The first Tiny Homes Show in Hamilton attracts visitors searching for inexpensive, simple living.
Vince and Ayşe Macdonald moved to Ancaster, Ontario, with their little house two weeks after purchasing a new house in Alberta.
The married couple said that moving into a smaller house helped them get rid of things they didn’t need.
“I don’t wear half of my clothes, I don’t use half of the dishes. It just made sense,” Ayşe stated.
“We’re not serving our stuff; our stuff is serving us,” Vince said.
At the Ancaster Fairgrounds’ Small Home Show, which ran from August 4 to August 7, their home was one of 19 tiny houses and trailers that guests could see.
According to the event’s organizers, more than 2,000 people attended, and more than 20 speakers discussed themes including climate change and integrating into tiny homes.
Over the course of the weekend, visitors of various ages came to the expo, some seeking retirement residences and others to purchase their first home. Some of the numerous builders of small homes from around Canada were among the exhibitors.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Hamilton is $1,603, up around $100 from February’s rates, according to a Rentals.ca survey.
However, the average cost to purchase a residential property in the Hamilton-Burlington region is $946,026, according to a survey from the Realtors Association of Hamilton and Burlington. In March 2020, that will be compared to $658,654.
In order to protect the housing market, the City of Hamilton has passed laws that allow extra units like basement flats or laneway houses. The city is also working on rules for short-term rentals like Airbnb.
The Macdonald family claims that living simply is liberating, but Ayşe pointed out that “it’s different for everyone.”
“You don’t have to be totally minimalist where it’s bare … I do have a few ornaments, I paint rocks, and they’re there.”
Ayşe says that her way of life could be an example for younger people who want to follow their dreams but don’t have the money or desire to buy a big house.
The event’s attendance, according to co-producer of the program Maria Sturova, is evidence that people need better housing alternatives.
Both the housing and climate crises exist. Nobody, not one person, is unaffected by this.Therefore, those present are looking for answers.
Costs are still greater than they were before the epidemic, despite the fact that rents are rising faster and home sales are sluggish.
Stephen and Renee Benjamin, two young Toronto residents, said that they liked the idea of tiny homes because they were cheap and easy to move.
According to Stephen, there’s a simpler way to get out of debt and stop working all the time.
We’re just thinking about this as an option, or maybe even as an investment, because housing costs for young people and young couples in Canada are so high.
Renee continued: “If we can live in a place where we can spend as much time outside as possible, something like this would be a terrific alternative for us.”
According to Sturova, a new tiny home typically costs around $150,000, but that figure does not account for the price of the land.
A typical tiny house is about 200 to 400 square feet in size. According to Statistics Canada statistics from 2021, the price of land per acre in Canada varies from $1,656 in Saskatchewan to $13,813 in Ontario.
According to Sturova, some people use tiny dwellings as rental residences that they can offer on Airbnb.
According to organizations like the Hamilton Encampment Support Network, tiny dwellings are not a solution to the housing issue.
To assist those who were homeless, the Hamilton Alliance for Little Shelters (HATS) started constructing so-called “tiny cabins.”
However, according to HATS, small cabins shouldn’t be used as a primary residence, and tiny dwellings should only be an alternative for those who lack the means to purchase other property.
We require housing. Tom Cooper, director of HATS, stated that we require accessible and secure supportive housing.
According to Sturova, the Ancaster Tiny Homes Show is a venue for exchanging concepts about how to live more sustainably.
She gave the example of pairing ecologically friendly items like composting toilets or wind turbines with compact houses.
A small house consumes less of everything. Because everything you have in your home—including your clothing, shoes, tableware, and building materials—counts as one.
According to Sturova, tiny dwellings are not without difficulties, particularly when it comes to securing land for them.
“We are talking to the government and decision-makers who are doing land planning and land development. We’ve had several mayors here; we’ve had several chief building officers.”
“There need to be more conversations and more kind of open dialogue, and the show itself that we organized here, in order to make a change.”