Buying land: September 2010

Somehow my initial post was deleted so I am going back now to recall this in August of 2013.  It was three years ago.  I hope I recall all the details correctly.

I heard that this particular strip of land was going up for sale.  It is dear to me because it is actually a piece of land where Native ancestors lived and also a small parcel of the land where my Irish ancestors were given their original land grant in 1836.  This 10 acres is part of the 50 that my great great uncle Llewellyn lost during the Great Depression.  The land had been in his family a hundred years and he took a small loan for farm improvement but, like many farmers of this time, was unable to repay the debt.

Anyway, our neighbours, the Miller family had purchased this land and the particular section that I bought back and always referred to it as the Dixon Farm.  I called the agent and told him to let the Millers know who I was, how I was connected to the Dixon Farm, what I could pay and that I planned to build a little place back there it was as good as a sealed deal.

I paid far below market value for the land, $67,000 to which I had to take a $40,000 line of credit in order to secure.  Not perfect to have land debt, but none-the-less it was the only way for me to purchase it.

The tree that is photographed here is about 600 years old and is a tree that my grandma would have walked under on her way to school.  The road is named after my family, the neighbours are all interconnected to my family for generations.  It is home to me here in the Kingston Area and a place I am glad to get back to after having been away since my early 20’s.

At this point I was hoping still to build a 300 square foot straw bale house which was as ecological as possible; however, due to building codes I was restricted to stay under 108 square feet (footprint) and therefore had to go to a stick build.

The land now mine again echoes with my personal history.  It resonates with the footsteps of my people.

Categories: Environmentalism, Sustainable living, Tiny house | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Buying land: September 2010

  1. Theresa

    I wanted to read the article about buying land but can’t find it!

    • Hi Theresa,
      Thank you for the heads up on this. I am not sure how I managed to delete the original post, but I have replaced it. I am certain it is not the same but it does echo the facts of the matter.

  2. Jamie

    Hi there,

    I’m in Burlington, ON, found your blog through Tiny Listings. Was very excited to find a local tiny house project!

    I’m very interested in hearing more about your research on building codes in Ontario, as I went through the same process a few years ago when I wanted to do something very similar to your tiny house. I also came across the minimum square footage issue, and also the loophole about buildings under 108 square feet. When I actually spoke to a building inspector in the area I was looking at (Grey-Bruce), he said that is only for secondary buildings on the same lot, not the primary structure. He said I wasn’t even allowed to park a tent trailer on any lot I bought, as they had a bylaw against that!

    I’m interested to know if you’ve found an area of southern Ontario that this restrictions does not apply to!


  3. Hi Laura,

    I was looking for your contact information, but could not find it so am leaving a comment instead. I have been following your blog for a few months now, and enjoy hearing about your painting and tiny home. I’m contacting you about a project I’m working on for artists to keep track of their paintings. My father is also an artist and I have developed an online app to store the details of his paintings and where they are currently located. He travels between Niagara Falls and Florida and wanted to know which location had what paintings. Seeing as how you travel between Hamilton and Kingston, I wanted to know if this is something you would also be interested in? It is still a work in progress, and I’m thinking of turning it into a online web service, but am looking for other artists to give it a try for free and see what they think. If this is something that would be of interest, you can contact me here: and we’ll get you setup.

    Sorry for leaving a comment, feel free to delete it.


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