City of Toronto: a laneway suite By-Law for homes you'd want to live in

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!

Sign this petition to make three simple changes to the Planners’ laneway suite design criteria before these guidelines are written into the Zoning By-Law.

It’s very encouraging to see that laneway suites will likely be soon allowed in Toronto. However – the City Planners’ proposed design guidelines (see attached image) would restrict our ability to design and build laneway suites that are as amenable as they should be. These design guidelines will be voted on by City Council on May 2nd.

We would like to see the new By-Law regarding laneway suites written in a way that allows us to build the kind of lane home that you would want to live in. In consultation with architect colleagues, we have summarized the changes that would improve the Planners’ proposed design guidelines in three points:

  •  The 45 degree angular setback on the rear yard side significantly cuts into the second floor area that can be considered living space by the Ontario Building Code. Plus it is restrictive to the design of the outside of the building. There should not be angular plane restrictions in the design guidelines.
  • The proposed design criteria does not allow for basements. Considering the need to have a foundation below the frost line and the extra area that basements can provide, basements should be allowed.
  • Although "green roofs are encouraged" they may not be occupied. This is unfortunate, as roof gardens would provide outdoor space for the residents of laneway suites. Other means exist to ensure the privacy of existing residents such as privacy screens or a setback for the guardrail of the roof terrace. Roof gardens should be designed to be occupied.