On May 10, 2023, City Council adopted the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment to permit multiplexes citywide. These amendments are in effect as no appeals were received.


For detailed information about the current zoning on a property, please visit the Zoning By-Law page.

The Multiplex study is one component of the City’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) initiative. This study focused on permitting multiplexes – residential buildings containing up to four units – across Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. Please see the Study Overview section below for more details on how the study was undertaken.

Support materials for the Multiplex initiative are coming soon. In the meantime, the questions and answers below summarize the changes made to the City-wide Zoning By-law:

What is a multiplex?

  • A multiplex is a residential building with two, three, or four units – also called a duplex, triplex, or fourplex, as defined by the Zoning By-Law.
  • In order to qualify as a duplex, triplex, or fourplex, at least one dwelling unit must be entirely or partially above another.
  • Multiple units built side-by-side would generally be considered a townhouse or a semi-detached house under the Zoning By-Law and different standards would apply to this type of housing.

How do I know if I can build a multiplex on my property?

  • If your property is located in an R, RD, RS, RM, or RT zone, you may build a duplex, triplex, or fourplex. You may also convert an existing house to contain two, three or four units.
  • To check which zone your property is located in, please visit the Interactive By-Law Map. Use the search bar at the top of the webpage to enter your address, and a box containing key zoning information for your property will appear.
  • If you have zoning questions for a specific property, please contact Toronto Building Staff at 416-397-5330 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday or in person at a Toronto Building Customer Service counter.
  • If you want to determine whether your multiplex plans comply with the Zoning By-law, please apply for a Zoning Review and obtain a Zoning Applicable Law Certificate.

What is the maximum height of a multiplex?

  • Multiplexes are subject to maximum height limits in metres. Multiplexes are exempt from regulations shown on the Height Overlay limiting the maximum number of storeys.
  • Use the Height Overlay on the Interactive Zoning By-Law Map to check height limits for your property. Click on the Legend tab at the left side of the screen to expand the menu, then under Overlay Layers, check the Height box.
  • If the Height Overlay shows a permitted height of less than 10 metres, the maximum height of a multiplex in this zone is 10 metres.
  • If the Height Overlay is 10 metres or more, that height limit applies.
  • If there is no maximum height shown on the Height Overlay, please check the height regulations for the zone which applies to your property.

Do Lot Coverage regulations still apply to multiplexes?

  • If your property is subject to lot coverage as indicated by the Lot Coverage Overlay, the base residential standards in Chapter 10, or a Chapter 900 exception, this regulation still applies to multiplexes.
  • Use the Lot Coverage Overlay on the Interactive Zoning By-Law Map to check lot coverage limits for your property. Click on the Legend tab at the left side of the screen to expand the menu, then under Overlay Layers, check the Lot Coverage box.

Do Floor Space Index (FSI) regulations still apply to multiplexes?

  • Maximum floor space index regulations, as indicated by a “d” with a number value in the zone label (for example: d 1.0), do not apply to multiplexes.
  • If there is a Chapter 900 exception which applies to the property, indicated by an (x) followed by a number in the zone label, any maximum floor space index specified in this exception may still apply.
  • To view the Chapter 900 exception which applies to your property, please visit the Interactive Zoning By-Law Map. When you enter your address in the search bar, a box containing key zoning information for your property will appear. Click on the link to the Bylaw Exception to view the detailed regulations in the Chapter 900 exception that applies.
    • The City is currently undertaking a harmonization exercise for Chapter 900 exceptions applying to residential properties which may modify some of these exceptions.

What building setbacks apply to a multiplex?

  • Multiplexes are now subject to the same building setbacks as other residential building types in each zone.
  • The setbacks that apply depend on the zone in which your property is located.
  • To view the regulations that apply to the zone in which your property is located, please visit the Interactive Zoning By-Law Map. When you enter your address in the search bar, a box containing key zoning information for your property will appear. Click on the links to the Bylaw Chapter and Bylaw Section to view the detailed regulations that apply to your property.
  • Setback regulations are primarily contained in Clause 10.##.40.70 within each zone:

Can I also have a garden suite or laneway suite if I have a multiplex?

