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Tiny House Community in Canada

The other day we showed you the Cowboy tiny house by Hummingbird Micro Homes. Today I’m showing you their first tiny house community which is opening September 1, 2015 in Terrace, British Columbia.


This tiny living community is named Bluegrass Meadow Micro Village and it’s been created with a mission to help provide affordable housing options to residents of Terrace, BC.

The community is located about 10 minutes away from downtown Terrace and it’s nestled between the Kalum River and the Nisga’a Highway. The first phase of the community includes 19 homes with common areas like a BBQ, community cabin, and a fire pit. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Tiny House Community in Canada

BluegrassMeadowsSitePlan_L

Images © HummingbirdMicroHomes.com


The second phase of the community will include additional homes, sites, a communal garden, and a recreational area. The community will be offering cabins up to 480 sq. ft. for rent with pricing starting at $750 a month for a micro home to $1350 a month for a two-bedroom cabin. If you own an existing tiny home you can rent a site starting at $500 per month. Minimum stays are one month and leases for up to a year are available. The community is now taking reservations.

LittleHouse3225

Cowboy Tiny House and Community in Canada

Images © HummingbirdMicroHomes.com

Learn more: http://www.hummingbirdmicrohomes.com/tiny-home-villages

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 44 comments… add one }
  • David July 31, 2015, 9:07 am

    it blows my mind that, in as remote (if beautiful) a place as this, *site rent* for a place to put your house is $500 a month.

    Seriously. You can buy a full sized house lot of 0.35 acres for $60K, which at $500/month would be paid off in 10 years with only one lot. I could place 10 tiny houses on such a lot, making a single 500/month share pay off the land cost in *one year*. Improvements are not that expensive. I am extremely to the degree of what the heck kind of profit-mongering is going on here skeptical as to the affordability represented by this community. Yes, it may be affordable insofar as canada is concerned (the housing prices there are absurd) but in an absolute sense, wtf.

    I look forward to affordable communities.

    • Alex July 31, 2015, 10:02 am

      David I think you’d be surprised at how much it costs to legally create an RV park. You should look into it!

      • David July 31, 2015, 10:38 am

        I do know about RV park expense a good bit. This isn’t supposed to be an RV park. Its not marketed as an RV park. It should not be classified or rated or permitted or built as an RV park.

        An RV park is supposed to have a daily rate calibrated, hotel/hospitality industry kind of revenue throughput and revenue stream from people who are rich enough to travel and own large expensive rvs. They require expensive permits and high levels of road, waste, and power handling. They have to be built on commercial zoned land which is taxed heavily – to the point of making it unaffordable to put normal priced housing units on it. (makes sense if you want it to be high margin retail stores, not so much if you want affordable housing)

        This on the other hand is supposed to be a tiny home community, where homes rarely move and people are trying to live together on the cheap. The taxes should be no more than residential level taxes. The infrastructure requirements should sanely consider the low consumption and waste impact of such small structures, not requiring expensive and excessive improvements to support them. A tiny home community is not supposed to be a capital endeavor to pay back a commercial rate business loan, create money for the owners and further provide a windfall for the local tax base.

        Trying to shoehorn ‘tiny home community’ into the existing ‘RV park’ zone/permit slot is never going to result in the kind of low income, reasonable results that tiny home enthusiasts actually need in their local communities. This is a problem!!

        • Deadrock July 31, 2015, 11:14 am

          Well said, David! I had a similar WTF reaction when I got to the prices. Unless they’re quoting Canadian dollars, and the exchange rate is a whole lot better than I’m imagining (or too lazy to research at the moment)?

        • Shelly Tate July 31, 2015, 1:07 pm

          As a newcomer to the tiny house world I appreciated David’s input here! Thank you Alex for providing this site!

        • Nancy August 1, 2015, 2:01 am

          David
          In Canada an RV park would be cheaper than a tiny home community. The insurance needed for environmental protection alone would be ridiculously expensive. RV sites have one or two dump sites whereas the need for water and sewage treatment for the permanent homes would be quite costly.
          Welcome to the environmental laws of Canada but at least we have the option of starting our own TH communities which seems to be a problem from some of the posts I have read.

