Tiny homes offer an incredible option to most Canadians looking to live a smaller carbon footprint while enjoying a mortgage-free lifestyle. And given the relative utility and efficiency that tiny homes offer, it’s easy to see why this trend is becoming insanely popular in Canada and other countries.
Unfortunately, Canadian building codes and zoning regulations leave much to be desired. To this end, tiny home enthusiasts must do their due diligence to learn everything they need to know about tiny house laws in Canada. From buying land to renting a place to park your home, you must take your time to consider what you can and cannot do.
In today’s post, we will give you all the important tiny house laws in Quebec you should know. But before then, let’s bring you up to speed on some important things you should know about tiny houses.
What are tiny houses and for whom are they designed?
The tiny home movement is becoming insanely popular in Both Canada and the US, since the early 2000s. While the tiny home trend adds a new twist to the real estate niche, opting to live your life in a tiny home will mean living with just about 10% of the regular items you’ll find in a typical traditional home.
The thrill that comes with tiny home living makes it super appealing to people looking for affordable housing. From reduced electricity consumption to the reduced utility for water to fewer repairs and less effort towards cleaning and maintenance, living in a tiny home comes with a lot of perks you don’t want to miss out on.
Whether you’re a young couple with a knack for nature or you particularly fancy a minimalist lifestyle, rest assured that tiny homes will appeal greatly to you.
Tiny house zoning issues
While the zoning regulations in Canada prohibits the use of tiny houses as permanent residences in major cities and towns, we are beginning to see tiny homes spring up in cities like Regina and Quebec. Because these towns are becoming friendly to tiny homes, we are seeing an awful lot of trailer parks being developed to accommodate tiny homes.
On the flip side, the tiny house movement may finally be the answer to the housing problem in Toronto and Vancouver. And because these states allow tiny homeowners to park their structure in their backyard, it’s only a matter of time before the tiny home trend sweeps through all of Canada.
For starters, tiny homes can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000. Giving this unique price point, it’s easy to see why tiny homes are a more affordable choice for young people and seniors.
Parking options for tiny homes in Quebec
We are sure you’re excited about living in a tiny home. But we want you to pause for a minute and ask yourself if you have figured out how and where you’ll park your tiny home. And just in case you don’t know, parking is a pretty serious issue you want to figure out before joining the tiny home bandwagon.
To this end, you want to do your homework and check into what the law says about parking your tiny home in your preferred location.
If you’re in Quebec and looking to find an answer regarding where you can park your tiny home, you won’t go wrong to reach out to a local Canadian by-law office.
While most states have nothing against the tiny home movement, problems usually arise from complaints and inquiries from neighbours.
Though it is very possible to place your tiny home on an inconspicuously owned property in a lot of areas, in Quebec, you’ll find it a lot easier to park your tiny home on a property that already has a permanent structure.
And if you’re hell bent on getting around the loopholes in the zoning regulations and building codes in Quebec, you’ll not go wrong to register your tiny home as an accessory dwelling unit or RV.
Another great way to find a space to park your tiny home is by speaking with park managers and owners to learn more about parking your tiny home in a chosen RV park.
Tiny home laws in Quebec: Permit and municipal regulations
While tiny homes will cost around $30,000 if you decide to get your hands dirty and do it yourself, these structures can cost as high as $50,000 to $60,000 if you decide to get a contractor to handle the project.
Even if your tiny house project looks economical, you want to plan everything accordingly, so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for. To this end, your tiny house budget should include the cost of buying or renting land, the cost of getting a permit, the amount you’re willing to spend on the construction or purchase of small furniture and appliances and other important things you’ll need in your tiny home.
While it is quite easy to finance traditional housing projects, getting a mortgage for your tiny home project may be quite challenging and that’s because many banks aren’t yet familiar with this type of construction. More so, tiny homes don’t increase in value like their traditional home counterparts over time.
Tiny house municipal by-laws in Quebec
One thing you should know about tiny homes in Quebec is that Building Codes, zoning regulations and municipal by laws govern these types of structures. And to make things simple for you, we have put together these bylaws for easy comprehension.
- For starters, the national building codes of Quebec doesn’t make provisions for structures that are less than 700 square feet.
- In Quebec, the laws prevent the use of tiny home as a residential annex
- Like many states in Canada, the zoning laws in municipalities determine the minimum footage for a house per sector.
- In Quebec, the provincial regulation codes which guide the construction of buildings prevent the use of any structure with less than 320 square feet for single family homes, especially if the structure has just one room.
That said, most municipalities are able to tweak the laws and regulations to accommodate tiny homes. Though all municipalities aren’t there just yet as many are still reluctant to confront this phenomenon, rest assured that it is only a matter of time before tiny homes become fully legal in all of Canada.
