Amidst Toronto’s condo boom, many groups are working on alternatives to building taller and taller building by finding creative solutions to the city’s housing crunch. Lanescape wants to take advantage of oft-overlooked spaces (backyards and laneways) to help boost the housing supply in the city.
“There are thousands of opportunities to build small, one-family units along laneways.”
The reality is that we live in a city of rental shortages, increasingly out-of-reach housing prices, dwindling affordable housing options, and a population that keeps growing. Here’s where laneway housing comes in.
Last month, community council passed a motion that requested that City staff report on a laneway housing initiative that would make it easier to create laneway suites. If approved, we can expect a staff report on the table early next year.
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.