With housing costs ballooning and an alarming shortage of rental units available, city officials in Toronto are eyeing alleys (or laneways, as they’re called in the Canadian city) as a source of “gentle density” for neighborhoods with standalone homes. Last week, Toronto city staff were directed to report on an initiative that would make laneway residences more feasible.
A report devises a plan to build laneway housing that falls more in-line with city bylaw.
When Alex Sharpe decided to transform a garage into a coach house in The Pocket neighbourhood in 2011, all city planners saw was a second home on the same lot.
Recently, we caught up with Craig Race, an architect and co-founder of Lanescape to learn more about laneway housing and its efforts in making them accessible in Toronto. Lanescape is a citizens’ advocacy group that is building political will for the City to pass a bylaw in support of this type of housing. This blog is the first of a blog series entitled Affordable Housing.
Alex Sharpe, co-founder of Lanescape, shows how he was able to transform a garage space into a luxury laneway apartment.
Toronto is poised to make a major breakthrough to expand laneway housing. Yesterday, community council passed a motion requesting that city staff report on a laneway suite initiative that would dramatically cut the red tape surrounding the creation of these residential spaces. The directive awaits city council approval in early July, which would put a staff report on the table in early 2018, but this is as close as Toronto has ever been…