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andrew_zytic
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2011 11:46
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This has been a great forum for ideas. This and countryplans certainly have the best forms on this topic. I wanted to add my contributions with regards to details about small cabins in Quebec, Canada. Because it is all in French I though I would share what I have found out.

I have done most of my research for Val-Des-Monts, Quebec which is a small municipality about 35 min north of Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. I believe it is applicable more globally in Quebec as a cursory look at other municipalities in the region (La Peche, Pontiac, Val-des-bois) seems to show similar laws.

It is important to understand that the province of Quebec is special in that the official language is French. Most municipalities only function in French and all bylaws are in French. Translate.google.com will become your friend if you do not speak or read French.

The major finding from my research is that small cabins as many of you describe here are NOT permitted to be built on empty land. In Val-des-Monts the only structure that you can build without a permit is a gazebo of 10 square meters (107 sq feet) and I am sure if you plumb, insulate and put a wood stove they will make you take it down as it does not fit the definition of a gazebo.

Environmental regulations are strict. You may not build closer than 15 meters (49 feet) to any body of water (creek, river, pond, lake). You may not cut down trees within this 15 meters except for a 5 meter (16 feet) window for views from your cabin to the water.

If you want to build a building that requires a permit, there are minimum size laws. For a single story structure it must be a minimum of 60 square meters (645 sq ft) with a ground floor of a minimum 50 square meters (538 sq ft) (so I assume you must add a 10 sq meter loft). If it is 2 floors it must be 100 sq m (1076 sq feet) on the 2 floors. This sucks as those sizes are no longer cabins but more like small houses or cottages. The only exception is if you have 20 hectares (49 acres) then you are allowed to build a "camp" where the building may not be LARGER than 55 square meters (592 square feet).

However, once you have an approved building on your lot you are allowed smaller outbuildings. Make note that only one of those outbuildings is allowed to be habitable and is only permitted to have 1 bedroom.

So you can see that if you want small cabins in Quebec you are better off trying to find an established building that is grandfathered. These structures are often smaller (eg. Real cabins, 16'x20', ect), and are built very close to or nearly on the water. The ideal situation is a falling apart structure that allows you to rebuild in the same footprint without paying the full cost for the structure.

As an aside, I guess to increase tax revenues as well as to prevent squatters, you are not permitted to have a recreational vehicle (motor home, tent-trailer, ect) on your empty lot. Not for a weekend, not even one night! So you are paying taxes but unless you want to tent you can't spend a weekend on your land! And for tenting, don't think about leaving a canvas wall tent up for the season either, I am sure they will make you take it down.

So I hope this helps my fellow Canadians who are wondering about what the regulations in Quebec are.

I've purchased a nice lot in the area because the price was too good to refuse. Unfortunately I bought before I had time to do all this research and I though I could toss up a little 10x12 structure that would make me happy. I don't have the budget for a 600 sq foot place right now but we will see in a year or 2.

hattie
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2011 12:18
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Thank you for this information Andrew. What really amazed me about all of it was the fact that you can't park a camper on your own land!! How crazy is that?!

Where we live many people purchase land that is grandfathered. The only downside to this is if the place burns down, the grandfathering is gone. This has happened before to the shocked surprise of a few people. Also, if they purchase too small a property that is grandfathered and the place burns down, they may not have enough land to rebuild. Well regulations ensure wells and septics have a 100 ft separation. But at least here, they are allowed to park a camper on the land and that is what many do when they find themselves in a no win situation.

andrew_zytic
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2011 14:22
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Similar issues here. Septic must be 30 meters from well. I am fairly certain however that if something burns down, you have a certain period of time to rebuild on the same footprint before losing your status.

RnR
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2011 15:51
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Salut Andrew Zytic,

Thanks for all this concise info and the fruits of your research. If this helps, I learned that in some municipalities like La Pêche, you can get permit to build an "habitation rustique" a.k.a. a hunting lodge (camp de chasse) if it is under 160 square feet, which would be a 12x13 structure.

Val des Monts is a really beautiful area. On est presque voisin, on est dans le pontiac.

Y'a deux constructeurs de chalets pré-usinés dans la région que je te recommande si tu considère ça, un étant leisurecabins.com et cabinkits.ca

Bonne continuité! / Best of luck!

andrew_zytic
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2011 17:19 - Edited by: andrew_zytic
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In La Pêche it can actually be as large as 23 square meters (247 square feet) in non-agricultural areas. Permit looks to only be $30. Unfortunatly Val-des-monts is much more strict.

