A recent development company has caused quite a stir with its new plans to create Canada's smallest independently-owned homes. The plan, once approved, will be a four-storey building containing 56 units; 60% of those units will be between 290 to 305 square feet (sq ft). The plan, proposed by development company, Tien Sher will be located in Surrey, BC (about 30 minutes from Vancouver) and is expected to go on sale in January 2013.
Interestingly, Canadians are no strangers to tiny living. Prior to Tien Sher project, the smallest home in Canada was located in Toronto. It was built in 1912 and is only 301 sq ft. The home sports 1 bathroom, a tiny kitchen, a den that doubles as a bedroom and a fantastic fenced in patio. It was listed on the market in 2008 for $179,900.
In contrast, the smallest home in the world was recently announced and is only 1 square meter (10.7 sq ft). If you need to take a nap, push the home on its side and the side wall acts as a tiny bed! These homes have no bathroom or room for that matter. It's really just a box to hang out in and if you're interested in experiencing the small space living, these homes can be rented for $1/day at the East Seven Hostel in Berlin.
On the flip side of small space living are the homes of fairytales. The largest home in the world is the Istana Nurui Iman palace, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunai. Located on the banks of the Brunai River, this incredible palace is 2,152,782 sq ft and contains 1788 rooms, 257 bathrooms and a 110-car garage. It also has 18 elevators, 5 swimming pools and a banquet hall that can accommodate 4,000 people. The palace was built in 1984 at the cost of about $1.4 billion.
In Canada, the largest home is nowhere near as extravagant, but is still a whopping 65,000 sq ft. Located in Haileybury, ON, on the shores of Lake Temiskaming, the property includes a boat house for a 40-foot yacht, 2 elevators and an indoor pool. The home isn't finished so there are no details about the number of rooms in the property. The home was listed, as is, at $25 million in 2010.
So where do the rest of us sit in terms of living space?
According to CMHC, in 2010, the average home under construction was 1,950 sq ft. Statistics Canada has recently said that family sizes are shrinking and that can potentially change the way Canadians live and the type of housing they will need. Does that mean smaller homes are in our futures? We'll have to wait and see.
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