Toronto’s city council moved forward on laneway suites yesterday, a clear signal the city is ready to adopt this form of housing already in place in other Canadian cities.
With the passing of the motion by a resounding 35-1, council accepted a final report from Evergreen and Lanescape, created in partnership with Councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18, Davenport) and Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32), which put forward recommendations to support laneway suites in Toronto.
As part of the passed motion, Toronto planners will consider our recommendations, which include acting on Ontario legislation recognizing laneway housing as secondary suites and applying laneway suites bylaw policies to all “residential laneways.”
City planners will continue to build off of Evergreen’s community engagement, holding public consultations to report back to city council at the start of 2018.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Toronto to transform the way we use our laneways,” said Jo Flatt, Senior Manager, Policy and Partnerships at Evergreen. “We are looking forward to the City’s responses and approach for engaging the public on laneway suites. This type of development presents an opportunity to increase much-needed rental stock in these areas, giving more people access to established neighbourhoods.”
Evergreen believes in order to implement a successful laneway policy, the City of Toronto must create a streamlined, straightforward, affordable planning approvals process, emphasizing predictability of costs and timing for those building laneway suites.
As Toronto’s population continues to soar, offering housing options in established walkable neighbourhoods is a vital part of building better cities where people can live and thrive.
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