What some of these terms mean…

Jason wrote to me this morning asking for some clarification on a series of questions. I am not sure if others have these questions too, so I thought I would share both his questions and my answers.

He wrote: “I am curious about the line between the definitions of a RV vs. a Mobile Home. It seems that some municipalities define them separately where-as others do not have any definition for Mobile Homes. Under what conditions do Tiny Homes built on trailers meet these definitions? Is a trailer built home considered an RV as long as it is on wheels? If the wheels are removed and it is set on a foundation or other support structure is it considered a mobile home (or even a “Dwelling” because there is no definition for “Mobile Home” on that municipalities books)? If a trailer tiny home is on a foundation and connected to a septic tank what is it considered then?”


I took a stab at clarifying.

I think RV or Recreational Vehicle covers several different kinds of things, such as motorhomes, snow machines, ATV’s and so on. The Motor home is simply one category of the RV.

I think that a mobile home and motor home are not the same thing. A motor home is built to move around some have motors of their own and others are towed.   Whereas, a mobile home is built to be moved to and set on a permanent or semi-permanent location. What I mean is that a mobile home is one of the houses that are brought in already built, they look similar to a trailer but set onto a foundation or a basement. I don’t believe that a mobile home is considered an RV.

Tiny houses on wheels are considered an RV, yes, but I think that the ones that are set on a foundation are not be considered a mobile home because they are not mobile.

Tiny houses that are brought in on a trailer and removed from the wheels and set on a foundation or a slab should be considered pre-fabricated.  They don’t differ greatly from my house which was built on site.

Sunshine on my tiny house makes me happy.

Sunshine on my tiny house makes me happy.

If you hook a tiny house up to a septic system or to city infrastructure, it is still a tiny house, but one with modern conveniences.


Do you think that my answers are correct?

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Mystery Sunflower

I am enjoying the summer gardening in the city.  Still I am looking forward to the doctor appointment that is coming up.   I will find out if I get a thumbs up and can get back to work on THO.  I really want to get the wood stove in while the weather will allow for a hole in the wall!

The nice thing about gardening in the city is that there is not a lot of competition with the wildlife here.  So what I grow, I get to keep.  This said, our neighbourhood skunks tipped over two of my huge tomatoes the other night and did a little damage to them.  I have tied them up now and hope this does the trick.  These skunks are cute, but they are little stinkers!

Look at the buds on the sucker!

Look at the buds on the sucker!

Why I write today is because there is a large mystery sunflower in my driveway here in Hamilton.  It came up, I assume, from birdseed, because I never planted any sunflowers.  It is growing in the crack between the paved driveway and the cement border of my flower bed.  That is is growing here where there is no soil and only a tiny crack is really only part of the mystery.

Look up!

Look up!

The thing that I don’t know is what variety it is.  The plant is the showiest sunflower.  It is budding out and then flowering everywhere.  The plant is HUGE!  Eight feet high and three feet wide.  It is not just single giant flower rather there are about forty, YES 40(!!!) flowers on the single stem.  You see, there are suckers coming out on every leaf and these suckers have between one and six buds/flowers on them.

Sunny single sunflower with lots of flowers

Sunny single sunflower with lots of flowers

The flowers just started opening a few days ago so it is not yet at its full potential but I wanted to share the photos of it from now, because it is just so beautiful that I couldn’t wait!  The seeds are not filled in so they flowers are at the smallest point but I think that each of the flowers will wind up being about 6 to 18 inches across when it is fully developed.

I will try at the end of the year to collect the seeds but I know full well that seeds are not true to the parent but a mixture of them and who is cross pollinated with them.

Does anyone know what variety they are, because I certainly would like to grow these beauties again and again.  They are, living art.



UPDATE: According to the National Sunflower Association the sunflower association cultivated sunflowers have only one head but wild ones can have more.  The world record for the most sunflowers on a single stalk is 837 heads.

Clearly this is a wild cultivar and this makes me happy, because I am not a fan of mono cultivation.  Those of you who want seeds please leave a comment below and when I harvest them I will mail some to you.  If I get a lot of requests I will have to ask for you to pay-pal me postage.


Categories: Art, Ontario, Simple living | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Canadian Tiny Houses

I was very stoked when I heard from Natalie yesterday.  She is I think, the newest tiny house person in Canada.  You can see about her here.  She is located a couple of hours drive from Tiny House Ontario, in Quebec.  This is the first finished or almost finished tiny house, I have heard about since learning about Lydiah’s tiny house in Saskatoon.

