Opponents of garden suites worry about their impact on real estate

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Opponents of garden suites are concerned about their impact on real estate

Some Toronto residents are concerned about the impact of garden suites on housing prices in the metropolis as well as neighborhood tree cover.

A group of Toronto residents are expressed concern about the repercussions of the construction of garden suites on the price of housing in the metropolis. He is also concerned about their environmental footprint.

The group is made up of Toronto resident associations. He has also launched an appeal opposing the changes to the municipal by-law surrounding garden suites. This was rejected by the Ontario Court last Tuesday.

The lawyer for this group, William Roberts, believes that the construction of the garden suites will do more harm than good for first-time buyers. He indicates that many investment firms are already buying houses to convert them into multi-unit dwellings.

Lawyer William Roberts believes that building the garden suites will drive up the price of housing.

The first buyers will now be in competition with investment firms who will want to install garden suites in backyards as soon as possible, argues the lawyer, also president of the Confederation of Resident and Ratepayer Associations of Toronto.

According to him, investors could ask $4000 to $5000 per month for these houses.

This suddenly changes the value of a dwelling and its price will increase accordingly , he believes.

William Roberts adds that the cost of building a garden suite can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“These homes will not be built by grandparents who want to house their grandchildren or vice versa. These houses are very expensive. Investors will have to get involved in the construction. ”

— William Roberts, lawyer

In its appeal, the group of associations argues that the City has clearly exceeded provincial regulations which limit the construction of garden suites to single-family, semi-detached or row houses.

He further asserts that there is no good legal or planning argument for allowing the construction of these maisonettes in areas of multiplexes and low-rise apartment buildings without the development of appropriate standards. p>

Lai Chung Liu and Diogo Pinto are among the Torontonians who are happy to see the City reject the appeal. The couple just bought a bigger house than they needed last year to accommodate their extended family.

Intergenerational housing is very expensive and is sought after by investors. We then opted for a house with a large backyard, says Diogo Pinto.

The passing of a bylaw in February allowing garden suites by Toronto City Council represented the perfect solution for this couple.

Diogo Pinto, left, and Lai Chung Liu bought a property with a large backyard in Scarborough a year. They plan to build a garden suite.

The garden suite provided an affordable solution to add space to our home and allow us to accommodate family members who wish to live closer to us, says Lai Chung Liu.

The latter clarified that he and his partner are immigrants and that it is important for them to be able to reunite with their families.

Over the next few years, they plan to design and build their dream garden suite which they believe will be greener than their primary home.

Ultimately, it's our property. We bought it. I think we should be able to do whatever we want, as long as we don't disturb our neighbours, concludes Diogo Pinto.

Long Branch Neighborhood Association President Christine Mercado, meanwhile, laments that residents were unable to present their planning concerns during the call.

A lot of our concern was based on the environmental aspect of it, because it's a form of neighborhood densification, he says. -her.

Christine Mercado, president of the Long Branch Neighborhood Association, is particularly concerned about the impact of these garden suites on the number of trees in the sector.

She adds that the association is particularly concerned about the size of the authorized structures and the impact they will have on the forest cover of the neighborhood.

City councilor representing the Davenport area, Ana Bailão, says the goal was to provide more housing options for Torontonians.

The garden suite is an option for lots that do not have a lane. So you could have a garage in the backyard and a garden suite in your backyard to add to your home, she says.

Ms. Bailão recognizes that the construction of these houses is not the only solution to the City's housing needs. However, she believes it will help.

“It will make housing more affordable while creating some equity in our neighborhoods. »

— Ana Bailão, Municipal Councillor

The municipal councilor adds that the measures surrounding the protection of trees in the municipal by-law authorizing garden suites are stricter than those in force for single-family homes.

Ms. Bailão believes that it is not necessarily a bad thing if investors seize the opportunity to build rental units.

We also need rental housing in our city. Fifty percent of our residents live in rental units. Sometimes people forget that, she concludes.

With information from CBC's Talia Ricci

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