The City of Toronto has permitted Laneway Suites since the summer of 2018. There are 2,433 laneways in Toronto representing 295 linear km. 47,000 Toronto properties abut a public designated laneway. Landscape a Toronto architectural firm specializing in laneway housing has so far evaluated 3,200 Toronto properties and found that approximately 3/4 of those qualify for laneway suites based on the current criteria.
Tony Cunha, Architect and Senior Manager at Lanescape says “most of our projects are built between $350-400/sf in construction cost. Of course there are many variables including finish quality, access, size, complexity, confirmation etc.” Cunha adds “soft costs (permits, engineering, design etc) are an additional $30-40,000. That said , nearly all projects are built for between $400-650,000 inclusive of all incidentals, taxes contingency etc.
Laneways can be found all over the City of Toronto but are most prevalent in the older downtown, west-end and east-end neighbourhoods including: Trinity Bellwoods, Little Italy, Niagara, South Annex-Harbord Village, Leslieville, Riverdale, Riverside, Danforth Village, Roncesvalles Village, West Toronto Junction, Wallace Emerson and many more.
Matt Hagen, Lead Design for Lanescape says “clients are heavily involved in the design process and are choosing a wide array of architectural styles for their laneway house from traditional red brick to modern designs. Sizes range from 500 square feet to 1300 square feet. Generally these are two bedrooms and sometimes 3 bedrooms. Some even have basements, although these are rare. Hagen adds: “And while the City does not currently allow rooftop spaces we try and provide opportunities fro an indoor outdoor connection with Juliette balconies and maybe a small terrace on the 2nd floor if possible.” Not only do laneway houses look cozy on the outside but they are also cozy on the inside with standard heating and mechanical systems. Hagen points out that for the laneways houses that are slab on grade with no basement “we often incorporate radiant in floor heating which is a nice feature to have with our Toronto winters.”
For homeowners a Laneway Suite may be a good idea if a homeowner is looking for options to be close to extended family or grown up children. It may also be a way to generate income and offset some household expenses. The “potential” of a laneway suite may have an impact on the value of your property when you decide to sell. When you list your home with David Dunkelman I will provide a complimentary report from Lanescape that will outline whether or not your property qualifies as a candidate for laneway housing and if it meets the criteria I will make this report available for free to prospective buyers.
- All photos in this blog are courtesy Lanescape