La Pêche Bylaw
6.1.16 Catégorie 16 : Habitation rustique (Camp de chasse)
Bâtiment rudimentaire aussi désigné sous l'appellation de camp de chasse, est dépourvu de système d'alimentation en eau potable et d'évacuation des eaux usées. Un tel bâtiment est destiné à abriter des êtres humains pour une courte période lors d'expéditions de chasse ou de randonnée en forêt.
08-528 La superficie d'un tel bâtiment ne pourra être supérieure à :
- 16 mètres carrés en zone agricole.
- 23 mètres carrés dans les autres zones (For, Rr, Rv) où cette catégorie de construction est autorisée.
La hauteur est limitée à 1½ étage pour une hauteur maximale de 6,0 mètres. Le nombre d'habitation rustique (camp de chasse) est limité à un (1) par propriété formant une unité d'évaluation.

English translation roughly
6.1.16 Category 16: Residential hardy (Hunting Camp)
Rudimentary building also referred to as the hunting camp, has no system of water supply and sewage disposal.
Such a building is to house human beings for a short period during hunting expeditions or hiking in the woods.
08-528 The size of such a building may not exceed:
- 16 square meters in agricultural areas.
- 23 square meters in other areas (Str, Rr, Rv), where this category of construction is allowed.
The height is limited to 1 ½ storey to a maximum height of 6.0 meters.
The number of rustic home (hunting camp) is limited to one (1) by forming property an evaluation unit.

Val-des-monts

17.10 CAMP

Dans toutes les zones, les habitations de type camp sont autorisées aux conditions suivantes:
- ils sont implantés à au moins 60 mètres de toute ligne de propriété;
- ils sont implantés à au moins 60 mètres de tout cours d'eau;
- ils sont implantés à au moins 20 mètres d'une autres camp;
- la superficie minimale de la propriété où est implantée le camp doit être de 20 hectares minimum;
- aucune fondation n'est requise;
- un camp peut être construit sur une propriété qui n'est pas un lot distinct.
Nonobstant ce qui précède, les marges d'implantations d'une ligne de propriété et d'un cours d'eau pourront être réduites à 20 mètres si le camp est pourvu d'une installation septique conforme aux normes du règlement provincial sur l'évacuation et le traitement des eaux usées des résidences isolées (R.R.Q., 1981,c.Q-2,r.8).

17.10 CAMP

In all areas, housing type are allowed to camp the following conditions:
- they are located at least 60 meters from any property line;
- they are located at least 60 meters from any watercourse;
- they are located at least 20 meters from other camp;
- the minimum area of the property where the camp is located must be 20 hectacres minimum;
- No foundation is required;
- one camp can be built on property that is not a separate lot.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the margins of settlements of a property line and a stream can be reduced to 20 meters if the camp is provided with a septic system in accordance with provincial standards on the evacuation and treatment of wastewater from isolated dwellings (RRQ, 1981, cQ-2, r. 8).

Jimbob
# Posted: 21 Mar 2011 20:47
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Hi Andrew, I'm wondering where you found the information above, like '17.10 CAMP'. I'm looking to build on L'Isle-aux-Allumettes (part of Pontiac Regional County Municipality, Quebec) and would like to read up on the info before going to the Municipal office.

Thanks!

andrew.zytic
# Posted: 21 Mar 2011 21:14
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I am not familer with the Pontiac bylaws - I could not find their construction bylaws on their website, only their permit prices. The best thing to do is call at 8:30am in the morning when they first open and ask to talk to someone in Urbanism. Just ask them what the bylaws regarding your type of construction is. They are generally very helpful.

Jimbob
# Posted: 21 Mar 2011 21:25
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Thanks Andrew.

ethomas
Member
# Posted: 1 Jun 2011 11:14
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Does anyone know what the by-laws are in the Municipality of Low concerning the use of a trailer as a summer residence? Thank you

JD
# Posted: 29 Sep 2011 20:18
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Andrew, we have a grandfathered gazebo on the waterfront of our property in Val-des-Monts that is in need of rebuilding because a large tree has grown up the side of it and is pushing the structure out of wack. Can you tell me from your research, how much we can rebuild of this gazebo? What part of the original structure, if any, must we leave in tact? What changes can we make from the original structure (i.e. right now it is completely screened in and if we can rebuild from "scratch" we would like to have screened windows that will close in the winter to keep the snow out) and where do we go to find out more about this grandfathered structure and what we can and cannot do to it?. We have no idea where to start . I was pleased to come across this forum.
JD

samtc
Member
# Posted: 4 Mar 2012 20:59
Reply 


Hi,

Anyone built a cabin (called "ABRI SOMMAIRE EN MILIEU BOISÉ") on a land that are ruled by the CPTAQ?

For your information, in the province of Quebec most of the rural area are protected by the CPTAQ who can decide what you can or can't build on your land. The CPTAQ can reverse a decision taken by the municipality if it's going to compromise the agriculture activity. So it's preserve agricultural land and agricultural activities and slow down the transformation of rural area to urban area. It's sometimes cause a lot of frustration but in long term, it help to preserve our land.

