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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Building a cabin in ontario (permits and fees)
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Cooks Dock
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2012 15:25
Reply 


BB. North Channel Manitoulin...drive the Bruce all the time though..ever looking!

leonk
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2012 19:39
Reply 


morgan, do you mind sharing the location?
you can e-mail me if you prefer leonkaz yahoo com

morganplus8
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2012 11:16
Reply 


Hello leonk!

Sure, I'm located at the mouth of the Thames River in the South/East Corner of Lake St Clair. The river at that location is aprox. 20 ft deep and quite wide and you can boat to Chatham at 15 to 20 mph. The Village is called "Lakeshore" complete with three restaurants and three marinas. Within the community are a number of channels that are available for building homes and cottages. I'm on a channel that is Zoned H3 which is a typical Holding label so that no construction can take place, of any sort.

We have received a great deal of harassment from one lady, to the point where she would call the police, Township and anyone that would listen. And so I had my work cut out for me as my property actually faces hers! But the law stands and I got permission to build on my huge dock and that is the end of it for her.

I've attached some pics of the area.
100's of Turtles on every log out there!
100's of Turtles on every log out there!
The mouth of the Thames River.
The mouth of the Thames River.
Seadoo heading towards Chatham, Ontario.
Seadoo heading towards Chatham, Ontario.
My channel with 100 foot way waterway, it is about 15 feet deep which is rare too.
My channel with 100 foot way waterway, it is about 15 feet deep which is rare too.


leonk
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2012 12:18
Reply 


thanks. very nice. I am interested in the north myself
Do I get it right - your permit is for 3 years? What if it's not extended after that? Do you have to demolish..?

morganplus8
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2012 17:10
Reply 


The Building Permit for the dock and cabin is good for 3 years. I have plenty of time to complete my project before I would have to ask for an extension or renewal. The good news, with a proper building permit, is that you get to do things like leave equipment, maybe a "trailer" or something to store your tools in! I could leave a trailer there and use it for three years before the non-permitted items would have to be removed from the site. Everything described/built in the Building Permit stays for life.

I would be interested in developing a property in the North too, I'm a year away from having this one done and then there is that island 20 miles away ........................................

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2012 18:30
Reply 


Morganplus,
$23,000.?? sweet deal...as soon as I saw water, I just assumed we were talking bigger bucks!You're right...that's super reasonable for your boating and "dock Bunkie"needs. cool.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2012 18:35
Reply 


Cooks Dock,
Manitoulin is beautiful...we actually looked at property there the same weekend we found our couple acres on the Bruce.
I have at least three friendswho have built up there in the last 10 years...great place...only thing was that my wife and I didn't see eye to eye on the distance and fairy ride...but it is beautiful.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2012 18:35
Reply 


oops...I think it's "Ferry Ride"...long day.

morganplus8
Member
# Posted: 18 Oct 2012 15:42
Reply 


Bushbunkie,

Thanks! That second floor has a large circle-top window in it now and you can sit up there, have a beer and watch 4 ft muskies swim past your dock! Not bad.

I think you could buy a 50 ft piece of frontage for $ 10,000 and make back the $ 1,200 a season in docking fees pretty quickly. Plus, we have lifts for several boats and our own boat launch. Now I need a large houseboat and that island property 20 miles up the lake, fun times.

Simple Life
# Posted: 17 Dec 2012 11:19
Reply 


Hi everyone!! I am just wondering if anyone knows if you can live year round in your cabin in Ontario? We are looking at purchasing a "hunt camp" in an unorganized township. It will have a dug well and a compost toilet. I am not sure if by law you are required to have a septic system in order to live in a property year round. We really want to just live a simple life but it seems to be quite difficult in this province!!! We have children and are also worried that the government might not like children being raised without a septic. Sorry of it sounds silly but you never know in Ontario!!!

Thank you!!

Simple Life
# Posted: 17 Dec 2012 11:21
Reply 


Hi everyone!! I am just wondering if anyone knows if you can live year round in your cabin in Ontario? We are looking at purchasing a "hunt camp" in an unorganized township. It will have a dug well and a compost toilet. I am not sure if by law you are required to have a septic system in order to live in a property year round. We really want to just live a simple life but it seems to be quite difficult in this province!!! We have children and are also worried that the government might not like children being raised without a septic. Sorry of it sounds silly but you never know in Ontario!!!

