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Secondary suites a popular option in North York’s Lawrence Heights, developers find

More than half of buyers are paying $100,000 for rental option

The developers behind a new townhouse project in the Lawrence Heights neighoubourhood are finding that many buyers are choosing to have their new homes built with a secondary suite.

A secondary suite is another apartment within a house, such as a basement apartment.

In the case of the Lawrence Heights townhome development, they are a $100,000 option, and even so 52 per cent of buyers are opting for it.

The city of Toronto has been permitting secondary suites within existing detached and semi-detached homes, but in this case have allowed it within a townhouse development, in an effort to create more rental housing.

“Our planner reached out to the city and said we would love to bring secondary suites with separate entrances into townhomes,” said Lee Koutsaris, Metropia’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Because the development is steps from Yorkdale subway station, those secondary units aren’t expected to add to road congestion.

The 224-home project is jointly developed by Metropa and Context. These market homes are inter-mixed with Toronto Community Housing townhomes.

The secondary suite became an available option for the project’s final sales release of 90 homes, as the developers didn’t receive city permission to do so for the initial release. Out of the 79 homes sold so far, 41 were purchased with a secondary suite.

Koutsaris said because the townhouses have detached garages, the entire 634-square-foot bottom floor is available for the secondary suite, which otherwise is sold as an unfinished basement. The secondary suite features a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, living area and bedroom and a separate entrance. The remainder of the house is 2,004 square feet.

Koutsaris said having rental income from a legal secondary suite can help buyers secure a mortgage.

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