A recent situation at 7 Knightswood Road in Hogg’s Hollow brought to the forefront problems with ‘iceberg houses’ where burrowing is being done below the ground level such that the underground area is larger than the above-ground area of the house. London, England has already introduced laws to limit them given their potential to structurally disturb neighbouring houses (can cause shifting foundations, collapsing ceilings and sagging floors) in addition to the environmental concerns, including reduced soil permeability, storm water runoff and potential for erosion and the death of trees. Instances of these houses exist in Toronto – we know of some in the SAHRA and adjacent neighbourhoods. Trees are often cut down for these underground areas; trees, shrubs and other plant life cannot exist when the underground structure’s roof is only a few feet below the ground level.
City Council adopted a motion without amendments put forward by Councillor Jaye Robinson, seconded by Councillor Mike Colle on Oct. 1, 2021 asking that all involved City Departments and relevant divisions as well as external agencies and research institutions review and report back on strategies to address the impacts of development of “iceberg houses”. You can review the details of the Motion in this agenda item. FoNTRA supported this motion as well as SAHRA We look forward to this report being presented as we have had instances of sub-sub basements and burrowing in our Neighbourhood and have not been able to effectively deal with these via the Planning and Committee of Adjustment processes.