Tiny Homes in Ontario - Developments
Exciting developments for tiny homes in Ontario promised at the Teeny Tiny summit in Thorndale. Read on to learn more about what's happening.
On 10 April, I attended the Teeny Tiny Summit. I am glad I did. The venue was quite different to the sterile hotel or exhibition centre conference rooms where this type of event is usually held.
It’s the home of the Purple Hill Country Music Festival and other musical events. It’s a fascinating blend of old world country charm and modern audio visual technology. Situated on a working farm that has been in the Taylor family since 1853, it is only 3 km North of Highway 2. Just a few minutes from London, Ontario.
The hall started life as a home for dairy cows, then became a venue for cattle and other auctions. Now it holds weddings, banquets, conferences and music events. Its walls are adorned with hand tools, small farm implements and kitchen utensils dating back two centuries.
The Teeny Tiny Summit
The theme of the summit was “Big Ideas for Small Places”. It attracted around 120 people from South West Ontario and beyond. Delegates attended to learn about ideas for reversing the slow death of small rural towns.
Rural depopulation is not unique to Ontario, it’s a problem throughout the developed world and in many developing countries too. The lure of city life is difficult for underemployed rural folk to resist As people leave, businesses fail, schools and churches close, basic services become unavailable. A few older residents hold out but eventually, the town or village ceases to be viable.
It was refreshing to hear keynote speaker Peter Kenyon from Bank of Ideas tell us about so many success stories in his native Australia that I could hardly keep up with my note-taking. I will write about some of these in future posts. However, here is a taste of some of the innovative thinking that turned one small town in the wheat belt of rural Victoria, around. Not only did it save this small town from a certain slow death, it inspired others. One town’s vision led to a “Silo Art Trail” through 30 towns attracting thousands of tourists every year.
What Does This Mean For Tiny Homes In Ontario?
One of the side effects of rural depopulation and dying small towns is the problem of homelessness, particularly young people with nowhere to live. Speaker Terrilee Kelford of Cornerstone Landing Youth Services spoke about the extent of this problem in Lanark County. Her organization had identified the important role tiny homes could play in helping to solve this problem. Not only in one county, but all over rural Ontario and beyond.
Thanks to the efforts of her organization and committed local government leaders, the Ontario provincial Government is encouraging county and township regulators to reduce the minimum house size requirement down to the Provincial minimum of 290 sq.ft. (excluding bathroom) which I wrote about in this post.
Municipalities and townships are also starting to use the existing regulations for secondary suites to allow tiny homes to be built as a free-standing second residence or driveway home on larger residential plots.
There are moves to make it easier to put multiple tiny homes on one site and to park tiny homes on wheels (THOW) on land not designated as RV parks.
Future posts will track the progress of these changes and we will also be looking at mortgage and insurance providers for tiny home.
The times are changing.
It can only mean good news for tiny homes in Ontario.