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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





Laneway house media links

Feb.25, 2020, John Lorinc in Spacing

Burning down the Laneway House

Jan.14, 2020, CBC

Laneway home advocates hope for more approvals amid city's 'housing crisis'

"So far, Toronto has issued 52 building permits for the construction of laneway suites and has another 50 building permits under review."


Jan.9, 2020, John Lorinc in the Globe and Mail online

Ontario clears building-code roadblock to laneway home development

.....City officials insisted that the rules, though rigid, were meant to protect the residents of the microneighbourhoods that they envision springing up in the laneways of the older parts of Toronto. “If there is a fire emergency [in a laneway suite], firefighters need to be able to get access to that unit,” said Will Johnston, executive director of the city’s Toronto building department. Mr. Johnston is also a former senior building code official in Vancouver, where similar rules accompanied the rollout of that city’s laneway suites program.

Prior to the BCC ruling, chief planner Gregg Lintern added that this issue was addressed in the staff report recommending the laneway suite bylaw. He says that the planning department didn’t attempt to figure out how much of the potential laneway house stock might be ineligible as a result. “Ultimately it’s an [Ontario Building Code] issue that zoning can not set aside,” he said in a text messsage. “We are better off learning from experience than studying it and not getting some lived experience from builders.”

....Mr. Johnston defended the existing rules, saying the minimum access route widths are designed to allow firefighters carrying bulky gear to reach an emergency as quickly as possible. He also says that sprinklers on their own don’t guarantee that firefighters can reach the scene. (City of Vancouver rules require all laneway houses to have sprinkler systems.)

Nor will the building department assume that emergency crew can go through the main house, even though firefighters have broad rights to enter premises in order to contain a blaze.

Dec.13, 2019: Urban Toronto, good article by Ryan Debergh,: Dispute over Laneway Housing Building Permits Heard by Ontario Building Code Commission

Quote: "Although not precedent setting, there was an undertone that this particular case would render any future permit refusals based on this reason to be obsolete, removing a stubborn barrier to the construction of Laneway housing. If upheld, however, laneway housing of any kind would be relatively non-permissible. This particular property sits just off Manning Ave as the second plot of land in the lane, one of the closest in proximity to the road; if this permit could be refused, any of the other properties further down the lane could be refused for the exact same reason, preventing almost 100 potential housing units from being built on this lane alone."


From J.Treviranus, an article called Sidewalk Toronto and Why Smarter is Not Better

In our history, data and machine determinations about people have often been used to excuse inhumane decisions. Pointing to the data is used to absolve ourselves of guilt in acts that we would otherwise consider unfair. Common examples include when a government official denies a service or gives an excuse for an unreasonable application of a policy. We claim that the data doesn’t lie; that we are powerless to make exceptions.

October 2, 2019:

an article about ADU's in the U.S.: "Why I hate living in my tiny house"

September 2019: Lanescape September newsletter has a National Post article that says a laneway house can be built for the bargain price of $500,000.
Some bargain.
Pull quote: "It’s only been a year since Toronto finally approved “as-of-right” zoning for laneway housing. But there have already been 100 inquiries..."

Spacing Magazine July 16, 2019 Laneway course

Steven Fudge, Bosley Real Estate Urbaneer "The Laneway Housing Guidelines For The City Of Toronto"

Toronto Star March 18, 2019 "Laneway housing begins to take shape under Toronto's new rules."

"There were about 78 potential sites at different stages of the permit process by mid-March. Fifteen minor variance applications — where homeowners can make the case for a slight bend in city rules — have been submitted, and six permits have been issued, according to city staff."


October 1, 2016, CBC: Coach house Ottawa's first

"The City of Ottawa's zoning rules have allowed for separate apartments within existing homes, but not for smaller, separate dwelling units in people's yards. The city was forced to update its rules when the provincial government made it clear it sees coach houses as a way to boost the stock of affordable housing."


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Content last modified on March 08, 2020, at 01:32 AM EST