Tiny Homes On Wheels: Quebec, Canada

map of quebec2
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Quebec is another Canadian province that has many activities going on concerning tiny homes on wheels.  Most tiny house builders are located in Quebec City but like the province of British Colombia, dwellers are found throughout the land.  They want to build tiny homes on wheels communities and legalize them in different regions of Quebec.

Their reasons for wanting to live in tiny homes on wheels are the usual universal ones.

  1. To live without a big mortgage.
  2. To live with less debt.
  3. to live a more sustainable existence

The builders and designers of tiny homes on wheels in Quebec have worked hard to find ways to keep the interiors warm during harsh Quebec winters.  There are a variety of tiny houses to choose from.  You won’t necessarily see them on a general internet search through a search engine; however, if you go to youtube and put the search words “tiny house Quebec” much information will come forward.  Most company owners have filmed videos on their completed projects.

Sometimes the videos are only in French but at other times they have also been redone in English to reach a broader audience.  The videos show some homes that are already being lived in, tiny homes that are for sale, tiny house festivals, a tiny home wheels community that has come into existence, the challenges in getting the land for that community and how to get financial help to acquire a tiny house.

The Various Tiny House Companies Owners Accomplishments.

Gabriel Parent-Leblanc, with aid from his friends, built his own tiny home on wheels.  He also began the first tiny house company in Quebec, Canada.  It is called Habitations MicroEvolution.  https://www.habitationsmicro.com/ Gabriel lives almost entirely off the grid in a suburb of Montreal beside a house belonging to relatives.  His primary goal in building a tiny home was to prove that living in one year round in a Northern Climate was doable.

He succeeded with his goal.  He did so well that he only paid a $100 on heat in the winter of 2014/2015, which was a very cold winter.  This accomplishment was due to his solar air heater panel that provided most of the heat during the day.  At night he used an electric heater that is plugged into an energy meter to track how much energy he uses.

To learn more about Gabriel Parent-Leblanc watch this youtube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubz5hdv5bo0

The following company we will be learning about is Cabane. Their website is at http://minicabane.com/   They are located in Quebec City.  Kate and Simon built for themselves a Scandinavian style tiny home on wheels.  They were very successful and decided to found a company selling similar tiny homes.  Their tiny homes run on solar power energy.  They used a soy-based spray foam insulation and a natural oil finish for the interior wood finish.  Here is the youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W2FJgqZTEw

Another company is called Minimaliste at https://minimalistehouses.com/  well known for having built the tiny house called the Sakura which means cherry blossom in Japanese.  They are located in Quebec City.  They have an English video on Sakura on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYm4LGU6eGo  and a French one as well at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFvZzLtaK-U  The Sakura was approved by the city council of Saskatchewan and will have its own address when inhabited by its owner.

map-of-gatineau
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The Lumbec Tiny House Company is situated in Gatineau, Quebec, close to the Canadian capital Ottawa.  Their website is at http://www.tinyhouselumbec.com/  The company’s first prototype is called the La Nautique (The Nautical).  Their design ideas to maximize space in the tiny home on wheels prevents it from feeling crowded and cramped.  The builders created extra space by constructing out onto the triangular space in front of the trailer.  This extra space feels bigger than what it actually is because it has no loft or overhead storage above it.  Their youtube video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CWHnOfkwMI

map of alma
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The last company is situated in Alma, Quebec, and is named Vivre En Mini ( Live in Mini/Little)  https://www.vivreenmini.com  They offer to promoters who desire to welcome the developing projects of Vivre En Mini a solid expertise in municipal regulations ( zoning, construction, housing development, laying out of plans) also an accompaniment to obtain the municipal authorizations to land the projects.  One of their prototypes is called the Contemporaine and can be seen through this youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z8tVuZHdh0

A Quebec Tiny Homes On Wheels Festival, On Future Tiny Homes On Wheels Sight.

Quebec had its first tiny house festival in 2015, in Lantier, an hour north of Montreal.  A video filmed by Valhalla, an organization that supports sustainable living has been uploaded to youtube on the event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVKhxLRgekE  Lantier is developing a community for tiny homes on wheels.  130 lots will be developed and sold at affordable prices.

Continuing on with the subject of the development of Lantier is another youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0Je1glxZUU  It was filmed in 2016.  The goal of the development called “Les Hameaux De La Source” is to create a space where people can own and live in affordable and sustainable housing.  One of the ways they are going to make this idea come true is by changing the building code for the development has a minimum building size of 350 square feet, up to 900 Square feet.

The other section of the development is more experimental and they have made spaces for 6 tiny homes on wheels residential section.  If all goes as planned they should have room for more tiny houses in the future.  There is communal land for each 6-house small village that will allow residents to experiment with community gardens, small farms, permaculture and more.  These activities which require collaboration will keep them from feeling isolated.

The Struggle To Get The Land For The Lantier sight.

