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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Building a cabin in ontario (permits and fees)
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bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 26 Mar 2011 13:48
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It is a shame...all the bylaws are the same across Ontario re. building shed / cabin type structures...but yah know...we went for it anyway...life is too short.

Our plan "B"...if push ever comes to shove, would be to have our bunkie forklifted onto a flatbed and moved. That's why it's sitting on a pressure treated base on patio stones on a gravel bed.
I guess I'm lucky...I had them blessing of my neighbors...they're great.
Our neighbors would definitely prefer a nicely built bunkie then a trailer.

Anonymous
# Posted: 2 Apr 2011 08:33
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I've been looking into getting an acre of land in Ontario so I can put up a small cabin as cheaply as possible. I basically want to have somewhere I can go and live at for cheap for periods of time and live simply.

It looks to me like there is no cheap way to do this legally in Ontario. So I'm thinking of trying to find a remote piece of property so nobody will bother me. Then it occurs to me what's the point of even buying land when you can't do what you want with it legally anyway... unless you pay all their extortion fees.

I appreciate what bushbunkie has done and just went ahead and did it anyway. If all you can do is a trailer wihtout dropping loads of money wouldn't it be a better thing to just do a mining claim or be a trapper? Anyone tried that route?

I'm pretty disillusioned with all this. I just want to have a little place to live inexpensively and simply.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 2 Apr 2011 20:08
Reply 


Hey Anonymous,
It is a frustrating...but there other options...my wife and I have been checking out a few.

I believe if you can buy a little acreage with real crapper tiny cottage / cabin on it (I mean almost falling apart)...I believe you are allowed to fix it up, as long as you don't change the footprint. The dwelling itself would already have been grandfathered in.

Also, there are some acreages out there with a shed / bunkie already on them. I've seen two. Not sure what happens when you buy it....something to ask real estate...would they expect you to move it...or just grandfather it in as well...or perhaps you pay a small penalty / municipal fee....either way, you now have a place to sleep!
Where there's a will....

dabones
Member
# Posted: 3 Apr 2011 19:32
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I am beginning to HATE this Province.. All the Gov't(s) do is rape us, and dont' even provide any Vaseline!!!

I am glad that I bought my Land in NY State, but even they can have some crazy rules.. I think/hope I got lucky with the area we bought, there are no zoning laws in our Town(ship), and it's a pretty relaxed little area.. and we are allowed to build up to 140 sq/ft buildings w/o permits, as long as they are not 'permanent' :)

Not to mention, I buy everything I can in NY and bring it back with us! Gas (yup bring the cans so I can keep fueled b/t visits), Groceries, Booze (altho this I buy at Duty Free in ON, but with no taxes), Kids Clothing/School supplies, my building materials are cheaper, etc..

JH Fish
Member
# Posted: 2 May 2011 08:33
Reply 


Quoting: Just
hay i don't know you are talking to a guy with a no permit shak trailer in a bush that lyes in a flood plain no build zone !!!


Hello Just,

It looks like you added a shed style roof to the trailer? Mind sharing how you did that, roof material used, attachment/bearing points, and how it handles the snow load? One of the trailers we have my grandfather took up around 1970 and it is mouse infested and deteriorated. But the other smaller one is newer and mouse proof so far. But we tarp it due to snow load and ponding. Until we can build a bunkie I'd like to preserve the good trailer.

Thanks!

JH Fish
Member
# Posted: 2 May 2011 08:53
Reply 


Quoting: bushbunkie
I believe if you can buy a little acreage with real crapper tiny cottage / cabin on it (I mean almost falling apart)...I believe you are allowed to fix it up, as long as you don't change the footprint. The dwelling itself would already have been grandfathered in.


If the foot print is 12 x 16 (shed roof structure sitting on blocks and railroad ties) and we put sonotubes in the footprint, went up from there, kept and fixed up the original door, then used some of the original corrugated metal on the porch roof...... I suppose that would take"fixing it up a little too far?

The nearest seasonal neighbour is over 1500 meters away and nearest year-round resident nearly 15K distant. The property (remote large bush lot in undeveloped area of ON) is only visible by air when there are no leaves or if one really goes out of their way to trespass ...... But I don't want to push it too far.

Thanks for everyone's insight, ideas, and sharing what you have found. It has been helpful and has given me a lot to consider.

