On February 2nd , 2022 the City of Toronto passed a new bylaw allowing for the potential of a Garden Suite for Toronto homeowners whose properties meet certain criteria. The City of Toronto defines a Garden Suite as ” a detached housing unit, usually located in the rear yard, and is separate, or detached from the main house. Garden Suites, like Laneway Suites are generally smaller than the main house on the lot and are intended to function as a rental housing unit.”

While Laneway Suites are well suited to older Toronto neighbourhoods that feature laneways at the rear of many houses; Garden Suites will likely become popular in the former suburbs of Etobicoke, East York, Scarborough and North York which feature larger lots that would better suit a Garden Suite. Lanescape, a Toronto company specializing in both Laneway and Garden Suites points out “Garden suites promise to be a perfect solution to housing loved ones, generating rental income, or gaining additional live-work space, while increasing housing flexibility on your property.

To suggest that a Garden Suite is an entirely new phenomenon may be accurate in name only. In Europe and here in North America at the turn of the 19th century it was not uncommon for houses to have a “carriage house” or “coach house” at the rear of the property. More recently the New Urbanism design movement which originated in the United States in the 1980s, advocated for a small ancillary building within the backyard of each home.

Tony Cunha, Architect and Senior Manager at Lanescape says the majority of Garden Suite’s will be built by homeowners seeking additional living space for extended family. This makes sense as rental income on properties outside of the City core are not necessarily going to generate a high enough income to offset the building cost. Cunha adds that his firm is already receiving 200 inquiries a month from homeowners looking into the Garden Suite option. Time will tell how popular this new City initiative will be but it certainly presents some exciting new options for homeowners.

If you are a homeowner and thinking of Selling I can provide you with a complimentary report from Lanescape letting you know if your home qualifies for a Garden Suite and if it does I can share this report with prospective buyers so that we can achieve the highest price possible for your home. For more details contact David Dunkelman, Broker: Royal Lepage J&D Division. Email: david@realestatewithdavid.com

Photo courtesy Lanescape.