Laneway Homes in Toronto

Laneway homes are becoming quite popular in Toronto as a way to add additional living space on an existing property. A laneway home is basically a detached living suite which is usually constructed in the backyard of an existing home or lot and opens up onto a public lane, hence the name. In some areas they may also be known as garden suites.

These self-contained homes are generally relatively small in stature with many of them being in the neighbourhood of 550 square feet, with 1.5 stories and up to two bedrooms. They’re often used as retirement homes, family suites, guest houses and for short-term rentals such as AirBnB properties. 

Laneway Home Builders in Toronto
Laneway Homes Toronto

What is Laneway Housing?

Laneway suites are secondary dwellings that can serve as secondary housing suites to increase housing options in communities while preserving the original character of residential streets. This eliminates the need for additional infrastructure since property owners are responsible for utilities such as water, electricity, and garbage removal. Connections to these services are provided through the main street.

Laneway suites offer privacy, making them ideal for multi-generational living, co-habitation for families, and for use as home offices and workshops. This allows for the creation of secondary suites that can be used by in-laws, elderly parents, grandparents, caretakers, adult children, and others, enabling certain neighborhoods to grow while still maintaining their unique character, feel, and look.

Are Laneway Houses Legal in Toronto?

In June of 2018, Toronto’s municipal government approved an amendment to a zoning by-law which allows eligible residential homes to construct build laneway suites. This was done as a way to address the concern of affordable housing in and around the city and they are eligible to be used as rental units. Just one laneway home is allowed on an existing lot and they’re currently only permitted to be built in certain areas of the city.

There are also some other conditions much be met to build a laneway home. For example, the property needs to be a minimum of 3.5 meters in width at the rear and abuts a laneway by a minimum of 3.5 meters. In addition, unless an automatic sprinkler system is set up, the suite needs to be within 45 meters of a fire hydrant and a public street for accessibility for emergency service vehicles. 

Currently, the maximum size laneway home in Toronto can be two stories high with 860 square feet on each floor for a total of 1,720 square feet. Therefore, a single story dwelling may accommodate  860 square feet of living space. 

To see if your existing property is eligible for a laneway suite, it’s highly recommended that you contact your local council or government to inquire about the up-to-date zoning regulations and requirements. 

Laneway Homes Toronto
Laneway Home Designers and Builders Toronto

The Benefits of Building a Laneway Home

Building a laneway home in Toronto can provide several benefits, including:

  1. Increased housing options: Laneway homes are a great way to increase housing options in established neighborhoods without the need for new land development.
  2. Additional income: Building a laneway home can provide additional income through renting it out or using it as a home office or workshop.
  3. Multi-generational living: Laneway homes can provide privacy and space for multi-generational living, accommodating elderly parents, adult children, or caregivers.
  4. Property value: Adding a laneway home can increase the value of a property, providing a potential return on investment.
  5. Sustainable living: Building a laneway home can promote sustainable living by using existing infrastructure and reducing the need for new development.
  6. Urban infill: Laneway homes can contribute to urban infill, making use of underutilized spaces and contributing to the density of established neighborhoods.
  7. Creative design: Building a laneway home allows for creative design options, making use of unique space and providing an opportunity for customization.

Building a laneway home can provide a range of benefits, making it a popular choice for those looking to increase housing options or create additional income streams.

Laneway Home Designs

Designing a custom laneway home is a great way to maximize the use of limited space while creating a unique living environment. A custom-designed laneway house can be tailored to fit specific needs and lifestyles, with features such as open-concept living spaces, loft-style bedrooms, and rooftop decks.

When considering a laneway house design, it is important to work with a designer or design-build firm that specializes in these types of projects. They can help you navigate the regulations and zoning requirements, as well as ensure that your design is structurally sound and meets your needs.

A custom laneway home can be designed to complement the existing architecture of the main house or to stand out as a modern addition. The design can also be tailored to suit the needs of the homeowner, with features such as wheelchair accessibility or an in-home office.

