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 | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Minimum 400 Square Feet

  1. Tamara

    Tamara here.. Amazing that so many people would be interested in Edwardsburg Cardinal.
    At the time, I believe I made a simple short call of general interest to the local building inspector. Asked about minimum sq. ft, and was referred to Ontario building code.
    Also in my mid 50s and considering retirement feisabilty, its great to know there are other individuals with same consideration for this area.
    I have a bit of land, and will next look into “second dwelling” for this area.

    • Hi Tamara. I really dislike it when building departments do this! It is lazy! Face it, unless you build houses or work for the building department, then people have no idea! My advice is look around for a plan that suits you (or have one custom made. The house plan shop has a lot of really great samples. I like the carriage houses, because they have a garage and with our Canadian winters a garage is nice. Best Laura

  2. Anonymous

    If there is anyone, or a group of people, who want to pitch in together to buy a plot of land for tiny houses on wheels (or static), I’d be very interested on being part of that group.

  3. Tammy

    Jason Alward….this area is 4 hours east of toronto

  4. Jessica Smith

    This is the county my daughter lives in. She has property that we could build on. 400-500 sq ft. would be great for us as we are in mid 50’s and ready to retire soon.

  5. Pingback: Where can I build a tiny house in Ontario? | Tiny House Ontario

  6. Anonymous

    The zoning bylaw for the Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal does not have minimum sizes for dwelling units. Minimum sizes are dictated by the Ontario Building Code in this case.

  7. Helen Rae

    I enjoy following Tiny House Ontario as we are originally from there and are moving back once are home sells. As seniors, we don’t need much room and a 500 sq ft home would be ideal. Just west of Toronto or west of Brantford are the areas of interest. I’ll be following your site with great interest. Thank you

  8. Jason

    Is the min size requirement in the Ontario Building Code? I am reviewing bylaws in towns and townships now, and the ones I am looking at point to the OBC as the guide. Thanks in advance

  9. Pat Beach

    This is very good news, especially for me and my wife Christine. We currently live in Front of Yonge Township, but i have been following Tiny House Ontario for a bit now. I plan on building a home approx. 400 sq’ within 10 years. I do like this area but I am willing to relocate to Edwardsburg/Cardinal as it too is a beautiful area. I drive through it all the time and I could possibly see myself living there as well. Thanks for the news.

  10. Rhoda

    The area in question is lovely and the roads are pretty good. Brockville and Prescott are just down the road for shopping and all your city conveniences. It has real snow though like deep and not the slush you find in toronto. Best get a plow blade for a truck if you have a long driveway. 😀

  11. That is good news. I am starting to build a 14′ x 32′ tiny house in NH. Luckily there are no building / zoning codes in my town. I enjoy reading Tiny House Ontario

    • Thanks Dave! 14×32 is a nice sized place. Around the size that I would like to have my home (in straw bale) if building codes in the Kingston area were more sustainably considered and approved. Good luck with your tiny house and please consider sharing photos with me. I would love to see what you are doing there.
      Kind regards and best of luck with your build!

  12. This is great news for folks in that area! Thanks Laura.

    Now if only something like this would happen a bit further west. 🙂

    • Something a bit further West is in the works as we speak. Between Toronto and Kingston, but I can’t say where yet. I have to trust that the inspector who is on side with us will work some magic with the council!
      Lots of us are crossing our fingers and waiting for a day when home building will be equitable AND environmentally responsible.
      xo Laura

      • Lulu

        If you make an application of minor variance, i dont think is a problem as long as you are not building something very very small, like 100-150 square feet, if it’s like 350-500, i think apply for minor variance would do the trick, i might be wrong, but when i call City of Toronto, the zoning and planning department told me about that, especially if you have an architect behind your back for drawing and planning, it should be no problem.

      • That’s great news Laura. Would you be able to say if it’s an hour or two radius from Toronto?

      • Maria

        the Reserve is off limits. Its only for first nations people.

  13. Colette

    This would be in the area we are looking to build. Thanks for the heads up…..!!

    • It is great news! I hope it is accurate. Please let me know if you are able to confirm that this is 100% correct after you have called the office.
      Happy Building!
      xo L

      • Tammy

        Would love to know if this is correct as i already live in this area and can,t find anything.

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