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Ford Goes Back on His Plan to Build More Residential Fourplexes

Fourplexes and income properties are in the news these days as the government looks for solutions to overcome the current housing shortage. 

There has been a lot of talk lately from the province about building more fourplexes in residential neighbourhoods to help stem the current housing crisis. This past Thursday Ontario Premier Doug Ford did a 180 degree turn when he ruled out allowing municipalities to build fourplexes, despite it being one of the province’s housing affordability task force recommendations and a mandatory factor of federal infrastructure funding. 

The province has been allowing up to three units to be built in most residential areas since 2022. A proposed amendment to the Official Plan would allow a fourth suite to be built without having to go through a lot of the red tape. There was quite a bit of blowback on the fourplex idea though, many saying that it would substantially change the character of a lot of these neighbourhoods. Ford defended his decision this week by stating: “You go in the little communities and start putting up four-storey, six-storey, eight-storey buildings right deep into the communities, there is going to be a lot of shouting and screaming. That’s a massive mistake.” 

Some feel that this is still a viable solution and point out that many fourplexes do not have to be more than two stories high, so their creation will not necessarily lead to eye sores or poor curb appeal on city streets. This reminds me of the push on laneway housing in the city a few years ago and we all know how that turned out. Very few have been built and the few owners that have state that the economics are not really that favorable. 

It seems though that for now that the province is going to focus on building more single-family starter homes. Premier Ford has pledged to build a million and a half now homes in Ontario by 2031. 

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