The City’s laneway suites study called Changing Lanes gets underway with a public consultation meeting on Thursday, November 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Council Chamber at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W. The study will consider permitting laneway suites in Toronto and East York.
A laneway suite is a dwelling unit situated on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse which is completely detached from the main house. It would generally be located behind an existing house with a laneway and be smaller in scale than the main house on the lot.
At the meeting, City Planning staff will introduce the concept of laneway suites and gather input from those in attendance. Members of the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the City’s approach to considering laneway suites, speak with City staff and provide comments about the strategy.
Across Toronto there are approximately 300 kilometres of laneways connecting backyards, garages, streets and public and commercial spaces. Many of these laneways are located in the former cities of Toronto and East York and present an opportunity for the City to consider a new type of housing within existing low-rise neighbourhoods.
A small number of laneway houses do exist in Toronto however they are not permitted as of right under the City’s current policies and application requirements
The Changing Lanes study is reviewing the potential technical, policy and process framework and will consider the potential of laneway suites that are appropriately scaled, have adequate amenity space, maintain existing greenspace, protect the access and service function of the laneway, preserve the character of their neighbourhood and contribute to the city’s rental housing stock.
The information gathered at this public consultation meeting and additional meetings in 2018 will inform the City Planning Division’s review and recommendations which are anticipated to be considered by City Council in 2018.