This report recommends establishing a planning framework to permit laneway suites on lands within the Toronto and East York District that are designated as Neighbourhoods by amending both the Official Plan and City-wide Zoning By-law.
The City’s Official Plan does not reference or set out specific provisions for second units, however second units are permitted city-wide as-of-right in the City-wide Zoning By-law 569-2013. A second unit can take many forms but is generally considered to be subordinate to the primary dwelling unit on a lot. Second units are an important part of the City’s rental housing stock. Laneway suites are one form of second unit.
Similar to other second units, laneway suites are a part of complete communities. They can provide more opportunities for people to live in ground related housing, for residents to live close to where they work, shop, and play and, can help make the city’s urban lanes more green, liveable, and safe. Laneway suites can contribute to increasing the supply of rental housing and provide additional housing options for households at different ages and life stages.
At its meeting of July 4, 2017, Toronto City Council directed City Planning staff, in consultation with numerous City Divisions, to initiate a review and consultation of the City’s current policy and planning framework regarding laneway suites within the Toronto and East York District. City Planning staff were directed to prepare a report to Toronto and East York Community Council with recommended policy and Zoning By-law amendments necessary to implement a laneway suite strategy, and with recommendations on other related matters such as the provision of affordable housing and infrastructure costs.
This report contains a detailed planning rationale for the introduction and regulation of laneway suites within the Toronto and East York area and discusses the policy implications and intent of proposed performance standards and criteria. These performance standards and criteria intend that laneway suites will provide a new form of ground-related, rental and extended family housing that will fit appropriately within the scale of established Neighbourhoods, and limit their impact on the existing physical character, while contributing to the growth of the City’s rental housing stock.