Two Toronto rental projects find the missing middle for housing – The Globe and Mail

Special to the Globe and Mail

Dave LeBlanc

Jul4 05, 2023


367 Howland Ave.: Developer: Greenstreet Flats. Firm: Craig Race Architecture


“If you had an empty lot,” begins Mr. Race, “and you [wanted to build] a four-plex and a laneway suite, you’d be paying just under $700,000 in development charges. Now it’s effectively zero – the fourplex is exempt and the laneway/garden suite is eligible for deferral.”

Mr. Race is standing in front of a handsome, creamy-white and black, three-storey building near Toronto’s famous Casa Loma. The building presents itself to neighbours as, perhaps, a semi-detached where two families might live, but look a little closer and four front doors present themselves. That’s because, where a single-family home once stood, GreenStreet has built an eight-unit, micro-apartment building where every unit is large enough to contain two bedrooms and one bath. Two additional units are contained in a laneway suite for a total of 10 rental units.

A recent walk-through revealed high ceilings, tidy, well-equipped kitchens, bedrooms with balconies or terraces, long clerestory windows in some units, and, even in the basement units, plenty of natural light. The north-facing laneway unit sports a window so large it “makes the space feel a lot bigger,” says GreenStreet founder Leonid Kotov, who has created missing middle units on Grace Street and Broadview Avenue in recent years.

“All of these projects are 100-per-cent rentable area,” Mr. Race says. “We don’t need any common space to maintain inside the building; you have your own front door. Little things like that make it more of a home than a condo.”




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