• Councillor Mark Grimes

Garden suites permitted in Toronto after Ontario Land Tribunal dismisses appeal

The City of Toronto Garden Suites Bylaw is in full force after the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) dismissed an appeal yesterday. The Garden Suites Bylaw and Official Plan Amendment were adopted by Toronto City Council on February 2, but were appealed shortly after. On June 2, the OLT heard a motion from the City to dismiss the appeal.

Toronto is facing substantial housing needs across a variety of housing types, tenures, and levels of affordability. Allowing greater variety in the type and form of housing that can be built in the city’s neighbourhoods is one solution to increase housing choice and access for current and future Toronto residents.

Garden suites are a form of housing that is now permitted in Toronto. If a proposed garden suite meets various performance criteria, such as maximum building height and setbacks, as well as all applicable bylaw standards, only a building permit application is required.

Any garden suite proposal that does not meet the Zoning Bylaw requirements can seek a minor variance application at the Committee of Adjustment. Through that process, City Planning staff review the application to determine if the proposed variances are appropriate and meet the intent of the Official Plan policies and the Zoning Bylaw.

Garden suites and other forms of housing being considered as part of the City’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) program are a necessary adjustment to Toronto’s current growth strategy. They allow for the creation of a variety of housing forms that create a better, more equitable and more resilient city for current and future residents.

The City established the EHON program to review, consult on, and advance permissions to allow additional forms of housing in Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. Increasing the type of housing supply provides more housing options for a range of household structures, for people at different ages, abilities, and incomes, for people to move within their current neighbourhood to support generational housing turnover, and for new residents to find a home.

For more information on EHON, visit the City’s EHON webpage.

Permits for the construction of garden suites can now be issued, provided the application complies with the Bylaw requirements and all other applicable law. More information on the Tribunal’s decision will be posted on the project website.