Top 5 Most Unexpected Toronto Laneway House Building Costs

Are you looking to build a laneway house on your property? Understanding the cost to build a laneway house in Toronto can help better prepare you to decide if this is a good option for you to consider. You may find that the laneway house cost isn’t worth it for what you need. Learn all about the five most unexpected costs of building a laneway house in Toronto.

All You Need to Learn About Building a Laneway House

Before getting into the laneway house cost to build, there are other things that you need to think about before getting started. The first thing that you need to be aware of is that, there are only certain areas of Toronto where you can build a laneway house. This means that you should do your research to be sure that your area allows for the construction of laneway houses. If you meet specific criteria, you won’t have to worry as much about going through planning approval and permissions for rezoning. You could be eligible for programs that can make the costs of building a laneway house more affordable. For instance, the Affordable Laneway Suites Pilot Program offers loans of up to $50,000 that is forgivable in 15 years from when the first tenant rents from you.

Related Article: Toronto Laneway Suites Changing 300KM of Landscape

There are some hidden costs that you may not consider, in addition to those in the next section. This information includes the costs to demolish any building on the property that interferes with the construction of the laneway house and any additional permits that you may need. The company that works with you can help you better understand what you need to do before they can get started.

toronto laneway suite packages banner

5 Most Unexpected Building Costs with a Laneway House

So how much does a laneway house cost? This section will break down how much you can expect to spend on each hidden cost and why these are important to invest in when building your laneway house.

1. Surveyor

laneway house line diagram

In many cases, you will need to get a survey of your property done before you get started on the project. Hiring a surveyor can cost at least $2,000, depending on several factors. One reason why this is so important is that it helps you see the property lines to make sure that you are building on your property and that you’re not too close to your neighbour’s property. The survey is the best way to get all of the necessary information on your property so that you are on the right side of the law before you get started on building a laneway house. The surveyor will stake out the foundation to ensure that your property is legal.

2. Landscaping

laneway suite landscaping backyard

For landscaping, you can expect to spend about $5,000 or more for the project. It’s best not to start landscaping until after the laneway house is built. This procedure can ensure that the property looks appealing to renters, adds to the curb appeal of your property, and makes the space look beautiful. This wise investment will yield the most money out of your property.

3. Engineering

drawings of laneway suite

You will need an engineer for the project. Their job is to take the drawings that the architect created and certify them. An engineer can cost a minimum of $7,500 or more, but this isn’t an area on which you should skimp. The engineer knows the laws and what’s required to make sure the house is safe and legal. They include material details in the drawings so the builder knows what needs to be done to build the safest house possible. This includes knowing what materials are needed for what purpose. They offer essential knowledge that is important to avoid any problems in the future that could come up if the laneway house wasn’t properly built.

4. Architectural Drawings

architect designing laneway house

For architectural drawings, you should expect to pay at least $12,500 or more for this service. The architect will work closely with you to see what you need for space. They will ask you questions to determine what the need for your space is so that they can create a floor plan that works correctly for you. This is especially crucial if you are planning to live in the laneway suite and renting out your main house. Even if you want to save money on the project, you should invest in it. This strategy will ensure you spend your money wisely. Create a plan that will work for the home.

5. Development Charges

laneway housing plans

Development charges can be $40,000 or more to build a laneway house. These are essential fees required by the city of Toronto on any new builds, which help pay for the capital costs of the required infrastructure for this new development. Without charging this fee, the city won’t issue the building permit for your project. You can contact the city of Toronto to learn more about this charge and why it’s essential for your project.

Total Cost Breakdown

Let’s sum up all of the hidden charges you can expect to pay when building your laneway house. This is the total breakdown of what to expect as far as costs go:

  • Surveyor: $2,000 +
  • Architectural Drawings: $12,500 +
  • Engineering: $7,500 +
  • HVAC Design: $1,500 +
  • Development Charges: $40,000 +
  • Zoning Certificate
  • Demolition of Other Buildings on the Property and Their Foundation: $10,000 +
  • Build: $200-$250 + / sq. ft.
  • Services: $10,000 +
  • Landscaping: $5,000 +

toronto laneway suite packages banner


The cost of building a laneway house in Toronto can depend on a variety of factors. Knowing what to expect for these costs is essential when you are planning your project. Choose a builder that is transparent with the project pricing, plus costs associated with the build. This can be more than worth the investment when you consider the incentives that you get and any potential money you can earn for renting your property.

Related Page: Toronto Laneway House Design & Build Contractor