Whether you are looking to build a custom laneway home for rental income or as an extension of your existing property, a designer or design-build firm can help you create a unique space that meets your needs and budget. They can help you with every aspect of the process, from conceptualization to construction, ensuring that your custom laneway home is everything you imagined and more.

Example Laneway Home Toronto
Custom Laneway Home Designs Toronto

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Laneway House in Toronto?

In general, the cost of a laneway home in Toronto starts at approximately $500 a square foot and will take about nine months to construct. Some developers specialize in laneway housing and you can usually get as creative as you like when it comes to the style and design. A custom-built home could cost as much as $500,000 in total with all taxes etc included, depending on the size and design and smaller homes may run you around $280,000.

As with any type of residential construction, it’s a good idea to speak with several contractors, architects and consultants when trying to set a budget and time frame for the house  

Building a Laneway Suite in Toronto

Building a new laneway suite in Toronto requires careful planning and adherence to the City of Toronto’s regulations and guidelines. The first step in the process is to find a reputable design and construction team with experience in the construction of laneway suites. As a design build company with experience designing and constructing laneway homes in Toronto, we will take care of all permitting requests and will work with the City of Toronto to ensure you have everything necessary to legally build your laneway home. This will involve submitting detailed plans and specifications for the proposed construction of the laneway suite.

During the construction of laneway suites, it is important to comply with the City of Toronto’s regulations, which govern everything from the placement of the suite on the property to the size and height of the structure. It is also important to work with professionals who understand the unique challenges of building in tight urban spaces.

In addition to the regulations, there are also guidelines to consider when designing a laneway suite. These guidelines cover issues such as the placement of windows and doors, landscaping, and parking requirements.

Laneway Suites Toronto


Excellent company! Amazing people! Great communication! Exceptionally conscientious and high-quality work! Would absolutely recommend them for big or small reno’s!

Kevin TreuerHouzz Review

Pavel and his team are excellent people to work with. Attention is paid to every detail and suggestions and preferences listened to and acted upon. Their word is their seal. A quality build in a timely and very professional manner.

S. CochraneHouzz Review

Novacon was not only very competent construction team who did great work but they were a pleasure to have in my home.

KateHomestars Review

What Makes Us Different


Our staff are fully trained qualified in each of their fields. From our project manager, designer, tradesman through to our onsite field carpenters, you can rest assured they are knowledgeable, courteous and truly care about each and every home we work on


We have been voted by the public as best Toronto Contractor to work with on HOUZZ and HOMESTARS. Our client-centric approach assures you that we truly listen to your wants and needs. Don’t take our word for it, check out our reviews!


We believe in being upfront, honest and transparent throughout our building process. From our initial conversation through to our final project handover, transparency is the key. Our detailed pricing and clear communication are crucial to a successful renovation, which means we take the stress out of your building and renovation project.


We use an industry-leading cloud-based project management system that you can access 24/7. Project scheduling, calendars, files/documents, drawings, site photos, product information, detailed and organized To-Do lists are always up-to-date and available at all times. Detailed monthly cost reports are provided so that you always know your project finances.


We carry all of the required insurance coverage, including $5 million liability, automobile, professional liability, builders’ risk, and WSIB, we’re fully protected for your peace of mind.

We provide an exceptional 2 year, no-nonsense warranty on all of our renovations. In business for nearly 15 years, you can trust that we’ll be here to take care of any issues should they arise.


Each project is assigned a dedicated project manager that will be the help you from the start of the project to the final finishing details. They are there to guide you through the sometimes stressful building process and answer any questions you may have during our journey together to ensure your peace of mind.

Professional Associations and Memberships

Frequently Asked Questions

How does building a laneway house affect my property value in Toronto?

Building a laneway house in Toronto can have a positive impact on your property value. In general, adding a laneway house to your property can increase its overall value, providing a potential return on investment.

One reason for this is that a laneway house can increase the square footage of livable space on your property, which can make it more appealing to potential buyers or renters. This additional living space can also make your property more versatile and functional, providing options for multi-generational living or additional income through rental opportunities.

