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'It's off the table': Doug Ford nixes fourplexes as part of next Ontario housing bill


Ontario Premier Doug Ford has ruled out allowing municipalities to build fourplexes, despite it being one of the province’s housing affordability task force recommendations and a mandatory factor federal infrastructure funding.

“It’s off the table for us,” the premier said at a news conference on Thursday.

“You go in the little communities and start putting up four-storey, six-storey, eight-storey buildings right deep into the communities, there's going to be a lot of shouting and screaming. That's a massive mistake.”

Allowing fourplexes to be built as of right would involve amending official plans and zoning bylaws to allow the building of up to four residential units, up to four stories, on any parcel or land zoned as “residential.”

In 2022, the government allowed the use of up to three units per lot in most existing residential areas. On their housing affordability website, municipalities are also “encouraged to adopt official plan policies and zoning by-laws exceed the three unit per lot minimum to help meet their provincially-assigned housing targets.”

In the provincial housing tracker, the government has labelled this task force recommendation as “implemented with amendments.”

It’s long been rumoured that allowing fourplexes would be part of the Ford government’s latest housing bill, which is expected to be tabled after the province’s 2024 budget.

However, on Thursday Ford cut this rumour down.

“We're going to build homes, single dwelling homes, townhomes. That's what we're going to focus on.”

Ford was also asked about his promise that Ontario residents would be able to buy homes that were 1,600 square feet with backyards and driveways for under $500,000.

The premier said his government was working through Infrastructure Ontario on those “modular builds,” saying the hardest part is getting the land.

“They're called starter homes,” he said. “It's no different than when you go around different towns and you see little war-time homes. These are going to be modern. They're aren’t going to be super fancy, but they're going to be nice.”

Municipalities have slowly been working towards allowing these four-unit homes within their city limits as part of applications for federal funding under the Housing Accelerator Fund.

In October, then-Mississauga Mayor and now Ontario Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie overrode her council’s decision to block this change after the federal government hinting the city’s funding application would not go through.

“Given the scale and urgency of the housing crisis, it is critical that leadership at all levels of government work together,” Crombie said last year.

“Issuing this directive will ensure that Mississauga continues to be eligible for $120 million in important federal funding for housing and community infrastructure while allowing for much-needed housing to be built in our neighbourhoods for the next generation.”

Under Crombie’s leadership, the Ontario Liberals put forward a bill at Queen’s Park that would allow developers and homeowners to build fourplexes.

It is unlikely to pass due to the Progressive Conservative majority. Top Stories

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