Why some municipalities aren’t opening up to tiny homes
Although it is okay to think that tiny homes aren’t causing a problem, in reality, this is quite different and you’ll understand why soon enough.
If a tiny home is erected in a specific neighbourhood, the municipality may fear that the structure may lower the property value in their neighbourhood. Also, residents in the neighbourhood where the tiny home is placed may share the same fears, resulting in laws that prevent the building of such structures in that neighbourhood.
On the flip side, the tiny home movement is often associated with urban planning on a socio-cultural level. To this end, many municipalities fear that this current radical environmentalism may disrupt things in their locality.
Which municipalities in Quebec are friendly to tiny homes?
Though the tiny home movement is becoming increasingly popular in Quebec, some municipalities are more friendly to tiny homes than others. Read on to find some of the friendly municipalities in Quebec.
In 2015, the Lantier municipal council authorized the building of an eco-friendly residential area. This move was made to accomodate a hundred tiny homes. Since 2015 to date, Habitat Multi-Generations, the company in charge of the project, has been able to build hundreds of houses with 350 to 800 square feet.
To make the project sail through without any hiccup, the Lantier Municipal Council reviewed its regulations and subsequently set its minimum surface area requirement for a tiny home to 355 square feet. Also, during this period, the municipality had to amend three by-laws related to subdivision, zoning, permits and certificates to make it easy for people to build their tiny homes.
Sherbrooke tiny home neighbourhood
Another municipality in Quebec where tiny homes are becoming quite popular is in Sherbrooke. In this region, Richard Painchaud was able to collaborate with municipal authorities and citizens to set up a tiny home neighbourhood.
This neighbourhood is located in the eastern part of the city. Besides tiny homes, this neighbourhood is also experiencing heavy development as we are seeing massive construction of schools, grocery stores, companies and restaurants taking place.
While the project spans an area with more than 700,000 square feet, more than 50% of the entire area will remain wooded. And that’s because the city wants to make the place welcoming for nature lovers and cross country skiers looking for a perfect place to indulge in their hobbies.
In Sherbrooke, most tiny homes measure 16 by 30 square feet. Similarly, ceilings are around 21 feet high. This design was intentionally put in place to allow tiny home enthusiasts to build extra rooms on the second floor.
Tiny homes in Saint-Marguerite-du-lac-Masson
The Nature on the Lake project in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Mason, is home to multiple tiny homes as well as single-family modular homes. With more than 13 million square feet of land and a breathtaking view of the lake, this region will become home to more than 200 tiny homes with each home having minimum square footage of 384 to 800 square feet.
As at the last count, a turnkey house in this city cost between $99,900 to $165,000. And even though the price for tiny homes in this region varies according to their size, you can expect tiny homes in Saint-Marguerite-du-lac-Masson to cost more than tiny homes in other regions and that’s all thanks to the breathtaking views in this area.
Tiny houses of Dixville in Estrie
The Dixville Habitation Durable project in the municipality of Dixville is poised to make tiny home living more attractive to people looking for affordable housing. While this project was mainly designed to allow people to make the switch to a more ecological, cheap and energy efficient home, it also means that the region is opening up to the tiny home movement which is sweeping through many countries.
Situated in the heart of the municipality, the Dixville Habitation Durable project will include several lots which will be allocated to the building of tiny homes. According to the project details, there will be six lots allocated in phase one of the project with another 12 more allocated during phase two of the project.
To gain better insight, you can go ahead to check their fact sheet to see what the project entails.
For tiny home enthusiasts, it’s important to note that all new construction projects in the DixVille municipality including tiny homes are eligible for the Habitation Durable project. So if you plan to build your home in this municipality, you’ll enjoy some soft landing as far as building codes and zoning regulations are concerned.
The Dixville Habitation Durable project is an attempt by the municipality to encourage its citizens to embrace sustainable development that will promote energy efficiency as well as the use of sustainable materials for building projects.
In a bid to encourage people to jump on the project, the municipality offers between $3,000, $5000 or $8000 in subsidy.
Frequently asked questions
Can you park a tiny house on your own land?
For tiny homeowners who register their structures as RVs and plan to travel with them, you will be exempted from complying with building codes and zoning laws. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is finding a place to park your tiny home on wheels. Thankfully, this shouldn’t be a problem, especially since Quebec is home to a lot of RV parks.
Where can I put a tiny house in Quebec?
Even though you can park your tiny home in many places in Quebec, you will find rural and forest areas a particularly decent spot to place your home. Also, a lot of trailer and RV parks in this region accommodate tiny homes.
Are tiny houses legal in Canada?
While statewide laws currently prevent full time living in a tiny home in Canada, many municipalities have more friendlier laws that allow people to stay in their tiny homes without any problem.