Skip to content

Laneway home advocates hope for more approvals amid city’s ‘housing crisis’ – CBC News

From CBC News:

For Dina Graser, planning out a laneway house was an exciting process.

The Trinity-Bellwoods resident, whose own home overlooks the popular park, imagined building a structure not much bigger than the garages already lining the alleyway alongside her backyard.

With the help of an architect, her family drafted plans for housing that could fit their needs for years to come: At first, a rental unit offering someone else a space to live; later, a potential living space for her growing son; and years down the road, a unit she could move into herself once walking up stairs in a multi-storey house grew too troublesome.

But amid all the potential, Graser wound up getting some bad news — her laneway dream wasn’t getting approved.

“We were told we are too far from the fire hydrant to be allowed to build. And we thought we might be able to get around that, the fire department said one thing, the city said another, then ultimately the answer was no,” she recalled.

“It’s frustrating, because we’re in this period when everyone’s talking about how Toronto has a housing crisis — and this is an innovative way to start to address that.”

While the city has pushed laneway housing as one way to boost housing stock — and there’s optimism that more approvals are coming down the pipe — some proponents of the approach say prospective builders are often confused by murky regulations, leading many to have their building requests denied.

MORE from CBC News