Ontario

Art and Angels

I just finished updating the waterproofing on our beautiful Steven Kenzora carvings.  I was just about to photograph them when I looked up.  The sun was shining through the canopy and I thought it looked like there were angels dancing on my roof.

If a thousand angels fit on the head of a pin, then the tiny roof of my tiny house makes a very magnificent dance floor!

Angels on my roof

Angels on my roof

Kenzora’s work is out again for the year.

My warrior

THO warrior

My forest guardian

The guardian of the forest

 

 

Categories: Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: | 4 Comments

Night Time Goosebumps

At 2:00 am, Dieter signalled that he had to go outside.  Hj turned on the upstairs lights and tottered down the stairs with him.  Then he turned on the downstairs and outside lights, including the spotlight out to the dog’s garden and since it looked clear, he opened the door to let Dieter out.  Dieter immediately rushed out the door barking and began chasing a large animal around the yard.  Hj was yelling “Dieter, Dieter, Dieter” and running after him.  At first we thought the animal was a fisher, but within moments we understood it was a porcupine.  A big one, of about 25 pounds.

Fortunately, Hj was able to get Dieter back into the house and the porcupine never made contact with either of my guys.

Can you see it?

S/he is right there under the sapling. Can you see our prickly friend?

 

The porcupine, I guess needed to relax after such a burst of commotion, so s/he stayed in the fenced area for about half an hour and then finally scaled up the fence and continued up one of the maple trees.  After s/he climbed up Dieter was brought out to go to the bathroom… ON A LEASH, this time.  He really did have to go to the bathroom but quickly did his business without further incident and came back in.

 

Dieter (doing his best Flock of Seagulls imitation)

Dieter (doing his best Flock of Seagulls imitation)

Dieter is, by the way, our most recent rescue.  He is five and a half and was adopted in December.  He had been living in a cage in disgusting conditions for the first five years of his life.  His owners were backyard breeders, who ran a small puppy mill.   He was the “stud”.   When he was pulled along with all the other dogs he was half the weight and had half the hair that he now has.  He was covered in fleas and suffered with tapeworm just as all the other dogs in the house.   He has made a stellar recovery!

Please adopt, don’t shop.  Dogs like Dieter make such grateful and wonderful companions!

 

Categories: Dog, Dogs, Forest, Ontario, Open your eyes, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario, Wildlife | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

EEEEEEEEK! SQUEEEEEEEEEK! WORK!

This past weekend I removed and relocated 19 very cute but very messy little mice from Tiny House Ontario.  I thought I had them all at 14 because I did not hear any noise but on the last day, I lifted the toilet and there was a  wonderful plastic bag and toilet paper home.  It was a mom with four tiny pink babies.

I removed her and her family easily right in the bag.  Since I know this is the access point for them, I then covered the area under the sink and toilet with a cup of cayenne pepper, a cup of cloves, and several types of essential oil which I understand they dislike the smell of.  Lavender, peppermint and clove oil was what I used.  I have to tell you, the bathroom smells heavenly to me.  Clearly, I am NOT a mouse because I could sit in there all day and sniff.

The mice made one hell of a mess.  It was seriously awful what they did in a five week period.  They found a five pound bag of niger seed which I use to feed the song birds and this was absolutely everywhere.  Further to this, they peed all over everything.  The entire house had to be emptied and washed.  All food, paper, tissues, towels, tea and coffee had to be disposed of.  They got into everything.  It took me hours to clean the place and it still smells of urine.

Mouse urine does not seem to be like urine from other animals.  I think it has a lot of oil in it because it was never dry in the area where they peed.  I normally don’t use a lot of chemicals when I clean but this time I bleached and then used oil soap to clean up the mess.

I the house still smells when I get back I will rub the wood and floors with pine essential oil but for now, after three days of work the house looks reasonable again.

Lets hope it stays that way.

mom and baby with niger seeds baby Male in trap

 

Categories: Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Spring 2014 Update

An short update on what is going on with me and Tiny House Ontario is here

Looks nice I think.

Looks nice I think.

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Categories: Forest, Health, Laura Moreland, Nature, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario, View | 5 Comments

Ontario Tiny House Legalization…

Update: Monday May 16, 2016

I am sorry to say that the tip that came to me about the Municipality of Highlands East was not correct.  I don’t think that the tipper meant any malice but they were simply misinformed and I passed on this misinformation to you.  I am very sorry about this.

I know it must have been a sad disappointment for at least one of the people who read it, because Dan wrote to the the Municipality of Highlands East and here is the note that he got back.

“Our zoning by-law has not changed and the minimum size of a dwelling is 65 square meters or 700 square feet.”

I am sorry Dan and others who hoped to make this community their home.

 

_____________________________________________

 

There are two bits of news that I find promising when it comes to the legality of tiny houses in Ontario.

1. Garden Suites

2. UPDATE: the Municipality of Highlands East has lowered its footprint size to 500 feet.  Which is a perfectly reasonable house size and right sized for a lot of people.  (News of this came to me on November 19, 2015)  One tiny step forward!

 

Tiny house hopeful Anthony shared a bunch of research that he has been doing in his area.  He discovered that Garden Suites are allowed to be built in the area outlined in black in the below map of Ontario.

Each of these areas has rules unique to its own area.  But essentially what holds true to all of them is that if you can get someone to agree to allow you on their land, if you hook up your services to the main house and if you pay a nice hefty fee, you can park a tiny house in these areas. Yes I said PARK!  These buildings must be supplementary and they must be mobile.

With this said, please before you jump check the specific area, there are a lot of restrictions and you will need to know these.  You can’t fill too much of the green space in a lot for example and wouldn’t it be a pity to build a house 1 square foot too big after paying for all the hookups.

Also doing this will NOT be cheap.  These houses MUST be hooked in on the existing infrastructure.  No off grid toilets, there must be running water and electricity.  In other words, if you are considering building you have to add all of these infrastructural costs to your build. Further to this, you better have a LONG term lease with the land owner, even if this is someone you trust.  Once you spend the money for hooking your house to sewage, water and electricity you want to be sure that a fight over a cup of sugar won’t find you and your house without a place to live.

I want to note that while I am excited about the potential of this, there is a lot of leg work and money to make this happen.

If you decide to go ahead with doing this, please do so with your building inspector as well as a lawyer to draw up a lease agreement.  Remember I know something about tiny houses, but I  am not willing to take any responsibility if you fail to do your own homework for your own house.  I can’t possibly know all the individual codes for every township.

 

Garden Suites

 

 

The second point, and this is REALLY great news, just last night I heard from a counsellor from a very nice area in Ontario.  This person said that they are considering removing the minimum house size in the area that they are representing.   I sent back SO much information that they will have to spend quite some time reading the information I sent.  This said, it is totally worth my time to donate my time to this cause, because I want to ensure that tiny and small sustainable homes are available to anyone who wants to live this lifestyle.

When I know more, I will certainly share more.

We are getting closer every single day folks!

Categories: Building code, Community, Environmentalism, Ontario, Rules, Sustainable living, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments