The tiny-house movement is an architectural and social movement that supports downsizing human living spaces; essentially, you accept “living with less.” While there is no exact definition of what makes a “tiny home” in Canada, it is generally thought to be a living space ranging from 100 to 500 square feet.
What is a Tiny Home?
Cabins, backyard sheds, granny pods, a motorhome or a tiny house on wheels – are all different categories of small homes.
Although smaller than typical houses, a small home offers a bedroom, bathroom with a toilet, kitchen, and living room features, all at an affordable price.
House on a Budget
A tiny house can be created from reclaimed or salvaged material at costs as low as $500, especially if you and your wife can build it. However, a tiny home on sale in Toronto usually costs about $25,000.
Energy Savings in a Tiny Home
With solar panels for a hot water tank and a composting toilet, tiny homes can be connected to rainwater tanks to be self-efficient. These houses can be customized to be energy efficient, using heating elements, low-flow water appliances and filtration systems.
Most tiny homeowners save a lot of money on utilities, and the very nature of tiny homes supports a minimal lifestyle with no hoarding.
Tiny houses use less energy, produce less waste, and are affordable, making them more sustainable.
Acorn Tiny Homes in Ontario is a famous builder offering tiny homes for sale in Canada. Their flagship model, the “Domek,” can comfortably house a small family, even one with a baby. The description of the home lists three lofts (2 for sleeping and one loft for office space), an amazing glass atrium above a shower, and a full kitchen.
Dreams, Not Just a Living Space
Advertisers and tiny-home building businesses offer many tiny houses for sale on your browser – a cabin tucked away in the wilderness or a custom-built hideaway in the backyard. YouTube ads tempt you with the lifestyle of your dreams, showing enticing images of a tiny house on wheels that can be parked anywhere you go.
The kitchen has enough space for most kitchen appliances, including a full-sized stove or oven for the chef in the family. Your son is safely tucked away in his loft, and you can relax in the comfort of your home-away-from-home. Or click a family photo at a scenic location for your Facebook account.
Traditionally, trailers and RVs were the only homes on wheels in and around Toronto. As the tiny modern house replaced the trailer, many owners now indulge in luxury finishes and features – which means that they live an affluent lifestyle.
Where Does Ontario Stand on Tiny Houses?
New housing types are becoming more popular because of the challenge of finding affordable houses in the Toronto area or other cities in Canada.
Ontario Building Code
It was as recently as 2020 that the Ontario Building Code incorporated tiny homes as a form of government-approved housing. The guidelines can be checked out at the Ontario guide to tiny houses.
A tiny home in Ontario must comply with all health and safety requirements and will require a building permit. Though the house can be on wheels or not, sleeping lofts must be accessible by stairs and not ladders. The bathroom should have enough space for a sink, toilet, shower stall, or bath.
In all cases, a tiny home cannot be smaller than the minimum required size set out in the Ontario Building Code, which is 17.5 m2 (188 ft2).
The Cons of Zoning Laws and Municipal Services
One drawback of a tiny house is figuring out the location. Zoning laws can be restrictive, and you cannot build a house on unzoned land, even if it is your property. You will need a permit and follow the local building code and by-laws.
In Toronto or other cities, you must approach the municipal department about services, including water supply and sewage. The house must meet the electrical safety code requirements as well.
The smaller price and size of tiny homes allow owners to spend their money and energy elsewhere, away from rote activities and expenses such as maintenance, utilities and upkeep. You can also enjoy flexibility in locations if your home has wheels.
This will serve as an extra room when you have family on a visit to Toronto, or you can rent it out for extra income.
Above everything else, it is the siren’s lure of a simple, affordable living in the city with minimal environmental impact.