Apr 22, 2015

Laneway Housing: This ain't your Grandpa's alley...but it could be!

Laneway housing offers many benefits to placemaking. It
offers an entirely new realm that can completely
revitalize communities, while helping to meet housing
needs of Calgarians with an affordable solution.

I have always been fascinated by back alleys. Whenever I go to a new city, I try to venture to these less-travelled corridors that often unveil the true personality of a place. It’s here that you see the less polished portions that are featured on a street’s front facade. Perhaps this is one reason why I appreciate and encourage backyard suites, or as they’re often called, laneway houses, in Calgary (in addition to them being an affordable housing option, income generator etc.).

I am pleased to say that a new backyard suite will be popping up in Parkdale this year by two young guys from Studio North design firm. I first met Mathew Kennedy and Mark Erickson at a Chamber of Commerce event in December 2014, announcing their support for Secondary Suites in Calgary.

Matthew and Mark introduced themselves to me and explained how they bought a heritage property in Parkdale and were hoping to build a backyard suite to supplement their income. They were passionate about this way of living and described how they wanted to build a functional, beautiful and safe suite to live in.

We’ve been following their journey ever since. Matthew and Mark have worked closely with our planners and the community to navigate the land use bylaw to get this suite approved. There have been a few hiccups, but we can proudly say their development permit has been approved this week and once the building permits are ready they can begin building their new home and hopefully move in this fall. This is a great example of collaborative work focused on outcomes.

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