Recently the Ontario Land Tribunal dismissed an appeal from a handful of Toronto neighbourhood associations that had temporarily put on hold the garden suites program brought in by the City of Toronto back on February 2nd. This program, along with the laneway housing initiative, was introduced to try and help the current housing shortage in Toronto by creating more dwelling units on existing pieces of land. The Garden suites program was initially met with resistance as some felt that it had not been thought out completely and was brought out too quickly without sufficient public consultation. Many also felt that it was an over-reach of provincial powers.
In overturning this appeal, it is clear that the Tribunal does not want to empower homeowner groups who are resistant to change and are looking to slow down the city’s progress on new housing initiatives. Many proponents of garden suites still see them as a much-needed tool to add density to residential neighbourhoods.