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Garden Suites

Another house in your back garden or in your neighbour's back garden?

A "Garden Suite" is a second, generally smaller, house built in the backyard of a detached, semi-detached, or townhouse property. 

The City is undertaking projects about "Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods" in response to Provincial requirements. In 2018-2019, Laneway Suites of up to two storeys became permitted in the backyards of homes on lots that are next to a public lane. Now the City has initiated a process to develop policies and zoning rules to permit "Garden Suites" to be built City wide in the backyards of homes on lots that are not next to a public lane, subject to a range of criteria to be decided. The City hopes these new homes will provide affordable rentals and homes for grown children and aging parents

The City has just released a survey to explore your opinions and concerns about new backyard houses in your neighbourhood. 
  • Would you like to build a small home in your back yard for family or to rent out?
  • Would you like your neighbours to build a small home in their backyard?
  • How high and how large will Garden Suites be? 
  • How would a one or two storey building on, or adjacent to, your backyard affect: your garden, your sunshine, your privacy, light intrusion at night or noise from AC and residents?
  • Should short term rentals (such as Airbnb) be allowed?
  • What obligation should there be for a person building a Garden Suite to consult with adjacent neighbours before they build?
  • Where would the residents in Garden Suites park their cars?
  • How will the construction of these new homes affect the tree cover, green space, and water drainage in your neighbourhood?
  • Will emergency access to these new Garden Suites and existing homes be adequate? 
  • Will Garden Suites trigger re-evaluations and property tax changes impacting affordability in the long term for property owners who are not interested in constructing a Garden Suite?
  • How many additional units are possible across the City and what effects might these have on the City's infrastructure such as police and fire services, sewer, water, parks, schools, etc?
The Garden Suites Survey is the first step in the City collecting information from the public about the opportunities and limitations of Garden Suites in neighbourhoods across the City. By responding to the Survey you can help define the rules and regulations for Garden Suites.
It is important to let your thoughts be known
After reading the survey you may want more information about how any zoning changes will impact your home, your investment, your taxes, your family's life, and the quality of life in your neighbourhood. 

Additional consultations will follow.  If you wish to be consulted on the details of the proposed standards and regulations such as size and height, lot coverage, impact on property values and municipal tax, etc., contact, 416-392-7613.


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