In early December, the City of Toronto completed a standard agreement for homeowners to share a portion of their neighbour’s property in order to satisfy the laneway suite’s emergency access requirement.
Previously, the city required emergency access to be provided via a side yard of at least 1.0 meters in width from the face of house to property line (more information here). This meant that lots with limited side yard setbacks would not be eligible to construct a laneway suite.
Appropriately dubbed the “Limiting Distance Agreement” (or LDA), this new document will allow the access route to span over your property line. You will still need to provide a 1.0 meter wide by 2.1 meter high clearance, but it can now be shared between two adjacent properties.
The agreement will need to be signed by you and your neighbour, and it is registered on title for both properties. An application for the LDA will need to be made at the time of building permit application, and will be administered by the city’s solicitor.
The LDA process will follow five simple steps:
- The homeowner or their representative will complete and submit a draft Limiting Distance Agreement, provided by the plan review manager assigned to their permit file.
- The manager and plans examiner will cross reference the agreement with the drawings submitted and confirm Code compliance. Once confirmed, the property owners will be contacted to execute the Limiting distance agreement.
- The city lawyer will provide the fully executed LDA back to the homeowner, whom will then be responsible for:
- Registration of the agreement on title
- Confirming registration with the City Lawyer; and,
- Providing a title opinion satisfactory to the City Lawyer.
- Prior to the execution of an LDA, the applicable city solicitor fees must be paid.
- Once registered, the agreement will be attached to the permit prior to its issuance.
A complete overview of the LDA is available on the municipality’s website here. Overall, the LDA will be a relatively simple and straightforward process tailored to homeowners. The intent stays true to the fundamental purpose of the laneway suites by-laws – to make it easy and affordable for the average Torontonian.
Our team is excited for another small step toward making laneway housing commonplace in Toronto. To find out if your property qualifies, send your address and/or survey to firstname.lastname@example.org.