Toronto city council was supposed to end the absurd overregulation of laneway housing starting this week. It’s unclear councillors will do any such thing, writes Edward Keenan.
Enthusiasm for housing on lanes is growing. Here’s what the plan currently before city staff will allow.
A team of 15 students represented Canada this year and won the grand prize at a U.S. Department of Energy home design event, a competition that spurs university students to design sustainable buildings.
“By allowing laneway suites, we’re adding another tool in the tool box of housing flexibility.”
Students from Ryerson and the University of Toronto designed a net-zero energy laneway home that won a U.S. competition. Craig Race, co-founder of Lanescape, mentored the students for the competition.
Brandon Donnelly has been thinking about building a laneway house for more than a decade and even went so far as to submit drawings to the city’s planning department five years ago. The 34-year-old real-estate developer said the reception back then wasn’t positive.
“They had no idea what it was. ‘Where’s the street? There’s no frontage.’ It didn’t register with them,” he recounted. “They didn’t support it so I decided to put it on hold and wait for the landscape to change.”
He believes change is here.