Suites in the Six—FAQs on Toronto Laneway and Garden Suites
When we start working with new clients, we’re often asked to provide definitions for real estate terms. The world of real estate is complicated to say the least, so we’re always happy to break down new terminology for clients and anyone else who asks. One question we hear is whether there’s a difference between laneway suites and garden suites. Though the answer is pretty simple on the surface, when you dig a little deeper, things can get a touch more complex. We thought it might be useful to break down the definitions and provide answers to frequently asked questions just in case you’re scratching your head.
1. How are laneway suites and garden suites similar?
Both are smaller units that exist on the property of a primary dwelling. They’re generally located behind the main dwelling and must have kitchens and bathrooms within them to be considered laneway and garden suites. They have a variety of uses including long-term rentals, guest houses, and extra space for the main dwelling resident.
2. How are they different?
From a description standpoint, as its name suggests, a laneway suite must have direct access to the main dwelling’s publicly designated laneway, while a garden suite doesn’t have this access. Another big difference is the separate set of laws that regulates each unit type. Laneway suites have different laws than garden suites.
3. Can I sever my laneway or garden suite from the main dwelling?
The laws state that these suites must be left as an extension of the primary residence. However, if you are residing in the primary dwelling, you can rent out the laneway or garden suite as supplementary rental income.
4. Is building a laneway or garden suite worth it in the long run?
From our experience, yes it definitely is. If the suite is built and functions properly, it can add equity and increase the value of your home.
5. Where can I find the regulations for both?
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