  • It is possible to have an accessory dwelling unit, like a garden suite or laneway suite on the same property as a multiplex, if certain regulations are met.
  • For more detail on garden suite regulations, visit EHON Garden Suites.
  • For more detail on laneway suite regulations, visit Changing Lanes.

Do multiplexes require parking to be provided?

Will I have to pay development charges or cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication when building a multiplex?

  • In most cases, no. Multiplexes are exempt from development charges and cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication provided there are no more than four units on the residential lot.
  • Exemptions for development charges are found in 415-6 of the Municipal Code. See A. (2) for the provision applying to multiplexes.
  • Exemptions for cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication are found in 415-30 of the Municipal Code. See (16) for the provision applying to multiplexes.

Can multiplexes have multiple front entrances?

  • Yes, multiplexes may have multiple front entrances.
  • The multiplex zoning by-law amendment (By-law 474-2023) also deleted the restrictions on front entrances for secondary suites.

How many balconies/decks can I have on a multiplex?

  • Two balconies or decks are permitted per unit: one on the front and one on the rear of the building.
  • Balconies and decks must be located on the second storey or above and cannot project beyond the maximum limits specified in the Zoning By-law.
  • Multiplexes on a corner lot may also locate balconies on the side wall facing a street.

Does the Tree Protection By-law apply to Multiplex projects?

  • Any activity that can cause a tree of 30 centimetres or more in diameter, to be injured or removed, on private property, is prohibited unless authorized with a permit under the Tree Protection By-law.
  • Visit the Tree & Ravine Protection website to learn more about the City’s Tree Protection By-law and the application process to remove or injure a protected tree, undertake work in ravines, and how to report unauthorized injury or removal of a tree.

What if I want to build a multiplex or an addition that goes beyond the zoning rules?

Summary of Study

On May 10, 2023, City Council adopted the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment to permit multiplexes citywide.

This section summarizes the study that led to the final amendments.

The Multiplex study is part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative which aims to bring more types of housing to Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. This study proposes to permit multiplexes in all areas designated Neighbourhoods in Toronto’s Official Plan. The proposal supports a more equitable approach to growth in Toronto, extending a more flexible use of residential buildings to residents of all of Toronto’s Neighbourhoods.

What is Multiplex Housing

For the purposes of this study, we mean housing with 2, 3, or 4 units in a single building. This housing type is also referred to as a duplex, triplex, or fourplex. These homes could be rental or condominium units and they could either be in the form of converted houses or purpose-built as a multiplex.

Guiding Principles

Toronto is a rapidly growing city which is evolving as it grows. Though the city’s housing stock has been growing along with the population, most of this growth has occurred in high-rise apartments. The Multiplex study is one component of the City’s work to help grow low-rise forms of housing which are greatly needed. To guide this work, the Multiplex team used the following principles to guide the study:

Neighbourhoods for Everyone – quality of life and range of choice for people of all ages and abilities, for diverse, equitable and inclusive communities.

City of Neighbourhoods – recognize the distinctive feel of Toronto’s many neighbourhoods by allowing growth in a built form that fits within their existing scale while adapting to people’s evolving housing needs.

Low-Rise Neighbourhoods – enable opportunities in lower-scale areas to contribute to the variety of built form available across the city.

Green and Livable Neighbourhoods – make efficient use of land and infrastructure while balancing management of tree canopy, soft landscaping and sustainability objectives and providing access to parks, open spaces and natural heritage features.

Facilitate Multiplexes in Neighbourhoods – make it easier to build multiplexes through simplified zoning and approval processes, reducing financial barriers and expanding permissions to more areas across the city.


Prior to the adoption of the Multiplex amendments, in many parts of Toronto the existing zoning permitted large homes, but often limited to one or two units. The approach of this study was to allow up to four units in generally the same building size as what was currently permitted. However, the adopted proposal included some zoning changes to make multiplexes more feasible to build.

Thinking Inside the Box: More Units, Same Scale

Existing zoning envelopes permit building volumes that can be better leveraged to house additional units within a low-rise scale.

