A new laneway suite requires emergency access as per the Ontario Building Code and requirements as set out by Toronto Fire & Emergency Services.

Ontario Building Code Requirements

  • Access for fire department equipment shall be provided to each building by means of a street, private roadway or yard.
  • Where access to a building as required above is provided by means of a roadway or yard, the design and location of such roadway or yard shall take into account connection with public thoroughfares, weight of firefighting equipment, width of roadway, radius of curves, overhead clearance, location of fire hydrants, location of fire departments connections and vehicular parking.

See OBC Div. B. 9.10.20.3 for reference

Toronto Fire & Emergency Services Requirements

A path of travel for fire and emergency access must be provided to the entry of a laneway suite. This path of travel may be provided on the subject property or through the lane. The width, height and length requirements for this access path are as follows:

Width & Height for Path of Travel for Fire & Emergency Access

A level and unobstructed path of travel for firefighter and emergency access must be provided to the entry of the laneway suite. This path of travel must be at least 1.0 metre wide by 2.1 metres high.

Length of Path of Travel for Fire & Emergency Access

Access on the Subject Property – When providing the path of travel for fire fighter access on the subject property, the path of travel must not be more than 45 metres in length measured from the public street to the entry of the laneway suite. A fire hydrant must also be located within 45 metres of where a firefighting vehicle would park in front of the subject property.

Access Through the Lane

When providing the path of travel for firefighting access through the lane, the path of travel must not be more than 45 metres in length measured from the street at the end of the lane to the entrance of the laneway suite. A fire hydrant must also be located within 45 metres of where a firefighting vehicle would park on the street at the end of the lane.

Option for Sharing Path of Travel for Fire and Emergency Access with Neighbouring Property:

In cases where it is not possible to provide the minimum 1.0 metre wide path of travel for firefighting and emergency access on the subject property, this required width may be shared with a neighbouring property, provided both owners enter into a Limiting Distance Agreement.

  • Small side yards.
  • Greater than 45 m from flanking street
  • Execute a Limiting Distance Agreement for fire access that provides 1.0 m of access
  • The agreement is an obligation that cannot be broken without all parties consent (includes The City)

1. Property owners to complete and submit a draft Limiting Distance Agreement. (Contact your Plan Review Manager for template)

2. Once Toronto Building has confirmed that there will be Code compliance, the property owners will be contacted in order to execute the Limiting Distance Agreement.

3. The City Lawyer will provide the property owners or their representatives with the fully executed Limiting Distance Agreement. The property owners will be responsible for:
a. Registration of the agreement on title;
b. Confirming registration with the City Lawyer; and,
c. Providing a title opinion satisfactory to the City Lawyer.

4. Prior to the execution of an Limiting Distance Agreement, applicable City Solicitor fees must be paid in accordance with Municipal Code Chapter 441, Fees and Charges.

5. A copy of the registered Limiting Distance Agreement must be attached to all subsequent permits that are to be issued in relation to the affected properties at any time subsequent to registration.