Rob “The Tireman” is a charming and kind man in his sixties with a white beard and a booming laugh. He is a self-described “stubborn old man living in the forest.” And he is looking for others to join him. 

What brought Rob to a remote piece of unorganized land near Hearst, Ontario? 

Photo: Rob The Tireman

“I ended up here because I went broke fixing my cottage. I bought a cottage in 2017 and started rebuilding it, but COVID affected my finances toward the end and I did not have funds to finish my project. I couldn’t live surrounded by unfinished work. I started falling into a depression.”

Faced with the chaos of ongoing construction that he was not able to complete because his bank stopped funding the renovations, Rob battled other demons as well. 

“I have a history of alcoholism and I’ve been sober now for many years. But, just recently in 2017, all the corner stores where I lived started selling alcohol. Every time I walked into the store, I was seeing the alcohol there on the left hand side. It’s there and you see it every time you walk by and you’re depressed. I started slipping back. And I stopped myself because I promised I would never live that way again. So, I said, “If I don’t create change, nothing changes.” So I created change.”

“If I don’t create change, nothing changes. So I created change.”

“I put the cottage and my car up for sale and said, “I’m gonna have to find somewhere where I can live in a container building.” I’ve been following container buildings for a long time. I had a towing company in the 90s and I actually built a truck trailer into an office. I couldn’t put a container home just anywhere, so I had to find an unincorporated township. So that’s what led me to this spot.”

It wasn’t easy to find unorganized land that was accessible, physically and financially. Much of the land that Rob initially found was landlocked with no access roads. Finally, he located a piece of land on an outdated website that had been for sale three years ago. It had access to a main road and was 63km away from a town – Hearst, Ontario. 

Photo: Rob The Tireman

“I found this parcel of land that is 5.75 acres. Right away, I thought this would make a great place for a tiny house community. When I came up to visit the land, it was a different story. It was horrible-looking to me. It was just awful. You can see it on the first video for my tiny town. I almost didn’t buy it because of how I felt. But, I said, “This stubborn old man ain’t gonna give up. Somehow I can make this work.” And now I love it.” 

“This stubborn old man ain’t gonna give up. Somehow I can make this work.”

This stubborn man didn’t give up. Rob is no stranger to hard work and determination. He has already invested a lot of time and money into making his tiny home community dream a reality. And his hope is that others will come make it their home as well.

“I hired multiple companies to clear it out, put in a gravel driveway and mulch the tiny home spots. It was over $30,000 in total, on top of the cost of the land. Now there is a camping spot carved out for each one of the slots. Anyone who comes will have their own spot surrounded by trees. Once I have a well put in, it will feed the whole property with water.”

“I can’t wait to have potluck dinners here and BBQs all summer. You don’t need a big group of people to have a great time. Just good people. We are going to have excellent times.”

“I hope this will be a place for kids to play. It’s not going to happen overnight. But if everybody chips in to help, I will give up ⅓ of my one acre to clear out and put up a playground. I can’t wait to have potluck dinners here and share stories about work you’re doing and things like that. And all summer we’re going to have BBQs. You don’t need a big group of people to have a great time. Just good people. We are going to have excellent times.”

Photo: Rob The Tireman

Excellent times are just around the corner for Rob because already, he has several of his 6 lots taken. People are coming for the lifestyle that initially attracted Rob himself.

“You can fish, you can hike, you can enjoy the nature.”

“All around, it’s lakes, lakes, lakes. Every one of the roads leads to lakes. I haven’t travelled to them all yet because I’ve been busy. But, I went to Rabbit Lake and the phone service is full bars there. I have no cell service here. So, that’s where I go to use my phone. It’s a beautiful place to make phone calls.”

Rob doesn’t have cell service, but he does have a great internet connection which allowed us to have a video call with no problems. He maintains a lively Youtube channel and a Facebook page about his budding community. Other than that, Rob is busy building and settling in

“I haven’t had time to explore very much, because I’ve been working, building, and preparing wood. I want to build a nice community for good companionship, good collaboration. We can go together to explore the Crown Land that is behind the property. I can see on Google Maps that there is a stream there. We can enjoy our serenity.”

Photo: Rob The Tireman

Rob is happy where he is. The area has everything he needs and nothing that he doesn’t need.