Thank you!!

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 18 Dec 2012 17:50
Reply 


Hi SL....I suspect that they would want a septic if you are going to live full time with kids anywhere here in Ontario. Best thing to do is inquire before you buy.Though nowadays, there might be some compost toilets efficient enough to get you a green light...you never know.

villager
Member
# Posted: 24 Dec 2012 22:32
Reply 


We are several to a dozen or more folks who are looking to live on a northern rural-residential - zoned, forested, single property around 100 acres or more, in an unorganized township...... and want to know several facts. Some points on this great site have been helpful....Thank you!!
Looking for more clarity on:

1- Number and sizes ...including max height, of code compliant buildings allowed without permit and with permit.

2- Is having only composting toilets allowed ? (SUNMAR claims ontario approval..they are used in many govt. remote facilities)

3- If CT 's are accepted, then is septic still necessary?

4- Are Greywater french drains acceptable for non-toilet uses if soil is porous enough?

5 - Do all wells have to be registered?

6- Do all wood stoves have to be registered?

7- Can there be more than one entrance per road frontage?

8- Can there be year-round residence if cabins are all superinsulated/ built to code?
9- Is it best to just present this as a hunt camp/retreat/hiking club?

10- Planning on gardening extensively, so are there agricultural benefits?
11- Are onsite businesses allowed?

Thanks for any insights/knowledge, etc.

exumadoug
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2013 10:46
Reply 


Is it illegal to build and/or store a boat on your property?
Apply for a boat registration number for the project, display it and I believe at that point the local authorities are essentially cut out of the control loop.
Be sure to make it look attractive and not piss off the neighbours and you might be good to go.
This is my favourite design for this type of project and should push come to shove you might just be able to move it onto a body of water or sell it rather than be ordered to destroy it and pick up a fine to boot.
The people that sell the plans have told me they estimate the cost to build today in materials around $15,000.

BTW, love this site!
Capecodder
Capecodder


exumadoug
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2013 12:28 - Edited by: exumadoug
Reply 


Then again if you can't build but have a small pond on your property you could always launch your boat into said pond. It may also be easier to just get permission to dig a pond into a field with a backhoe and then "launch" your boat. I'm not aware of any regulations that state what distances a boat "must" travel or even what type of propulsion system that "must" be used. It obviously can't be taxed,regulated and permitted like a real "permanent" structure as it's still a vessel and not a house. Vessel regulators couldn't care less about it unless of course it was placed into navigable or environmentally sensitive waterways.

When the "moneyed" city folks move in and drive up the price of raw land, it's amazing how much energy and influence goes into ensuring us regular folks will be excluded, unlike our previous generations that didn't worship the almighty buck. In many cases now you can't even leave the efforts of your labour to your children anymore without placing a huge tax burden on them in order to keep up with the Jones's.

morganplus8
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2013 14:05
Reply 


Just to add some fun to the topic, we can build anything that is not on the "plain of the land", that is what is governed by the Township and Building Depts. etc.. So this means that I can build a platform between some big trees and add a building to that platform and it goes unrecongized!! I can do one for a washroom, a cabin of any size, there is nothing stopping me from building a suspended structure on land in Ontario.

I like the idea of a house or houseboat at my huge dock but I can't sleep in it over night in my Township without a principle building on the land. So we aren't allowed to stay in our cabins and I can't sleep on my boat even though the boat is in the water which has nothing to do with the plain of the land. The Township was specific when it came to boats to make certain that we don't place large boats or trailers on barges on our docks. The law is a funny thing, I can take my boat out to the Fisheries water which in my case is 17 feet off my dock and sleep in it for years. Of course you can't store a boat on the land around here either. And so I will try a houseboat at the dock and if anyone complains, it will be floating out there, 17 ft from the dock. The Conservation Authority is incharge of that water along with the Fisheries and they only ask that I have a night light turned on so I would get a big bright one and point it at the family that reported me of course.

Rossman
# Posted: 5 Jan 2013 17:40
Reply 


Quoting: morganplus8
Just to add some fun to the topic, we can build anything that is not on the "plain of the land", that is what is governed by the Township and Building Depts. etc.. So this means that I can build a platform between some big trees and add a building to that platform and it goes unrecongized!!


