Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Tiny Community’

Toronto Man Wants City To Let Him Live In Tiny Home

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Anthony is in the Toronto Tiny House Facebook group.  Looking forward to following his story and hopefully meeting up with him at a local Tiny House gathering/meet-up.


A Toronto man is trying to get the city to embrace his pint-sized housing plan.

The proposed home will be cubelike, trailer-sized and wheeled — although not for the purpose of driving — and completely self-sustainable.

The problem? On paper, it sounds exactly like a standard travel trailer, and city zoning is clear: You can’t live out of a vehicle.

In reality, Anthony Moscar says his home will be anything but.

“Trailers are these temporary places . . . there’s no sense of having to be concerned about anything for the long term, because eventually you’re going to reconnect to a power source,” he says. “The tiny house isn’t any of that.”

Moscar’s home will be 11 metres long and between 2.5 and 3.7 metres wide. It will operate using rainwater and solar panels and will even feature a composting toilet. He’s been considering the idea for almost a year, and this spring, he intends to make the self-sustainable home a reality.

The 29-year-old naturopath and his supporters, who include one of the tiny-home movement’s Canadian experts, regard his home as the next frontier in living small. They also expect it to be a viable alternative for today’s youth as housing prices soar. (Moscar expects his home to cost around $30,000 to build.)

But first, they have to see if they can change the city’s mind.

A spokesperson for the city’s planning department declined to discuss ways in which Moscar might get approval to live in his house, or who he might speak with about it, saying only ‘there are no exemptions.”

“Toronto hasn’t really had to deal with that type of situation, and they don’t want to,” Moscar says, which he thinks is unfortunate.

He’s considering asking local eco-friendly organizations to allow him to locate his house on their property for a year or two as a way of showcasing sustainable living. As a backup plan, he’s checking with municipalities in a one-hour radius of Toronto to see what their policies are.

In places like Stuttgart, North Vancouver and a growing number of cities across the United States, the tiny-home concept is gaining traction, in large part because it responds to environmental and fiscal concerns.

That’s partly why Andy Thomson, an Ottawa-based architect and a Canadian tiny-home expert, started experimenting with small living years ago.

“You don’t really need to build 2,000 square feet because you can’t possibly occupy all of that at one time,” Thomson says. “Building smaller and more efficient buildings is kind of the sensible thing to do.”

Back in 2007 Thomson designed a miniHome, whose prototype was produced by Northlander Industries in Exeter, Ont. It’s exactly the type of home Moscar now plans to build, and once again, Thomson has provided the design and is helping Moscar navigate the zoning bylaws.

“The way to implement such an exemption is through a councillor, based on carefully reviewed merits and for a limited time period,” he says. “Just because there is no exemption, does not mean there cannot be one.”

Moscar is hopeful.

The idea appeals to his environmentalism and the timing is perfect. After living at home to save money through several degrees, he’s ready to finally move out.

It hasn’t been simple.

Every aspect of the home, from walls and doors to running water, heating and cooling and waste disposal, has required careful planning.

But after Moscar posted an online ad soliciting advice and potential land offers, emails from people ready to embrace the little home came flooding in.

They’ve offered everything: emotional support, help with the building process, wood for walls and custom-made frames, and advice on eco-friendly plumbing.

Moscar is their test subject for how to create tiny dwellings in Toronto.

Angelina Young, a contracts administrator in Toronto, emailed to offer moral support, while Jennifer Halpern, a local graphic designer, offered to help build.

“I would love for this movement to take off here,” said Young, although two young kids make it hard for her to test it out herself. “The possibility of a homeowner in an inflated housing market like ours finding a way to live without any house payment or rent and be content in simple surroundings and be able to save incredible amounts of money. It blows me away.”

For Halpern, it’s the perfect experiment. The simplicity the movement entails is something she thinks the city is ready for: “It makes you look inward.”

As soon as the weather gets nice enough, she’ll be out — with Moscar — to start building.

Tiny Life | Tiny Homes | Global TV 16×9 Feature

Friday, February 7th, 2014


A cool little feature on Global TV’s 16×9 on Tiny Homes and Tiny Living.  Features a Toronto couple making one.  I was able to connect with them on Facebook and it’s great to follow their blog on their progress.