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Coming next to Toronto – Garden Suites, no laneway required

We’ve been talking about this for some time, and indeed we knew it was coming down the line here in Toronto.

They are already permitted in many Canadian centres, including Victoria and Saanich on the west coast, and Edmonton.

And of course we know there are some illegal suites already here in Toronto.


This is Brandon Donnelly’s blog on the subject this morning:


With laneway suites permitted as-of-right across the entirety of Toronto, the City is now looking to other forms of accessory dwelling units and other ways to increase the supply of rental housing. The next frontier is likely to be something that the City is broadly referring to as garden suites. And the timing is likely to be as early as next summer. Here’s how they’re defining it (taken from this recent report):

Garden Suites are sometimes referred to by other names, such as “coach houses”, “tiny
homes”, and even “granny flats”. However they are all effectively the same idea – a
detached accessory dwelling unit generally located in the rear yard of a detached
house, semi-detached house, townhouse, or other low-rise dwelling. It is generally
smaller in scale, functioning as a separate rental housing unit. Garden Suites are similar
in form and function to Laneway Suites, which are currently permitted across the City in
all low-rise residential zones in the city-wide Zoning By-law, 569-2013. To avoid any
confusion between these terms, the City is considering all types of detached-accessory dwelling-unit to be a Garden Suite, for the purpose of this review, with the exception of a
Laneway Suite, which is already permitted and defined within the Zoning By-law.

The above report will be going to Planning and Housing Committee on December 8, 2020. The goals are to kickstart the public consultation process and to come up with the necessary recommendations to permit garden suites by the second quarter of 2021. Like laneway suites, they are expected to be as-of-right. That means straight to building permit. No variances (and contentious Committee of Adjustment meetings) required.

This is great news and I’m looking forward to seeing garden suites become a reality in 2021. For more information about what’s happening on December 8th, click here.

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