Addressing Urban Sprawl With Laneway Housing In Vancouver, BC

Canada is well-known for its vast, wide open spaces.

While many envision the Great White North as ice-covered tundra with roaming caribou and Inuit living in igloos, it is estimated that approximately 70% of the country's population live below the 49th parallel.

British Columbia is a prime example of this. The province has an estimated population of 4,606,371, and over half of them live in Greater Vancouver.


Photo courtesy of Peter Christensen


While some dislike jam-packed highrises and congested roadways, urban density is one of the greatest solutions for securing an environmentally, financially and socially sustainable future.

After all, with an ever-increasing population, resources are being stretched to their max.

Compact neighbourhoods address this issue by limiting encroachment into wildlife habitats and centralizing job locations and social venues, creating healthier, happier and more affordable community living.


Photo courtesy of MagnusL3D on Flickr


While Vancouver - surrounded by ocean and mountains - is best known for its health-conscious lifestyle full of yoga and outdoor recreation, it's also notorious for its sky-high housing prices.

Vancouver-based Smallworks seeks to redress the lack of housing affordability and tackle the issues of urban sprawl by offering laneway houses - a growing trend in Canadian urban centres like Vancouver.

Laneway houses - which are small dwellings constructed on the rear laneway of an existing property - provide a solution for those limited by budget.

Smallworks' laneway houses have a median price of $290,000 to build brand new and include all costs except the land. This contrasts sharply to the average price tag of $976,700 for the resale of a typical detached house in Greater Vancouver, and an astronomical $2,257,100 on Vancouver's westside.

This means enormous cost savings and sustainable living accessibility for so many more people.



Photo courtesy of Smallworks


Living compactly doesn't mean living uncomfortably.

Smallworks' homes feature sleek and elegant designs including clean lines, open floor plans with vaulted ceilings, and craftmanship finishings.


smallworks, laneway house, vaulted ceiling, kitchen 
Photo courtesy of Smallworks


With Vancouver housing prices consistently on the rise, and the planet's environmental and financial future in jeopardy, it's important we consider alternative living solutions that decrease urban sprawl.

Compact living is a fantastic approach to a sustainable future.

Learn more about how Smallworks is tackling this issue, one beautiful small house at a time at


Researched and written by Kristine Krynitzki, a Realtor in Vancouver, BC specializing in green homes.

Posted In: British Columbia

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