A new website has recently launched in Canada, aiming to help solve the how-to of living in a Tiny House. The listings and resource site is an online hub where people can: Buy, Sell or Rent Tiny Homes; Locate Parking Spaces for their Tiny Homes; Discover Land Share Opportunities; Learn about the Canada Building Code and Zoning issues for each major City; Connect with the growing community of Tiny House people; Locate Resources such as Building Plans; Insurance Information; Eco-Living Supplies and More.
A growing portion of Canadians are concerned about the environment, the economy and the various social issues that arise from related systemic challenges. As a result of these concerns they are investigating the idea of living in a tiny house. Proponents of the lifestyle say that despite societal ideals, traditional houses are not as relevant in today’s complex world, instead proposing that new ways of living must be considered and to address the growing concerns of Canadians aged 50 years and under.
Dani Zaviceanu owner of Tiny House Listings Canada says “Times have changed in Canada and the reality is that the lifestyle our parents lived no longer applies to the younger generation of Canadians. Inflation rates, the energy crisis and a more fractured sense of community are making people look at new ways of living, yet the current model of traditional home ownership is just not offering the solutions that we are asking for.”
While already very well established in the United States, the Tiny House movement is rapidly catching on in Canada. Television shows such as HGTV’s Canada series Tiny House, Big Living are growing in popularity, as are Tiny House building companies such as Nelson Tiny Homes. A Google search for “tiny house Canada” shows that the on-line community it also growing quickly. Thousands of people are talking about the movement with new stories are appearing all over the news and in social media on a daily basis.
There is also some scepticism about tiny homes, as indicated in the recently publicized article “Teeny House Big Lie” (Globe and Mail, Erin Anderssen). Concerns include small space confinement, limited access to owning possessions and building code restrictions that make legally living in a tiny home very difficult. Red tape makes them hard to insure as well. In response to these concerns, Tiny House owners argue that the movement is meant to solve issues for people who live in them as a necessary solution for solving economic, social and environmental problems, as opposed to being simply a passing trend for more privileged people with higher incomes.
Again Dani Zaviceanu says “We see these issues as huge problems that needs to be addressed now. The Tiny House movement offers viable options that deserve a closer inspection.”
In response to these concerns, the Tiny House Listings Canada website aims to make the lifestyle easier to navigate, working with all aspects of the lifestyle including building, renting or purchasing, zoning and by-laws, the Canada building code and the exponential growth of the industry at large. Owner Dani Zaviceanu is hopeful that with more awareness, this growing movement will offer affordable, eco-friendly housing for Canadians while proving that it is a realistic solution rather than a passing trend.
Background Canadian Economy: Inflation rates are rising; Job wages for people under 40 are lower than they were a generation ago; Employer pension plans are less common; Housing prices have nearly doubled since the 1970’s; It now takes 3 times longer to save for a mortgage than it did 30 years ago; Student debt has risen and this is expected to continue. (source- GenSqueeze)
Environment (carbon footprint): Canada is the largest consumer of energy in the world on a per capita basis, and the second largest producer of greenhouse gases (after the United States); Nearly 60 percent of the energy used by Canadian homes is directly related to housing; Sources of energy consumption in traditional homes include heating, computers, refrigerators, light bulbs and household appliances, and Environment Canada’s recent Emissions Trends report shows that instead of going down, the overall emissions are rising as the 2020 deadline approaches.
Consumption is greatly reduced in a tiny house due to the nature of the space available. Consumers are instead forced to think about purchases and how they can best be used in the tiny house environment. In many cases, ecologically sounds options are chosen over “throw-away” purchases, resulting in a cyclical repurchasing of everything from blenders to personal grooming equipment. The cost savings of off-grid living (even partially) come through the implementation of a number of ecologically sustainable technologies ranging from solar equipment to water-catchment, grey-water management, cooking, heating and cooling solutions. The use of these technologies encourages an ethos of conservation that is always present. Tiny Houses themselves can be made from up-cycled materials at low cost, or no cost at all (aside from labour)
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