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 without being blocked by a building inspector? 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:
Hamilton Ontario is working on legalizing secondary dwellings
IF YOUR ONTARIO COMMUNITY IS NOT ALLOWING SECONDARY UNITS THEY ARE NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW. So if you want to build a tiny or small house on family or friends property, I suggest that you bring this up with your municipality!
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???]
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.
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.