Just 50 kms outside of Toronto live Mark Su and his girlfriend in a fully self-contained 310 square foot home that set him back a mere $30,000.
The environmental consultant didn’t pay a dime for labour as he built his tiny house solo, an expense that saved him in the neighbourhood of $30,000. Their cozy house-on-wheels sits on a plot of land that the couple rents from a trailer park in Stouffville. Rent, water and other utilities cost them less than $400 a month.
“One of big reasons I did this is because I didn’t want to be tied down with a mortgage,” says Su, 28. “I didn’t want to live a stressful life. We also really like the sustainability aspect and the minimalist idea of just living with what you need.”
Despite the tight quarters, Su and his girlfriend say they live quite comfortably in their tiny home, which boasts a bathtub, a spare bedroom that doubles as a TV room and a composting toilet. The pair has entertained as many as 10 guests within its 28-by-8.5 feet walls.
People have lived in small spaces for centuries. Think shanty, lean-to and yurt. But only recently have we given the lifestyle a name. The tiny house movement, which espouses that living with less is better, has been around for a while in Canada, longer in the U.S. Tiny homes typically run from 100 to 500 square feet.
Given the lack of affordable housing in Toronto and Vancouver, it makes sense that it would fuel interest in pint-sized housing. In the first year after launching Live Tiny Canada, the website received 250,000 visits, about 85 per cent of which were from Canadian locations.