Where can I build a tiny house in Ontario?

The question “Where can I build my tiny house in Ontario” comes to me over and over again from my readers and from people who happen on my tiny house blog or Facebook site.  The question is variable – it can mean where can I find a place to rent to put my house on wheels on?  To where can I build one on a foundation legally?  Or it could mean where are places that I can get around the building code (as I have).

I cringe when I get these because the answer that I am forced to give is truly deflating.  Which is to say that I don’t know.

The fact is, each municipality sets its own rules.  Most have not honestly evaluated the issue of oversized housing in years and further to this, even if they had the leaders of these municipalities are under the huge misconception that large houses bring in a better and higher quality of citizenry.  This is, of course very far from the truth.  If people have to work less to pay their living expenses, they can volunteer more, spend more time in and for their community and their family.  They can travel more and have a better state of mind.  Tiny houses are NOT about evading tax.  I for one, am happy to pay taxes that are representative of the average of the community.  Tiny housers make excellent community members and would add greatly to the vitality of any community that they join.

Contrary to the misguided municipalities that make it impossible for us to settle amongst them we are not people who drain the tax base.  The tiny house movement is about living more and consuming less.  We are interested in living in sustainable and more ecologically aware housing.  That is all. Here is some information about who we are.



There have been some slivers of hope for us as the more educated municipalities begin to hear our call and bring themselves in line with Ontario’s 2011 Strong Communities Through Affordable Housing Act.

Here are some windows of hope:



Garden Suites

Also, I have it on good authority that the municipality of Highlands East has lowered its footprint to 500 square feet.  This is not quite tiny but a right sized house for many!  [Perhaps the footprint could include a garage/storage/shed and so on, for those of you who strongly wish to maintain a tiny space???]

Thoughts on the 2011 act


More questions answered here: 

Also the Unorganized townships offer something unique because you don’t need a permit.  However, one must know and follow the Canadian Building Code (which as I mention has no size restrictions.  If you are building up there though, keep in mind that you are probably going to want a couple of things done differently.  I think very thick walls, a good job on insulation and a closed porch on every door is important.  This is simply so that in the winter you don’t lose all your heat every time you open the door.  More on building in the unorganized townships here.

Other thank what I have shared now, there is no advise I can give expect to say, PLEASE DO check and work with your municipality.  The more they know about us the better.  You may not get the answers that you hoped for yet… but it is better to know before you have invested your money in a dream that can’t be seen to fruition due to the short sighted blocks of uneducated leaders.

Stay tiny!


Please, if anyone hears or knows more about any specific municipality please let me know so that I can add this information for other hopeful tiny housers.  We are growing in numbers and there is power in that.  It is getting easier little by little.











Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 8 Comments

Exact Cost: Phase 6, Year 5, 2015

It is that time of year again!

It cost quite a bit more this year than in the previous one, but this said, four of my eight goals were met and a few more things too.  The costs all tallied up for my tiny house and land are now over 100K, but this said, it is now nearing completion and the livability is really great now.

The accomplishments that I ticked off of my to do list are:  Install the Mini 12 stove chimney set up, fix the bathroom so that the mice cannot get in, insulate and install flooring on the main level, and build seating.  I also put in a new support post in the cloth porch because it was sagging a little bit from the snow load.  Too, I took a load of stuff to the dump.  The things that went were the mouse urine soaked bathroom items, the old sofa and chair that I had rescued from the roadside six years ago and scrap building materials from the updates.  I also took the old burned out BBQ and metal bits to the metal recycle place at the same time.

Now that I have heat, the only obstacle to living there is a fresh water well.  At about $10K for the drill, this may not happen next year either.

My costs were as follows:

Dump run –  truck rental $120, dump fee, $28 TOTAL: $148.

Chimney – Cement and foam base $79, Muscles $150  Stone  $1400, Mason and supplies $1200, stove pipe kit $345 TOTAL: $4174.

Bathroom – preowned metal and plywood $0, Habitat flooring $10 TOTAL: $10.

Main floor insulation and flooring – Insulated panels $207, flooring $250 TOTAL: $457.

Sofa and footstools – $487.

Post and additional wood for cloth porch – $78.

2015 Phase 6 $5354

2014 Phase 5 $0

2013 Phase 4 $2419

2012 Phase 3 $5,124

2011 Phase 2 $8,839

2010-11 Phase 1 $11,740

Total, To Date (on building, driveway, homesteading, improvement & taxes) – $33,876

Land – $67,000

Investment in THO and Property $100,876 —–

As for] what I wish to work on next year:

  1. Update the bathroom so that it works
  2. Turn the garden into a little green house so that the critters can’t steal everything I grow.  Alternately, I thought I might plant just herbs and Helianthus tuberoses.  These are native species alternately known as sunroot sunflowers, or Jerusalem artichokes and they should do well in the sunny spot there as well as produce food for me that perhaps won’t all be eaten.
  3. Install the floor on the second level.
  4. Finish the stone work patio and walkways
  5. I would also like to move the shed from my Hamilton house to the land at THO. It would be good to have it there so I could store spare wood, equipment such as maple tree tapping, and outdoor stuff. I think I would also put off season clothes in bins there. We will see if time and energy permit.

