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Hillhurst-Sunnyside Laneway Housing Investigation

Project Overview

A number of recent land use redesignations that implement the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) have been adopted by Council along the west side of 10 Street N.W., which includes an increase in building height and density. As a way of mitigating this additional activity in the lane and impacts on the low-density residential area to the west, some landowners have expressed a desire to develop laneway housing.
Council asked City staff to look at how policy, land use bylaw rules and options for servicing could help facilitate the construction of this form development along the lane. The investigation looked at the following:
  • The potential viability for laneway housing
  • Land use amendments necessary to allow  redevelopment options
  • Barriers to development opportunities for laneway housing
  • Mechanisms to address coordination among multiple owners

What's a Laneway?

Laneway houses are referred to as detached garden secondary suites or detached garage secondary suites: 

  • They are self-contained living spaces consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen located within or on the same property as a single family home.
  • Generally, they are accessible from the back alley / laneway of a property.
  • Developing laneway housing can increase housing opportunities within a community, supplement a homeowner’s income and provide affordable housing options.
  • Examples of laneway housing can be found in many municipalities, including Calgary in communities such as McKenzie Towne, Garrison Green and Garrison Woods.

Project Outcomes

  • Various public meeting and workshops were held from May 2014 through June 2015 to consult with local residents and business owners.
  • Current land use designation in the area allows for laneway housing within the 10-10A Street NW lane.
  • Servicing laneway housing within the 10-10A Street NW lane will be the individual landowner’s responsibility, however, costing has been found not to be prohibitive.
  • Planning staff will continue to work with current/future applicants on the east side of the lane to ensure that the recommended design option for the lane will function in conjunction with their developments.
  • Recommended laneway improvements will be built once plans for the full redevelopment of the east side of the lane have been established. This will guarantee that the appropriate public access easements have been obtained and that the lay-by locations are designed accordingly.

Related Information


Meera Kopp
Road Optimization Engineer, Transportation Planning
Tel: 403-268-1021

Paul Donker
Coordinator, Planning, Development & Assessment
Tel: 403-268-4804