Collaborating with Michael Piper and Samantha Eby at Daniels Faculty, University of Toronto, we blended our professional and academic expertise to explore ways to unlock new housing options in mature neighbourhoods. Together, we developed a free online resource designed to equip homeowners with the knowledge to convert single-family homes into multiplex dwellings with up to five units. 

For those looking for affordable ways to enter the housing market, mature homeowners who would like to remain in their homes while earning rental income, or those looking to build additional housing on their property for extended family and friends, is a comprehensive how-to guide that outlines everything from code requirements to floorplans.

The site’s goal is to demystify multiplexes, using clear language and illustrations to explain the various types of multiplex housing and how they can be achieved. Perhaps most important for Torontonians, it also features price-conscious examples of how to convert the 13 most common Toronto houses into multiplexes with low, medium, and high complexity renovations, as well as models for new construction. 

Multiplexes will increase homeownership within walkable neighborhoods, providing residents with access to existing transit, infrastructure, and amenities. They are also loved by their residents because they offer the feel and scale of a house while matching condos for affordability.

The ReHousing team contributed design analysis to Toronto’s recent multiplex zoning legislation and is currently working on a second municipal commission to study alternative neighborhood densities. The project is funded with a grant from the Neptis Foundation, and is also the 2023 recipient of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s CMHC President’s Medal for Outstanding Housing Research, a $25,000 prize.

Responding to the need for more missing middle housing, is empowering “citizen developers” to transform single-family homes into multiplexes.