The City of Toronto Garden Suites Bylaw is in full force after the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) dismissed an appeal yesterday. The Garden Suites Bylaw and Official Plan Amendment were adopted by Toronto City Council on February 2, but were appealed shortly after. On June 2, the OLT heard a motion from the City to dismiss the appeal.
Toronto is facing substantial housing needs across a variety of housing types, tenures, and levels of affordability. Allowing greater variety in the type and form of housing that can be built in the city’s neighbourhoods is one solution to increase housing choice and access for current and future Toronto residents.
Garden suites are a form of housing that is now permitted in Toronto. If a proposed garden suite meets various performance criteria, such as maximum building height and setbacks, as well as all applicable bylaw standards, only a building permit application is required.
Any garden suite proposal that does not meet the Zoning Bylaw requirements can seek a minor variance application at the Committee of Adjustment. Through that process, City Planning staff review the application to determine if the proposed variances are appropriate and meet the intent of the Official Plan policies and the Zoning Bylaw.
Garden suites and other forms of housing being considered as part of the City’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) program are a necessary adjustment to Toronto’s current growth strategy. They allow for the creation of a variety of housing forms that create a better, more equitable and more resilient city for current and future residents.
The City established the EHON program to review, consult on, and advance permissions to allow additional forms of housing in Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. Increasing the type of housing supply provides more housing options for a range of household structures, for people at different ages, abilities, and incomes, for people to move within their current neighbourhood to support generational housing turnover, and for new residents to find a home.
Permits for the construction of garden suites can now be issued, provided the application complies with the Bylaw requirements and all other applicable law. More information on the Tribunal’s decision will be posted on the project website.
“This is good news and it will help get some more housing built. Garden suites are often a way to create homes for family members – parents, grandparents or adult children – or can be used as rental housing units. The Garden Suites regulations approved earlier this year represent a ‘Made In Toronto’ solution with sensible regulations to protect neighbours, trees/greenspace and gentle density. 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.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Housing is essential to every resident in our city and is key to building sustainable and inclusive communities. I am proud to support work that results in inclusive neighbourhoods and provides for greater housing options for our residents. Garden suites and other initiatives to expand housing options in low-rise neighbourhoods are key to creating a diverse mix of housing choice that is affordable and accommodates people at all stages of life, household size and income level. The garden suites initiative will create gentle density increases where residents have access to parks, schools and main street businesses and restaurants.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“The garden suites decision by the Ontario Land Tribunal acknowledges the extensive, professional work and consultation undertaken by City Planning staff and our colleagues at the City to develop a framework for a new type of housing in Toronto. 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.”
– Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning