The Future of Housing in Toronto: Fourplex Dwellings Regulation

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The housing crisis in Toronto has been an ongoing concern, with skyrocketing prices and limited availability. Put simply, there's not enough housing in Toronto to meet current and future demand.To address this issue, the Toronto City Council voted and approved a groundbreaking proposal that could allow for the construction of four-unit, or fourplexes as they are more commonly known.

In this blog post, we will explore the key details of this proposal and its potential impact on the city's housing landscape.Toronto city councillors have approved policy and zoning modifications that authorize the construction of multiplex housing throughout the city. This decision enables the development of low-rise housing structures containing two, three, or four units in a single building, extending to all neighborhoods in Toronto. The objective of this initiative is to enhance the city's housing options and accommodate its expanding population more effectively.

The Housing Crisis in Toronto

Toronto has been grappling with a severe housing shortage, leading to exorbitant prices and increased demand. Many individuals and families struggle to find affordable and suitable housing, which has created a pressing need for innovative solutions.  With the increase in house prices, rents have been skyrocketing, like never before.  A City staff report highlighted the growing demand for housing in Toronto, with an expected influx of 700,000 newcomers by 2051. Despite the rise in mid- and high-rise developments, the supply of low-rise housing, including multiplexes, has lagged behind the actual demand. The approval of multiplex housing addresses this discrepancy and aims to meet the needs of the city's growing population.

Toronto City Council votes to permit Four-Unit Dwellings (Fourplexes)

The proposed regulation would permit the construction of four-unit dwellings, also known as "fourplexes," in certain residential areas of Toronto. Currently, the majority of residential areas in the city only allow for single-family homes or duplexes. This proposal aims to increase housing density and create more affordable options for residents.Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie emphasized the importance of multiplex development in low-rise neighborhoods, describing it as a more equitable approach to growth. The introduction of multiplexes allows for greater flexibility in residential buildings, ensuring a diverse range of housing types to meet the needs of current and future residents.

Multiplexes will be exempt from Floor Space Index provisions

Under the new legislation, multiplexes will be exempt from Floor Space Index (FSI) provisions, allowing for more feasible construction. This exemption aligns with the city's goal of moving towards form-based zoning for residential areas, as outlined in the Housing Action Plan. By removing FSI restrictions, multiplexes can be built more efficiently and effectively, with the approval process greatly expedited.

The Bottom Line

The approval of policy and zoning changes allowing for multiplex housing throughout Toronto marks a significant milestone in the city's efforts to address its housing crisis. By introducing more flexible housing options, Toronto aims to cater to its growing population while promoting equitable growth and removing exclusionary zoning practices. The decision aligns with the City's Housing Action Plan and demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a diverse and inclusive housing market for all residents.

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