As Vancouver grows and evolves, we need to ensure that there are housing options that meet the needs of the diverse households that live and work here, including more “missing middle” housing options. With the help of Quickviz, the City of Vancouver developed this useful video that illustrates the changes proposed to allow more of this type housing in low density neighbourhoods across the city as part of the implementation of the Vancouver Plan. The animation depicts a standard block with a variety of housing options, including multiplexes (buildings with up to 6 units on a single lot).

As Vancouver grows and evolves, we need to ensure that there are housing options that meet the needs of the diverse households that live and work here, including more “missing middle” housing. With the help of Uytae Lee from About Here, the City of Vancouver explains what the “missing middle” is, and why they are exploring changes to allow more of this type of housing, including multiplexes (buildings with up to 6 units on a single lot), in low density neighbourhoods across the city as part of the implementation of the Vancouver Plan.

The City of Mississauga is offering free pre-approved plans for one-bedroom and studio garden suites.

As Small Housing holds, design flexibility is crucial for the financial viability of gentle density housing projects. It also ensures a variety of housing forms to better meet the diverse needs of our communities.

Offering pre-approved plans is an important step in progressing gentle density ambitions, making it easier for homeowners to build a detached unit on their property. You can explore the full suite of Mississauga’s resources on their dedicated page.

Key insights:

This report investigates the potential for infill development in Mississauga to accommodate the region’s population growth projections and ensure that new development does not infringe on the urban greenbelt.

The report outlines:

  • Mississauga could add approximately 174,000 new residential units (at an average unit size of over 1,000 sq.ft.) via low- and medium-density intensification.
  • Through this approach, Mississauga could accommodate 435,000 new residents.
  • This is enough housing to support Mississauga’s growth projects, and to also accommodate approximately 85% of Peel Region’s assigned growththrough to 2041.
  • This housing can be delivered without the consumption of new greenfield land, reducing the need to encroach into the Greenbelt

This report is authored by Graham Haines and Brianna Aird of Toronto Metropolitan University.

The Infill Challenge Best Practices Summary from the City of Kelowna provides an analysis of leading edge policies, processes and projects in infill housing, and gives us the opportunity to learn from them.

Key insights:

The Best Practices Guide is intended to provide leading edge examples of infill housing from across Canada in the areas of process, development, and policy and regulations. The key lessons from each of these areas can be used to inform the Infill Challenge project as it unfolds in Kelowna.

Samples include:


  • Engage stakeholders early
  • Follow an objective, transparent process
  • Use data and research to clarify needs and objectives


  • Encourage the use of place-based design
  • Ensure that lane access and a grid network are in place
  • Require that front doors face the street, where possible

Policy & Development:

  • Use clear language (no jargon)
  • Support the process with strong visuals
  • Consider context-based zoning regulations and guidelines

When it comes to managing space, less isn’t always more.

“Kelowna has lots of lots with just one aging home and empty space that could be used differently – like a swimming pool, restaurant or stadium that is far under capacity, these large lots could accommodate more people than they do now.”

As part of its Infill Housing initiatives, the City of Kelowna produced a number of visual resources to capture how existing single family zonings were leading to significant inefficiencies that were undermining the wellbeing of the broader community.

These resources, available to view on their dedicated homepage to infill development, are a simple but effective example of public engagement materials that can help local planners in their efforts to win support for gentle density housing initiatives.

On this useful resource page courtesy of the University of Toronto, the School of Cities, and Toronto Metropolitan University, embark on a journey through the evolution of “Missing Little” housing, a concept stemming from Daniel Parolek’s “Missing Middle.”

Coined by Michael Piper, the “Missing Little” envisions inserting gentle density into existing single-family housing, addressing affordability and fostering walkable urban living.

Key insights:

  • Delve in & explore varied “Missing Little” housing categories throughout Toronto.
  • Gain insights from owners and tenants sharing experiences and challenges, illustrating how optimizing land use can potentially create 200,000 new affordable and gentle density units in Canada’s major cities by 2030.

On this useful resource page from the City of San Jose, users can explore a comprehensive resource library to support research and insights into the city’s promotion of ADUs as a means of addressing housing challenges.

Key insights:

  • ADUs are an affordable type of home to construct in California because they do not require paying for land, major new infrastructure, structured parking, or elevators.
  • ADUs can provide a source of income for homeowners.
  • ADUs are built with cost-effective wood frame construction, which is significantly less costly than homes in new multifamily infill buildings.
  • ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy.
  • ADUs can provide as much living space as many newly-built apartments and condominiums, and they’re suited well for couples, small families, friends, young people, and seniors.
  • ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care.

Discover Portland’s vision for equitable growth in its neighborhoods.

Key insights:

By 2035, the city anticipates significant household growth, necessitating a reassessment of housing regulations. Facing a housing shortage amidst rising costs, the proposed changes aim to:

  • Diversify housing options by permitting duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, while introducing size and scale limitations.
  • Promote community inclusivity and addresses evolving housing demands, emphasizing collaborative efforts for positive change.

Dive into the City of Portland’s housing project report to understand how these strategic changes align with the city’s dynamic future.

Explore the comprehensive “Missing Middle Housing Study” in Sacramento, a data-driven citywide effort addressing housing choices, walkable living, and attainable housing needs at all income levels.

Key insights:

The report puts suggested steps need to be taken to help deliver more attainable housing.

  • A critical step is to increase the delivery of housing at all income levels, but in a manner that is sustainable and feasible, and does not adversely impact existing infrastructure capacities (of roads, utilities, etc.) and the quality of life of existing residents.
  • A critical strategy is to streamline and encourage the production of smaller, simpler, less complicated and less expensive housing projects in areas that have existing infrastructure and amenities. Missing Middle Housing can fulfill this requirement, and provide an efficient way to meet this pent up demand.

This vital report informs Sacramento’s long-term planning and housing policies, prioritizing affordability, equity, and access while addressing displacement risks and proposing measures to preserve the unique character of established neighborhoods.

Further to the report, you can stay up to date with all of Sacramento’s Missing Middle Housing developments by checking out their dedicated website.