        • Lisa E. October 3, 2015, 6:33 pm

          Spot on, David! Exactly my thoughts, too. (You just said it better than I could have.) These prices are outlandish and the THM is being hi-jacked as a for-profit scheme rather than affordable housing for people of very modest means. This is what happened with houseboats, boating and Hobbit houses; now people are excluded from the THOW option because of the gouging mentality that has taken hold over everything. I’m not down with the F(r)EE Market, Fascism or the oligarchy we are now saddled with. It’s time to hit the voting booths and it’s time for some real fundamental change. We need lots of corporate regulation to get this country out of the weeds.

      • Steve July 31, 2015, 12:44 pm

        David, I can appreciate your comments, but I live in Southern CA (where I work) and $500 a month space rent for a tiny house is a great price. I currently pay under $750 where I live in a Park Model (390 sq ft). I live close to a big city where I work and run my company. I’m also near good health care. To me the tiny house movement is not just about living on the cheap, or going off grid, or living for free, or living cheaply. For me, it’s about de-cluttering, using fewer resources, and living a simpler life.

        • David August 4, 2015, 1:54 pm

          I appreciate your perspective. You live in a southern california urban area, and yes, 500 a month is spectacular there – you have the eminent capability of earning plenty of money in that environment to pay for it too. This park is in the northwoods of British Columbia near a medium town, not even near a big urban area of any repute. Calibrating the expense judgment for such a relatively rural setting against that of the remarkably high income and property values of southern Californian real estate is comparing avocados to chipmunks.

          It is the very factor of consuming fewer resources that make tiny homes such low impact, and in reasonable proportion, low cost. The fact that this park is located in an area of lower opportunity compared to your urban setting would indicate a lower price – a lower price which is not presented.

      • Bill Burgess October 3, 2015, 2:45 pm

        I have been traveling coast to coast, Florida to Alaska these last eight years and have found quite a few Mobile and RV Parks for sale. Most are very run down, but an average Park would cost in the 1.25 Million Dollar range for a park with city services…Not cheep..Even the out of city parks will be pricey just from the permitting stage so figure in WHO is going to have to foot those costs and the prices for space rent become obvious…Want cheep? Try Costa Rica or maybe Mexico…Canada and the USA is never going to be fertile ground for low costs in our lifetimes again..

  • TJ July 31, 2015, 10:12 am

    yea $500 a month is ridiculous, if we wanted to live in a tiny space with obscene rent we’d move to NYC

    • Alex July 31, 2015, 12:10 pm

      I know $500/mo is a lot but an 80 sq. ft. closet in NYC would probably cost you over $1500/mo

      • Deadrock July 31, 2015, 12:21 pm

        You’re absolutely right, Alex! There are places on earth it takes an arm and both legs (plus a triple income and renting out your kids) to afford to live in. It’s why I had to leave the SF Bay Area, which I loved. But it’s also true that “less than horrendous” prices don’t necessarily mean “such a deal”! But the takeaway from this whole post is that it’s great that these communities are springing up all over…fortunately also in less pricy spots than BC, but certainly at least a somewhat more affordable option for the folks that can’t move far away from wherever they are right now.

        • Alex August 3, 2015, 9:19 am

          Thanks Deadrock, and I agree, although the pricing may not be right for everyone, it’s a good thing that it’s happening and I believe we’ll continue to see more and more communities pop up and we’ll have more variety to choose from including some with lot ownership opportunities for true home ownership.

      • Susan July 31, 2015, 5:03 pm

        Wow so much for saving money or to get a home. Wow are my words, as I am looking into this living as I have no options, no family, no income besides social security disability, I was looking into maybe having a home, I have none at the moment, homeless, yes. At a neighbor s at moment because the place or home I had and was paying on for years was taken out from under me, I was not put on deed! I trusted whom I thought were friends. I was in medicine 40yrs helping others, now, I have nothing, and no one.

