Thinking big about tiny houses

 

Klaudia Mika, left, sits with Sandra Lester in front of Lester's tiny house on Vale Island. Mika will host a presentation on Sept. 25 for people interested in building tiny houses.

Klaudia Mika, left, sits with Sandra Lester in front of Lester’s tiny house on Vale Island. Mika will host a presentation on Sept. 25 for people interested in building tiny houses.

With the price of real estate and utilities in the North, people may be drawn toward alternative approaches to living.

That is Klaudia Mika’s reasoning for becoming interested in tiny houses.

They are compact, often portable houses that challenge the bigger-is-better mentality. Usually ranging from 150 to 300 square feet in size, tiny houses make use of every inch of space while promoting a lifestyle more free from material pursuit.

“I don’t need much,” said Mika. “I have this expression: you can only sit on one chair at a time.”

Mika, in partnership with the Association franco-culturelle de Hay River (AFCHR), plan to bring in Etienne Croteau from Yellowknife to give a presentation on tiny houses. Croteau recently built his own tiny house in Yellowknife, and has lots of ideas for people who will be building their own, as well.

Mika said people in Hay River will run into a problem if they plan to build tiny houses: there will be nowhere to put them. As it stands, the Town of Hay River has guidelines for minimum square footage for a house.

“Right now, the only place to put a tiny house is at the campsite,” said Mika. “I hope that, if this idea becomes popular, the (town) will allow us to do this.”

The AFCHR put on a presentation about tiny houses last year, and approximately 50 people attended.

Mika is hoping for a large turnout this year, as well, to raise awareness of this alternative lifestyle and possibly gain support for a tiny house community in Hay River.

“I sold everything in Montreal before I came here,” said Mika. “I came with two suitcases. It was liberating. I am not attached to material things. I don’t want to work to spend my money on heating, I don’t want to be cleaning so much. I don’t want to do all of that. So tiny houses match my values.”

The presentation will educate people on the advantages of tiny houses, and help them come up with ideas about how to find materials.

It will take place on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Diamond Jenness Secondary School.