The Garden + Suites project is one of several studies that the City of Toronto is leading through its Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative . A Garden Suite is a detached housing unit, usually located in the rear yard, and is separate, or detached from the main house. Garden Suites, like Laneway Suites, are generally smaller than the main house on the lot and are intended to function as a rental housing unit.
The Garden + Suites project will review important matters, which include privacy and shadowing, protecting trees and green space, and parking, among many others. This study seeks public input from current and future residents of low-rise neighborhoods, and other stakeholders, to understand these important matters.
The results from this review and public input will inform regulations and recommendations to City Council to permit Garden Suites as-of-right across the city.
For more information about the Garden + Suites project, please see the Garden Suites Review report submitted to the Planning and Housing Committee. Information about other studies currently under review as part of the City’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative is also available.
The Garden + Suites project is part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) initiative. Recent changes to the Ontario Planning Act require the City to have policies and regulations that allow for an additional housing unit, separate from the main building, on low-rise residential properties across the City. This means that a lot with a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse may have up to three units on it: the main house, a secondary suite in the main house, and a third unit in a detached accessory structure (like a Laneway Suite or a Garden Suite).
The Garden + Suites project will expand upon the findings of the Laneway Suites initiative to develop as-of-right zoning regulations for Garden Suite units within neighbourhoods city-wide (when a development is “as-of-right”, this means it complies with the zoning by-law and generally only needs a building permit to construct, without the need for discretionary approval). Garden Suites can contribute to increasing the supply of rental housing and serve the City’s housing and land use objectives by providing additional housing options for people at different ages and life stages.
The “Garden + Suites” project is one of several studies the City of Toronto is currently leading to create more housing options in residential neighbourhoods. Visit the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods website to learn more.
Like a Laneway Suite, a Garden Suite in Toronto functions as a separate rental housing unit, that is generally smaller in scale and located in the rear yard, detached from the main house. Unlike a Laneway Suite, a Garden Suite is not next to a public lane and could instead be next to other yards, a flanking street, a private lane, a park or open space or other uses.
Garden Suites are intended to be “non-severable”, which means they cannot be turned into a separate property from the main house. They remain under the same ownership as the main house and are serviced with water, sewer and other utilities through a connection to the main house or the street. They are intended for use as rental housing or to provide additional housing opportunities for owners and family members, including aging-in-place.
Garden Suites are also sometimes called “granny flats,” “coach houses,” “carriage houses” or “Detached Accessory Dwelling Units.”
The City hosted a series of virtual community meetings on May 11, 12, and 13 to present our initial work on allowing the construction of Garden Suites and to hear your thoughts on how Garden Suites might best fit within the City’s Neighbourhoods. A video of the presentation given at each of these meetings will be linked on this page.
The Garden + Suites review will begin an engagement process in early 2021 connecting with a variety of stakeholders and individuals to develop regulations that will enable new housing options in the form of Garden Suites. Beginning March 2021, residents and stakeholders can participate in the Garden + Suites Survey. Virtual public consultations are scheduled to begin April 2021.
A Final Report is targeted to be brought to Planning and Housing Committee with recommendations by the end of Q2 of 2021.
For more information about the study or how to get involved, email the team.