        • Hunter-Grace August 3, 2015, 3:15 pm

          Susan, where in the U.S. are you? could you or would you consider relocation? i might know how to help.
          hunter-grace

        • Susan August 3, 2015, 8:10 pm

          Hello hunter-grace well.. Yes I guess I would be open to hearing anything at the moment , as I’m not knowing exactly what to do at the moment but thank you for your reply . .. Susan

        • Susan August 3, 2015, 8:12 pm

          Oh sorry I am in georgia right now, I am from Boston mass. Thank you

      • Lisa E. October 3, 2015, 6:42 pm

        All of these high costs are a bogus manipulation of the housing market. My grandparents had a one bedroom apartment in NYC for decades and they paid $35.00, a month and this included steam radiator heat in winter and hot and cold running water (lights you paid yourself.) What exactly is so changed in the world that we have gone from $35.00, per month to 4K for an efficiency one room apartment? One word: Greed. The first house my father ever bought cost $18.5. several years ago, I tried to go back and repurchase that family home. It is now valued at 1.5 MILLION dollars! This is unsustainable insanity and we need to vote all of these crazy Free Market people out of office, take the country back, end the War Budget and get all of these prices and taxes down.

  • Susannah July 31, 2015, 1:07 pm

    $750 a month for a micro rental? That’s not “Affordable Housing”, even here in BC! In the Vancouver Area, maybe,but certainly not in Terrace.

    For comparison, I just checked my housing rental agreement for the Vancouver area. “Economic rent” for a 400 sq ft. apartment is priced at $552. You could rent a two-bedroom apt. in Mission, still in the Lower Mainland, not billed as “affordable”, for an average $740.

    $750 for a micro in Terrace? Or not even in Terrace; 10 minutes from downtown is out of town. ‘Way out of town.

    I just checked: I can rent, today, a three bedroom half-house, with garden, close to downtown Terrace, market $1200.

  • Mary Kiewel July 31, 2015, 1:45 pm

    I was shocked and picked up right away on the jacked up prices. Looks like others have too.

    If we endorse such robbery then it’s influence can be detrimental to all. Let’s keep greedy shisters from preying on our TH Friends.

    Every day I look forward to tinyhousetalk! And I think about the work involved in finding new tiny homes every day. I know it can be difficult. I love your writing and articles. I think people will understand if you didn’t find any new ones for little bit and would glady sesrch out and send in leads if you ask. And even contribute to your life since you are doing us all a great favor.

    But to do free advertising for people selling tiny homes for way too much (which had happened more than once) we do not appreciate because it is not wise. And promotions for spots that charge so much and justify their greed by quoting high rentals is setting unrealistic high cost standards for the whole movement.

    Really, how much could it cost to let a couple dozen trailers sit on your land and put a garden in?!

    If someone shares a useful product that they know of that is fairly priced – people can “go for it,” and all the more happiness.

    So let’s keep looking out for each other and keep pure motives among us.

    I for one am all for avoiding the wolves and sharks.

    • Steve July 31, 2015, 7:33 pm

      Unfortunately Mary, the finding of like-minded people wanting to live on property together seems a difficult task. There a lot of variables. With people come baggage and as some of us in the community have read about what happened on the east coast when a bunch of people tried to do the tiny home community thing. Yes, real world stuff can creep in such people being loud at night; some having more people staying at their place taking more water and other resources; some living near you with criminal records – even sexual predators. There are societal challenges with any social living environment because people are involved. As I mentioned earlier, $500 month for some to come in and organize things. Set up water distribution. Set up electricity. Set up sewer. Set up mailboxes… the list goes on. There is a cost for this. And as I mentioned before, some of us in the small home community are working people, we have our own businesses, and have lives not off the grid or other similar lifestyles. For me, I wanted to declutter, use fewer resources, take up a smaller footprint, and lower my gas, electric, and other bills. And it is all happening. But I pay a monthly fee of nearly $750 which I view as very reasonable in Southern CA for all that my MH/Trailer Park has done to make a place for my home. A residential home (not condo) in my area is a minimum 400K. I paid $12,000 for my home and I own it outright. I have only my space rent and utilities to pay. If I even tried to buy a house, the mortgage would be 2.5K a month and that’s not including all of the maintenance and upkeep. I think each person in the tiny/small home community is different and if a 30K home works for some and $500 month works for others, I’m not going to knock it. they are making a difference – creating a smaller footprint. That’s a positive.

      • Alex August 3, 2015, 9:21 am

        Thanks for sharing, Steve! Inspiring how you’ve made it work for yourself. Way to go!

  • Scoop July 31, 2015, 1:47 pm

    These comments are sad. I am just at the point of researching tiny homes, and everything about the concept and the communities excites me. I am thrilled that people are moving in this direction and that there are communities available to support them – regardless of the cost. Just because the price is not right for you, does not mean it’s not perfect for someone else. We need these communities! It really disappoints me when I see posts like these (Alex aside) that bash the very concept I think people on this site want to promote. It does not speak well of the tiny house community.

    • David August 4, 2015, 2:02 pm

      Perhaps I come across too strongly – I strongly support tiny home communities and I want to see them succeed in the same way that escapees RV parks does – working together collectively for reasonable price for everybody.

      It is frustrating to see something with so much potential to benefit so many being subverted by capital profit harvesting and mismatched regulation to tax a large portion of those who could benefit the most completely out of being able to participate.

      My advocacy is to not say ‘oh yes very nice’ when I see something that is only adequate for some, but could be so much better. yes, the park IS nice, but it could be so much more. I want to see more, so it is advantage when people read the comments here, to see that people want to see more, that there is the idea there can be more than an RV park zone regulation merely adapted to the small home purpose.

      • Denise October 4, 2015, 5:47 am

        I’ve appreciated all your comments David, being brand new to the commmunity and looking in from O/S I have had your concerns.
        I agree with you. We don’t want the business model and profiteering
        to over-run the concept so that those with less means are kept out of the loop. Otherwise all this becomes is another Yuppie hobby.

  • Kyle Gustin July 31, 2015, 2:29 pm

    We need something like this here in Winnipeg. A buddy of mine runs a modular home company here and these homes are a huge step up from a trailer or RV. Like a full-blown regular house but much cheaper.
    (Here’s a tour of one that I was in the other week, http://youtu.be/tLnp2mtKqwc you can see how nice these really are!)

    If only we had a beautiful community around here to set these up!

  • Susanne August 1, 2015, 1:17 am

    In my opinion there isn’t any bashing… By seeing both sides, the guy who pays $750 instead of $2,500 per month, and those of us who are in more affordable areas thus balk at paying $500 to over $1,000, we are seeing reality-all depends on where we are located. But there is always a fine line between making a fair price and going for the jugular! That is what we are trying to discover here in the discussion, a balance.

  • Ashley August 2, 2015, 2:52 pm

    I love this concept! I am planning to create the same type of community in NW Arkansas. Finding a feasible place to park a THOW can be challenging in many areas and having, not only a place to park, but a community spirit centered around similar interests is appealing. Thanks for sharing the concept Alex!

  • Nancy August 2, 2015, 10:35 pm

    Nice idea, rent seems a bit high.
    I don’t personally want/need a tiny house “community” but would like a tiny house neighborhood or at least more acceptance of tiny/small homes being built especially in urban areas.
    My goal for renting/owning a small home is because I simply don’t need a big space and I’d like to have an affordable home.

  • Tiana August 3, 2015, 4:39 am

    I think how much a THC charges for space rent is related to wether electric, septic, and water are supplied to each slot. If you have solar panels & battery bank storage, a composting or incinerating toilet, and catchment or tanked fresh water, site costs would be much less than if they have to be provided. Pay for these “options” during the build of your THOW, or pay for them in site fees.

