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Stories Tagged - laneway housing

You can only build a laneway house if your community is zoned to allow for secondary suites.
Courtesy Studio North

Sept. 27, 2017 | Geoff Geddes

In the fast lane

Could a laneway home be up your alley?

For some Calgarians, a laneway house is a realistic way to achieve the elusive dream of home ownership.

Laneway houses are fully independent, small-scale dwellings that face onto an alley, typically found in the backyards of existing homes. Often referred to as "urban cabins," they are an alternative way to add density to established inner-city neighbourhoods.

While the buzz around laneway homes might be new, the concept is not.

From left: Mark Erickson, Matthew Kennedy, Brighton Parks, and Norbert Hollman of Studio North perched a top a laneway home construction site.
Below: 3D models from Alloy Homes project depict a laneway home (bottom left), set towards the back of the lot, and the street-facing primary home. Photo courtesy Mike Tan.

March 09, 2017 | Barbara Balfour

Building for generations

With a rapidly aging population, laneway homes may be the future of housing

Consider this nostalgic scene: a grandmother bakes cookies while her granddaughter stands on a stool beside her, kneading the dough. Such rare quality time could be a daily occurrence for those who sign up for the perks of multi-generational living, say Studio North co-founders Mark Erickson and Matthew Kennedy.

The architects recently finished building a laneway home for a West Hillhurst 1950s post-war bungalow. Their client, who grew up there, commissioned the home for his wife's parents to join them.

CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurrie said the price of homes in Calgary's sandwich communities is predicated primarly on land value. Photo by Adrian Shellard/For CREB®Now

Sept. 07, 2016 | Joel Schlesinger

Stuck in the middle

Calgary's aging sandwich communities seek their place in shifting housing landscape

What's old is new again. It's an apt description of homebuyers' newfound interest in Calgary's sandwich communities – those not-quite-inner-city neighbourhoods that long outgrown their suburban roots.

Built along what was then the city's outskirts starting in the late 1950s, these detached-heavy communities such as Thorncliffe, Huntington Hills, Ogden, Winston Heights, Albert Park, Fairview and Kingsland represented optimism and prosperity synonymous with the post-Second World War era.

Fast-forward several generations later and upwardly mobile generation-Xers and millennials are returning to their birth places, attracted by location, ample amenities and familiarity.

John Brown with the University of Calgary said the laneway project represents an innovative solution to aging in place. Photo courtesy University of Calgary.

June 06, 2016 | Alex Frazer Harrison

Time and a place

Seniors' groups welcome potential option to aging in place

Seniors' advocates in Calgary are cautiously praising a city council decision to look at a University of Calgary pilot project that's studying laneway housing as an option to aging in place.

In mid-May, council agreed to support a motion by Coun. Gian-Carlo Cara that would have City administration work with the university as it embarks on the next phase of its Aging-In-Place Laneway Housing project.

Kerby Centre CEO Luanne Whitmarsh called the idea, "a really interesting concept," but added more study needs to be done, such as ensuring that, "it isn't just going to make more isolation.

"Also, what does it look like? If (seniors) still need support and there are people entering the home instead of a grassy front yard, it's a back alley. We have to look at quality of life," she said.

Paul and Jill Robert, pictured with their daughter, are currently building a laneway home in West Hillhurst for Jill's parents, who were looking to be closer to family. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

March 31, 2016 | Joel Schlesinger

Little house on the alley

Laneway homes could soon turn Calgary's back alleys into thriving mini-communities

Paul and Jill Robert have big plans for the little home they're building on their back lane.

Only the dwelling isn't for them. The Roberts already live in the wartime house in the northwest neighbourhood of West Hillhurst on the same lot where Paul, a professor at the Alberta College of Art and Design, grew up.

Instead, the diminutive back-lane house is for Jill's parents who are selling their home in Edmonton and moving to Calgary to be closer to family.


Feb. 19, 2015 | CREBNow

Living in the lane

City looking into laneway housing as a residential option for Calgarians

While Calgary council's stance on secondary suites remains at a stalemate, laneway housing is being touted as a potential solution to ongoing housing shortages in the city.

Laneway houses are self-contained living spaces consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen located within or on the same property as a detached home.

Suites could be detached secondary suites located in the backyard or adjacent to the alley of a home.
Calgarian Lesley McLaughlin lived in an above-garage suite in the southwest community of Rosscarrock for two years.

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