Toronto is one of Canada’s most populated cities and hosts a number of densely populated areas. These areas are filled with families, schools, commercial space, and other buildings, making it difficult to find a place to build new housing units.

Yet, despite this dense population, there is a new trend that is adding a number of new houses to the market. Many families are building what are known as laneway houses. Recently, the municipal government approved a policy change for housing units to be built at the rear edge of properties located in a majority of the old part of Toronto.

Although some families and individuals had been doing this before the new policy, it is a welcome change to the city. To build a laneway house in the past, there needed to be a preexisting building in the laneway. If the building was grandfathered in, then it would need renovations. To renovate a laneway building, the owners had to keep 50% of the pre-existing structure. Some owners would leave the original framing of the building and scrapping everything else.

Despite the good news, chances are that this policy change will not have an enormous effect on Toronto’s housing market. Experts predict that only a few hundred laneways houses will be built per year, as building one is much easier said than done. Connecting essentials like power, hydro and heat is quite a hefty task.

Regardless of the difficulties, many Torontonians are excited about the change. Many see laneway housing as an interesting and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional living spaces. They do require some work, but laneway housing is an affordable and efficient route for Toronto living.


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