05 July 2022 ~ 0 Comments

Update to Garden Suites By-Law

The Ontario Land Tribunal dismissed an appeal recently from a handful of Toronto neighbourhood associations, that were petitioning to have overturned the Garden Suite By-Law the City of Toronto had put in place earlier this year.

The courts had temporarily put on hold the garden suites program brought in by the City of Toronto back on February 2nd, as ratepayer (neighbourhood) associations such as: Swansea, Bedford Wanless, Cliffcrest and others petitioned the court in hopes of overturning the right to add a garden suite to ones property. 

This is a complicated issue as for certain there are going to be major changes all landowners are going to have to contend with moving forward. That’s a given. 

But what does this message say in a broader scope? 

To me, it’s an acknowledgment that we have a major shortage of suitable housing available throughout the city, and the sole answer is not just adding more condominium buildings.

Toronto’s population is going to grow whether we like it or not. And people need not only a place to live, but one that is affordable and convenient to where they work and want to raise a family. This means that you might be neighbouring a property that has added a garden suite and will allow for the existing owners to move to the garden house over time, and either a new family or their own, take up residence in the existing house. 

So many scenarios can present itself but you can see why I think long term, real estate values will continue to rise. Land is scarce and it will only become more expensive. I also wouldn’t be surprised if down the road we see less people selling their house (and this was already a problem in years past) and opening up their options for extended family living. 

Change is good. It’s exciting! My hopes are that the diversity across all income levels that made Toronto the great city it was, finds a way to shift back to allow affordable living in Toronto like it once had. Yes, call me a dreamer, but it can happen if we want it bad enough. 

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