“There isn’t a lot of consumer stuff here. There’s no Walmart or anything like that. But whatever you need is here. There is a Home Hardware, a building center.”

“I love it. It’s quiet. I left my keys in the truck for two weeks. They were still there. I feel safer here than I ever have in my entire life.”

“I feel safer here than I ever have in my entire life.”

Rob ends on a note of mystery. “The town sign says, “Hearst is different.” It is.” 

I guess, if you want to know why it’s different, you’ll have to go look for yourself. To connect with Rob, email him at [email protected]



  1. Currently living outside in Hearst, looking for employment and a place to stay, have great carpenter skills masonry skills welding skills if you know anybody willing to rent a room give me a call

    1. Wish i could help you out , If i hear of something i can surely pass it on to you

  2. Wonderful story Rob! I am in BC and looking to purchase / build a tiny home for myself. I don’t have the 50% downpayment for raw land required by the banks and want to create something very similar to your property where others can work together to create a beautiful and safe home for like minded people! Do you know of anyone interested in central or south BC?

    Love to hear from you, but I’m sure you are a very busy man these days – but in a productive, healthy way. Hoping you are enjoying your community and have managed to attract GOOD HONEST people =)


    1. Hi , thank you for your awesome message
      You can contact me at that email address at bottom of the page ,
      I wish i could help you I do not know any one out that way but i can tell you is if you need a large amount of money for land then you need to find smaller land , it is very hard to fine people to rent , have had a few thousand people tell me they are very interested , i have what they want , and yet i been trying to rent out lots for 2 years , I am almost full for second time , had lots of people cancel the rental
      I bought a small 6 acre lot , $30,000, please don’t go into debt to buy land , don’t put yourself in a position that you cant build , or develop land because you have to pay mortgage first ,
      I dont know how land bylaws are there , in ontario we have this thing called Unorganized township , this land is the only place you can do what im doing and not involve government , no building permits required , if you get close to cities of any kind then all the restrictions come into play also costs , and then the government up in your business constantly , they just walk in and impose their rules on you and if you dont follow them they shut you down , i was forced to add a deadbolt lock on a door between two windows , dead bolt going to do nothing if someone wanted in , then he told me i need to do this and that , when he come inspected i was told i didn’t need to do this and that , im like ok, let the games begin , personally i feel they over step their boundaries imposing their will on us all the time , have no respect for our government at all , more so since covid and wit what Trudeau said and did to us all, i feel i dont have a country of my own any more , ….ok enough of that
      back to you , please , get a smaller spot of land and remember this also , less people less headaches
      you can follow my face book page here
      and my youtube channel here

      if you contact me on facebook I will give you my phone number

      Thank you for contacting me , i hope you find what you need , what you need will be different from what you want LOL i found this out first hand many times
      have an awesome journey

  3. Seeking more information on tiny homes and a reasonable location, Durham, Ontario. I am a single mom with a very keen interest in a tiny home. Please help me in my new adventure and permanent space. I do not wish to b off the grid. I have no idea how to go about safe keeping my tiny home ideas. Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. Thank you

    1. thank you for your message ,
      Please contact me on facebook , so we can talk

  4. It’s great what your doing Rob. See you soon. Send me that you tube again please. I deleted it by mistake. lol I have been checking on you tube about getting a trailer made for a tiny house. There are a few places but I have been checking one out in Hamilton. Doug

    1. wow Doug , i didn’t realize there were messages here for me lol

  5. LOVE what you are doing. I have thought about container home, a tiny home, and living in a RVA. Problem is there is no place to park it and land is very expensive. GREAT idea, i am very interested.

  6. I lived in Hearst for 10 years ending in 2015 or so… too bad we didn’t meet… I will send you an email and introduce myself…

  7. Hi Rob,

    Cool story. I am also considering using my 12 acres near Cochrane for my tiny home. Looking forward to pouring a foundation this summer.


    1. did you get things going . sorry for delay , didn’t realize there were messages here for me
      you can see my progress on facebook

  8. Rob your doing an awesome job.
    I wish i was still in Moonbeam, but im not living in central america… no snow here.
    Thumbs up Rob.

    1. wow , sorry for late response
      you can follow my progress here on facebook

  9. would love to know more about these tiny home communities

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