I am sure there are others of us and I would very much like to add you to this list.  If you are living in a tiny house please leave a comment here or privately on the Tiny House Ontario Facebook page and I will contact you.  If you don’t want your house to be public information I will not disclose.  If you are interested I will add you to this list with a link to your blog.


Here are the Canadian tiny houses that I know about.

With Blogs:

Me!  Laura Moreland, Ontario: Tiny House Ontario:

Henry, British Columbia: The Totems:

Heather, Manitoba: Tiny is More:   Not much up at the site yet, but the house is nearly done!

Collin and Joanna, Ontario: Our Wee House (SOLD – but story is still there):

UNKNOWN, British Columbia: Chemical Free Tiny House:

Natalie, Quebec: Tiny Refuge:

The Leaf House, Yukon (BUILDER as well):

Kyla and Jessie, Alberta: A Tiny House on the Prairies:

Newly Weds, Nova Scotia: Tiny House Nova Scotia

Michelle, British Columbia, (BUILDER): Hornby Island Caravans

Without Blogs

The Little House (Built in 1912)

UNKNOWN, Newfoundland, The Great Escape:

Deanna, New Brunswick:

Nicole, Nova Scotia:

Lydia, Saskatchewan: La Casita

Kirstin and husband, Calgary:

UNKNOWN, Bridge Studio, Newfoundland:


Kayla, British Columbia: Jack in the Box:

Kat and Matthew: Ontario:



Readers, I am sure I missed a lot, please let me know of any houses and links that you know about.  A thousand sets of eyes are always better than one.

The most Canadian Flag flying tiny house photo that I know of

The Canadian lawn chair, dead of winter, Canada



Categories: Community, Open your eyes, Tiny house | 11 Comments

Snow White Picket Fence

One time many years ago, when I first arrived to live there, I got lost in Munich Germany.  After work I was tired and not paying attention so I wound up on the wrong bus.  At that time I could barely speak a word in German and no one seemed able to help me, so I got off the bus and walked where I thought we had come from.  After walking for a while, I came along to this little cottage style house with a white picket fence all around it.  The entire large garden was landscaped to look like a magical land for gnomes.  There were gnomes doing all sorts of things.  They were crossing little bridges, sitting having tea, digging holes, having picnics, having concerts, fishing, drinking beer, picking flowers – you name it.  The gnomes were doing all the things that gnomes might be doing in a magical little land just beyond the fences of our imagination.

Before that point I had never given any thought to gnomes, but on that day I started to think that there was something magical about them.

I looked for the place many times afterward but was never able to find it and I also can’t find it on the internet.  Today in this age of internet posts one would think that these “Munchner Gartenzwerge” would have at least one shot of them but so far, the ones I find are not of this magical place.

With this in mind you may understand why, when I saw a complete set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for sale for $85 on Kijiji that I made the purchase.  Not only are dwarves similar to gnomes, but they live in the forest and while I am not the fairest in the land Snow White and I share many commonalities.

I had to laugh to myself when bringing them out to THO.  I mean five seat belts in the car and there were me, Hj, five dogs plus Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Try explaining that to the police; thankfully we were not pulled over.

The photo is busy but here they are now at home.  I still have a lot of collecting to do to finish this perennial fantasy garden, but it is coming along.

Fantasy garden at THO



Categories: Forest, Garden Gnome, Gnome, Magical, Open your eyes, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Minimum 400 Square Feet

I just heard some good news for tiny house wannabes in Ontario.  This came from Tamara who is a tiny house fan.  She says that Edwardsburg/Cardinal has a minimum house size of 400 square feet***.  So, if you are considering the absolute maximum size of a tiny house or even a small house this area looks like this area could be a good and totally legal option.  This is a nice area of Ontario, particularly down at the riverfront.

Since we are here at the border, I want to wish a happy fourth of July to friends and readers down in the USA.  And, on the topic of celebrating America, I have been working on my family tree and have found that my ancestors were the White family (no pun intended) who arrived on the Mayflower.  My direct branch were of course UEL, so this is how they wound up in Canada.  None the less, they were clearly the first of my genetic background to come to North America, excepting the Native Delware Indian branch; however, this branch is impossible to trace.

***NOTE: I have not confirmed this so please be sure to check with the building department before purchasing land.

Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, Ontario screen shot from Google Maps

Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, Ontario screen shot from Google Maps

Categories: Building code, Community, Ontario, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny house | 12 Comments

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