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Understanding the Stacked Townhouse

A stacked townhouse is a multi-dwelling building in which 1-storey or 2-storey units are 'stacked' on top of one another.
Written By: Baron Alloway

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Though less popular than the traditional townhouse, stacked townhouses are still very common in Toronto Real Estate. A primary objective of this style of condominium unit is to provide efficient, affordable space without forcing the occupant through a central, shared entrance. Understanding the differences between a stacked and a regular townhouse are paramount when deciding if this product is right for you.

What is a Stacked Townhouse?

A stacked townhouse is a multi-dwelling building in which 1-storey or 2-storey units are ‘stacked’ on top of one another. Unlike a traditional townhouse, where the units are side-by-side, the townhome units are arranged vertically.

Stacked townhomes can often be hard to spot and identify from the street. This is because they largely resemble regular townhomes. However, a great indicator of a stacked townhome is the location of the entrance to the unit. A traditional townhome complex usually has all the entrances at the same grade. This can be at street level, or up a small flight of stairs. However, a stacked townhome typically has entrances either above and/or below grade.

A good indicator of a stacked townhome is the alternating entrances above and below grade. (Source: The Globe and Mail)

Inside, a stacked townhouse will usually be one or two stories, and will take up approximately one half of the total space shared with its neighbour.

How Is a Stacked Townhouse Different from a Condo?

In a traditional condominium building, all residents are expected to enter and exit via one or two entrances. Condos typically have a lobby as well as a central elevator. All residents must pass through a central, interior corridor before accessing their units.

Stacked townhomes are different, and its here that the term ‘townhouse’ really shines. A stacked townhouse will have entrances that directly face and open to the outside. This can be a centralized courtyard, but could also be the public street.

Similar to condos, stacked townhouses usually have their own centralized parking structure. This can be in the form of a garage or a public lot. For townhome communities that are gated, the entrance to the garage can be via central corridor, or it can even be directly underneath the units.

Architectural and Design Aspects

Architecturally and from the outside, stacked townhouses are not much to look at. They typically have the same design as a regular townhome. However, the units are usually divided into upper and lower, as opposed to left and right.

Some 2-story stacked townhomes have an upstairs AND a downstairs. Usually, one half of the upstairs belongs to one unit, and the other half belongs to the other unit. The stairs wind around each other so that the two units do not intersect.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Stacked Townhouse


Stacked townhomes offer a unique blend of benefits that set them apart from traditional townhomes and condos. One significant advantage is the efficient use of space; stacked townhomes typically provide multiple levels of living space, which can make them feel larger and more private than single-level condos. This layout often includes outdoor terraces or balconies on different levels, enhancing the living experience.

Additionally, stacked townhomes usually have fewer shared walls compared to condos, which can reduce noise from neighbours and increase privacy. They often come with their own private entrances, which avoids the communal hallways and elevators prevalent in condo complexes, adding an extra layer of privacy and convenience. This makes stacked townhomes an ideal choice for those seeking the spaciousness of a traditional townhome with the added benefits of modern, multi-level living.


While stacked townhomes offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of the primary disadvantages is accessibility; the multi-level design means that stairs are a common feature, which may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with mobility issues or families with young children.

Additionally, although stacked townhomes can offer more privacy than traditional condos, they may still lack the yard space and separation from neighbours typically found in single-family homes. Noise can sometimes be an issue as well, especially if insulation between units is not adequate. Maintenance and upkeep can also be more challenging with multiple levels and exterior spaces, potentially leading to higher costs and more effort compared to single-level condos. These factors make it important for prospective buyers to carefully consider their specific needs and lifestyle when choosing a stacked townhome.


Stacked townhouses can be a great option for buyers looking for more space or privacy without the hassle or price of a freehold home.

If you need more information about Stacked Townhouses, contact us!

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