WHAT IS A LANEWAY SUITE?
A Laneway Suite is a house on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse, generally located in the rear yard abutting a laneway.
They are subordinate in scale, completely detached from the main house, and may have outdoor access via both the side yard of the main house, and the lane.
Toronto’s Laneways date back to the 1870s
Originally used as a variety of uses, incl. stables, blacksmiths, and, much later, garages. Utilitarian in nature, with form following function. Through naming, Toronto’s laneways have been utilized in commemorating some of the City’s interesting people and historical events.
The proposed amendments are based on the guiding principles and vision, found at the outset of the Plan. A successful Toronto is characterized by a city where:
• Housing choices are available for all people in their communities at all stages of their lives;
• Where individuals and communities actively participate in decisions affecting them; and,
• Where we meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Imagine if you could turn your rear garage into a rental suite to bring in a few extra dollars each month. Not only is your garage for your car, bike, or old stuff but it can also now be for people. In an effort to combat the current housing crisis, the City of Toronto does permit laneway suites under certain guidelines. In 2018, the City started a pilot project which will incent appropriate home owners to apply for laneway suites in their current garage or coach houses.
A laneway suite is defined as a small dwelling at the rear of a residential lot that is detached from the primary home. All of its services (water, sewer, electricity, gas, garbage, mail, etc.) come from the front street, not the laneway. It will have its own kitchen and bathroom. It can be used for family, or as a rental, but is not severable. The suite also has to abut against a public lane, not a private one and there can only be one self-contained dwelling unit. It must always remain under the control of the owner of the principal house. Laneway suites may be used for long or short term rentals.
The Affordable Laneway Suites Pilot Program provides funding in form of a forgivable loan of up to $50,000 for eligible property owners developing a laneway suite. The loan will be forgiven in 15 years from the date when the first tenant occupies the laneway suite. The rent being charged cannot exceed the **City of Toronto Average Market Rent, by bedroom type at any time during the 15 year affordability period, as reported annually by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This Program was approved by Council in **June of 2018.