Toronto Metropolitan University
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Backyard living: developing a strategy for Canadian municipalities to implement laneway housing programs through an evaluation of Western Canadian precedents

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posted on 2021-05-25, 07:15 authored by Brennan Finley
The high cost of living in single-family neighbourhoods in major metropolitan cities throughout Canada is making single-family housing increasingly unaffordable. Due to the decreasing amount of developable land and the increasing urban population, the development of smaller housing forms including laneway housing are growing. Currently laneway housing is used throughout Western Canada to provide single-family living but at a more attainable price. Municipalities are realizing the benefits associated with laneway housing and its ability to maintain the character of single-family neighbourhoods and diversify municipal housing stocks. Utilising a mixed method approach of interviews and policy examination, an in-depth analysis of the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver and the City of Vancouver laneway housing programs uses a matrix to compare the liveability, compatibility with neighbours, suitability, effectiveness and administrative processes of each policy. Outcomes demonstrate that laneway housing is viable and that major barriers such as topography, patterns of subdivision and unequitable community engagement processes can be overcome by tailoring the policies criteria, design guidelines and administrative process.



  • Master of Planning


  • Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis