On Saturday May 11, over 400 people attended a Tiny House Showcase, hosted by Tiny House Advocates of Vancouver Island, at Heritage Acres in Central Saanich. The star of the show was the “Modern Farmhouse”, a 29-foot moveable tiny house designed by its owner and built by Summit Tiny Homes of Armstrong, B.C. The house featured a bright and airy loft bedroom, a spacious bathroom with a full bathtub, a fully-functional kitchen with counter seating, a cozy living room area and lots of built-in storage. Although tiny homes aren’t right for everyone, even the price of a professionally built house in the $80,000 – $100,000 range makes them one of the most affordable home ownership opportunities.
In addition to the show home, there was a tiny house shell built by students in the Skills Training Apprenticeship Carpentry (STAC) program, Tiny Nest Project with a fascinating virtual reality experience in tiny house design, plus representatives and information from Sunshine Tiny Homes, City of Victoria planning department, and waste management for composting toilets.
Several tiny home owners were on hand to answer questions about living tiny and local advocacy. An action-packed line up of speakers kept everyone up to date throughout the day on tiny house design, working with a builder, downsizing, composting toilets, and advocacy.
Councilors Niall Paltiel (Central Saanich) and Ned Taylor (Saanich) also spoke at the event, as well as School Trustee Alicia Holman, who successfully brought a motion on tiny homes to Central Saanich Council in her last term.
The event was sponsored by financial contributions from Vancity and The Smith Manoeuvre. Goods and services were generously donated by Thrifty Foods, Slegg Building Materials, Community Options, Fairfield Gonzales Community Association, Parsi Development Ltd, and SPR Traffic Services. Heritage Acres staff were an incredible source of support.
Tiny House Advocates of Vancouver Island (THAVI) is a grass-roots advocacy group that is working with local governments to make it legal to live in moveable tiny homes full time. THAVI members were thrilled with the attendance and enthusiastic response to the event.. As one visitor commented, the event was “inspirational and I learned a lot”.
It is clear that interest in tiny homes and the desire to live tiny is rapidly growing not only in our region but across Canada and worldwide. Of the people who attended the event, 17% already live tiny or plan to by the end of 2020, 45% would like to live tiny someday, and 38% came just out of curiosity.
With the continued efforts of THAVI, it is hoped that tiny house living will become a legal and acceptable form of housing on Vancouver Island within the next one to three years. As tiny homes are part of the City of Victoria’s proposed 2019-2022 strategic plan, Victoria will likely become a leader in the tiny house movement within this area and beyond.
Many thanks to all of those who participated in and attended the Tiny House Showcase 2019.
The event was sponsored by financial contributions from Vancity and The Smith Manoeuvre.
Goods and services were generously donated by Heritage Acres, Thrifty Foods, Slegg Building Materials, Community Options, Fairfield Gonzales Community Association, Parsi Development Ltd and SPR Traffic Services.