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Laneway debut

A glimpse of Vancouver’s future will be on display this weekend as the first of a new generation of laneway houses is completed.

A glimpse of Vancouver’s future will be on display this weekend as the first of a new generation of laneway houses is completed.

The 710-square-foot, two-storey suite is located in the lane at McGill and Slocan streets in East Vancouver.

“It’s been a bit of a challenge,” said designer Bryn Davidson of Lanefab. “It’s been a lot of learning ... Every step of the way people have been working to see how these are going to work.”

Davidson’s design features a downstairs bedroom, bathroom and laundry area. The living space and kitchen are upstairs with views of the North Shore mountains. It has triple-glazed windows, energy metres and clever storage areas.

The units cost between $190,000 and $230,000 to build depending on the size of the lot and can be rented for an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

In July, Vancouver became the first city in North America to implement laneway housing on a grand scale. The small backyard suites are now allowed on 94 per cent, or roughly 60,000, of the city’s single-family lots.

This non-strata laneway housing — 65 permits have been issued so far — is envisioned as a source of rental units or a place for retired couples to move into while their children’s families take over the main house.

In-fill housing in the city has traditionally been built on larger multi-family zoned lots. They are typically larger dwellings and can be strata units.

 
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