There is youtube video in French at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uinSVVAXiEo  that explains some of the challenges that presented themselves when acquiring land for the Lantier sight.  The video mostly focuses on tiny houses that will be on a foundation and not on wheels, but we know from the previous video in the section above that Lantier included both tiny homes on wheels and not on wheels.

The first challenge is making people view a tiny house has any other regular home.  Habitat Multi Generation’s goal is to give more accessibility to the acquisition of tiny houses in many regions of Quebec and to promote a change in the status of tiny houses so they can finally be considered houses like any other house.  Change however is not easy.  Here is some translation of what was said in the film.

The story is, it took six hours of research across Quebec to visit around 30 municipalities.  It took 14 months to pay for the land.  It took 18 months to change the zoning and 10 months to get the clearing permit.  Tiny houses were chosen for ecological reasons.  They had to have roads built on the land along with other infostructures.

It is not the cities who can best respond to what people need.  It is the people who need to know what they want and then organize themselves in a professional manner to document the project, to promote it and then to realize it.  We have to know what irritates us, and what is bringing the project to a halt.  We lobby many ministers case by case.  As an example, they approached the minister of the environment because they wanted compost toilets in their tiny houses.  Presently it is not allowed.  They won’t tell them why.

It is a tradition to have a flush toilet but unfortunately, they consume to much water.  It has been proven all over the world that the most ecological task that can be done with human waste is to separate urine from manure and to treat them on the spot.  In 2016, They had the idea of having a festival to raise awareness about tiny houses and invited builders to attend.

Getting Financial Help To Acquire A Tiny Home On Wheels.

Gabriel Parent-Leblanc, the founder of Habitation microEvolution offered some financial advice on buying a tiny home on wheels by interviewing Judy Sanche, a counselor in placement and financial security.  The video was filmed in Gabriel’s tiny home on wheels at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu3TI2ogMms

The main points are

  1. Save as much of your own money as possible towards a tiny house in order to have less debt as much as possible to have to repay.
  2. If you own a regular house on a foundation you can mortgage it to finance your tiny house.
  3. Get a personal loan.

It may not be the most helpful information.  Banks just will not directly finance a home on wheels.  It has to be on a solid foundation.

Overall Steps Are Being Taken In Quebec To Ensure Tiny Homes On Wheels Are Welcome In The Province.

Like most places in North America, tiny homes on wheels main problem are finding places to install themselves.  The province of Quebec does have people working on the problem or has people supporting people attempting to resolve this issue.  What makes people support tiny homes on wheels projects is the fact that can easily be made eco-friendly.

It is still not easy to get financial help from banks when a person makes the decision to acquire a tiny home on wheels.  The banks still have a conservative approach to tiny homes on wheels, as they do everywhere and treat them as recreational vehicles. As with other places people interested in tiny homes on wheels want to change this fact.

Travel books on the Province of Quebec can be found at Amazon.ca

Pictures were taken from Yahoo images.  References were taken from youtube videos.

Youtube videos were not created by me.

If you have any questions about this topic or would like to discuss it,  please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Marina Tidbury

Marina one

marina@tinyhomesonwheelsfornorthamericans.com

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5 thoughts on “Tiny Homes On Wheels: Quebec, Canada”

  1. I really like the idea of tiny houses and have enjoyed looking at your website. I can see there are some hurdles to get through when acquiring a tiny house, but hopefully they will become more accepted since they are so eco-friendly.

  2. Marina,

    I had no idea that there was such an active community in Quebec working to get tiny homes on wheels approved in so many different ways.

    The different bureaucratic roadblocks are unbelievable.  Not accepting a composting toilet.  That’s ridiculous!  Considering tiny homes on wheels to be recreational vehicles is also absurd.

    I will continue to look in to see how these communities are succeeding.

    Thanks,

    Ellen

  3. The originator of the idea of Tiny Homes has a good foresight in doing this. The Tiny Home is Eco-friendly and economical. I am awed by the level of work put in place in a Tiny Home. I Am sure it will gain acceptability considering the fact that it is pocket-friendly too.

  4. I have been captivated by tiny homes, and I think tiny homes on wheels is even more appealing due to the ability to move around from place to place. I am not surprised about the challenges to get land though, as governments seem to want to cram more and more people into little zoned areas as much as possible which, I am assuming is because people are more easily managed and controlled that way. I am planning to live in a tiny home once my daughter is old enough to leave home and family life is no longer my priority. I think tiny homes just make sense. I only hope the population will not be so totally controlled by the time I get to that stage of my life that it is next to impossible to live in a tiny home. In terms of tiny homes on wheels is it a case of renting the land? Or do you have to buy? Thanks.

    1. You could rent or buy land for your tiny home.  It will be your choice.  What you have to watch out for are the building codes and zoning laws in the area you want to install yourself in.  Living in the country seems to cause fewer problems.  I will be living there when I get my tiny house on rented land.  I will still be doubling checking the building codes and zoning laws.

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