RUNNING OUT OF SPACE? WHY NOT BUILD IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD!
Following a recent decision made by the Ontario Land Tribunal, as of July 5, Garden Suites of up to 1,300 sqft can be legally built in backyards of existing homes. These Garden Suites are separate detached secondary dwellings and are required to meet height and zoning bylaw standards which also require a building permit. Since the suites can be rented, they offer Toronto’s neighbourhoods a more affordable and wider range of housing. Alongside aiding Toronto’s recent struggle with affordable housing shortages, as a rapidly growing trend in both towns and cities across North America, Garden Suites have been seen as partial solutions to climate change and urbanization issues and complete solutions for the desire of multigenerational households to reside on the same property.
Interested in building a garden suite? To better enhance the concept, you must first consider your lot size, since not all properties will be able to accommodate a garden suite. This is influenced by the location and size of a suite, the size of the main dwelling, emergency access and location of trees on and adjacent to your property. A Garden Suite may be built up to a maximum height of 4 meters, while it is located a minimum of 5 meters from the main residential building. However, if subject to additional rules, if a Garden Suite is located a minimum of 7.5 meters from the main residential building, it can be built up to a maximum height of 6 meters. And finally, the maximum footprint area must not exceed 40% of the rear yard area or 20% of the lot area.
Although there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, without doubt, building Garden Suites can have a positive outcome since it can generate income for the homeowners, potentially providing mortgage relief if you decide for it to be rented, it can increase your property’s overall resale value, provide more privacy for you and your tenants than any other attached suite, and most importantly, it can provide additional housing for family or friends.
“Garden suites are often a way to create homes for family members – parents, grandparents or adult children…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.” – Toronto Mayor John Tory