Garden + Suites Study



I’m David Driedger, a Planner with the Toronto City Planning Division. I am one of the City’s staff working on the Garden + Suites study.


Please see below for details about the Garden + Suites study and our upcoming consultations.


Garden + Suites

The Garden + Suites study is one of several studies that the City of Toronto is leading to increase housing options in low-rise neighbourhoods. You can visit the “Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON)” website to learn more.


Recent changes to the Ontario Planning Act require the City to have policies and regulations that allow for an additional housing unit, separate from the main building, on low-rise residential properties across the City. This means that a detached house, semi-detached house or townhouse may have up to three units: the main house, a secondary suite in the main house, and a third unit in a detached accessory structure.


Rules are already in place in the City-wide Zoning By-law to permit Laneway Suites in all low-rise residential zones. A Laneway Suite is an additional housing unit, detached from the main building, which must be next to a public lane (lean more about Laneway Suites here).


The “Garden + Suites” project will recommend policies and regulations for detached suites on properties in low-rise residential zones that are not next to a public lane. In order to develop the rules for where and how a Garden Suite would be permitted on a residential property, the Study will review important matters, which include privacy and shadowing, protecting trees, sustainability, fire access, and parking, among many others.


This study seeks public input from current and future residents, and other stakeholders to understand these important matters. As part of the study staff will take into consideration the variety of lot and residential building types in the City and the challenges that this form of housing may present.


For more information about the Garden + Suites study please visit the study website: Garden + Suites Website


What is a Garden Suite?

A Garden Suite is an accessory dwelling unit, usually located in the rear yard, and is separate, or detached from the main house. Garden Suites, like Laneway Suites, are generally smaller than the main house on the lot and function as a rental housing unit. Unlike a Laneway Suite, a Garden Suite is not next to a public lane and could instead be next to other yards, a flanking street, a private lane, a park or open space or other uses.


Garden Suites are also sometimes called “coach houses”, “carriage houses” or “Detached Accessory Dwelling Units”.


Get Involved

Residents and stakeholders can participate in the Garden + Suites Survey . Virtual public consultations are scheduled to begin April 2021, dates have not yet been set.


Thank You,


David Driedger

Senior Planner, Community Planning

Toronto & East York District

City of Toronto




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