Drovers Lane - Toronto Ontario
Laneway Safety Walk
September 25, 2017
Community Safety Walk September
September 7, 2018

Laneway Suites – Changing Lanes

from Graig Uens, MCIP, RPP Senior Planner, Community Planning City of Toronto

The City of Toronto hosted a Community Meeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on March 29th 2018. The meeting was attended by over 200 people who provided comments on the City’s Draft Laneway Suites Guidelines and Zoning By-law standards. At the meeting, City Planning staff presented a background of our work on the Changing Lanes initiative and shared a set of draft guidelines and By-law provisions intended to guide the form, scale, and location of laneway suites for discussion and comment. We also discussed implementation, monitoring, and next steps.

Download the Presentation from March 29, 2018


Meeting Materials

The City’s presentation of the Changing Lanes Guidelines and By-law standards, as presented download pdf here

Please note that these zoning provisions and guidelines are still in draft. They will continue to develop as we consider your comments and questions, including those from our recent meeting.

These materials will be posted on the City’s website, www.toronto.ca/changinglanes

Meeting Discussion

The meeting included an open house component and a question and answer period. The following is brief summary of some of the questions and comments raised at the meeting:

  • The comments received at the meeting were generally supportive of the initiative. Some concerns regarding neighbourhood stability were expressed.
  • The requirements for emergency access, specifically the provision of a 1 metre side-yard, were noted as being too restrictive, and difficult to accommodate on many sites.
  • A range of opinions on the proposed scale and form of laneway suites was expressed. Some requested that a 3rd storey be considered. Privacy and overlook into adjacent yards was also noted as a concern.
  • It was requested that the City permit basements within laneway suites.
  • It was requested that allowances for mechanical equipment, similar to what is currently permitted for the main house, also be permitted for laneway suites.
  • It was requested that the city consider laneway suites and other forms of auxiliary dwellings within Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York.
  • The limited control over exterior building materials was raised as a concerns.
  • Concerns were raised about the varied condition of laneways and the City’s maintenance approach.
  • It was suggested that laneway suites could help activate laneways, making them safer, more inviting, and better used.
  • Questions and concerns regarding MPAC assessments, servicing capacity, affordability and short term rentals were also raised at the meeting.

Next Steps

City Planning Staff are currently preparing a report for the May 2nd meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council with recommendations regarding Laneway Suites.  The report will be available at the following link once the agenda is published: