Laneway housing in Toronto is growing in popularity, and it doesn’t take a city planner to tell you why. It’s a great way to add value to your home and provide extra housing for a family member or to let out.

What Is a Laneway House?

If you are wondering what is a laneway house, you are not alone. Laneway housing in Toronto is quickly becoming a new way for people to increase the value of their property while providing housing for someone. Laneway housing is like a guesthouse. It is a self-contained apartment suite or a small home that is built on your existing property. It is its own separate entity that is detached from your main house.

Built-in your backyard or beside your home, it is an extra residence you can either rent out or bring in an elderly parent or relative. So-called laneway housing as they are often built near a back lane. This is vital for a city like Toronto that faces housing shortages and elevated rents. For a family to add laneway housing to their property means they are helping people find a place to live.

Why Should You Build a Laneway House?

Laneway housing is becoming all the rage in Toronto, and for good reason. There seem to be many benefits for the homeowner, family members, the tenants, and the community.

Increase Home Value

One of the best perks for homeowners to build a laneway house is that the value of their property will increase. Depending on the type of laneway home you build, you can increase your property value by an excess of $100,000.

Provide Affordable Housing

ASs the need for affordable housing increases, so do existing rents. It can be almost impossible to find a place in Toronto, and by providing a single-family dwelling, you are helping people with a great solution.

Tax Breaks

As a homeowner, you are often eligible for tax breaks and other incentives for building a laneway home on your property. You are providing housing for either your family or to rent out to a family in need.

Extra Income

We can all use a little help with the bills, so a bit of extra income can go into your kid’s college fund, pay off your mortgage, or save up for a family holiday. You can charge much less than other landlords and still make a profit.

Building Laneway Suites Across Toronto and GTA
By-Law Requirements

There are several stipulations when it comes to constructing a laneway home.

  • You need to own a single-family home that is abutting a public lane within Toronto and East York District
  • You have to conform with applicable zoning and other by-laws as determined by Toronto Building through a zoning certificate or building permit
  • You have to have applied for a building permit
  • You are required to enter into an Affordable Laneway Suites Contribution Agreement with the City
  • You will need to be approved for the Development Charges Deferral Program for Ancillary Secondary Dwelling Units
  • These by-laws are for Toronto and the GTA, so you will need to research what is involved before you actually start construction.

Applying for A Building Permit for A Laneway Suite

Applying for a permit to build a Toronto laneway house will likely take some time. You need to have the City Planning and Urban Forestry check your property to ensure there will be no damages done to existing trees.

The city will also need to examine your property to make sure it is safe and has fire exits and access to the lane for the tenant’s separate entrance according to the Ontario Building Code.

Laneway Suites Programs

With the increased interest in homeowners wanting to build laneway suites, the City of Toronto has put in two programs to encourage the development of a secondary dwelling.

Development Charges Deferral Program for Ancillary Secondary Dwelling Units

Homeowners can apply for this program if they want to build a secondary home in their backyard through the creation of a new lot within 20 years of the issuance of the building permit

Affordable Laneway Suites Program

This laneway suite program can provide up to $50,000 in a forgivable loan for those intending to build a laneway home. There are limits on how much the homeowner can charge for rent.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Laneway House in Toronto?

The cost of a laneway suite in Toronto will vary, depending on what you plan to build. Obviously, size, labour, and materials will all come into play here.

Permits will likely run you about $20.00 per square foot. Other fees and permits can add up to around $1000.

Survey costs could be upwards of $2500

The construction might be between $200,00 and $300,000, again, depending on size and materials.

You may also need an architect which can also cost several thousand dollars.

Then you need to consider heating, electricity, sewer and water, and plumbing. These can total around $60,000 or $70,000.

You may also need a landscaper to remove or add trees, bushes, lay sod, and provide irrigation.

The costs can seem extravagant but what you get back is well worth the investment, as you will certainly see a return on investment.

Why Choose Torino Construction to Build Laneway Suite in Toronto?

Here at Torino Construction, we know that building a secondary home on your property can be very stressful. We bring over a decade of experience when it comes to building luxury homes.

You can trust us to take care of all the ins and outs of laneway suite construction. If you think your property may qualify for a laneway suite, contact us here at Torino Construction for more information or to book a consultation.