  • Mary August 5, 2015, 11:01 am

    I’ve been looking into this community too. I don’t think the costs are too high considering it includes septic, most of the utilities and snow removal. Costs are in Canadian too…..considering it is in Canada.

  • Jack August 7, 2015, 10:12 am

    Hi all,
    I love the idea of tiny house communities but this does disturb me slightly. If communities are going to be started then we need to be starting out right. I don’t really see the point in spending 30k on a tiny house so that I can park it and pay pretty much the same rent as what I pay now? To me tiny house living is about simple and cheep living and more importantly getting out of the system and I am very worried about the tiny houses we love becoming commercialized like this. It won’t be long until even tiny houses are something reserved for the super rich if communities like this keep popping up where you pay the same costs as a regular apartment but live in a tiny house. That makes no sense. Yes it is also about condensing your life and consuming less but if you are going to continue to pay full apartment prices you might as well just get rid of most of your things and stay where you are?

  • Barb October 3, 2015, 11:29 am

    Need a place to park my THOW in Massachusetts (eastern) or southern New Hampshire . Anyone have any suggestions?

  • M October 3, 2015, 1:49 pm

    Seems one option might be to advertise in ones area for like minded THers then screen carefully as well as define some guidelines (rules is a harsh word) that they would be amenable to living by. Then proceed to find a piece of land that everyone helps to pay for…such as David proposed. Then all are invested into making the project work (hopefully). The hardest part might be finding THers that share a common vision. Instead of complaining about there not being enough such communities got off her duffs and create one!

  • kristina nadreau October 3, 2015, 8:24 pm

    If someone really wishes to do communal living the least expensive ( not cheap, but least expensive) is cooperative living. Like condominiums, except each owner owns their individual house, and the ground & common areas are communally owned. It would not be simple or easy to set up but it could be done. Many people on this site who comment appear contentious and lack tolerance for others perspectives, so I do not know if it is a genuine possibility for people to live cooperatively with even a small group. An association would have to take care of the water handling system, the septics or sewers, and the electric and any other utilities, such as garbage pick up or re-cycling. I do not think anyone would be willing to manage this task(s) without compensation. So if you are a tiny houser who expects to build yourself a house out of free pallets and live on your own land with utilities of under $100 a month, you may wish to think it all the way through.

  • cheryl norman October 4, 2015, 8:02 pm

    I was recently on the Gulf Coast (Ms.) They were selling 25×50 ft. lots with sewage and electric on site for $10,000. I am in Tn. now 2 miles from Shiloh National park and a 1/2 mile to the Tn. river where I can buy 5 acres for 30,000. Seems to me like we should get together and start our own community here in Tn.

  • Tim October 5, 2015, 9:52 am

    Just so we’re all clear I believe we are talking 500 Canadian which, at today’s conversion rates is $381 American. I’ve done a bit of development and getting infrastructure put in is a lot more expensive than most people think.
    Their ad says most utilities are included with the lot rent. I couldn’t find what defined “most utilities” so for the sake of this discussion I’ll venture water, sewer and electricity. I currently live in a traditional house and my water is typically $30/mo. my sewer is $30/mo and my electricity is typically $150/mo. I’m in $210 American just in utilities. It cost something to build the common areas/laundry facility, the roads, get the sewer and water out to the site etc. I have no idea what permitting costs in Canada but I don’t see $381 American as being exorbitant at all.

    I would love any information anyone has on building a tiny home community. I would love to do this in my area, which happens to be near Omaha, NE. Anyone with interest let me know, ets get something going on American soil!

  • Tracey September 21, 2016, 8:00 pm

    Hello, I wanted to share an experience I have had (and that is ongoing) with Hummingbird Micro Homes out of Fernie BC in the hopes that it will help other aspiring tiny home owners to choose wisely when it comes to paying someone else to build their home.

    A year ago, I paid Hummingbird to build me a tiny home on wheels. I spent over $40,000 on an 8.5′ x 20′ tiny home which was beautifully built and one-of-a-kind. It was built in Terrace, BC on the Bluegrass Meadows site and I lived in the home for four months. In January 2016, I was asked to relocate due to work. At the time, I could not find a spot to park the tiny home in my new community so I had to make alternative arrangements. In the meantime, I agreed that Hummingbird could rent out my tiny home until May 1st, giving me enough time to find a spot to park it. I was not compensated for the rental. Essentially, that was the only way I could “park” my home for free on their site.

    When May 1st arrived, I was so excited to finally have my tiny home back. I had arranged movers; however, Hummingbird had to have the home weighed. It was my understanding that the home had already been weighed upon completion, but I agreed. As it turned out, the home was built way over what the axels on the trailer were rated for (almost 12,000lbs versus 2-5000lb axels). Obviously, I was unable to move the home. Since then, the home has sat in Terrace and I am unsure of whether it’s currently being lived in or not. After repeated emails with the owner of Hummingbird, I was first promised an entirely new tiny home to be built in Fernie and ready by the end of August. A few weeks later, I was told the axels on my tiny home could be replaced and it would be moved free of cost to where I am currently living, by the end of August. It is now the end of September, I have sent repeated emails to Hummingbird, and I have received no response.

    This is not the only problem I had with Hummingbird. The fridge they put in the home (included in the price) was heavily dented and the home did not come with a propane furnace, even though I paid for it. I was told my home would be fully winterized, yet I spent a good portion of my time installing heat trace wire around all the piping and thawing out the pipes when they inevitably froze. I was also told that Bluegrass Meadows would have cell service and laundry facilities by the time I moved in, neither were installed before I left in December. Both are pretty critical for a working professional. Before it was to be moved in May, I was told it was getting repaired for improper gas fittings that were installed at the building stage. When I contacted the gas fitter, he mentioned that was not the only thing wrong with my tiny home, that he noticed a number of problems with the plumbing and other fixtures.

    All in all, I would not recommend Hummingbird Micro Homes to anyone. It has been over a year of frustration dealing with this company and as it stands, I have nothing to show for it.

  • Ellen Hansen October 30, 2017, 2:17 pm

    I’m a bit late in the conversation, just found out about this community. Tried to contact them, but so far no response.

    In reply to the allegations of rents being too high, as a Northern Resident I would like to put things a bit into perspective here:.

    a) compared to other local rents it actually is “affordable”. Criteria should be set according to local standards, and living/building/developing land in the north is very expensive, plus supply versus demand has created inflated rental rates
    b) there simply aren’t enough rentals available in this town, period, never mind low cost or “affordable”. This has not been promoted as low income housing, if I am correct, only as “affordable”, and knowing what it takes to live in a Northern Community like this, yes it is affordable indeed.
    c) red tape red tape red tape – it costs money to overcome local building restrictions and find a workable niche for those kind of building projects. Last time I checked, most Canadian Communities do not want to deal with ‘out of the box’ ideas, and the perceived proximity of trailer parks and Tiny House Communities does not make it easier. I would say, at least we HAVE a concept and an approved space, which – looking at the rest of Canada- is quite an accomplishment to be celebrated. I really recommend that the complainers here go and sit in those countless council meetings it takes to push such a project ahead, and that they witness the rebuttal and frustrating bureaucratic hurdles thrown in the way of such efforts, maybe they would gain a bit more appreciation for the pure fact that this is coming together.
    d) I see this often, that people are ready to complain about capitalism, when somebody has a good idea, puts it into reality and charges what it takes to not only make ends meet, but also to somehow make a living of it. Altruism is great, but if the altruistic motives lead to bankruptcy or don’t provide some kind of an income, it’ll be deemed to doom. Reality is, sadly, that in this society it costs money to develop, build and run such kind of projects. People that HAVE actually dealt with this kind of thing would not so readily suggest that those prices are reflecting a ‘money mongering’ attempt at creating a yuppie community, but instead would honor the work and ingenuity, plus the persistence it takes to get this off the ground. Stop complaining, people!

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