Diagram of an existing house and a possible multiplex design, showing that three units can fit into the permitted building envelope of the existing zoning.

Study Timeline

The Multiplex study began in 2020, with public consultation beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022-23.

In October 2021, an online survey was posted which resulted in a strong majority of respondents supporting multiplexes in their neighbourhood.

From February to May 2022, the team held 14 consultation events in a variety of formats to hear from members of the public, including Webex meetings, Twitter Spaces, a Reddit Ask Me Anything, and in-person walking tours of existing multiplexes.

Following this consultation, the Multiplex Proposals Report (2022.PH35.3) was adopted by Planning and Housing Committee on July 5, 2022.

In February and March 2023, the team held public and stakeholder consultation events on a revised draft Official Plan Amendment and draft Zoning By-law Amendment. Staff have considered feedback received to develop the final recommended amendments that will enable multiplexes in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods.

Multiplex Official Plan Amendment (In Effect as of June 14, 2023)

The Official Plan Amendment (OPA) clarifies permissions and development criteria for multiplexes in Neighbourhoods. The OPA is structured as a Site and Area-Specific Policy (SASP), located in Chapter 7 of the Official Plan.  The SASP applies to all lands within the city that have a Neighbourhoods land use designation, as shown in yellow on Official Plan Maps 13-23.

Map of land use designations in Toronto Official Plan.
Official Plan Land Use Map; Neighbourhoods are shown in yellow.

Ongoing work through the EHON initiative and the Municipal Comprehensive Review may result in future changes to Official Plan policies pertaining to Neighbourhoods. The changes proposed in the draft OPA below are being introduced now to facilitate the creation of multiplexes in the near term.

Multiplex Zoning By-Law Amendment (In Effect as of May 12, 2023)

See reference map below.

Simple Reference Map for Multiplex Zoning By-law Amendment maps and diagrams. The city of Toronto is subdivided into parts A through Q.

The zoning by-law amendment permits duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes within the RD, RS and RT zones while applying similar built form standards to multiplexes to ensure a consistency of scale. The amendment allows multiplex building types to be built within roughly the same building envelope that would be permitted for a detached house, with some adjusted standards.

Key changes proposed in the zoning by-law amendment for multiplexes:

  • Permit multiplex building types in RD, RS and RT zones
  • Harmonize building depth, side yard setbacks, and main wall height regulations for all building types
  • Exempt multiplex building types from FSI regulations
  • Permit multiplexes up to 10 metres in height, in zones where the current maximum height is less than 10 metres
  • Permit up to two porches/decks/balconies​ per unit
  • Lift restrictions on multiple front entrances for secondary suites
  • Amend “U” values to permit up to 4 units in all residential zones
  • Exempt multiplexes from “ST” values that specify the maximum number of storeys permitted

The zoning amendment would not change these standards:

  • Front and rear yard setbacks
  • Landscaped open space
  • Driveway width
  • Lot coverage

PH29.9 – Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods: Multiplex Study –Interim Report (November 2021)

PH35.3 – Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods: Multiplex Study –Proposals Report (July 2022)

PH3.13 – Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods: Multiplex Study – Final Report (May 2023)

Related Work

Urban Land Institute Toronto Technical Assistance Panel

The Multiplex Team engaged a technical assistance panel organized by the Urban Land Institute Toronto to explore the financial feasibility of building multiplexes in Toronto. The panel was made up of professionals with expertise in architecture and design, planning, development, and financing. The panel provided analysis and recommendations to the team which will inform the final recommendations to City Council. View the report.

ReHousing: University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture Landscape and Design

ReHousing is a research project coordinated at the University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty. The research work is a collaboration between Tuf Lab and LGA Architectural Partners that explores how to convert single-family homes into multi-unit housing. The project uses affordable and common-sense design to compare renovations, additions, and new construction housing options. This project is not affiliated with the Multiplex Team or the City of Toronto, but this research team has produced other modeling which has informed the work of the Multiplex Team. Visit their project website.