The benefits that come with laneway homes

We are in the middle of a housing crisis, and one particular way to help people find a place to live would be to have another house on the same plot of land that you own. 

You can repurpose a garage or simply build something new in your own backyard. You can get quite minimalist with it and just include the necessities like a bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom and a place to park a vehicle if you have one. You can either give it to a family member who needs a place to live or rent it to anyone who needs it. That option can offer more privacy than someone renting out your basement.  

A big advantage is that you can make a passive income by renting out the space. Having a laneway suite can also increase your property value, which is something I am sure lots of people have an interest in. Lots of people in Vancouver and Toronto are jumping on the bandwagon with these. 

I dislike boring people to death about politics, but it needs to be mentioned when it comes to this. You can not just go ahead and build one without knowing the rules. Laneway homes are only allowed in Toronto and East York. 

Toronto Map
Toronto Map – Image from

They can not be built anywhere else in the Greater Toronto Area. You also must apply for a building permit, and conform with zoning laws. There also must be an agreement with the city, and your house must be a single family home that is adjacent to a public lane. 

Just like with many other things in life, money will have to be spent. The cost of the permit depends on the size of the project. The exact cost would be somewhere around $20 per square meter. A 500 square foot house will set you back about $1,000. There are other construction, legal, architecture and demolition (if applicable) costs that vary depending on the project.

It may seem intimidating to pull the trigger on building a laneway suite with all these costs playing in, but the investment could be worth it in the long term. The reasons mentioned earlier such as increasing the property value and the chance to make a passive income play into that. Also, you can receive a loan of up to $50,000 that can be forgiven 15 years after the first tenant settles in the laneway suite. The loan will be less than that if your property has been funded from the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program or Toronto Renovates Program. 

Why not get Christina to help with planning out your laneway suite? Get in touch.

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