August 12, 2018 6:55 pm

Montreal’s Ecosphere Canada fair showcases unconventional homes

Montreal's Old Port was host to Canada Ecosphere over the weekend, dubbed Quebec's largest environmental fair. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, Skoolies and Tiny homes were popular attractions at the event.


In the shade of the Montreal Clock Tower, a group of school buses is parked at the water’s edge.

Skoolies, as they are called, are yellow school buses that have been converted into mobile homes.

Owners of the buses allowed passersby to get a glimpse of the Skoolie lifestyle at the Ecosphere Canada environmental fair.

READ MORE: Quebec couple drops everything to live life on the road

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Stephanie Noel and her boyfriend, David, displayed their bus-turned-home at the event.

Both of them are new to the Skoolie life. This is the couple’s first summer in the bus, which they have affectionately named Gustav.

READ MORE: Couple globetrotting for 17 years heading home with 4 kids as souvenirs

The project is three years in the making. Noel and her boyfriend were attracted to the increasingly popular lifestyle when they saw others moving into Skoolie accommodations on Instagram.

“I saw people travelling with the bus, and I thought it was a nice situation for living,” Noel said.

Noel says she spent a total of $33,000 to make the school bus into a home.

Now fully equipped with a stove, a washroom and a television, the couple says they are content with their living situation.

“We have everything we need. It’s easy for us, we do not have any problems,” Noel said.

The couple has documented their house’s transformation on Instagram under the name Home On Six Wheels.

In addition to exploring Skoolie buses, festival goers also squeezed into the Tiny home, a 176-square-foot mobile unit built by Dominic Frappier.

A carpenter by trade, Frappier can also add mechanic to his CV after working on the Tiny home, which is legally considered a vehicle.

“They are in a grey zone,” Frappier said. “It’s not an RV, it’s not a trailer and it’s not a house.”

The small home was a big attraction at the event. Frappier said about 10 potential clients were interested in building a home like the one he created.

Though the houses are small, Frappier said their cost can be the opposite.

“The sky is the limit, you can really go bigger,” Frappier said of the Tiny home’s price tag.

One of Frappier’s fully furnished homes can go for $80,000. The houses are completely customizable, and Frappier said the price can go up quickly depending on what additions are made.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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