Where did you get this information? It seems a little hard to believe, honestly. If this was true people would be building crazy treehouses all over rural Ontario, no?

morganplus8
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2013 18:50
Reply 


This isn't rural Ontario and the laws allow for suspended structures. I debated this with the building inspector on many occasions, he sent me a letter telling me to move my cabin off the property so I told him I could beat this charge by mounting the building above the ground. He caved in and gave more time. I would challenge anyone to find a law the prevents a structure from being located just off the ground. Where I am located, you can't have anything at all on the plain or touching the ground without a principle residence. Tree houses are not on the plain, either is a structure on a dock.

villager
Member
# Posted: 7 Jan 2013 22:33
Reply 


If you're not in "rural" zoning, is it residential?
How high would you suspend it?
Would you not sacrifice max allowable height?
Or is it then a tree house, which may not have a max, height ?

morganplus8
Member
# Posted: 8 Jan 2013 01:09
Reply 


Hi villager!

The community is called Lakeshore, there are some expensive homes with hockey players there, so it isn't rural by any means. I can throw a football across the water at a $ 450,000 home. My lot and all of the ones on my peninsula are zoned R3H which means we are missing services in order to drop the "H" or Holding title. That's not going to happen anytime soon and that's fine with me. As you can see, my neighbors aren't going let me get away with breaking the law as they have to look at my creation every day.

The base can be as little as 6 inches off the ground as long as it is defined as not being "on the plain" or surface of the ground. The building inspector agreed that he is focused on what makes contact with the surface only. This means that I have two unregulated choices, one is to build steel framework and place my structure, let's say an outhouse, on that platform, or, I can go underground. I purchased a steel box that will be placed in the ground, for storing my flammable things away from the expensive shed. The next thing to do is to place a steel framework around one of my 23 huge trees. The third thing I'm doing is maybe buying another lot next to me for an additional dock and shed.

Great question about the height, it doesn't exist as far as the inspector and township are concerned and so the height is not an issue. It really comes down to what works best. I think you have it right, we would think of it as a treehouse but legally speaking, it is nothing, it doesn't exist!

I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of placing a structure around a tree. You have to understand the battle that took place here, over 1 1/2 years, township and lawyers, a petition etc., it wasn't easy coming up with a shed on the dock. In my case I talked to everyone that has a legal control over my land and water and hired a good lawyer.

Knowing what I do now, I might start over and build a whole new structure on another big dock. Hope that helps, I don't have access to the legal work from this location. You need to review your local bylaws and sort the issues out for your property. If I get a chance I'll post the ruling from the Building Code and the Bylaw description for Lakeshore.

Anonymous
# Posted: 24 Jan 2013 04:25
Reply 


have you thought of putting up a yurt? it is technically a tent but built for heavy snow and wind. easy on the land, set up your solar and wood stove, can get them online used - I've seen lots on Tiny House Listings...good luck!

Bulldog13
# Posted: 4 Feb 2013 17:08
Reply 


I have a camp north of Highway 17 up Highway 129. Im in a unorganized township and in the process of building a garage. I have 200 feet of lakefront on 1.2 acres with 1000 square-foot house and pay $200 a year in taxes. My garage requires no permits.

tombiosis
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2013 12:35
Reply 


new member here...great site!
I am in the process of planning a cabin on my land near Griffith ON...I will post my findings soon.
I have been worried about going to the twnshp before having all my ducks lined up, as was mentioned up-thread. Currently I have a trailer with a 10X12 shed added on...I bought it like that so I don't know if permits were ever obtained. all my neighbors have trailers and out buildings. I want to build something nicer but now I am worried about all the hidden fees! I would rather spend my $$$ on a good well and septic than on frickin' permits! I've already pumped lots of $ into locals for gravel and excavating my road...pics to follow
Cheers!
T

tombiosis
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2013 15:04
Reply 


here's a quick pic of my current set-up...I will stay in this camp while building a bigger/better cabin.
love_shack.jpg
love_shack.jpg


canospam
Member
# Posted: 1 Jun 2013 19:41 - Edited by: canospam
Reply 


Tombiosis,

Just closed on about 170 acres near Griffith. Anything to report from your experience with the township?

