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People in Toronto can now legally build backyard apartments

July 15, 2022

Thanks to a recent decision from the Ontario Land Tribunal, which dismissed an appeal and sided with the city, garden suites can now be legally built in backyards as of July 5. This is a huge win for a town that has long faced affordable housing shortages and will hopefully see Toronto transform to allow more variety of housing types and tenures.

People in Toronto can now legally build backyard apartments

Described as a separate dwelling, usually in the backyard of existing homes, proposed garden suites that meet criteria regarding height and bylaw standards only need a building permit application to be built.

“Allowing garden suites across Toronto is a key step forward in expanding housing choice within the City’s neighbourhoods and creating a more inclusive and resilient city for current and future residents,” said Mayor John Tory in a release announcing the news this week. This type of housing, also called coach homes, is often smaller than the main home established on the property and can also be rented. Sometimes garden suites house additional family members, like grandparents or parents.

Any garden suites that don’t meet bylaw requirements can seek a minor variance application at the committee of adjustment. Permits can now be issued. Garden suites have long been lauded as solutions to affordability, climate change and urban sprawl problems, where the move away from the construction of more single-dwelling units is required.

Get ready to see backyard suites coming up on Realtor MLS soon!