Garden suites permitted in Toronto after OLT dismisses appeal

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Toronto Garden Suites Bylaw is in full force after the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) dismissed an appeal last week. The Garden Suites Bylaw and Official Plan Amendment were adopted by council in February 2. On June 2, the OLT heard a motion from the City to dismiss the appeal.

“This is good news and it will help get some more housing built,” said Mayor John Tory. “Garden suites are often a way to create homes for family members – parents, grandparents or adult children – or can be used as rental housing units.

“Regulations approved earlier this year represent a ‘Made In Toronto’ solution with sensible regulations to protect neighbours, trees/greenspace and gentle density. Allowing garden suites across Toronto is a key step forward in expanding housing choice within the City’s neighbourhoods and creating a more inclusive and resilient city for current and future residents.”

Toronto is facing substantial housing needs across a variety of housing types, tenures, and levels of affordability. Allowing greater variety in the type and form of housing that can be built in the city’s neighbourhoods is one solution to increase housing choice and access, the mayor said.

If a proposed garden suite meets various performance criteria, such as maximum building height and setbacks, as well as all applicable bylaw standards, only a building permit application is required.

Any garden suite proposal that does not meet the zoning bylaw requirements can seek a minor variance application at the committee of adjustment..

The City established the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods program to review, consult on, and advance permissions to allow additional forms of housing in Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. Increasing the type of housing supply provides more housing options for a range of household structures, for people at different ages, abilities, and incomes, for people to move within their current neighbourhood to support generational housing turnover, and for new residents to find a home.

For more information on EHON, visit the City’s EHON webpage.

Permits for the construction of garden suites can now be issued, provided the application complies with the Bylaw requirements and all other applicable law. More information on the Tribunal’s decision will be posted on the project website.

“The garden suites decision by the Ontario Land Tribunal acknowledges the extensive, professional work and consultation undertaken by city planning staff to develop a framework for a new type of housing in Toronto,” said Gregg Lintern, chief planner and executive director. “Allowing garden suites across Toronto is a key step forward in expanding housing choice within the city’s neighbourhoods and creating a more inclusive and resilient city for current and future residents.”

 

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