Just
Member
# Posted: 2 May 2011 14:12
Reply 


Quoting: JH Fish
shed style roof to the trailer

just nailed a double plate on front and back. then built a 16 in stud wall along the front then screwed 12 - 2 x 10 sheets of 20 gage commercial roof deck on leaving overhang front and back . No rafters needed with that stuff filled in the gables with some tin !! also added 4 in of insulation befor the roof . been there 4 years no leeks still flat . however we do not have a lot of snow in south weastern Ontairo. I still think you would be alright up north !! that stuff is realy strong . i also built the porch and a shed with that stuff fast and easy
shed close up
shed close up


Mar
# Posted: 2 Jun 2011 10:03
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Yes we too bought in the Muskoka lks area and found out about the 10,000 dev, fee after deal was done,were quite shocked and pissed off as we sold our beautiful place in Joly township because of ridiculous tax hike after improving place,from 1200 to 3650 tax hike,unbelieveable an now this! Anyways we are talking to the Muskoka rate payers association,who said she will give us breakdown of what this money pays for and let us know when council meets so we can tell them what we think.Not sure if it will help but I am sure that if everyone with the same issue comes to meeting it may make a better statement as there is strength in numbers.Anyone interested in going to a meeting,let me know and I will find out details.Thanks Marlene

bunkie daddy
# Posted: 24 Aug 2011 08:27
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Folks, same version of your stories above, here.

Purchased in 2000. Built the bunkie (108 sq feet). Then, built a 10x12 screened in 'gazebo', then built a 10x12 screened gazebo type (half wall) gazebo. Water pumps up from the lake into barrels, for later use. Also put up an old 8x8 metal shed. All built on elevated "platforms" of a sort (like super tent platforms).

I have the clearing done, ready to build the 'real cabin', and no I see this.

Question: How big of a "Tent Platform" can you (usually) build (or is there no limit), and, then has anyone checked out these sweet babies? (Yurts)

http://www.yurtco.com/

If these are considered "temporary", perhaps another fine way around all the crap.

hillybillie nana
# Posted: 27 Aug 2011 01:41
Reply 


Hi were in the same boat wed like to build one of these http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/ maybe on a bigger trailer..any thoughts on what the zoning for this would be??we havent bought a piece of land yet and are saveing to move when the kids are gone so i have been investigateing all of this.any thoughts ideas etc???

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2011 16:34
Reply 


Build your bunkie, and slide a set of tandem axles under it. Its a trailer, no taxes.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 3 Sep 2011 09:04
Reply 


Unfortunately, trailers are not allowed to stay on site on your property (in Ontario)...sigh...another bylaw.
I believe you can bring up a trailer, stay in it for a maximum of 6 weeks and have to pull the trailer off as soon as you leave....I thought about it! I believe you have to apply for a permit to do this as well!

polarbeach
Member
# Posted: 8 Sep 2011 21:58
Reply 


The developement fees are crazy here in Ontario forsure. The price of waterfront property is also insane nothing under a few hundred grand for starters !

The way around all of this nonsense is to get a 50 or 100 year lease of land on a native reserve. so what if its leased we won't be alive past then anyways. On this land you may build whatever the heck you like and can keep the man out of your business.

good luck

mikes
# Posted: 9 Oct 2011 09:35
Reply 


Anyone know if it's legal for a friend of yours to have a cabin on your property aslong as they are a registered trapper??

JJJ
Member
# Posted: 19 Jan 2012 16:50
Reply 


Sounds like the situation I'm in! I've been looking into purchasing an acre of land in Gravenhurst which is real close to Bracebridge and they seem to have the same kind of regulations.

Developments fees are about 11,000 and then there's building permits on top of that which I have no idea how much they are. I asked what the development fees go to and I was told they cover the costs of you using the town such as going to the library.. Something along those lines.

When I got shutdown for building a 12 x 8, I then asked about a trailer and they said I couldn't do that either because its not in a "mobile home zone". Then I thought about building a small cabin and putting skis on it and then say I'm parking my fish hut if I was ever bothered, haven't looked into it yet and don't know if it will work but I know theres bylaws for parking "major recreational equipment".

So far, all I got out of them is a stinkin outhouse.. lol! Makes me want to build one right on top of the hill with a sign saying "HELLO GRAVENHURST".