BTW, I really like the little cabin you've got there.

tombiosis
Member
# Posted: 12 Jun 2013 11:42
Reply 


hi canospam... thanks!
I have only dealt with the township for an entrance permit so far....pretty easy for that one.
wow...170 acres! nice!~
Do you plan on hunting any whitetails on that land? I know that whole general area has been a very popular deer hunting area for decades. If you don't hunt, then you will probably have to deal with some trespassers during November...old habits die hard, and I have seen many local gangs pretty much go wherever they want. I am lucky that I back on tons of crown Land, so I can hunt. I mostly bowhunt to avoid the big pumpkin army....
are you planning a cabin build?

stos
Member
# Posted: 28 Jul 2013 03:30
Reply 


Great thread!

Why is it when a young guy tries to do something for the good of his world, some old prick is standing there telling him all the reasons he can't??

It's so sad to read all of the problems and tribulations the sustainably conscious are running into while trying to etch out a simple life.

I am finding my own roadblocks you're talking about in this thread.
My trouble are explained here:
http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/1_3712_0.html

I wanted to chime in and say, I think we should stand up to the OBC and fight for change. The Americans on this site have at least been given a bit more to work with than us. But I think it's high time we pushed back at the government for our rights to build sustainable housing/cabins and to live on our land as we see fit and while we build and get to know and develop our own land.

Perhaps a site like Change.org would be a good place to start?
I am trying to build a sustainable house on my 35 acre lot.
For me that means having some kind of power house to allow me to charge my drills and such and to store my tools.
I've build these two lofted sheds and now have been told I have to rip them down. I'm in tears thinking about tearing down the cabins I've spent thousands on and ruining my batteries when I can't keep them charging.

This is criminal and I'm about ready to die.
Do you think there is a strong enough movement for change to allow us more rights as green conscious humans?


stos
Member
# Posted: 28 Jul 2013 03:45
Reply 


I have created a petition on Change.org

https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/ministry-of-municipal-affairs-and-housing-give -better-rights-to-canadians-building-sustainably#share

I would like to think we could get better rights to be greener.
If you agree I'd like you to share and sign this petition.
For your kids rights to build a greener world!

I don't know what else to do

RobToth
Member
# Posted: 30 Jul 2013 23:50
Reply 


Quoting: villager

villager
Member # Posted: 24 Dec 2012 22:32
Reply Quote

We are several to a dozen or more folks who are looking to live on a northern rural-residential - zoned, forested, single property around 100 acres or more, in an unorganized township...... and want to know several facts. Some points on this great site have been helpful....Thank you!!
Looking for more clarity on:

1- Number and sizes ...including max height, of code compliant buildings allowed without permit and with permit.

2- Is having only composting toilets allowed ? (SUNMAR claims ontario approval..they are used in many govt. remote facilities)

3- If CT 's are accepted, then is septic still necessary?

4- Are Greywater french drains acceptable for non-toilet uses if soil is porous enough?

5 - Do all wells have to be registered?

6- Do all wood stoves have to be registered?

7- Can there be more than one entrance per road frontage?

8- Can there be year-round residence if cabins are all superinsulated/ built to code?
9- Is it best to just present this as a hunt camp/retreat/hiking club?

10- Planning on gardening extensively, so are there agricultural benefits?
11- Are onsite businesses allowed?

Thanks for any insights/knowledge, etc.


Hi,

If a land is zoned, than it is in an organized township. Forested zoned would be like RR1. That means only one single family dwelling can be built on it. Probably first you got to pay some development fee. That cold be $10k or more less. Check with the Township you are buying in. Could be a lot of hassle and very expensive, permits and inspections.

If the land is in an unorganized township, than there is no zoning. No permits, no inspections, no development fee, pretty much you can build what ever you want. Usually there is no road either. If that's the case, make sure your lot is not land-locked!

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 31 Jul 2013 11:59
Reply 


We built in a unorganized township in Ontario and had to get permits and approval from the board. We could not build whatever we wanted. Could not build a storage shed before the cabin etc... Even though it is in a area with no neighbors for miles. Please do research at your municipality each are different.

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