The City of Toronto is getting closer to approving a change to the Planning Act which would allow homeowners to convert garages accessed by lanes into living units. These units would be self-contained, and the government is hoping they will be used as rental stock thereby easing the shortage of rental housing in the city. Its impact can be significant considering there are 250 kilometres of rear laneways in Toronto.
In the last few weeks, we’ve received many inquiries from our clients who are curious or seriously considering building a laneway house. Most were questioning the impact of this on the value of their property. Could they recoup an investment like this which could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars?
There are two obvious and overriding concerns that should matter:
If the laneway structure takes away all the parking for the main house, or if it significantly shrinks the backyard of a single-family home, it would more than likely lower the value of your property. Given the cost of buying a single-family home in Toronto, most buyers want parking on their own property, as well as a backyard to enjoy. Another issue would be a likely increase in property taxes