Laneways In Toronto Are A Success: Three Local Case Studies To Celebrate

Laneways In Toronto Are A Success: Three Local Case Studies To Celebrate

We talked a few weeks ago about the new legislative changes that have allowed Toronto to build and construct laneway houses as a much needed action against the city’s housing crisis as well as an opportunity for investors and home-owners to dramatically increase the value of their properties. Today we wanted to share some success stories with you from around Toronto. 

A Laneway Rental So Nice That The Owner Would Prefer To Live In It Over His Own House

Grant Sadler began building a livable laneway suite in late 2019. It was a means to supplement his income and assist in financing the renovations on his semi-detached home. He designed and built a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment above a two-car garage and storage room. It was a two-storey structure that offered a kitchen, bedroom, three-piece bathroom, living area and utility room for laundry.


While the project went through some hiccups and extra expenses due to the pandemic, it was finished in late 2020. It was initially advertised at $2,200 per month but due to dropping rental prices across Toronto, Sadler had to relist to $1,800 per month. He secured a tenant days later. Though Sadler looks forward to renovating his main property which is in much need of an update, he would much prefer to live in the newly built laneway. 

Two Retired Teachers Build A Beautiful Laneway House For Their Daughter

Lee Gelbloom was fascinated with tiny homes and, when Toronto legalised laneway suites in 2019, saw potential in her parent’s backyard. The plan was for her parents, Jack and Jessica, to take out the mortgage and Lee’s rental payment would make the mortgage payments. Though initially hesitant due to their age and their retired status, the benefits in raising the value of their property while providing their daughter with a secure and stable place to live, the project was agreed upon. A two-storey property was designed. The 1,000 square foot building included a one-car garage, powder room and multi-purpose room on the ground floor while the upper floor had a kitchen, three-piece bathroom and bedroom. 

Construction began in late 2019. Despite the pandemic, the project only slowed very slightly. During construction, Lee and her parents decided to add a few features including stone and Maibec wood siding as well as custom tile work and rockwool insulation. In the summer of 2020, the laneway construction was finalised and Lee was able to move into her new home. She even rents out the lower-level room to her friend. It’s a perfect way for both Lee and her parents to have their own space while still being close and have the option to easily spend time together. 

A Garage-Turned-Laneway-Suite-Turned-Workplace

David Shedd wanted to jump on board with a laneway suite in his backyard with plans to build a guest house or rental unit. However, the pandemic made things difficult and he had to re-evaluate his plans for the laneway suite. He decided that utilising it as a work-from-home sanctuary would be much better. A 1,400 square foot two-bedroom, one-bedroom suite was designed. Construction began in January 2020. The pandemic caused a slight delay of two months but the build was completed in mid-August. 


On the main floor is the garage while the upper floor includes a kitchen, two open concept bedrooms and a staircase that leads to the roof. Though it can function as a great guesthouse, David realised during the pandemic that he and his partner could use it as a separate workspace. Now David can take his conference calls and do his work without disturbing his partner. It’s a great space! 

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