15 February 2022 ~ 0 Comments

City Council gives green light to garden suites, growing housing options in Toronto

The city of Toronto recently passed legislation making garden suites throughout the city permittable. This is good news for anyone who was hoping to add a secondary dwelling on their property, but didn’t qualify under the more stringent requirements that are permitted under the laneway housing option.

Apparently this makes 90% of properties in Toronto eligible for garden suites, verses about 20% for laneway housing.

How will a garden suite affect property values now be?

One thing we Realtors learn while studying to obtain our real estate licences, is that a properties value is tied to it’s best and highest use. Granted, this is often relatable from an appraisal perspective, but still, it will be interesting to see how this affects current property values.

Say for example you live in a cosy neighbourhood made up mostly of larger lots and single family homes. A place where kids play on the streets (this still exists in Toronto right?) and all the neighbours are quite cosy with each other. South Leaside comes to mind for instance.

Now let’s add in a few garden suites along a street. And let’s say these suites are going to be used for rental purposes. So now, you have more density on an existing lot, let’s say a young couple who don’t want to rent in a condo high rise. 

With more people come a bit more of everything. Amazon packages. Uber eats and takeout. Friends and visitors dropping by for a visit. The occasional holiday party or two. The odd argument over the toilet seat being left up one-too-many times. You get the idea. 

Now, place yourself being the neighbour. You bought into this enclave with the larger lots for a little more space between you and your neighbour (space meaning quite in this instance). After you’ve digested that a little, now think of what it looks like when you are sandwiched in on both sides by homes that have garden suites. 

Of course, grandma could be occupying the garden suite and that would be fabulous. But if she’s single and recently discovered online dating, well…

You can see, outside of the intent to provide affordable housing, there are plenty of unknowns that will have to play out over the coming years on how this might affect property and neighbourhood values. No longer is it just condo owners that will be faced with view and privacy issues. 

I’ll discuss more on this as real life scenarios come into play. I would also love to hear any thoughts you might have on the matter as well. 

You can read the city of Toronto press release on it here

Leave a Reply