‘Tiny’ Homes Of 188 Square Feet Could Soon Dot Ontario

Build or buy a tiny home

Oshawa: The province is taking steps to help create more homes, and different types of homes, to give Ontarians more housing choices at a price they can afford.

Tiny homes are less costly to build and maintain and can be more affordable than traditional housing.

A tiny home on wheels.

The Build or buy a tiny home guide offers practical advice about building or buying a factory-built tiny home that complies with Ontario’s Building Code. It’s the second in a series of guides highlighted in More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan.

“We know that the demand for alternative, innovative and more affordable types of housing is growing,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing at an event in Oshawa on Monday.

“Our innovation housing guides provide important information about different types of housing, so that people can make well-informed decisions about the type of home that best meets their needs and budget.”

Sample – an interior of a tiny home

A tiny home cannot be smaller than the minimum standard set out in Ontario’s Building Code, which is 17.5 square metres (188 square feet).

The guide reflects input from diverse stakeholders. “I had the pleasure of meeting with builders, designers and regulators during the creation of the guide who provided valuable contributions,” said Parm Gill, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Municipal zoning by-laws affect whether and where you can build a tiny home. Some municipalities have embraced creative and innovative housing options in their by-laws and their approach to housing.

This is how the interior of a tiny home could look like…

“We look forward to working with the Minister and the Province on innovative leading ideas to deal with the housing situation in Ontario,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “This new guide is one of those steps moving us forward as we look to alternative and affordable housing options in our community.”

• Tiny homes are small, self-contained residential units built for year-round use. In addition to a living area, they must contain a kitchen, dining, bathroom and sleeping areas.

• A tiny home cannot be smaller than the minimum standard set out in Ontario’s Building Code, which is 17.5 square metres (188 square feet).

• In September 2019, a second unit guide was launched to help people who want to add a second unit, like a basement apartment, to their home.

A tiny home in a container

The idea of tiny home living is not new. Over the last few years, tiny homes have been getting a lot of attention as a housing choice for people to live in or rent out.

Adding or building a tiny home to your property can sometimes be a challenge. Unlike the regular-sized houses we have been building for decades, tiny homes are an emerging trend. As such, getting successfully through approvals and meeting requirements to build a tiny home can be difficult.

The Building Code requires all buildings to be inspected during construction. In the case of factory-built buildings, quality control inspections and monitoring occur during the assembly of buildings and building components.