Canada (29)

Homestead of Recycled Materials in Quebec

…In the fall of 2008 we came across an opportunity to pick up pine trees that were locally cut. We adapted our plans to the amount of wood available.

We hired a local sawmill owner to cut the timbers for us. That winter we rented a shop and prebuilt a 24′×30′ timber frame of 9′×9′ pine. The joinery is mortise-and-tenon, sculpted with mallet and chisels…

From our book, Small Homes: The Right Size

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Margaret's Cabin Built by Jan Janzen

This little cabin was built almost entirely from a cedar tree that had been lying nearby. Framing, flooring, shakes. Maybe that’s what makes the building so harmonious. Jan had told me this and, as I was climbing around inside and out shooting photos, I had a vision of a tree, a solid chunk of wood, cut up rearranged, and expanded to make this cozy place…

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Lloyd House's Leaf House

…It seemed like a light roof was needed to compensate for the heaviness of the forest. Built the roof first; then the floor, and last the walls. To me roofs have become umbrellas that say anything can happen under them. When the roof is finished, you can stand it — feel the space, be in touch with the house — love it…

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Island Cabins Built by Bruno Atkey and Wayne

In the early 90s, Bruno and Wayne built a number of houses on a small flat island off the Pacific Coast. They had to go out every day from the mainland, anchor their boat, and somehow get on the island. Wood came via helicopter and on barges from the mainland. All of the wood came color-coated for assembly. “We flew enough wood in for two houses in less than three hours.”…

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Long House by Bruno Atkey

Bruno built this 30′×50′ building on a remote beach belonging to the Hesquiat tribe in British Columbia in 1999. It’s used in a “rediscovery” program, and now run by Hooksum Outdoor School, which educates young First Nations people about their history and heritage.

The entire building was framed with beach­combed logs — posts, beams, and purlins. Roofing is 3′-long split-cedar shakes; siding is also split cedar — 1×12’s and 1×15’s six to twelve feet long(!). His crew was mostly from the Hesquiat tribe…

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The Spud Queen Built by Lloyd House

The Spud Queen was a floating home with three legs, or “spuds” built into it. (Spuds are the legs on pile drivers that are used to raise and lower the pile driver.)

“I’d float in at high tide, jack the boat up, and squat like a trojan horse against the ownership of the property. I parked there and I lived there, and I didn’t pay any taxes!”

Lloyd lived on the boat for over 20 years, docking it in four different places on an island in the Strait of Georgia…

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Sauna on Haida Gwaii, BC, Built by Colin Doane

Note whale jawbone front rafters, big bone door handle.

…That’s one of Colin’s buildings on the land we live on (North Beach, Haida Gwaii). Pictures never really did justice to this sauna, none that I’ve seen anyway.

We were in Victoria on Christmas Day when we got the phone call from our caretaker that the structure had completely burned down. Hard come, easy go…

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Bicycle-Powered Tiny House



Greatly inspired by the builders of the Pacific Northwest, Phil Reimers wanted to create his own tiny house paradise in Tofino. As an artist with considerable skill in working with wood, Phil was able to capitalize on the incredible resources around him including an abundance of driftwood to build himself an incredible home…

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Beautiful Tiny House on Wheels



This tiny house is a true head-turner. Made from natural, eco-friendly materials and built by Tofino couple Alan and Venita entirely as a DIY project, this impressive home is filled with very clever design elements.

The exterior is clad in a mixture of weatherboards and cedar shingles which give the home a warm cabin aesthetic. Fortunately, the couple were able to find an ideal parking spot for the tiny house which had existing hook-ups for power, water and sewage already in place for RV parking.

As we step inside this home it’s hard not to be impressed by the simple, yet beautiful and functional design. The house feels open and light, while all the timber used brings an undeniable warmth to the space. Wherever possible, this home has used natural, non-toxic materials, including natural oils and finishes and sheep’s wool insulation to keep the tiny house nice and warm in the winter…

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Seaside Cabin Built by Bruno Atkey

The wilderness seaside cabin is 43 miles from the nearest road and is on the westernmost point of land on the ocean side of Vancouver Island. It is 20′ × 24′ and framed entirely from beach wood. All the wall and roof sheathing boards are split from cedar on the site, as is the roofing, which is 3′ long. It was built 1987.

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Jan's Cabin

“As I was finishing it, nailing the last shake on the roof, a surveyor came along.” Bad news: The building was completely on his neighbors’ land. What else to do but move it? He jacked up the building, slid four logs underneath, put axle grease on them, and with a come-along, a 5-wheel block and tackle, and 1″ steel cable, skidded the building up onto the logs, onto four other logs and then onto the repositioned original logs, a distance of 70 feet onto his own property.

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