Garage apartments, garden suites in the mix as Mississauga looks at new housing options


Published October 17, 2023 at 2:20 pm

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Mississauga officials are pushing for new and different types of housing including garage apartments and garden suites in the face of what they describe as “a significant housing crisis” in Ontario.

One week after City of Mississauga council decided by the narrowest of margins not to allow fourplexes (homes with four units) in the city, Mississauga officials are now tabling a host of other options in attempts to address the affordable housing problem and meet new housing targets set by the Ontario government.

“Mississauga is taking action to make more housing available for families, older adults, students and others who want to live in the city’s low-rise neighbourhoods,” city officials said in a news release on Tuesday. “Ontario is facing a significant housing crisis that makes renting or owning a home out of reach for many. Increasing the supply and variety of homes across Mississauga through gentle density is a primary action in the city’s Housing Action Plan.”

Mississauga’s housing plan outlines five goals and 23 actions the city will take over the next four years and identifies where the city needs private sector and government support, officials note.

Mississauga city staff say they will update the city’s planning and development committee at its next meeting on Oct. 23 with respect to work that’s underway to address the need for additional housing options in Mississauga neighbourhoods.

Among the options being considered:

  • additional residential unit zoning to allow for homes such as garden suites, garage conversions and laneway suites. Officials say the zoning is designed for Mississauga neighbourhoods and meets the province’s requirement to permit up to three residential units on a lot
  • a neighbourhood zoning review in which staff will give an update on work to simplify Mississauga’s single-detached neighbourhood zones. This project will help eliminate barriers for housing types like semi-detached and smaller-sized detached homes by allowing more housing options to be built in residential areas that currently allow only single-detached homes
  • a multiplex review in which the city will be reviewing how to permit multiplexes across Mississauga

Example of a garden suite that Mississauga officials say could help the affordable housing crisis. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

A motion tabled by Ward 2 Councillor Alvin Tedjo to allow more fourplexes to be built in Mississauga was defeated at council on Oct. 11.

“Mississauga is in a housing crisis and the price of homes and rent has increased such that many existing residents can no longer afford to live in the city,” Tedjo’s motion said, adding that the city must also meet the province’s target of 120,000 new housing units by 2031. 

Tedjo argued that there are many single-family homes and lots of residential towers in Mississauga, “but not much in-between,” he noted in a post on his website.

“As the price of homes continues to go up in our city, younger families are being priced out of living in our neighbourhoods. We need to build more homes, and we can build more homes that fit into existing neighbourhoods.”  

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