I may just purchase the land and camp on it with my friends then slowly make something out of it. Being only 21 I have lots of time to pick away at it! Let me know how everything goes

perpetualsummer
Member
# Posted: 21 Jan 2012 15:40
Reply 


spee
Ignorance is not bliss. Which comes first the house or the well? This might be too obvious so I can't see it, but why wouldn't you build the house over, or at least really close to the well/pump? A lot of the pumps I see seem to be out in the open. Is that a duhh question?

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 21 Jan 2012 15:50
Reply 


Building the house over the well can lead to problems when the pipe has to be pulled to change the pump or something. Most wells are deeper than 8 feet.

If planning a build that will require permits, inspections, etc, the item to start with is the septic, if there is a septic. If not actually installed at least the ground must be perc tested to see if it is suitable. I have a friend who found the ground where he preferred the septic to go, was not suitable. They had to re-plan the location of the house as the only favorable septic location was where they really wanted to place the house.

Then the well, so it can be placed at the appropriate distance from the septic. Then whatever is left over can be used for the house.

perpetualsummer
Member
# Posted: 21 Jan 2012 16:02
Reply 


This might work for someone. I don't know about getting a mortgage but... I don't know if this link will work
http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-ViewAd?AdId=344849489&MessageId=MSG.VIEW_AD.REPLY_TO_AD_SE NT&mpname=R2S&mpname=Activity-R2S&mpuid=1700006%3B44%3B344849489%3B-2904627452%3B%3B& secev=AQAAATThPQYAAM0AAAACACIxMzRmMjUzOTgwMS5hMjBiMjc2LjIwNGFkLmZmZmY4NTg2AAAAABSN%2F FEBAAAAAgAAAAw5Pm0A4mPKpzmCzVDzqN3VI0uvPUVoqsc*

perpetualsummer
Member
# Posted: 21 Jan 2012 16:15
Reply 


polarbeach
OMG are you serious about the reserves. Do you know of any bands that would be willing to do that? If so, I'm in.

perpetualsummer
Member
# Posted: 21 Jan 2012 16:23
Reply 


Thanks MtnDon. In other words...it's complicated.

Viking
Member
# Posted: 5 Mar 2012 12:18 - Edited by: Viking
Reply 


Hi guys,

I would like to join in on this conversation with a few points and questions.

I own a small piece of land in south western Ontario. I've had the land for approximately 2 years now, and during that tenure, I have gone ahead and cleared a portion of the lot, as well as drop a small tent trailer in the forest. I have also camped there and left the tent up for the entire summer.

I have had no problems with anybody, as I have got to know some of the neighbours on a friendly basis. No complaints, no notices from the municipality, etc. Mind you also, this land is a smaller lot that is in an area that has several year round residences as well as summer cottages.

It would seem to me that as long as I am not causing any commotion, or upsetting the neighborhood in any way, things will remain calm going into the future. As many here have stated, the #1, and I mean #1 lesson to be learned is that problems start occurring when you start causing problems for your fellow man (and women )

This summer I have a conondrum.. Should I go ahead and build a small cabin (maximum that is allowed under the OBC without a permit), or should I simply remain a weekend camper on the property? It should be noted that as in all Ontario communities that are regulated, an accessory building is not generally allowed unless there is a principal building on the lot. My fear is definitely that someone from the town will come and either fine me, or ask me to tear it down. To be honest, it kind of puts the nerves at unrest.

Considerations here are the facts that I have had no problems with the town or the neighbors in regards to my activities up to this point. The geography of my lot also allows me to build the cabin so that it cannot be seen from the road at all. Also, the area, while it has some year round residents, is also littered with simiral cabins and questionable looking shack type structures.

If I decide not to take a chance with the bunkie, I guess my other option is to build a deck and buy a really nice tent that can be installed on the deck every summer (also do some landscaping).

Eventually, sometime in the future, my plan is to build a properly permitted cottage/residence on the property. I am simply trying to get the most out of the lot in the meanwhile!!

Any suggestions and comments would be muchly appreaciated!

