Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods: A City of Toronto Initiative

Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) is a City of Toronto initiative designed to facilitate more low-rise housing in residential neighbourhoods. This initiative aims to meet the needs of our growing city by expanding opportunities for “missing middle” housing forms in Toronto. These housing types range from duplexes to low-rise walk-up apartments. While these housing forms can be found in many parts of Toronto today, their construction has historically been limited. EHON represents one of several City initiatives to increase housing choice and access, ultimately creating a more equitable and sustainable city.


The Multiplex study focused on permitting multiplexes, which are residential buildings containing up to four units, across Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. In May 2023, City Council adopted Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to permit multiplexes city-wide. This significant step allows for increased housing density and provides more options for residents in need of affordable housing solutions. Multiplexes represent a crucial part of the “missing middle” housing strategy, bridging the gap between single-family homes and high-rise apartments.

Major Streets

The Major Streets study aims to permit gentle density, also known as missing middle housing, on major streets in low-rise neighbourhoods across Toronto. By allowing these types of housing developments on major streets, the city can efficiently utilize existing infrastructure and public transit. This strategy not only increases the availability of housing but also enhances the vibrancy and diversity of neighbourhoods.

Garden Suites

The Garden Suites study concentrated on permitting garden suites on properties without lane access in most residential zones across Toronto. In February 2022, City Council adopted Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to permit Garden Suites city-wide. Garden suites offer a unique housing option, providing additional living space on existing properties. This type of housing is ideal for multi-generational families or for generating rental income, contributing to the city’s overall housing stock.

EHON is a comprehensive approach to addressing Toronto’s housing challenges. By focusing on multiplexes, major streets, and garden suites, the City of Toronto is making significant strides in expanding housing options. These efforts are crucial for creating a more inclusive, affordable, and sustainable urban environment. As Toronto continues to grow, initiatives like EHON will play a vital role in ensuring that all residents have access to diverse and affordable housing options.

Visit Memar multiplex projects here.

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