Toronto has more than 2,400 publicly owned laneways, covering more than 250 linear kilometers of public space, which have the potential to become more active, useful spaces in our urban fabric. Unlocking these assets is a key part of creating safe, accessible spaces for residents to enjoy.
Toronto has about 250 kilometers of laneways. These hidden, street art-filled thoroughfares are often overlooked, except when Torontonians use them for parking or graffiti tours. However, two city councilors are trying to open our laneways up to new possibilities: namely, housing.
A major shakeup to laneway life is coming. Vancouver and Ottawa are already all shook up. Toronto architects and creative thinkers have been pushing for a shakeup for years, but now, with the province of Ontario also pushing. It’s no longer an “if” but a “when”. This, no doubt, will make some joyous and others trepidatious.
Laneway houses are beautiful and functional, can make back alleys safer, and could bring more housing stock to Toronto, says a man who makes his home in one in the city’s east end.