The tiny homes rolling in. This is what watching a pod of whales must feel like. Picture a green field sparkling with dew in the early morning light and a tiny home pulls up to the gate, like this is a normal regular thing! These tiny homes feel larger-than-life somehow and when they roll onto the lawn of the Ancaster Fairgrounds and get set into place… They’re magnificent.
The Tiny Home Show is exactly a month away – on July 28-30 in Ancaster, ON. As a Co-Producer of the event (along with Bianca Metz from The Giving Tree Consulting), I got to experience ALL of it last year. For me, a Tiny Home Show moment is that aha! moment when you realize this is life-changing and you’re part of something bigger… Here are some of the other moments I’m most looking forward to at this year’s show.
All the people. When you’re home by yourself, maybe watching YouTube tiny house tours, maybe scrolling our Land Directory, you may not realize the scale and speed at which tiny homes are coming to Ontario! Last year, we had people come charter a mini-bus from Sudbury, we had some attendees camp out in our parking lot to be the first ones in and last ones out. Some people watched every single presentation on the stage (this year, we made sure to schedule in breaks, just for you!). Meeting all these people in person at an event was just amazing – it’s a show of support for the industry that will keep working another year just to have something to show you next summer.
Walking into a tiny home. For many attendees of the show, it will be their first time walking into a tiny home. In fact, many people who plan to live in one haven’t actually experienced it. There aren’t many tiny homes in Canada and they’re reclusive (hello, bylaws!). That’s why it’s so special to be able to experience so many tiny homes – more than 20 – in a single day, in a single place. How will you feel when you walk into a tiny home that could be your new lifestyle one day? Will it feel like your natural habitat? You won’t know until you do it.
The big names and the new names. Some of the builders bringing models to the show this year have celebrity status in the industry. Minimaliste (2 homes), Teacup Tiny Homes, Fritz Tiny Homes, Zerosquared (2 homes). You’ve seen their work on social media and YouTube and you now have the luxury of admiring it in person and even comparing their design choices and building techniques (how does Teacup do their bathroom compared to Fritz? Does the Minimaliste Nomad lend itself more to travel than a Zerosquared Willow?). But take the time to also meet and say hello to the smaller builders and the newcomers! What they may lack in celebrity factor (although they have very loyal fan bases of their own), they make up for in individual attention and drive to succeed. Who knows, you may make a personal connection that will lead to that perfect home in the future.
The municipal conference. While this conference day is really for municipal and provincial decision makers, and not for the public, it really comforts me to know that it’s happening. That’s right, officials from an Ontario municipality (maybe yours?) are discussing zoning and building codes, talking to builders, and… falling in love with tiny homes – they’re only human, after all! Last year, I met several people in these positions who are championing tiny homes and working to get their colleagues on board. That’s good, right?
Demos and presentations! Bring a notebook. Besides the main topics like permitting, financing, building and powering a tiny home, there are lots of cool presentations and demos that may just change your life! I’m personally looking forward to learning about raising chickens and incorporating permaculture into my daily life, learning about capsule wardrobes, and co-financing possibilities in starting tiny home communities. Whether you’re looking at tiny homes for aging in place (check out the intergenerational demo!) or as a rental opportunity (the ROI presentation is for you!), you will find something to take away from these speakers.
Getting to Phase Three. I like to say that every prospective tiny home dweller goes through three phases. When they first discover tiny homes, they are ready to go for it. It’s the “I’ll buy that lot I drove by today and put a tiny home on it and be mortgage-free by the end of the month!” phase. The “why haven’t I thought of this before??” phase. Phase Two is what happens when you start trying to do that – or just do a little bit of research. Many of our social media commenters are in that phase. It’s the “Tiny homes are illegal in Ontario. Too bad you can’t put one anywhere. This is impossible” phase. Don’t get stuck there! Come have your Tiny Home Show moment of entering Phase Three: “Actually, I am starting to understand how to make this happen for me”. There are rules, there is nuance, there are building codes. But it’s possible to live in a tiny home in Ontario. It’s possible to get financing, insurance, building permits. It just takes a little patience and a little support from 3,000 other people in the same boat at the Tiny Home Show!
The show this year is bigger and denser than last year – only three days instead of four, speakers AND demos, and 3 times more homes! You will want to be in many, many places at once. If you’re thinking of getting a three-day pass, use our discount code, THICANADA. See you there!