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A Laneway Suite is a house on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse, generally located in the rear yard abutting a laneway. They are subordinate in scale, completely detached from the main house, and may have outdoor access via both the side yard of the main house, and the lane.
READ THE TORONTO STAR ARTICLE:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DO I QUALIFY
Q: Am I permitted to build/propose a Laneway Suite?
A: If the lot abuts a laneway for at least 3.5m, and the property is located within the boundary outlined in the City of Toronto's zoning legislation City of Toronto By-law 810-2018 , one can apply for an "as-of-right" building permit for a laneway suite, subject to some other requirements.
Q: What are the required setbacks for the Laneway Suite?
A: Where the Laneway Suiteabuts a lane, it is required to be set back 1.5m. Where the suite abuts a lot line that is not adjacent to a lane or public street, the suite can be built to that lot line (0.0m setback), as long as there are no doors or windows on the corresponding face of the laneway suite. If the laneway suite abuts a street, then the required setback is the same setback as the main house on the lot.
Q: What is the separation distance required between my existing house and the laneway suite?
A: This depends on the height of the Laneway Suite you are going build. If your proposed laneway suite is no more than 4.0m in height, then the minimum separation distance between the suite and your house is 5.0m. If the height of your proposed Laneway Suite is greater than 4.0m, then the minimum separation distance between the suite and your house is 7.5m.
Q: What are the landscaping requirements for a Laneway Suite?
A: These depend on the width of your lot. If the lot is 6.0m wide or less, a minimum of 60% of the area between the proposed Laneway Suite and the rear main wall of the house must be soft landscaping (grasses, soft landscaping, plantings and permeable). If the lot is greater than 6.0m wide, then a minimum of 85% of the area between the proposed Laneway Suiteand the rear main wall of the house must be soft landscaping.
The area within the 1.5m setback between the Laneway Suite and the lane must be landscaping, of which 75% must be soft landscaping. This is excluding the area for a permitted driveway.
NUMBER OF STOREYS
Q: How many storeys can the Laneway Suite be?
A: You are permitted a maximum of 2 storeys.
WIDTH AND LENGTH
Q: What is the maximum width and length of the Laneway Suite?
A: The by law allows Laneway Suites to be maximum length up to 10.0m, and a maximum width up to of 8.0m.
Q: What is the maximum height for a Laneway Suite?
A: The height of the proposed Laneway Suiteis subject to the separation distance between the laneway suite that rear main wall of your existing house. If the separation distance is between 5.0m and 7.5m, the maximum height your Laneway Suite can be is 4.0m. If the separation distance is more than 7.5m, then the maximum the Laneway Suite can be is 6.0m in height.
SERVICES and EMERGENCY SERVICES
Q: How will the Laneway Suite be serviced for garbage collection, water, hydro, utilities, fire and emergency services?
A: The Laneway Suite’s utilities must be serviced from the principal dwelling on the lot.
Garbage collection will continue to be from the public street fronting the property, with no separate laneway service. So, when planning for the Laneway Suite, you will have to consider how the future occupants will get their garbage, recycling, and compost from the Laneway Suite to the street frontage of your property.
Laneways in Toronto cannot normally accommodate fire trucks, so the entrance to the proposed Laneway Suite must be within 45m of a public street. Most detached and semi-detached houses (having side yards at least 1m wide that can provide access to the laneway suite)however row houses with limited side yard access may not be easy to approve. There is no restriction against row houses in the City’s zoning amendment, part of the building code review phase of the laneway project will involve obtaining approval from the city plans examiner and possibly with emergency services to demonstrate that in the event of a fire or other emergency, the laneway suite can be adequately accessed for emergencies.
Q: What are the angular plane requirements?
A: An angular plane is a theoretical envelope, placed at an angle, that restricts the massing of a building to allow for light and air at ground level. This ensures that as buildings get higher, the surrounding physical environment will not be negatively affected. .
In the case of laneway suites, a 45-degree angular plane is required, starting at a height of 4.0m. Consequently, the application of an angular plane is only required if your proposed laneway suite is between the height of 4.0m and 6.0m.
Q: Is there a restriction on "coverage"?
A: The Laneway Suite must not exceed more than 30% of your "lot area".
Q: What are the parking requirements for the Laneway Suite, or for my property if we decide to build a Laneway Suite?
A: No parking is required either for the Laneway Suite, or for the main residence, and any other "secondary suites" that may exist on the lot. However, the laneway suite must provide two bicycle parking spaces within the suite itself, or within any of the required yard setbacks.
– How do I avoid development fees?
– How can I avoid going to the Committee of Adjustment?
– What’s the quickest way to build a laneway house?
– How can I identify a potential laneway property? What are the zoning rules?
– What is the best way to get services like water, sewage, and electricity to my laneway house?
E&OE for preliminary information only
THE LANEWAY SUITE AS IT SITS ON THE LOT
The sketch below shows the following: Setback for Access to the Street, Min. Soft Landscaping, Opaque Barrier Height, 45-Degree Angular Plane, Max. Depth, Max Width, Max Height, Depth of Space between Laneway Suite and The Existing house, Setback Distance to the Lane, Platform Encroachment. Copyright Lindy Consulting Limited
Click to Download Bill to amend Zoning By-law 569-2013, as amended, to permit laneway suites pdf file.