R-Hauz Blog

Laneway Suite Checklist: Is My Property Eligible?

By: R-Hauz Team | August 4, 2020

If you are contemplating a laneway suite, there are a number of by-law requirements that must be considered in order to be eligible. At R-Hauz, all of our laneway suite models are designed to comply with the existing zoning regulations. By choosing one of the designs in our series of as-of-right models, you eliminate the risk of a custom design not meeting City approval. This way, you can be assured there will be no delays in the planning process, and no waiting for Committee of Adjustment hearings. Our custom designed solutions are built to provide you with functional, beautiful designs, faster and cheaper than a traditional custom built design.

Are you eligible?

It is completely normal to be unsure as to whether your property meets the requirements necessary to build a laneway suite. We provide free property assessments for just that reason. To determine your eligibility,  we will assess your individual lot for compliance with the existing regulations.

The three main considerations are as follows:

  1. The lot is within the boundaries of Toronto & East York community council boundary.
  2. The lot meets Emergency Medical Service access requirements.
  3. The lot and adjacent area does not contain established mature trees that would require removal to accommodate a new laneway suite on the property.

What you can expect in your laneway suite.

The size and characteristics of the lot, along with your individual needs and taste, will determine which model best fits your property. However, there are some basic rules in the by-law that are incorporated into all of our designs. These aspects ensure a quicker and smoother construction process, reducing delays and disturbance to your neighbours. The following aspects will be assessed upon our free property assessment.

All R-Hauz designs and laneway suites in Toronto are built to abide by:

Maximum Laneway Suite Length:

10m / 32.8 ft

Maximum Laneway Suite Width:

8m / 26.2 ft

Floor Area: 

Must be less than the gross floor area of the principal house

Maximum Height:

  • Maximum 4 metre height: If the laneway suite is set back 5.0m – 7.5m from the house.
  • Maximum 6 metre height: If the laneway suite is set back 7.5m or more from the house.

Separation and Dimensions:

  • Minimum 5m from the house, if the laneway suite is less than 4m height.
  • Minimum 7.5m from the house, if the laneway suite is greater than 4m height

Setbacks:

Rear Yard

  • 0m, if rear lot line does NOT abut a street or lane, AND there are no openings (e.g. vehicular access, doors, windows) in the rear main wall of the laneway suite
  • 1.5m in all other cases (i.e. abutting a lane)

Side Yard

  • 0m if side lot line does not abut a street or lane, and there are no openings (e.g. vehicular access, doors, windows) in the rear main wall of the laneway suite
  • If side lot line abuts a street: side yard setback is same as for the house on the lot
  • 1.5m in all other cases (i.e. abutting a lane)

Rear Angular Plane:

The front main wall of a laneway suite may not penetrate a 45 degree angular plane projected towards the rear lot line, beginning from a height of 4m at a distance of 7.5m from the rear main wall of the house.

Lot Coverage:

The laneway suite may not exceed 30% of the lot coverage.

Minimum Lot Line on Lane:

A minimum of 3.5m of the rear or side lot line is abutting the lane.

Parking:

  • Vehicular parking is not required.
  • Bicycle parking: Two spaces are required within the suite, OR within any required side yard setback

Landscaping:

  • On a lot with 6m or less frontage: A minimum 60% of the area between the rear main wall of the house and the front main wall of the laneway suite must be for soft landscaping.
  • On a lot with greater than 6m frontage (19.685ft): A minimum of 85% of area between rear main wall of the house and the front main wall of the laneway suite must be for soft landscaping.
  • The area between the laneway suite and the lot line abutting a lane, excluding a permitted driveway, must be landscaping, of which a minimum of 75% must be soft landscaping.

Still unclear on your property’s eligibility? We are happy to provide you with an assessment, free of cost. Contact us below or at info@r-hauz.ca with your questions or concerns!

Source: City of Toronto, 2020.

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