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  • November 08, 2023 4 min read

    Let's embark on a delightful journey into the world of prefabricated construction, often affectionately called "prefab."

    This inventive building method involves crafting components offsite, which are then artfully assembled by builders at the chosen location.

    Tiny homes, those adorable marvels of prefab construction, have captured hearts all over, and we're about to explore their bright future in Canada. Join us as we uncover the latest regulations in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Quebec City.

    The Whimsical World of Prefab and Tiny Homes

    Did you know that prefab construction has a history that dates back to the 19th century? The very first tiny home, belonging to the illustrious Henry David Thoreau, was completed in 1845 on his idyllic writing property.

    The tiny house movement didn't stop there! With over 10,000 tiny homes gracing the U.S. today, Canada is experiencing its own wave of excitement. Nova Scotia alone has witnessed a staggering 733% surge in online searches! Worldwide growth is projected to bloom by $4.17 million between 2022 and 2027, with North America leading the charge.

    Canadians are definitely catching on. In June 2023, Canada proudly welcomed its inaugural fully-operational tiny home village in Hammond, Ontario. However, it's worth noting that building regulations vary from province to province and city to city, which can sometimes make for an interesting adventure.

    Toronto's Warm Welcome to Tiny Homes

    Dreaming of building your own tiny haven in Toronto or its lovely surroundings?

    Here's the good news: Tiny homes are warmly embraced in Ontario, as long as they meet a few friendly criteria:

    • Your tiny abode should be over 188 square feet of coziness.
    • It should include a snug living and snoozing space, a bathroom with a shower or tub, and a dedicated cooking area with flowing water.
    • According to the Ontario Building Code, sleeping lofts must stand no lower than 6 feet 10 inches high. Plus, the second floor should be accessible by a staircase (no ladders allowed!), and all fire safety and insulation requirements must be met.
    • As an added bonus, prospective tiny home owners get to share their delightful plans and secure a building permit from the city of Toronto.

    Vancouver's Laid-Back Attitude towards Tiny Homes

    In beautiful British Columbia, tiny homes may not have their own category, but they're certainly not frowned upon. They simply follow the lead of standard housing codes.

    Here's a glimpse into what the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC) suggests:

    • Every tiny dwelling should have its own little dance of electricity and plumbing.
    • A merry smoke alarm is a must, and for those with fuel-burning gadgets, a CO2 alarm joins the party.
    • A bathroom with a sink and a refreshing shower or tub is a delightful addition.
    • And don't forget, there should be a charming exit window or door from the sleeping area.

    Remember, tiny homes in British Columbia should cozy up to Part 9 of the BCBC, which covers buildings up to three stories high. Vancouver also kindly allows tiny homes to shine as accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

    Montreal's Quaint Corner for Tiny Homes

    In beautiful Montreal, residents can weave their tiny home dreams, all while following the city's cheerful bylaws.

    You see, the Quebec National Building Code hasn't quite caught up with the tiny house movement, but that doesn't stop the magic! It doesn't include tiny homes as a "residential annex" on the same property, or homes under 700 square feet. (For reference, the average tiny home is a snug 100 to 400 square feet.)

    Fear not! Many tiny home owners can sprinkle a touch of zoning magic and turn their properties into charming ADUs. Places like Montreal have their own set of endearing bylaws, allowing for a touch of personal flair.

    Quebec City's Enchanting Take on Tiny Homes

    Quebec City, much like Montreal, follows the building guidelines of Quebec, especially when it comes to keeping things safe and snug.

    In essence, the construction work should meet the embrace of the Quebec National Building Code. However, it's worth noting that the province is still getting acquainted with the tiny home trend.

    For this reason, many cities have set their own heartwarming bylaws—and most are more than willing to make a few delightful exceptions to welcome tiny homes with open arms. Communities like Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, Farnham, and Sherbrooke in Quebec have already given their thumbs-up to tiny home projects, and we can't wait to see even more in the near future, including in Quebec City.

    Let's Keep the Conversation Going!

    Are you as captivated by prefab construction and the enchanting world of tiny living as we are? Don't hesitate to reach out to us for more delightful details!


    (PDF) The Patron Saint of Tiny Houses | April Anson -

    Tiny Homes Market to grow at a CAGR of 4.88% from 2022 to 2027, North America region estimated to account for 57% growth - Technavio (

    Canada’s first fully functional tiny home village opening in Ontario (

    Tiny homes can mean big costs, especially depending on where you live (

    Tiny Homes In Quebec: Everything You Need To Know - Tiny Life

    Build or buy a tiny home (

    20.800 Special Use Standards | Vancouver Municipal Code

    Ontario’s Building Code |

    BC Codes

    Construction Code - Régie du bâtiment du Québec (

    Construction Code - Régie du bâtiment du Québec (