However, since 1997 they let you build one cabin without the need of permit and declaration if your land is larger than 10 hectars (100 000 sqmeters or 1 000 000 sqft). The cabin must only have 1 floor, no running water and smaller than 20 sqm (215 sqft).

I've access to such land (360 000 sq meters) and I would like to build a 12x18 cabin on that land. I would stay under the 215 sqft but I would like a 12x8 loft and a 12x4 deck.

Anyone here dealed with the CPTAQ and a cabin that is just a bit over what the law define?

Sam

Rakos
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2012 16:13 - Edited by: Rakos
Reply 


Hi everyone,
I have a similar problem in Val des Monts,
I had contractor (Entreprises Flamingo) build me a 14ft (side to side) gazebo. He stated no permit is usually required.
Although built 7 years ago, the city is now objecting: too close to lake (about 15 ft).
We can not build further away, lot is a narrow strip along lake. It replaced an existing structure (shed) which was was built 30 years ago. The cottage is the same distance from the lake.
There is a need for a screened in structure (we are seniors, west nile virus), etc.
Do we an argument we can win here? Also, is there an appeal if our request for a minor variance has been refused?
Thanks,
John

hattie
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2012 19:04
Reply 


Quoting: Rakos
We can not build further away, lot is a narrow strip along lake. It replaced an existing structure (shed) which was was built 30 years ago.


It's too bad that you didn't just modify the existing shed. That's what a lot of people do out here in our town in BC. They will have an old falling down shack and "fix it up" (translation: rebuild it but still use some of the original structure).

OpsY
# Posted: 13 Mar 2012 21:40
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I purchased in the Lac Saint Jean region and was told I am allowed to have a camper. My land is in White zone so no more agricultural commity protection. the total fees (building permit, skeptics, ground tests) is around 2000 and I will start building in may probably. I have 9 hectares. The land was completely cut 4-5 years ago thus there is some regrowth. My 3 neighbords too and are for sale although I don't have much money to spend on that at the moment. If I did, I would buyd another, bigger, better place with a lakeview

Rakos
Member
# Posted: 22 Mar 2012 17:42
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andrew_zytic
Hi Andrew,
I was wondering where/how you did your research re Val des Monts. (I am the person who posted below that I built a gazebo on narrow land). At this point the municipality will not even give me info what or where I could move it to or rebuild it, they just want it demolished. Do you or anyone know someone that I can hire to help with the regulations?
Thnaks,
John

avan
Member
# Posted: 23 Mar 2012 10:18
Reply 


Usualy in quebec, you can built a gazebo or other structure only if you already have a house. The exception to this, is the "camp de chasse" or "abri sommaire" (12' x 16' max). In my town in eastern township, you can built this "abri" in white and green zone. In green forestal zone the provincial rule work: 11 hectares. In the white, no size...

Rakos
Member
# Posted: 23 Mar 2012 14:55
Reply 


Thanks Avan. I do have a house, but the problem is they feel the gazebo is too close to my lake. And it was built by the contractor without a building permit (he said none was needed, it is not 'habitation'!).
Can you give me advice where I can find exactly what the regulations are, where on my property can I move it to? I was told that it can be attached to the house.
I am willing to pay someone (lawyer? arpenteur?) to give me advice.
John

avan
Member
# Posted: 23 Mar 2012 21:04
Reply 


Usualy the regulation are 50ft from the high water (flooded). I think it is in the "protection des rives" provincial law.

steagathe
Member
# Posted: 25 Mar 2012 17:10
Reply 


Does anyone know what the laws surrounding building permits are for Set Agathe? I have about 15 acres [not waterfront] and would like to build a small, under 100sqare foot, cabin. No electricity or running water...
Do I need a permit?

Anonymous
# Posted: 9 Apr 2012 11:31
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Of interest

http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=2&file= //Q_2/Q2R35_A.htm

This publication is related to Quebec rather than municipalities but does refer to exemptions applicable to lots severed prior to the establishment of the bi-law, Owning a strange property myself in La peche... I have it bookmarked.

I posted this in general John but you might find it useful as it sounds like you have a lot that was severed prior to the regulations.

Emily

morock
# Posted: 25 Jun 2012 21:48
Reply 


Hi,

I just built a square log cottage in Val-des-monts. Getting the permit was the most frustrating experience of my life. They just say no, and don't answer the phone again.

The set back rules are 15m from the high water mark, so in our case we are 100 ft back from the summer lake level as we have a low slope.

I'm surprised they are going after an established cottage owner. It has been my experience that once you have a building they will leave you alone.

