Are Garden Suites Coming To Toronto? Expanding Housing Options in the GTA

Picture of Garden Suite

With the lack of supply in housing causing prices to skyrocket in Toronto and the GTA, one potential solution for more housing options is the introduction of Garden Suites.

Following the successful launch of ‘Laneway Housing’ (which has seen 50 suites built since its by-law inception in 2018, with at least another 131 underway) Toronto is now looking towards implementing a new by-law that will allow Garden Suites to be built on existing properties.

What is a Garden Suite

Similar to Laneway Housing, Garden Suites are generally smaller than the main property and are meant to serve as an additional, detached dwelling unit. Unlike Laneway Houses that were built in, well, laneways, Garden Suites are a detached housing unit usually located in the rear yard. In addition, the Garden Suites project in Toronto sets out to maintain and enhance green spaces within the city.

Garden Suites are intended to be “non-severable”, which means they cannot be turned into a separate property from the main house. Water, sewer and other utilities remain under the same ownership. The suites are intended for use as rental housing or opportunities for multigenerational living.

By Law Status

The city introduced its initial draft regulations for Garden Suites in June, 2021 (Click for Proposed By-Laws.) On January 12, 2022, The Planning and Housing Committee will receive inputs and review the proposal and any other material placed before it, in order to make recommendations on the application. These recommendations will then be forwarded to Toronto City Council for its consideration.

If and when the policy passes through political approvals, one and two-storey garden suites will be permitted for most residential lots, across the entire city.

If this seems like something you are interested in, my team at Stephanie K Real Estate can help narrow down properties that could accommodate these additional garden suites, bringing you additional rental income, or a place for aging parents to live close by. As always, we can be reached at steph@stephaniek.ca or 416-837-9676.