typically located at the rear of a residential property adjacent to a laneway. In this situation, laneway suites cannot be severable or strata-titled and would be serviced (water, sewer, electricity, gas, etc.) through the main house. Currently, laneway suites are not allowed under the existing zoning by-law, have only been considered on a case-by-case basis, and are hindered by excessive red tape and unnecessary costs.

"Laneway suites have the potential to increase our housing supply in a responsible, sustainable manner and provide additional rental opportunities for Torontonians." said Councillor Ana Bailão, Toronto's Housing Advocate. "They can reshape our thinking about secondary suites, looking beyond the traditional basement apartment as a way to provide extra income or as a place for adult children, empty nesters and care-takers to live close to their family support networks."

Laneway suites can transform underutilized spaces such as rear garages and parking pads, into sensitively scaled housing, utilizing existing infrastructure and respecting the form and character of the dense, walkable neighbourhoods in the Toronto & East York District.

"Toronto has more than 2,400 publicly owned laneways, covering more than 250 linear kilometers of public space, which have the potential to become more active, useful spaces in our urban fabric." said Councillor McMahon. "Unlocking these assets is a key part of creating safe, accessible spaces for residents to enjoy."

Municipalities across Canada, including Vancouver, Ottawa and Regina are innovating by introducing laneway suites and we believe it's time for Toronto to get on board!

Through a survey, local and city-wide consultations, the expert team will gather the inputs needed to craft guidelines that address the aspirations, sensitivities and needs of residents in order to support the City of Toronto, City Planning and Toronto and East York Community Council to take action and enable the development of laneway suites.

City-Wide Consultation Details

Date & Time: Monday December 5, 2016 from 7pm to 9pm

Location: Evergreen Brick Works, BMO Atrium, 550 Bayview Avenue

The survey is available at

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