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Project Spotlight: The Austin Laneway House

August 09, 2019

Toronto’s urban development is constantly evolving. As go-to structural steel fabricators in Toronto, Weld Rich and Steel has been able to be a part of some of the most interesting innovations in the city.



Trying to navigate how to compensate for Toronto’s rising population with affordable dwelling spaces has not been an easy feat. That’s why last year, the city approved rules to construct homes on Toronto’s over 300 kilometers of laneways in the East York District – their primary reasoning being to increase the total number of potential rental apartments and secondary suites in the city.



A laneway apartment suite is a separate residential unit that is located on the same lot as the detached house, semi-detached home, or townhouse. Laneway housing should be constructed in the backyard of the home, next to a public laneway.



Since the rules were passed, laneway housing has become a new frontier for the city’s urban development.


More and more homeowners are submitting applications to construct homes in their laneways. As structural steel fabricators, we recently completed the framing of one of these homes. The homeowner’s purpose for the build was to have a place onsite to take care of their mother.


If you’re thinking of building up your home’s underused laneway, there are a few parameters you will have to adhere to. While the structure can be used as a rental suite, or used as a home for family members – the structure must be self-contained and not sold off as a separate property. Laneway homes are permitted to be up to eight meters wide, and can (in some instances) be larger than the street-facing house on the property.



Laneway housing is truly an innovative way of thinking utilizing underused backyard spaces, while also maximizing and re-claiming space for affordable rentals in the city. If you’re thinking of applying for a laneway house construction permit, and require structural steel fabricators – consider Weld Rich and Steel for your next project!