Laneway House is generally popular in the west coast of Canada, especially in the Metro Vancouver area. These homes are typically built into pre-existing lots, usually in the backyard and opening onto the back lane. The introduction of this form of housing was part of a program by Sam Sullivan as part of the EcoDensity movement to increase the compactness in pre-existing neighborhoods while retaining the single-family feel of the neighborhood. Most laneway houses are small, though public concern has been raised in some communities due to the impact that larger forms of this type of houses have no privacy.
In the case of Vancouver, the average laneway house is 550 square feet, usually 1˝ storey’s, with one or two bedrooms. Typical rules require that the laneway home is built in the back half of a traditional lot in the space that is normally held in reserve for a garage.
This type of housing was appearing in other dense Canadian cities, such as Toronto, until in 2006 staff reviewed the impact on services and safety.