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Province sets rules for tiny homes

tiny homes

The provincial government has released a guideline for those looking to purchase a tiny home in Ontario. The houses can’t be any smaller than the minimum standard of 188 sq. ft. in the Ontario Building Code.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The province is looking at tinier options as it has released a guide to purchasing or buying a tiny house.

Speaking recently in Oshawa, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark announced the province is hoping to create more homes, as well as different types of homes.

The minister believes this will make purchasing a home more affordable around the province as home prices continue to rise.

Tiny homes are considered less costly to build and maintain, and are therefore considered more affordable than traditional housing.

They are small, self-contained residential units, which have a living area, kitchen, dining, bathroom, and sleeping areas.

They can’t be smaller than the minimum standard of 17.5 m. sq (188 sq. ft) in Ontario’s Building Code.

The guide, called the “Build or Buy a Tiny Home Guide” offers advice regarding building or buying a factory-built tiny home.

“We know that the demand for alternative, innovative and more affordable types of housing is growing,” said Clark. “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.”

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter said he is looking forward to working with Clark and the province on ideas to deal with the province’s housing situation.

“This new guide is one of those steps moving us forward as we look to alternative and affordable housing options in our community,” said Carter.

Over the past year, Oshawa resident Christine Gilmet made it her quest to bring tiny homes to Oshawa.

However, the type of homes Gilmet is focusing on are of the mobile variety, so they can be moved from location to location.

The challenge is these are not currently legal in the City of Oshawa.

Certain types of tiny houses are legal in the city, such as a 253 sq. foot home at 96 Quebec St. which caught significant attention on social media late in 2018.

However, under the city’s current zoning bylaw, the home is treated as a tiny “detached dwelling.”

Back in May, commissioner of development services Warren Munro said problems could arise if several “mobile” tiny homes were situated on one property.

However, Munro said if council decided to make these homes legal in Oshawa, his department would make it happen.

– With files from Dave Flaherty