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What to Know Before Building Your Garden Suite: By-Laws

Updated: Mar 27

City of Toronto has officially approved Garden Suites in Toronto but before building your garden suite, take a moment to review the City of Toronto By-Laws pertaining to them. At TurnKey, we use this requirements along with other conditions applying to your property to determine your eligibility.


Footprint - Rear Yard

Guidelines for sizing a Garden Suite in Toronto

The largest size of footprint for the garden suite may not exceed the minimum of 40% of the rear yard area. This is calculated from the main house's wall behind, stretching from lot line to lot line, expanding to the rear of the property.









Footprint - Entire Property

The largest size of footprint for the garden suite may not exceed the minimum of 20% of the entire property lot area (including all other ancillary buildings). This restricts all ancillary buildings to encompass less than 20% of the lot area, that includes sheds, garages, and other structures that serve the main house.







Footprint - Maximum

The largest size of footprint for the garden suite may not exceed the minimum of 60m². This can be deemed as a limit on the building size. While the 40% rear yard or 20% of total lot area may exceed 60m², the suite must then not overpass this maximum.









Emergency Access

The property must offer a minimum of 1.0 meters wide by 2.1 meters high clear access pathway from the front street to the garden suite entryway located at the rear yard. The emergency access route should not surpass 45m in length from the main street. Additionally, a fire hydrant should also be within a maximum moving distance of 90 meters from the garden suite entryway.






Angular Plane

The angular plane establishes the shape of a garden suite at all sides, excluding for when the structure is next a street. On top of the setbacks and the overall height limits, the section of a garden suite over a height of 4.0 meters must fit within a 45-degree angular plane to

all property lines, and on the side that is towards the main house.







Landscaping

Because the new Garden Suite Bylaws are allowing an increased amount of housing density within the housing fabric, there are specific laws for soft landscaping. In this case, soft landscaping means ground cover on the property such as soil, sod, mulch and other organic, absorbent surfaces. Structures such as patios, paving, decks and gravel cannot be seen as soft landscaping.











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