On March 26, 2018, City Council adopted the Townhouse and Low-Rise Apartment Guidelines.

The Guidelines are intended to help implement the policies in the Official Plan by achieving the appropriate design for current and new townhouse and low-rise apartment development applications.  The Townhouse and Low-Rise Apartment Guidelines replace the Infill Townhouse Guidelines (2003).

The Townhouse and Low-rise Apartment Guidelines apply to the design, review, and approval of new low-rise, multi-unit building developments that are four storeys or less.

The guidelines will normally be applied through the evaluation of development proposals and design alternatives in Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments, Plans of Subdivision, and Site Plan Control applications. The guidelines are intended to be read together with, and help implement the relevant Official Plan policies, applicable Zoning By-laws, Secondary Plans, Heritage Conservation District Plans, the Toronto Green Standard, the Toronto Development Guide, as well as any other applicable regulations, policies and guidelines.

The Townhouse and Low-Rise Apartment Guidelines include the following building types:

Townhouse

  • Two to four storeys
  • Shares side walls with neighbouring units
  • Individual unit entrance with direct access to grade
  • Distinct front and rear conditions

Stacked Townhouse

  • Three to four storeys
  • Shares side and back walls with units staked vertically
  • Individual unit entrance with direct access to grade from shared outside landing
  • Distinct front and rear conditions

Back-to-Back Townhouse

  • Two to four storeys
  • Shares side and back walls with neighbouring units
  • Individual unit entrance with direct access to grade often on one side of the building or on both

Stacked and Back-to-Back Townhouse

  • Three to four storeys
  • Shares side and back walls with units stacked vertically
  • Unit entrances have direct access to grade from an outside shared landing, often on more than one side of the building
  • Defined as “Apartment Building” in the City-wide zoning by-law

Low-rise Hybrid Building

  • Three to four storeys
  • Shares side and back walls with units stacked vertically
  • Ground floor units have individual entrances with direct access to grade
  • Upper units gain access through a shared entrance into building and by vertical circulation and corridor

Low-rise Apartment Building

  • Three to four storeys
  • Multiple units stacked vertically and horizontally
  • A shared main entrance and secondary accesses to units within the building
  • Unit entrances accessed through internal corridors and vertical circulation