Tiny houses growing in popularity, but looking for a place to call home in Canada

Click to play video: 'Struggle to find a home for tiny houses in Canadian communities' Struggle to find a home for tiny houses in Canadian communities
WATCH: The popularity of tiny houses in Canada is growing bigger than the small spaces. Made for Canada models are being built across the country, but there's one big problem: few municipalities will allow them within community limits. Reid Fiest reports – Apr 29, 2016

John Robinson’s big idea is a very tiny house. It only takes up a bit of space space, but the small home is functionally designed down to every last corner.

“This is my baby,” Robinson, founder of Regina’s Robinson Residential Design, told Global News.

Last year, he was looking for a way to diversify his business in the economic slowdown and started thinking small.

Dragonfly, as its called, is a modern home on wheels and measures only 6 metres long by 2.5 metres wide.

But few comforts have been left out: there’s a pull-out couch for mom and dad, a loft for the kids, full kitchen, bathroom, heating for Canadian winter and custom storage all over.

“We’re getting interest from people who want to build them, people who want to build a kit and buy their own, or people who want to buy a set of plans and figure out what they want to do,” Robinson said.

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READ MORE: House poor: Canadians who earn the least pay the most for a home

Micro-living has peaked the interest of Benjamin Woolhead.

The Regina man knows what it’s like to live where space is at a premium; he already lived in a basement suite, but he’d be willing to downsize even more.

“You don’t need that much space, so it’s really just about kind of learning to live in a different way than we’re used to,” he said.

One hang up you’ll have a hard time getting mail because it will be hard to find an address for one in Canada.

No major cities or towns will allow tiny houses in their zoning rules.

That’s why Wayne Goodsman is proposing a tiny house development near Lumsden, Sask., just outside in Regina.

His property has scenic Saskatchewan views, which he believes tiny house owners would love.

“They’re unique and I believe looking for unique places to put them rather than park them beside someone else in a trailer park,” Goodsman said.

If there’s enough interest, and zoning is approved, Goodsman said he could have 30 fully-serviced lots ready as early as 2017.

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It’s no longer a niche market say proponents of the style of living, first conceived in the United States.

READ MORE: Calgary developer thinks outside the box with shipping container hotel

Robinson said tiny houses could also be a solution in over-priced real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver, where fully finished homes could be parked in the backyards of existing homes.

“To me, this is one of the most affordable ways to get housing, whether it be for young people, seniors — anything,” Robinson said.

The cost of Robinson’s tiny houses ranges between $50,000 and $75,000, depending if you want to build it yourself.

That smaller mortgage appeals to some, even though space is at a premium.

“There’s not really anything wrong with it,” Woolhead said. “It’s just simply different from what we’re used to.”

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