The city is studying an intriguing idea that could change the character of Toronto neighbourhoods: gently increasing density in low-density areas.
I think it’s great idea—certainly better than gigantic high-rises on residential streets. City Hall could “loosen up rules on triplexes, allow ‘garden suites’ behind houses, allow development on major streets where it’s not currently allowed and more.”
This works for me. Because of COVID, I recently moved my office into my garage, and that got me thinking about my ex-girlfriend. (Please note that my move to the garage came first! I’m not in the doghouse any more than usual.)
She lived long-term in a coach house on her parent’s medium-sized property. It was great. She had privacy, and her parents had her nearby. I got to thinking that my garage was just about the right footprint for a little place for my growing kids.¹
I’m not the only one to think so: the NY Times, among many others, has been reporting on backyard spaces, doubtless because COVID has focused the minds of white-collar workers on making the most of their living space.
Of course, that has long been a concern of people priced out of home- and yard-ownership in this wildly-expensive city.
Toronto’s planners suggest looking into allowing more:
- Small apartment buildings
- Laneway houses, and
- Garden suites
Doing so would, they hope, increase housing supply and affordability. The changes would not likely come quickly, though. The planners’ report lays out a two-year warm-up period. It will considered by City Council this week.
¹ My daughter’s response to a free house for her twenties was “No way. I’m moving as far away as possible.” My son’s was more positive, presumably because I wouldn’t be able to monitor his PS6 time.