Nov. 30, 2017 Consultation on Laneway Housing, at Council Chambers, Toronto City Hall, was well attended and productive

The turnout at the Nov. 30, 2017 Laneway Housing community meeting / consultation was very impressive; the photo shows just a small part of the audience in attendance. Jaan Pill photo

The turnout at the Nov. 30, 2017 Laneway Housing community meeting / consultation was very impressive; the photo shows just a small part of the audience in attendance. Jaan Pill photo

A recent post is entitled:

Consultation on Laneway Housing – Nov. 30, 2017; starts 6:30 pm, Council Chamber, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West

Although I do not live in a neighbourhood that has a lot of lanes, I am very keen to learn about Laneway Houses, Coach Houses, and Small Houses of all kinds.

I attended the Nov. 30, 2017 Consultation on Laneway Housing, referred to in the above-noted link and was very impressed with everything that I saw and heard. This appears to me to be a great consultation project. The views of residents – I get a clear sense of this from the meeting – will be heard; their views will be closely taken into consideration, I believe, based on what I saw at the Nov. 30, 2017 meeting.

As well, the slides and presentations and I imagine the gist of the Q & A part of the meeting will be featured at a website, devoted to the Consultation on Laneway Housing. The website will, as I understand, be up soon.

In the meantime, if you did not attend the meeting but would like to provide input, regarding your views about Laneway Housing, you can fill out the following comments sheet and send it to the postal address or email address included on the document:

laneway comment form003

Laneway Houses and Coach Houses

Among the many key things that I took away from the meeting was the distinction between Laneway Houses and Coach Houses. You need a Laneway in order to have a Laneway House. A Coach House is accessed through a driveway from the Main House; there is no Laneway involved.

I’m looking forward to visiting the City of Toronto “Changing Lames” website (or whatever it may be called).

I’m keen about the Small Houses, Laneway Houses, and the Coach Houses.

I’m keen about Laneway Houses because the concept is creative and imaginative. It’s one way to add density to a neighbourhood albeit there will be a changing of its character. In order for such a form of housing to work well, several issues must be effectively addressed. Fortunately, many cities in Canada and elsewhere have already begun to explore the options.

My sense from attending this evening’s “Changing Lanes” community meeting is that the politicians, city staff, and residents who are involved with this initiative are off to a great start and will do an awesome job in finding solutions to the issues that are at play.


1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    The larger context, that we are dealing with, concerns how to achieve greater density under conditions where as many variables – including neighbourhood character – are taken into account as possible.

    A key variable, discussed at the Nov. 30, 2017 “Changing Lanes” meeting, concerns the fact that the Toronto Official Plan speaks of the character of a neighbourhood.

    In the case of Laneway Housing, the narrative related to character concerns a feature of neighbourhood character that does not yet exist. The “Changing Lanes” project seeks to establish laneway housing, as a feature of the character of a neighbourhood, by first of all gathering research and citizen input to envision what laneway housing would most optimally look like, absent of current physical structures that serve as local exemplars of this form of housing.

    The broader discussion, at least as I see it, entails the OMB Reform process, as well as the City of Toronto Neighbourhood Character Guidelines initiatives, that are currently in place.

    I have referred to OMB Reform and Character Guidelines in ongoing posts at this website.

    The broader discussion also entails wider issues related to land use decision making. With regard to broader issues, a recent New York Times article warrants a close read.

    I refer to a Dec. 1, 2017 New York Times article, entitled: “The Great American Single-Family Home Problem: Building more housing, more densely, could help address a widespread economic challenge. A fight over one lot in Berkeley, Calif., shows how tough that could be.”


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