Last week saw another of the regular surges of interest in laneway houses in Toronto. But we should also look to backyards without lanes, often in suburban lots, when thinking about this kind of housing. You don’t need a laneway to build a small house behind a house.
Surveying this languid but distinctively urban vista, Craig Race, Andrew Sorbara and Alex Sharpe envision how places such as this – and there are a lot of them around the older city – someday could become neighbourhoods within neighbourhoods, as homeowners convert or rebuild the rear-facing garages into affordable rental units.
As aspiring first-time homebuyers lose hope in this insanely competitive market, architects and planners are looking at laneways as a possible solution to the rental housing shortage. NOW surveys the history of the strategy, the challenges facing builders eyeing a new source of land – and one fabulous laneway house that shows what’s possible.
The majority of residents who engaged in community consultations support laneway suites, according to a new report. The next step will be to get city councilors on board.
There’s more space left to build housing than meets the eye. The idea adapting some of Toronto’s 2,400+ laneways to serve as housing stock has steadily gained in publicity. But what do Torontonians actually think of it?