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Toronto City Council approved bylaws to allow garden suites on as many as 400,000 properties in the City! The 19-5 vote will allow garden suites, or backyard houses, to be built behind detached houses, semis, and townhouses throughout all of the residentially zoned lands in Toronto. These neighbourhoods make up 35% of Toronto’s land area, but 70% of all the residentially zoned lands (the rest being where mid-rise and high-rise buildings are allowed) so this is huge.


Passed with amendments

Council did include a couple of amendments to the proposed bylaws to ensure comprehensive monitoring and reporting on the first 200 units to be approved or after 2 years, whichever comes first. 

One other change is a requirement that the applicant pay the City’s Urban Forestry department to plant two trees somewhere in the City. This represents a cost of about $1,200 and is a relatively small ’tax’ on a backyard house.

This underscores the importance of protecting our trees that came up often during the public consultations. It’s expected that Urban Forestry and the Committee of Adjustment will be making sure that healthy mature trees will NOT be allowed to be removed for the sake of building a garden suite.


Thursday, February 17 at 7:00pm (EST)

Get answers to all your questions about this exciting new housing option in this 60 minute complimentary webinar.

Green Architect and Backyard Housing expert Daniel Hall, OAA will discuss:

  • Where and what you can build
  • How to contain costs and keep a low carbon footprint when you build
  • How to avoid the common pitfalls in building in your backyard
  • Accessible Design for Backyard Houses
  • How to create a proper project budget for your Garden or Laneway Suite
  • Examples of what has been and can be built

The Architect Builders Collaborative are now offering in-person Garden Suite Site Assessment which will provide you with detailed answers to such questions as:

  • Where you can build
  • How fire access can be provided
  • Site servicing strategies
  • A reasonable project budget to build a Garden Suite on your property

Book a call with Architect Danial Hall if you have any questions.


  1. I have a building I want to make garden sweet will you come and look at I and tell me what you think I will pay

    1. Hi John, thanks so much for reaching out, please call us at 416-686-9618 so we can connect you with the best person.

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