Buying a home in Toronto is merely a dream for some so renting a property becomes their only option. If you’ve been following my previous market reports and blog posts, then you will have a pretty good understanding that the Toronto market is fiery hot. (And if you haven’t well, here is your chance to come out from under that rock you’ve been hiding).

In an effort to provide more affordable rental units to the masses, a proposal went to public council to get the ball rolling on utilizing one of our City’s most unused assets: The laneway.

What is it?: transforming empty or underused spaces like your garage, shed or parking pads into rentable suites. Building off of the basement apartment concept, but these laneway suites would offer more privacy for both units, not to mention a heck of a lot more light.

blogTO offers a great illustration above.

Not only will this bring in extra income for homeowners ultimately contributing to mortgage payments, but it is also a way to house family members or adult children that respectfully can’t afford to purchase a place of their own. As we have seen the rise of sharing sites offering your property for rent free of hassle, we see the long-term rental market shrink. Renters are finding it increasingly more difficult to secure a place for long periods of time. Laneway housing would offer a solution to this problem.

Toronto is no stranger to this idea however. In 2006 a proposal against allowing laneway homes was put forth with arguments raising concerns with privacy issues for neighbours, casting shadows on neighbouring properties and the question of how to deliver public services such as garbage pick-up. The current proposal has addressed many of these concerns that were seen a decade ago. Not only that, but cities like Vancouver and Ottawa already have the secondary properties in place allowing us to build upon their model. Toronto will undoubtedly require our own unique approach going forward, but tiny homes could be on the rise.

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