To get around the small cabin issue we put up a 17 ft yurt. Most people thought it was cool and never complained. It is a tent and we took it down every fall too.

brko
# Posted: 7 Jul 2012 13:36
Reply 


Tell me more about your frustration with building permits for val des monts. We have purchased a waterfront lot but are worried about the municipality and it's rules. Why did they give you a hard time?
brko

morock
# Posted: 12 Jul 2012 22:44
Reply 


I don't know why they gave us hard time, that is part of the frustration. You need to have 2.5 acres minimum for a septic..... no holding tanks.

Everything must be pre-engineered and there is no guarantee that it will be approved. Our lot is at the end of the road and had a letter on file that said it was swamp land ( which it isn't). We had to get the municipal biologist in, written lettters from the Province for wildlife and environment. Pay for plans, custom engineered septic, engineered foundation, stamped survey. The building department does not answer their phones, you have to use email. The quoted two weeks for approval turned into 4 months of hair pulling. I'm convinced that we would have not gotten approval but our contact went on vacation and someone else felt sorry for us and approved it.
The really sad thing is, I wanted to follow the rules, there is all kinds of stuff going on at our lake that is questionable. I now will never go back to the municipality for anything.

bobbotron
Member
# Posted: 13 Jul 2012 10:35
Reply 


If anyone wants info on building in the Low area (NOT La Pêche), feel free to send me an email, I've gone through this recently.

oaklad
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2012 22:02
Reply 


Hi there, I acquired a lot just north of you in Messines (past Low, near Gracefield) and am wondering if in Low you had found a source that explains the building codes in the region? I'm looking to do a 18X24 cabin myself and am torn between block foundation or post and pier but.

bobbotron
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2012 11:11
Reply 


Hey Oakland,

I could send you some info via email if you'd like. My email address is my user name here, @gmail.com

Anonymous
# Posted: 26 Dec 2012 21:33
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Does anyone have any information on building in the Pontiac area. We have approx. 200acres and want to build a hunt camp. Any information would be appreciated.

avan
Member
# Posted: 28 Dec 2012 17:04 - Edited by: avan
Reply 


Usualy you can you can built a small "abri sommaire", wich mean a single floor, no foundation, 12' x 16' max. including deck, etc... no water, no electricity (mean nothing from Hydro, solar panel are OK). This rule apply for green land. For white land you have to look with your municipality. In our town, you can same as the green part but no need for the 21 hectares minimum.

carmac
# Posted: 24 Jan 2013 00:45
Reply 


Hi folks finally somewhere to talk about permits building i Quebec. I have 2 3/4 acres of land not on water just outside quyon. Do i need permits for prefab cabin looking shell that could be installed on land. Does anyone know that if i build a small cabin obviosly bigger than i need but to meet tge requirements and want to use alternative compost toilets solar panels etc has anyone had success with this with municipality in Pontiac. I would like to build but off the grid. Any help is greatly appreciated.

andrew_zytic
Member
# Posted: 14 Jun 2013 13:33
Reply 


Been away for a while.

I posted the following in response to another question:
http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/5_3136_0.html#msg52194

I'm going to re-post here to try and keep my info together.

In general, don't count on being able to build an off grid cabin WITHOUT SEPTIC. Most municipalities now will not let you build a hunt camp. Those that do usually have a size restriction on your property, often it has to be at least 40 acres.

If you want a hunt camp your best bet is to buy one already existing. If you want to be sure you can have a cottage on your property it is best to buy a property that already has one. If money is tight look for a fixer/upper. Worst case scenario is you can tear it down mostly and rebuild in same footprint.

That said, for being allowed to build you are generally safe if your property is AT LEAST 1 acre (4046 square meters). Be aware that many older properties may be smaller than this and YOU MOST LIKELY WILL NOT BE ALOWED TO BUILD – don't buy it. You might think that is fine, you will just put a tent-trailer or motor home on it for a weekend or a week while you are there. WRONG! Most municipalities are moving towards where you are NOT allowed to have a tent-trailer or motor home on vacant land for even one night. They want the tax dollars and want to force you to build.

Also note that most municipalities have minimum size requirements. Generally 600 sq feet for 1 story (will allow a loft) or 1000 sq feet for 2 stories.

Also note that if your area is at risk for landslides (eg. a good slope present on your lot in an area with a lot of clay), they may require a geotechnical assessment prior to any building permit. If you border water (river, lake) this assessment is good for only 1 year!

Everything you build will pretty much require a septic system (not just a tank).

Note that you can not build your cottage closer than 15m to any body of water. In fact you can not do anything (cut trees, clear underbrush) within 15m of any body of water EXCEPT for a 5m window.

So good luck. In general check the MLS and Craigslist/Kijijji but the MLS is your best bet. Sort by area, size a +/- waterfront and go from there.

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