Toronto Laneway Suites - The Latest Housing Opportunity For Home-Owners, Renters & Investors

Posted by Paul Ambler on Thursday, April 4th, 2019 at 3:03pm.

Late last year, Toronto City Council adopted the Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments permitting laneway suites in specific neighbourhoods within the City. Laneway Homes have been gaining popularity in cities like Vancouver for a number of years and began as an effort to help with the urban density and affordability issues the city was experiencing. Toronto has been facing some of these same challenges and this decision has cleared the way to allow Laneway Housing to become an option with a lot less red tape than before. Its no secret that densification, lack of sufficient rental property (outside of condominiums) combined an abundance of under-utilized space within certain neighbourhoods have created the need to find creative and sustainable ways to re-purpose available land. So it begs the question, what is a Laneway Suite?

A Laneway Suite is 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 completely detached from the main house and may have access from the side yard of the main house as well as the lane.  If you own a home in one of the designated neighbourhoods in Toronto where this is now approved, you might be able to build a Lane Home under certain circumstances with only minor variances. 


Toronto has roughly 295km of laneway that essentially serves only one purpose. Parking. The Lane-Way suite will bring a number of opportunities for home owners, buyers, renters & investors and open up the market for many who are forced to look for a condo in order to stay within their budget. Many current home owners will  see this as an opportunity to generate some income from a space that may already be un-used and with the challenges faced by first time homebuyers in Toronto's real estate market this may provide an opportunity to break into the market and subsidize their mortgage with a rental income. 

Sustainability and re-usability of Toronto's space is undoubtedly one of the main goals in City Councils decision allowing Lane-Way suites. As Torontonians see new condos popping up on what seems to be a daily schedule, in every neighbourhood, Lane Homes provide an opportunity to allow these low rise neighbourhoods to maintain their character and charm and flourish with more options for families who want to live in the city. Time will tell whether this becomes a popular trend in Toronto's lane neighbourhoods but the interest is certainly palpable. There are already a number of growing design and build companies that specialize in building Lane-Suites. Take a look at some of the Lane Home architecture and design possibilities and you can see how exciting and popular this might become!


Want help searching for your lane suite opportunity? get in touch with me @ 416.884.8027 or at to discuss. There are a couple useful links posted below with more detailed information.  



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