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Toronto: Re-Housing the Yellowbelt
Ideas for converting single-family homes to multi-family.
Re-Housing the Yellowbelt (rehousing.ca) provides a catalogue of designs for converting common single-family homes in Toronto (whether detached houses, semi-detached, or rowhouses) into multiplexes. The designs include detailed floor plans. About the project.
It’s an intriguing project. We need to make it easier to add “gentle density” to residential neighbourhoods. Right now, 80% of the residential land in the city of Vancouver is taken up by single-detached houses and duplexes (accounting for 35% of households).
From the FAQ:
Since multiplexes are not currently permitted in most of Toronto’s residential neighbourhoods, how do these designs address Toronto’s zoning regulations?
The housing options were designed with the principle that the permitted building size for a multiplex should be the same, or less restrictive, than for a single-detached house. The zoning overlay diagrams show the allowable “as-of-right” building size for a house, and were used to establish the maximum building size for the multiplex designs.
What other constraints were incorporated?
All of the designs fall within Part 9 of the Ontario Building Code, and therefore do not exceed a building area (footprint) of 600m2 [6458 sq. ft.] and a maximum building height of three storeys. Buildings exceeding this size are regulated by Part 3 of the Ontario Building Code, and entail significantly higher construction costs, additional engineering and more stringent fire safety measures.
Also, limiting the multiplex options to a maximum of three storeys helps to maintain the low-rise character of such neighbourhoods.
Alex Bozikovic on Twitter: “This site is a kit of parts for subdividing and expanding houses into multifamily. Ingenious.”
More gentle density ideas, including a roundup of ideas from Michael Geller and the Making Home multiplex proposal.
Bryn Davidson often posts multifamily designs on Twitter, e.g. this eight-plex design.