Unfortunately, Councillors on the Toronto and East York Community Council decided to defer making a decision on laneway suites until the June 6, 2018 Community Council meeting and has asked City staff to report back on affordability and to consider a variety of zoning requirements.
You can review the report that City staff brought forward recommending the implementation of laneway suites in the Toronto and East York District for yourself by clicking here. City staff also presented to Community Council and you can view their presentation by clicking here.
I would like to thank the hundreds of residents who wrote directly to Community Council to express their support for laneway suites and those who attended today's meeting to explain in person why they support laneway suites in Toronto. I would also like to thank the thousands of Torontonians who have provided their time, energy and ideas over the last two years through numerous community consultations and feedback opportunities to help craft sensible and responsible guidelines for laneway suites that respect our residential neighbourhoods and enable the creation of more rental housing.
The City hosted a Community Consultation meeting this past March 29 to solicit feedback regarding laneway suites. Laneway suites are self-contained dwelling units situated 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 and completely detached from the main house on the lot which fronts the street with outdoor access via both the street and the lane.
Laneway Suites are intended as rental units, and will be up to 2-stories maximum. They are consistent with Toronto's Official Plan to provide more housing choices for all people in various communities at all stages of their lives. You can view the slide deck from the meeting by clicking here.
City Planning staff will be reporting to the Toronto and East York Community Council Meeting on May 2, 2018 with their recommendations for laneway suites. For more information, please visit www.toronto.ca/changinglanes.
On November 30, 2017, the City Planning Division hosted a community meeting on Changing Lanes: The City of Toronto's Review of Laneway Suites, as a result of the motion that I moved with Councillor McMahon earlier this summer at the Toronto and East York Community Council. The meeting was held to introduce the idea of laneway suites, communicate the scope of the City's review process and to receive initial comments on bringing laneway suites to Toronto. Over 250 people attended the meeting and provided constructive and thoughtful comments to inform and guide the City's review of Laneway Suites. Thank you to those who attended. If you did not have a chance to attend, you can download the two files below for more information on what was presented. Please note that the files are large PDFs so it is recommended that you download them over wi-fi.
There will be additional consultation meetings scheduled in early 2018 as City staff continue their internal review, consideration and development of a laneway suites strategy. I encourage you to provide any feedback you might have on laneway suites by downloading this comment form and sending it to George Pantazis with the City of Toronto at [email protected]
I am pleased to let you know that following my motion with Councillor McMahon and our work with Lanescape and Evergreen, the City is now holding a community consultation meeting on Thursday November 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St W). The City-led study on laneway suites, named Changing Lanes will be considering the opportunity to allow and regulate laneway suites on the numerous laneways across the Toronto and East York areas of the City.
At the meeting, City Planning staff will introduce the concept of laneway suites and gather input from those in attendance. Members of the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the City's approach to considering laneway suites, speak with City staff and provide comments about the strategy.
The Changing Lanes study is reviewing the potential technical, policy and process framework and will consider the potential of laneway suites that are appropriately scaled, have adequate amenity space, maintain existing greenspace, protect the access and service function of the laneway, preserve the character of their neighbourhood and contribute to the city's rental housing stock.
The information gathered at this public consultation meeting and additional meetings in 2018 will inform the City Planning Division's review and recommendations which are anticipated to be considered by City Council in 2018.
Update: The recommendations passed with amendments at the July 4, 5, 6 and 7, 2017 City Council Meeting. You can view the item as amended by clicking here.
I am excited to share that the groundbreaking report on laneway suites developed by Lanescape and Evergreen with support from myself and my colleague Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) has now been released! The report includes a draft set of performance standards and a summary of the community feedback we heard at meetings we held in Ward 18 and across the city. You can download the complete report by clicking here.
At the June 13, 2017 Toronto East York Community Council meeting, Councillor McMahon and I moved a joint motion to implement a laneway suite initiative in the Toronto and East York District. The motion seeks the support of City Councillors to request Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat to review the Laneway Suites Report, consult with appropriate City staff, undertake further community consultation and report back in the first quarter of 2018 with respect to any recommended changes required to implement a laneway suites initiative in the Toronto and East York District. The motion passed with amendments and will now be voted on by City Council
Laneway suites can help address the need for more "missing middle" housing by adding gentle density to our neighbourhoods, in addition to establishing more rental stock and creating multi-generational living opportunities for families.
The newly released report recommends actions including the establishment of an as-of-right planning framework for laneway suites alongside a set of recommended performance standards that will provide a strong foundation for the future of laneway suites in Toronto. The report was based on an extensive consultation process that engaged with over 3,000 Torontonians through an online survey, written feedback, and in-person consultations in Wards 18, 32 and at the Evergreen Brick Works.
The motion we moved at Community Council also requests the Chief Planner to provide an implementation strategy for laneway suites in the Toronto and East York District which may include, but is not limited to, cost, incentives, application review processes and timelines, and comparable actions from other municipalities that have implemented laneway suites.
I look forward to continuing to work with our community throughout the next steps as we make laneway suites a reality in Toronto. That you to everyone who has been involved. If you have any questions about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact my office or email me at [email protected]
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.