tiny house exterior

“I want to live more simply. But when you try to live simply, you run into all this red tape.”

Stacey is a single woman with grown kids. She would like to move to a tiny house, where she will be living in the house alone or, initially, with her 19-year-old daughter. 

Stacey has a lovely, sunny personality, is an avid crafter, and is quick to laugh. However, her living situation has been wearing her down. “I am supporting myself and I don’t make a lot of income. Right now, 70% of my income is going towards my rent. This is very stressful.”

“I would love to downsize right now. I am paying a lot in rent. It would be less stress, and I need less stress.”

Stacey’s dream is to be self-sufficient and stress-free in her tiny house. She is eyeing a 38” model from Minimaliste, a builder in Quebec. They offer a full bathtub option and lots of windows that bathe the home in light. Stacey is not into roughing it, but she does want the home to be off-grid. 

“I want to know that if everything crashed or the services became too expensive, I would still be able to heat my home.”

There’s more talk about tiny homes, but still a lack of practical options

Ontario recently published a tiny home building guide, making it official that homes above 188 sq ft, on wheels or not, can serve as full-time year-round dwellings. With encouragement from the province, many Ontario municipalities followed suit by allowing tiny homes to be primary and secondary dwellings on their lots.

As always, the devil’s in the details. 

“I’ve called so many municipal offices in the area – Montague, Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place, Ottawa, Lanark. In some places, you would have to build a primary dwelling first, then add the tiny home. Most places don’t allow wheels. Campgrounds that do allow “mobile homes” are often closed in winter.”

The whole process has been “frustrating and time-consuming”. Stacey feels no closer to finding a place to put a tiny home than when she started looking. Instead of finding land, she’s only met other people looking.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people since I started looking into tiny homes. It seems a lot of people have bought, built, or somehow got their hands on a tiny home and now cannot find land to put it on.”

“I am aware that many people are parking their tiny homes illegally. But I can’t do that. What would I do if someone complains? I would have to move it and those things are not easy to move.” 

Canadian single-income households deserve better

As a Personal Support Worker and resident of Carleton Place, Ontario, Stacey is far from alone in her situation. Her income is quite standard for her profession, but her rent, currently at $2200 a month, is completely unsustainable. 

historic building facade

Carleton Place, like many small towns in Ontario, has seen a massive increase in home costs and rent in the past two years. Located within commuting distance of Ottawa, Carleton Place was already becoming a favourite among families looking for the small-town lifestyle close to the big city. Once the pandemic hit, many local residents have become priced out of living in the town.

“Our town’s motel – in all the rooms there are people staying full-time because they can’t find a place to live.” 

In Carleton Place there is an ongoing application from a developer to rezone a lot as a tiny home village. “The process has been going on since 2017. However, the homes will be for rent, which I don’t think helps Carleton Place very much.”

The Carleton Place Tiny Home committee is full of people like Stacey. “My friend has been on the committee for years. She can’t retire because she can’t afford to retire. She is on the committee hoping to be a voice for other people like her. If you’re wondering why we have homelessness, it’s because people can’t afford to live anywhere. And when they try to get creative and think outside the box, they are met with red tape. The government is hemming them in.”

Do you have land to rent?

Stacey is not picky or demanding. What she’s looking for is simple:

“I would like a place to park my tiny home.”

Stacey is open to all options that would bring down her expenses and stress. “I can live anywhere. If I find a place on a farm, I don’t mind helping on the farm.” 

If you’re looking for a wonderful renter, if you have a story to tell, or if you want to help out the tiny home movement, send us a note at [email protected]



  1. Hi! My husband and I are interested in buying a tiny home, I just wanted to ask if anybody knows an area around London,ON it can be 15-20mins away from the city. It’s my dream to live tiny and have less stuff and more financial freedom. I don’t want to rent anymore.

  2. The biggest hurdle with tiny homes is where to live. I am looking to rent but I too have a difficult time finding people who can live out in the country. As a woman I am looking for other women who are semi retired and have some skills to market. I bought 35 acres of Unorganized Township land so I could have a couple of tiny homes with me. I have a small house 490 sq ft with a full sewing studio , art supplies and a grow tent for micro greens. There are the materials and supplies for heated greenhouse and more. I have done quite a bit of research since being here for 5 years now. As an interior designer I can help design a better home than most. Dorothy .

