Laneway & Garden Suites

Courtesy City of Toronto

Laneway & Garden Suites Coming to Toronto

This City initiative is a game changer!  The City has a new proposal to allow second homes, called “Garden Suites”, to be built in backyards.  BPRO will be watching this initiative closely, but your personal voice is also vital.

A “Garden Suite” is a second, generally smaller, house built in the backyard of a detached, semi-detached or townhouse property.

The City is looking into “Expanding Housing Options in Neighborhoods” in response to Provincial requirements.  In 2018-2019, Laneway Suites of up to two storeys became permitted in the backyards of homes on lots that are next to a public laneway.

Garden Suites are non-severable, meaning they can’t be turned into a separate property from the same house, they remain under the same ownership as the main house, and are serviced with water, sewer and other utilities through a connection to the main house or the street.

Courtesy City of Toronto.

The City has just released a survey to explore your opinions and concerns about new backyard houses in your neighborhood.

Before you respond to the survey, consider …

  • Would you like to build a smaller home in your backyard for your family, or to rent out?
  • Would you like your neighbours to build a small home in their backyard?
  • How high and how large should Garden Suites be?
  • How would a one or two storey building on, or adjacent to, your backyard affect your garden, your sunshine, your privacy, light intrusion at night, or noise from AC and residents?
  • Should short term rentals such as Airbnb be allowed?
  • What obligations should there be for a person building a Garden Suite to consult with neighbours before they build?
  • Where would the residents in Garden Suites park their cars?
  • How would the construction of these new homes affect the tree cover, green space and water drainage in your neighborhood?
  • Will emergency access to these new Garden Suites and existing homes be adequate?
  • Would Garden Suites trigger re-evaluations and property tax changes that impact affordability in the long term for property owners who are not interested in constructing a Garden Suite?
  • How many additional units are possible across the City and what effects might these have on the City’s infrastructure such as police and fire services, sewer, water, parks, schools etc.?

The Garden Suites Survey below, is the first step in the City collecting information from the public about the opportunities and limitations of Garden Suites in neighbourhoods across the City.  By responding to the Survey, you can help define the rules and regulations for Garden Suites.

Speak UP!

  1. Complete the City Survey.  Click the button below.
  2. Email your City Councillor Mike Colle, councillor_colle@toronto.ca
  3. Email the Lead Planner on this project, david.driedger@toronto.ca, to elaborate on your opinion or ask questions.

Link to City Survey

After reading the survey, you may want more information about how any zoning changes will impact your home, your investment, your taxes, your family’s life and the quality of life in our neighborhood.

Additional consultations will follow.  If you wish to be consulted on the details of the proposed standards and regulations such as size and height, lot coverage, impact on property values and municipal taxes etc., contact david.driedger@toronto.ca or (416) 392-7613.

Garden Suites copy courtesy of FoNTRA, Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations.