Zoning Bylaws in Toronto

What you do with real estate you buy or sell in Toronto can be decided by a zoning bylaw or future use limitations.

Local land use controls can restrict if you live in or work from a home, condo, or commercial building. They can dictate what property is rentable, and how far your residence is from a street, alley, or next door neighbour.

Axess Law’s real estate lawyers search titles to Toronto properties you want to sell or put a legally binding offer to purchase on. We can tell you if a zoning bylaw affects your ability to enjoy a new home or commercial land you plan to buy.

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What is a Zoning Bylaw in Ontario?

A zoning bylaw manages how land use is used, like:

  • locations of homes and structures
  • what kinds of building are allowed, including commercial or institutional buildings
  • lot and building sizes, shapes, and setbacks from streets
  • where parking is placed
  • how many buildings are permitted per hectare (density)
  • or how many people live and work in a neighbourhood.

How a Toronto Zoning Bylaw Affects You

City of Toronto urban planners base decisions on how neighbourhoods and communities are organized on housing density and need, average incomes and family size, or the age of homes in your area.

Introducing a zoning bylaw in newer neighbourhoods encourages housing that appeals to a wide variety of singles and families, like high rises and row housing. Historic homes can be protected by heritage designations, limiting whether you can tear down, build additions, or renovate.Real estate services may not give you the full picture. Before you buy or sell, find out what happens to the deposit when buying a house — in case your deal falls through because of a zoning bylaw or future use limitation.

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What Non-conforming Use Means

Property owners who request exemptions to a zoning bylaw may get legal non-conforming status. That means their building use plans can proceed even though their property doesn’t meet City of Toronto zoning bylaw requirements.

It’s quite different from illegal non-conforming units. Commercial or home owners can be fined or subject to legal action and prevented from using property the way they intended if it doesn’t conform with a local zoning bylaw and use restrictions.

See our legal services for home buyers and sellers.

Types of Zoning in Toronto 

Zoning bylaws in Toronto can:

  • impose view plane restrictions on how a home’s height affects neighbouring views
  • affect official plans for neighbourhood development
  • identify shoreline hazard limitations 
  • impact heritage home designations
  • set yard and parking requirements
  • and more. 

Look before you leap before you get tripped up by a zoning bylaw.

Reviewing zoning bylaws or asking a qualified Ontario appraiser before you sign an agreement of purchase and sale could protect your legal interests.

Zoning for Tiny Homes (Ontario)

Laneway suites can give you needed rental income. They offer extra space for college-age children or elderly parents. So can tiny homes. Yet Ontario municipalities that allow tiny homes may restrict or limit their use to seasonal recreational lots in RV parks or cottage territory.

Mortgages for tiny home buyers and builders.

Before you plan to buy or build a laneway suite or tiny home, check if a Toronto zoning bylaw applies. You could go to unnecessary expense only to be forced to sell a tiny home you buy, or dismantle disallowed new construction or renovations.  

Build a City of Toronto laneway suite.

Changing Zoning and Use Restrictions

Not happy with zoning or future use limitations? Apply to the City of Toronto for a minor variance order. Axess Law refers you to trusted legal partners if you plan to request a zoning variance or bylaw amendment.

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Nine Reasons You Need a Real Estate Lawyer in Ontario

Buying or selling a home, Axess Law can help by:

  1. Adding clauses like subject-to financing to the agreement of purchase and sale.
  2. Holding real estate deposits in trust until the deal goes through.
  3. Amending offers to purchase when home inspections require repairs.
  4. Arranging property title transfer in Ontario.
  5. Checking titles for property line encroachment laws in Ontario to prevent neighbourly disputes.
  6. Discharging construction liens that block a real estate sale.
  7. Liaising with private mortgage lenders to finalize property purchase documents.
  8. Paying out existing mortgages owed to lenders.
  9. Writing a final walk-through into the contract before handing over the keys to take possession.

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Our Affordable Flat Rate Fees

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.

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Book Appointments By Phone or Online

Making appointments is easy. You just book online or phone our 647-479-0118 lawyer line (toll free to 877-402-4207) to arrange a time that suits your schedule. Axess Law locations in Ottawa and Greater Toronto Area have onsite parking and easy transit access.

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