Viking

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 9 Mar 2012 16:23
Reply 


Hey Viking,
We've been up there for over two years and agonized over the same thing...we went for it and have never been happier.
I'm also off the road in bush...away from the road...so you can't see anything from the road.
I'm planning to build "shed" # 2 as we speak...just priced the wood at HD. I'm up on the Bruce...down the road from Lake Huron.
We seem to think along the same lines. I went up a few weeks ago and spent the weekend talking to real estate agents to get the scoop on things...as you said...there are many sheds on properties.
It seems that, if you don't do the following, it often works out for you:
- Don't bring a Hard-side Trailer on to your property. They do area fly-overs in the summer, just looking for trailers. The bylaws to disallow sheds were made BECAUSE people put and left crapper travel trailers on there properties, never removed them and left them to rot... and many nice properties became dumps. I , in no way, support this...I'm quite proud of my little "shed" and property and believe that I should be respectful of all my other neighbours, many who live there full-time and have pride in ownership.

- sheds...what's wrong with having a place to store all your tools while you prepare your land for an eventual build? Unless you hook water and electricity directly up to your shed (so it could be classified as livable) and spend every weekend there...you could have a case if it got real sticky...and it usually only gets sticky if you do something dumb, like make enemies of your neighbours.

- Don't lend your property out to anyone!

- Always buy / spend locally...put $$ into the local community.
I bought an old 250 quad for fun for my boys and for hauling brush...now I just want to store it up there with my kayaks...hence Shed #2.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 9 Mar 2012 16:28
Reply 


A couple of pics...Lake Huron way.
"shed"
"shed"
"sanctuary"
"sanctuary"


Viking
Member
# Posted: 9 Mar 2012 23:59 - Edited by: Viking
Reply 


@ Bushbunkie

Hey, thanks a lot for your kind advice. I agree with you, it is probably more pheasible to do a small cabin than to drop a large trailer, rv, etc. on the property. At least if I was a neighbour, I would want it that way.

Really, my lot is so small that a large trailer would simply not make sense, due to the terrain, and the fact that it would stand out like a sore thumb.

My property is just perfect for a small cabin, or a tent... A really nice tent for that matter. You just can't see it from the road and would literally have to walk all the way down a path (and trespass) to take a glimpse at it.

What I will do is probably work in steps. I will build a patio that is under 24" high (more than that needs a BP). Use it as a base for a nice tent, and maybe next summer use the same patio as a floor to a 10x10 cabin.

Little by little... One day there will be a cabin there...


BTW. Love your cabin, it's simply awesome!!

Viking

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 10 Mar 2012 10:33
Reply 


Sounds like a great plan!
Not sure what you're thinking tent wise...you probably want good screens because of the bugs...but... last year I saw a couple of those heavy canvass prospectors tents on line (used) on Kijiji for sale. You can put them on a wood base and add an outdoor woodstove to some (Princess Auto or TSE carry them) as well for Fall camping.
We even priced those Yurts they have at the Provincial Parks...awesome design, but costs more then a bunkie to build.
Best of Luck, Viking...whatever your plan...good for you for going after your dream!
The Bruce penninsula is a great area...love it.

thomas
Member
# Posted: 11 Mar 2012 10:02
Reply 


Hi Spee

I know this was over a year ago, but I just found this great forum.

I bought 3 acres in Haliburton 1 year ago and over the summer I spent a few weekends there with a chainsaw and got to know the place better.

the first thing I need is a driveway just like what you did.

I wonder, how much did that cost you to hire out? how long and wide is it. How big is that clearing at the top?

Thanks!

Viking
Member
# Posted: 11 Mar 2012 11:40
Reply 


@ bushbunkie

I have heard of the prospector gents. They are nice, but on the expensive side for a tent. Then again, you get what you pay for. I didnt know that princess auto has them, will have to check it out!

Cheers!

Viking

spee
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2012 17:06
Reply 


Back from the dead this thread!!

driveway is 180 feet... forgot the clearing size... wish it was bigger!!

cost about 1500 for the labour and 4000 on the gravel.. More than i wanted to spend but i figured if i ever sell it, its worth atleast that much more

Anonymous
# Posted: 6 Jun 2012 17:15
Reply 


This thread has been very insightful. We are looking for some land to build a 400 sq ft home off grid for permanent residence. I can't believe how difficult all of these regulations make it. So for us we are now looking at land in an unorganized township... no permits, no fees makes me . Anyone else have experience doing this? We are looking at the Unorganized Parry Sound District.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2012 08:03
Reply 


Hi Anonymous,
Unorganized townships have been discussed in other threads...I'm not too familiar with them, but what I have read is that you may not have to pay permit fees, but you still have to follow building codes, etc. and there still may be minimum sq. ft. bylaws to follow, etc.


Best of luck...if you do find good info, please post.

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