What is left to do????

  1. well and pump
  2. kitchen
  3. bathroom
  4. loft flooring
  5. build in the bed
  6. build in seating for the cloth porch
  7. shed
  8. stonework

Here is what the place looks like now :-D

September 2015 exterior on a rainy day

September 2015 exterior on a rainy day

A rainy evening, but the interior is really coming together, I think!

A rainy evening, but the interior is really coming together, I think!

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 3 Comments


Today I received a VERY promising comment here, at my blog, that I think is very important and worth sharing.

It is posted below, and I would invite you all to share your thoughts.   ((( PLEASE NOTE: I have edited to protect the identity of the writer.)  Hopefully we can all work on this together to make another aspect of tiny house living easier for ourselves and those who come after us.  (UPDATE: PLEASE NOTE!!!  NONE OF US SHOULD DO THIS SOLO!  IF AN APPLICATION IS DENIED BY THE MINISTRY, NO ONE CAN PUT IN ANOTHER SUBMISSION ON THIS TOPIC FOR FIVE YEARS!!!!)

A place to go!

A place to go!

Thank you for this information. I am passionate about clean water and finding ways to produce less black water. I feel that composting toilets need to be the way of the future. However it is obvious that lawmakers still have no understanding of the potential of composting toilets for improvements in water quality given that there is still a requirement for all dwellings to hook up to sewage infrastructure. However, there is a law in Ontario called the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), overseen by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO)  *****************, which gives residents greater access to environmental decision-making. One of the tools in the EBR is an Application for Review with which it is possible to ask for a review of a current law or to request a new one. It is quite a powerful tool and one that could be used in many ways. One of the options that potentially exists for tiny-housers would be to file an Application for Review asking the government for a Policy or Regulation on composting toilets. This could be a very important undertaking for a variety of reasons including the fact that currently the Province does not have adequate ways to deal with the ‘septage’ pumped out of septic tanks and which essentially in the case of these garden suites, people are being asked to use. If someone else was passionate about this issue and of removing barriers to tiny living, accessing the information about Rights under the EBR on the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s website and perhaps reading what the ECO has said about septage in the past.

Signed *********


Here is the link to rights

Has anyone found andy info on the sites about septage???

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 13 Comments

Video Tour 2015

THO with the risers to support the stone patio.

THO with the risers to support the stone patio.

Finally at long last I have made a video tour of Tiny House Ontario.  I did this on my cell phone so it is wiggly and may give you a little motion sickness… but none the less it will give you a much clearer picture of how the house is laid out than photos have.

I did this on August 10th in the oppressive heat and humidity.  You will notice a couple of things that I did not explain so well.  One is that I have left the tarp up on the south east side of the cloth porch.  This is because it keeps the kitchen dry so I can work there easily even when it is raining.

You will see that the stone risers are now completed so that the East part of the stone patio will no longer slide.

You will also see why I should really have a shed there.  My motorcycle, ladder, wheelbarrow extra lumber and propane cylinders would make me happier if I could tuck them away when not in use.  You will notice that near the motorcycle on the east side of the house there is a tarped area.  This is covering lumber which is for a small shed.

You will also be introduced to the dogs <3

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , , , | 26 Comments

Mushrooms, cloth porch and wood stove

In eight days I am heading to THO again.  I am hoping that the heat that we are now experiencing will have subsided somewhat.  The time has come to get the mushroom spores inserted into the logs that are the correct point of curing.  I will write a full blog post about the mushrooms soon!

Waiting for the spores

Waiting for the spores

It is hard to see here, but I also have to replace the front panel on the cloth porch.  It has several tears in it so sitting in the porch makes you a perfect mosquito buffet.  The porch feels more open now because I re-homed the big metal chairs after I plucked these two tiny chairs from a dumpster.  Sadly the wicker chair broke through – but I had picked that up from the side of the road about ten years ago, so it did not owe me a thing.  Now the plastic footstool from inside has taken the place of that, so we have three seating spots still.  Even though these changes will be happening, or have happened… I think, it is time to do some work on the cloth porch.  So it is likely that there will be more changes there this year as well.

I really have to get the wood stove in!  Not just so that visiting there in the cold weather is more comfortable either!  I am sick of it being in my porch!!!  I don’t want to start this job during a heat wave though… not just because working in the heat is miserable but because it is not ideal for drying mortar when it is so hot… Late August or early September, maybe???

Cloth porch

The ever so humble, and practical cloth porch. It needs some work!

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

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