Let’s talk about who is breaking the law


In my last article I pointed out correctly that sustainable housing is NOT illegal but simply non-compliant to outdated building codes.

Lets get even more real here today.

The Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011 requires “municipalities to establish official plan policies and zoning by-law provisions allowing second units in detached, semi–detached and row houses, as well as in ancillary structures” and those municipalities that have not made these allowances are in fact acting illegally and contrary to the law.

Furthermore, from the tiny houser perspective, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is not doing anything about this.

Lets get this straight… this law does not help those who want to live on wheels, but it does not hinder in any way those who simply want to live in a tiny house in the city or community of their choice.

I personally lived in a house like this when I was in Germany.  It had a separate yard and parking from the main house, we had a lovely little fence between us as well as shrubs to give privacy.  We did not own the house but we rented it and when we did it was explained to us, by the owners of the house that ours had a transferable 99 year lease with the owners and a clause that if the owners did not renew the lease that the house had to be purchased at market value by them.  A very good contract for both parties.

What can we do to force municipalities to follow this act?

We rally together!

Please take some time to WRITE A LETTER and CC  it to a lot of people!!!  (all the addresses are provided below)

The issues are:

Strong Communities through affordable housing act is not being followed by any communities except for Ottawa and we the citizens of Ontario demand that tiny houses be allowed not just as secondary dwellings but as communities for those who wish to live sustainably.

Tiny houses are a viable option because they are inexpensive to build and more importantly they are exceptionally inexpensive to maintain, and live in.  They have a very small carbon footprint, they do not require citizens to live to work but rather just to live.  They are perfectly safe and can easily be built to the same codes as long as these codes are not mindlessly obsessed with size… because this alone is the only restrictive feature.

Demand that communities allow for 1000 square foot lots for tiny houses with an equitable rate for taxes based on value.

Demand that all housing being built be forced to comply with environmental standards beyond insulation, such as layout and structure that will allow for passive solar heat ,south west facing windows for breeze and solar panels to take care of the needs of each home.

Demand that tiny house communities be planned and developed in every community based on need.  I expect, based on my numbers here that there are thousands who wish to live in tiny houses if the government were actually following their own laws and making it possible for us to move forward.

Demand that those who wish to live in tiny houses on wheels be included in the code books and be allowed to be lived in, after all these are HOUSES, they are not RVs and they are perfectly safe as well.  In the USA there is a code already in place and this code allows citizens to live safely and comfortably, and this is what the codes are for, is it not?


If you are reading this, and you are a municipal leader and you also understand that what we ask for is our right, then I suggest that you get in gear and get it right.


Your letter should be addressed to:





4. Hon Chris Ballard
Ministry of Housing / Ministry Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy
17th Floor
777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5
Tel  416-585-6500
Fax  416-585-4035

E-mail: minister.mma@ontario.ca



5. Hon Kathleen O. Wynne

Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1


Because this is not just a housing issue but an environmental one!

6. Hon. Glen R. Murray

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Public Information Centre
2nd Floor, Macdonald Block
M2-22 – 900 Bay Street
Toronto ON M7A 1N3


Because this is a municipal issue (even though, in my opinion it should not be)

7. Hon Bill Mauro
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
17th Floor
777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5

AND because this should be a country wide mandate!!!

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Fax: 613-941-6900


You might also wish to copy this to other agencies that are to do with the environment, justice, landowners, poverty ect.

Do you have suggestions?  Have I missed anything?


Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 10 Comments

Post navigation

10 thoughts on “Let’s talk about who is breaking the law

  1. Hi is this site still active? I do believe it should be a template type letter covering all the basis. It could be set up within Petition.org or something similar. Share and send through Facebook and other SM networks.We could generate 100s of thousands of signatures within hours. I agree with LPR Cardin above, make it a human rights issue as well. Imagine the pressure with all these signatures.

    • Very much active. It sounds like you know something about these petitions. How about you writing one up and run it across me. If it is something I agree with, I will promote it.
      Laura, AKA Tiny House Ontario

  2. Carin

    Just thought I’d share this video for inspiration. This is US case, but it shows that individuals can make a difference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfLAKgJGc2g


    Laura, just discovered your site today. Lots of good info. I sold my $400,000, 2800 sq ft house 12 years ago because I couldn’t reconcile paying $5600 in property taxes on a 45×85 lot in Castlemore. My boss had a 3600 sq ft home in Thornhill worth 1.2 million (3x the value of my house) on a lot 40% larger and he was paying only $6800! Plus, heating and hydro costs of my place were equivalent to a small airport I’m sure.

    One can write MPs and nothing will change, except very slowly, so you might try a different tactic.

    You might want to turn this into an Ontario Human Rights issue.

    While I think a lot of folks abuse that system, I think the tiny house restrictions that your readership are experiencing (no homes with wheels, homes must be bigger than 400 sq ft) are just silly in this day and age. And onerous. You are right, the rules were written in an age when homes were much different, less safe, etc.

    Human Rights Commissions (Provincial or Federal) have the weight of the government behind them. And those who file complaints for denial of their rights get free legal representation, and monetary compensation as an individual, or as a group.

    Right now there are probably 2 or 3 HRC reps just perched by the phone, waiting, just waiting for a significant case to come across their desk – like the one the tiny house movement is currently experiencing across Canada.

    Just some thoughts.

    LPR Cardin
    Better Footprints

  4. Nice work on this issue .Law has many layer to manipulates our lives.Most Acts are intended to lawfully manipulate the original intent of democracy . Thank you for pointing this out.

  5. Hannah

    Doesn’t the Act mean IN the house or in an existing ancillary structure like a garage? Not a separate new build tiny house. Just trying to clarify.

    • I think that ancillary means of secondary importance. I think these secondary units are meant to be attached to the property, not necessarily added in the house but on the property so that individual lots can now house two homes.

  6. Anonymous

    Tamplate would be nice, so we can print out,sign and send it to the big boss office in Ottawa.

    • Thank you! I thought about this… but I think it would be significantly better if people used their own voice.

  7. Mare

    love it… get into gear and get it right…. yey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: