I have been working with my colleague, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) alongside Evergreen, and Lanescape to advance the idea of building laneway suites in Toronto. Over the fall and winter, three public consultations were held and an online survey was hosted to discuss the opportunities and viability for laneway suites in Toronto. The findings from the three meetings held have been released and demonstrate that residents across the city are interested in seeing how laneway suites could be part of Toronto’s future.
Over 400 people in Ward 18 and across the city participated through the in-person and interactive consultation meetings. The goals of the consultations were to discuss the potential for laneway suites locally, explain the provincial and municipal policy context, and collect community input regarding the uses of laneways and design considerations for what laneway suites could look like in Toronto.
Participants identified a number of important ideas related to sustainable design, reducing red-tape, flexible design guidelines, parking considerations and integration with public realm. Residents also raised several questions that the team is working hard to address. The team is also working with City Divisions to discuss technical requirements and are meeting with City Councillors in the Toronto and East York District to seek additional feedback before bringing forward a report and performance standards to the Toronto and East York Community Council this spring/summer.
In addition to the meeting held in Ward 18 in November, meetings were hosted in Ward 32 and at a citywide conversation held at the Evergreen Brick Works. You can view the detailed findings in the report which can be downloaded at: https://www.evergreen.ca/our-impact/cityworks/housing/laneway-suites/.
The online survey has thus far received over 2,000 responses and is still open for Torontonians to provide their feedback on laneway suites. If you haven't yet had and opportunity to complete it, I encourage you to share your feedback at http://www.lanescape.ca/survey.