March 1, 2021


Specialists in home design

Toronto could soon allow back garden suites as a new affordable housing choice

As the cost-effective housing crisis continues to intensify amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the town is looking into a new possibility for compact, inexpensive models that could be put through Toronto: back garden suites. 

These sorts of constructions, which are also commonly referred to as 
“mentor properties,” “small properties,” or “granny flats,” are typically detached units positioned on the residence of a different lower-increase dwelling, and the city is at present performing on a plan to cut pink tape encompassing the generation of these homes through the Increasing Housing Possibilities in Neighbourhoods (EHON) software.

Adhering to a official critique of backyard suites, if all goes perfectly, the city could inevitably introduce an official system, zoning bylaw, and other needed regulatory amendments to let residents to construct yard suites on their property as very long as they follow set criteria — with no obtaining to very first go by means of the problem of public hearings and the committee of adjustment.

In a report submitted to the setting up and housing committee by the main planner and government director of town organizing, a backyard suite is described as becoming “frequently more compact in scale than the key dwelling on the lot and features as a separate rental housing unit.”

These properties also functionality likewise to laneway suites, which are permitted city-extensive with the exception of the household zones in the Ramsden Park, Asquith-Collier, and Yorkville neighbourhoods.

“The critique will develop on the findings of the Laneway Suites initiative to discover key troubles, examples from other jurisdictions, limitations to implementation, and will take into consideration the wide range of whole lot and residential creating forms in the Town and the troubles that this type of housing could existing,” reads the report.

Now, backyard suites are permitted in other Canadian metropolitan areas including Kitchener, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Whitehorse, Halifax, Victoria, Maple Ridge, Saanich, Windsor, and Peterborough, and metropolis staff will glimpse to these other illustrations to enable develop standards and regulations for Toronto. 

The city will also examine a selection of issues throughout the formal evaluation course of action, which includes how yard suites can help Toronto’s housing affordability crisis, how to assure they are sustainable, and how heritage difficulties will be addressed. 

“A single of the primary general objectives of the Increasing Housing Chances Neighbourhoods Do the job Program is to help tackle the City’s Affordability crisis,” reads the report, “equally by permitting further housing in a wide variety of very low-rise varieties, in this scenario Yard Suites, and by checking out and setting up in courses and other measures to ensure affordability in the City’s housing stock.”

In conditions of following steps, the town claims an community engagement procedure with will start early in 2021, and workers will intention to present a remaining report in advance of the setting up and housing committee by the stop of Q2 in 2021. 

“As section of Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhoods (EHON),” wrote city staff members, “Backyard garden Suites can add to expanding the source of rental housing and serve the City’s wide, evolving, housing and land use targets by supplying supplemental housing alternatives for households at various ages and existence phases.”