A novel suggestion for addressing housing shortage in Toronto

Toronto is exploring the vitality of building laneway houses in a bid to address its lack of housing supply, and public consultations have found Torontonians seem keen. 

“We had an overwhelming level of attendance at all three consultations,” Jo Flatt, Senior Program Manager at Evergreen, said. “People across the city want to be talking and thinking about how laneway suites can work here.”

Laneway suites are smaller dwellings built on the rear side of residential lots, detached from any other homes. 

And they could provide an additional revenue stream for investors.

"With the ongoing housing crisis in Toronto, laneway suites can be an important tool to add gentle density, bring more rental to the market and provide opportunities for multi-generational living to keep families together," Ana Bailão, City Councillor, Ward 18 Davenport and Toronto's Housing Advocate, said.

The public consultation was led by Evergreen Lanescape and councillors  Mary-Margaret McMahon, Councillor Ana Bailão and included 400 Torontonians. 

A citywide consultation was held at Evergreen Brickworks. 

"It has been exciting to see such a high level of engagement in our own communities and across Toronto,” Mary-Margaret McMahon, City Councillor, Ward 32 Beaches-East York, said. “The input that our team has received so far is an important part of developing community focused guidelines for laneway suites that reflect the needs and interest of Torontonians."

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  • by Kread 2017-03-20 2:02:17 PM

    Nothing new. Vancouver has been building them for years

  • by Arnold Handelman 2017-03-20 5:51:19 PM

    The real solution to affordable housing fast, is one that no one wants to hear about, look at, or even think about. It's an issue of taste, of preference, of snobbery. It's NIMBY, not in my backyard on a grand scale. It's like eel. Eel is a great source of protein, and it's popular in Europe. But it's yucky in North America. Maybe eels could save thousands of starving peoples in various parts of the planet.

    The affordable housing solution: mobile homes. They're fast to put in place, very well designed, cheap, bigger than the popular "tiny houses" vaunted on TV, and practical. The United States has oceans of mobile homes. Why go to the expense of building an expensive custom "tiny house" when you can tow in and install a modern spacious, sleek mobile home. Yes, there are insulated models that are just fine in winter.

    Don't say trailer park. Say mobile home development, mobile home subdivision. The governments especially municipalities, or the OMB if necessary, could authorize mobile homes tomorrow, and by next Thursday, you'd have people living comfortably, cleanly, and affordably.
    Just impose certain standards so that old ugly dilapidated trailers don't infest your neighbourhoods. But so many of the modern mobile homes are beautiful as well as practical. Their superb interior design is efficient, better or as good as any yacht interior. Storage facilities, etc. are all built in. Most mobile homes even come furnished. What a blessing this could be for families on years long waiting lists, meanwhile living in squalor. Permit them in industrial zones as well as residential. Permit them in lanes, behind commercial, in institutional zoning, recreational of course, and on government lands.
    How about the brutalized aboriginal people. First nations homes are so often squalid, leaky, cold in the winter. It's a disgrace to this nation. I say, send them new beautiful spacious furnished mobile homes immediately.

    Stop the snobbery, Canadians. Mobile homes are a very intelligent practical affordable and smart solution to a lot of the housing problems in this country.

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