Tiny Home Alliance Canada is a national community that provides resources, networking opportunities, and industry advocacy for those interested in the tiny home movement. Through collaborative partnerships at all levels, we support, campaign and are committed to all entities of tiny living.
We aim to support both a thriving industry and a sustainable lifestyle for anyone who wants to go tiny.
Why Go Tiny?
In a world of over-consumption and poorly distributed (finite) resources, tiny homes offer long-term sustainability solutions including the security and freedom that comes from owning less debt and fewer possessions. By our research, the chief reason people downsize to “tiny” is a desire to simplify their lives.
Other common causes include housing affordability, ecological stewardship, and the most critical nationwide issue — lack of affordable, well managed rental accommodations. Research indicates that a smaller house and less consumption can often represent 30-40% recovery of gross household income, with no loss of quality of life. Many tiny home dwellers report a higher quality of life as a result of having less; smaller spaces require less labour and maintenance.
Over 60% of tiny home owners are debt fee and mortgage free (US 2014-2015 data).
“Being Green” is holding greater value to us as a nation. We are admitting the environmental impact the average home has as well our role in climate change. To not make changes will tax us and our great land to the point of greater strife. It seems our whole economic system is driven to use up the Earths finite resources.
Who Does This?
Millions of people around the world live in modest sized homes which has long been the norm. For example in Europe where most people live in flats. Here in North America, the industry has been underway for several years; some suggesting that it gained ground in the US after the 2008 financial crises.
Since then there are thousands of tiny house people, and a subsequent influx of publications, builders, developers and network TV shows. The industry is booming, and laws are being updated to meet the demand. In Canada, the idea has emerged in the last few years and is gaining rapid popularity- and what was once considered a ‘trend’ is now a viable industry. You might be a tiny house person if:
1) You want to stop losing 30% or more of your income to housing.
2) You value the concept of consuming less.
3) You wish to be less dependent on the grid and the associated rising costs’ of energy.
4) You want to have ‘more life’, creating and maintaining stronger connections with family, friends and community.
It is important to understand that living smaller, tiny, or micro is not about the sacrifice of modern amenities. It is a rethinking of priorities
There are many things to consider before the hammer starts swinging!
Zoning/municipal laws, building codes, standards, insurance, financing, mobile or fixed foundation options and more. Who builds them in Canada? How can I build my own? What cities in Canada allow tiny houses? Who do I talk to first? And, most important to a great deal of the country, “What about Canadian winter?!”
The good news is there are proven solutions, and there is a constant continuous improvement for the development of freedoms to live smaller in Canada.
We are working to help sort all of this out by research and connecting to some of the best Canadian professionals: tradespeople, architects, engineers, builders, planners, suppliers, emerging and established communities; other tiny house pioneers and government offices across our amazing country.
Visit our FAQ to learn more.
Strength is in an organisation to a collective effort.
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Micro House: A residential building 100 square feet or less. May also be called “tiny”.
Tiny House: A residential building between 101 – 500 square feet.
Small House: Among many architects, the word ‘small’ is used when speaking of 501 – 1400+ square foot residential buildings.
Tiny House on Wheels (THOW): A tiny house on a trailer with wheels. Not specially defined (not accepted as an “RV” or any other type of dwelling below).
Container Homes: Homes made primarily from one or more steel shipping containers.
Earth-Ship: A passive energy house of any size made from both natural and recycled materials.
Yurt: A circular tent comprised of a collapsible framework of poles forming a lattice arrangement, covered by felt and natural or synthetic skins.
Manufactured or Ready to Move (RTM)*: Transportable, single or multiple-section, one-storey dwellings ready for occupancy on completion of set-up by the manufacturer’s instructions and meeting all the requirements of the governing laws and housing codes. A ‘modular home’ is assembled on-site.
Park Model Trailers: A unit that is built on a single chassis mounted on wheels, is designed as living quarters for seasonal camping and may be connected to those utilities necessary for the operation of installed fixtures and appliances; and has a gross floor area, not exceeding 538 Sq. Ft when set-up mode. Ref. CSA Z241
Mobile Home*: A manufactured mobile dwelling that is designed or used for residential occupancy, built upon or having a frame or chassis to which wheels may be attached for transportation purposes; may be installed on a perminant foundation.
Recreation Vehicle (RV): A vehicular-type unit that is primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or seasonal use; has its own automotive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle. Does not require a special highway use permit for operation on the highways, and can be easily transported and set up on a daily basis by an individual. Not considered a building. Ref. CSA Z240
Straw-bail: House constructed of hay bails with an earthen plaster exterior and interior.
Teepee: A cone-shaped tent traditionally made from tall wooden poles and animal hides.
Wigwam: A domed structure with a frame of arched poles which are covered with any number of natural plants or animal hide roofing material.
For several of the house types listed above, there are many kinds and build methods.
*Certain municipalities may have different definitions and regulations to some dwellings.