In addition to the increased square footage, a laneway house can also add to the overall aesthetic and appeal of your property. A well-designed laneway house that complements the existing architecture of your home and the surrounding neighborhood can add to the curb appeal of your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers or renters.

It is important to note that the impact on property value may vary depending on factors such as location, design, and construction quality. Working with a reputable design and construction team can help ensure that your laneway house is designed and built to a high standard, maximizing its potential value.

Do I need to get a permit for my laneway home?


Obtaining a permit is necessary when building a laneway home in Toronto. This is to ensure that your project is in compliance with the Ontario Building Code, which sets out the minimum requirements for building safety and structural integrity.

Obtaining a permit involves submitting detailed plans and specifications for the proposed construction of your laneway home to the City of Toronto. The permit process ensures that your project meets all of the necessary safety and building requirements, and that it is structurally sound.

Throughout the construction process, the City of Toronto will also conduct inspections to ensure that your project is being built in compliance with the permit and the Ontario Building Code. These inspections are important for ensuring your safety and the safety of anyone who will be using the laneway home.

Working with a reputable design and construction team like Novacon Construction can help make the permit process as smooth and efficient as possible. They can take care of any permits necessary and ensure that your laneway home is designed and constructed to the highest standards of safety and quality.

Do we need to obtain our own permits?

No. Novacon Construction Inc. will get all relevant permits required on your behalf.

Can you help us with the laneway house design?

Yes, we can help you with the design of your laneway house. As a full-service design-build company, we have the expertise and experience to provide comprehensive design services that meet the needs of every type of project.

Our team can work with you to develop a custom laneway house design that meets your specific needs and budget. We can provide full interior design services, as well as architectural and engineering drawings, ensuring that every aspect of your project is carefully considered and planned.

We understand that designing a laneway house can be a complex process, with many regulations and guidelines to consider. That’s why we offer a full range of design services, from conceptualization to construction, to ensure that your project is a success.

Whether you are looking for a traditional or modern design, our team can work with you to create a unique and functional space that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our commitment to providing the highest quality design services for every project.

Do you have insurance?

Yes, we carry $5,000,000 liability insurance and have WSIB. We will provide all clients with copies of our certificates.

Do you provide a warranty on your projects?

Yes. All standard renovation or remodeling projects come with a 2-year warranty.

How long have you been in business?

Novacon Construction has been around for over 15 years

Do you provide references?

Yes. Please see our reviews. We will also provide a list of previous clients when requested. You can also view our project gallery here.

How big can a laneway house be in Toronto?

The size of a laneway house in Toronto is regulated by the City of Toronto’s zoning bylaws. According to these bylaws, the maximum size of a laneway house cannot exceed 40% of the lot’s rear yard area, or 46 square meters (approximately 495 square feet), whichever is less. This means that the size of a laneway house will depend on the size of the lot and the specific zoning regulations for that property.

It’s important to note that these regulations also govern the height and setbacks of the laneway house, as well as other design features such as the placement of windows and doors. Working with a reputable design and construction team that understands these regulations is important for ensuring that your laneway house is designed and constructed to comply with all of the necessary guidelines and requirements.

While the size of a laneway house may be limited by these regulations, there is still a great deal of flexibility in the design of the space. By working with a design and construction team that specializes in laneway homes, you can create a unique and functional space that meets your specific needs and maximizes the use of the available square footage.

Can I rent out my laneway house in Toronto?

Yes, you can rent out your laneway house in Toronto, subject to certain regulations and guidelines. In Toronto, laneway houses are classified as secondary suites, and there are rules in place that govern their use as rental properties.

According to the City of Toronto’s zoning bylaws, laneway houses can only be rented out for residential purposes, and they must comply with all of the necessary safety and building regulations. This includes obtaining the necessary permits and inspections, as well as ensuring that the laneway house meets all of the necessary requirements for health, safety, and livability.

In addition to these regulations, there are also guidelines in place that govern the use of laneway houses as rental properties. For example, there are restrictions on the number of occupants that can live in a laneway house, and there are guidelines in place regarding parking and waste management.

Malcare WordPress Security