    1. Hi Dorothy! It sounds like you’re living my dream. Since your post, have you found any people to share your land with you? I’m looking to eventually buy a tiny home but I’m realizing that finding land to park it is going to be a challenge. Are you looking for people with tiny homes to rent land from you? I’m not ready to do anything in the near future, but that is a goal of mine in a year or two. Would appreciate your input of how to go about that when the time comes, if you have any advice 🙂

  3. I too am exploring renting a spot or buying a small piece of RV friendly land with as little red tape as possible

  4. I am also in Lanark County looking for land to park my trailer tiny house near Carlton Place/Almonte area.
    If Stacey or anyone knows of anyone that is willing or looking to rent land, please let me know.
    I know things have recently changed to allow people with homes to have a second dwelling on the property. This is a great opportunity for everyone!

  5. Hello! My husband and I are in the process of buying a beautiful 96 acre farm in Palmer Rapids, about 30 minutes from Bancroft, Ontario (we close in 2 weeks). Our dream and goal is for that land to be self-sufficient, and not just for us, but for everyone who stays there, rents there, helps there. We are planning to build two Bunkie AirBNB rentals to pay for the farm, as well as convert one of the barns into a rental, and are looking for likeminded people to help us make this dream a reality. What we envision would be a living, working farm. If you have a tiny home and need a place to park it, want to grow your own vegetables and don’t mind looking after animals, or building bunkies, or fixing fences, or cleaning the rentals for guests then maybe our farm is the place for you. You can live there rent-free, and all that we ask is that you help out. Make no mistake, it’s going to be tough going at first, because she’s a bit of a mess. The land hasn’t been tilled in decades, the barn burned down, and there’s a sharp Devil’s Snare weed that grabs you as you walk by and it’s EVERYWHERE. But, we have the land if you share the dream. We believe in helping out our neighbors, and reducing our footprint, as well as leaving a better world for our children. If this sounds like it might be interesting to you, please drop me a line at: [email protected]

    1. Sorry, folks. I got locked out of my other farm email address, and stupid hotmail doesn’t offer customer service anymore! If you’re looking for a place to park your wheels, you can reach us at [email protected]

  6. Seeking land for a tiny house. Have you any advice on how to do this?

    1. I am renting land near North Bay .

  7. I currently have a 100 acres of land, and I am currently looking to turn it into a small tiny home park. Their is a lot of red tape and to be honest it is difficult to get through. Not sure how I will pan out but, I will keep you posted.


    1. Good luck, Shelley! Definitely keep us posted!

    2. Hi Shelley, I am currently 1 of 3 houses that are currently looking for a place to move. Someone called the city on our current location and we have until June 12th to have all 3 units removed. I would love to speak with you if you are still interested.

    3. Ive been looking for land for timy home as well .where abouts are u located ?

  8. We have and unorganized acreage that we are looking to turn into Tiny House Parking..(10ish Acres of our 100+) will be completely off grid and must be on wheels. Not a *Community.. its a parking spot with a bit of room for a deck.. small shed if you like.. we are going to be speaking with a local gravel company to give us a cost on clearing and building a road and parking pad… Once we have the Quote we will see if we can get enough interest to make the cost worth it. We do live on the property.. we are building a house and dog boarding kennel.. on the other side of the 100+ acres…

    1. Please advise how your research goes. If we can help please let us know.

    2. Where are you located?

  9. I’m in the exact same predicament! How did Stacey make out?

    1. Hi Marsha, we are talking to Stacey this week for an update. So far, we don’t think she has been able to find land. 🙁

  10. Seeking suitable land for off grid sustainable lifestyle with a THOW. Any help would be appreciated. But please no community organizations. Terrible restrictions.

    1. I am in the Niagara Region and also looking for a tiny home community. I love the idea of off grid living. I grew up roughing it and long for the simpler life. I don’t need or want all this filler that so many folks use to convince themselves of their happiness. I want to walk barefoot and get my hands dirty and really have a chance get rid of all the “noise”. I’m willing to relocate anywhere in Canada. I’d love to be a part of building a community, whatever that entails. I want to be of service to those around me, that’s what brings me real joy.

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