Many young Canadians feel that home ownership is a relic of a bygone era. Modern first-time home buyers see the massive colonial and Victorian homes that former generations have aspired to and can’t imagine themselves ever living that way. This new era of economically and environmentally savvy homeowners have come up with a better way – the tiny home.

Today we find ourselves in a world of ever-increasing housing prices, a stark contrast to the stagnating wages of our time. Sure, these rising prices greatly benefit those who bought homes years ago. At the same time, these financial conditions leave new buyers out in the cold. Young Canadians who have grown up believing that owning a big home is the end goal of ‘being an adult’ find themselves pressured to go into massive debt just to be able to purchase their first home.

Alternatively, tiny homes are a way to avoid taking on such debt so early in life. The much more moderately priced tiny homes give Canadian families the means to a much smaller mortgage, or even to buy a home outright. Without the burden of a hefty mortgage payment each month, families can spend their money where they would like to instead of where they have to. For some Canadians, these smaller homes have helped them recover 30 to 40 percent of their household income – a welcome respite to any family. This extra disposable income can also have amazing benefits for a young family, allowing the parents to give their children the best possible start in life.

Canadians under-40 understand that there’s more to their housing choices than money. Tiny homes represent a shift towards a more environmentally friendly way of life. With the threat of climate change and depleting non-renewable resources hanging over their heads, many have chosen a more sustainable way of life. Solar power is a staple of this new housing philosophy. These new homeowners don’t want to find themselves depending on an electrical grid which is, in many cases, supplied by coal-burning power plants. Comparatively, in tiny homes, repurposed and recycled building materials are common in their construction. The inventive ways these small homes reuse materials is astonishing, from counter tops furnished with recycled glass to walls of stacked tires packed with earth. The simple and sustainable way of life that comes with tiny home living seems more appealing to Canadians everyday.

It’s not just the young Canadian family that find themselves attracted to this new way of life. Many retired parents also find that they have more space than they need now that their children have found homes of their own. Moving into a tiny home gives them an environment that is better suited to their current needs. It also allows them to reclaim the money they’ve invested into their previous home, giving them the opportunity to pursue hobbies and leisure activities during their golden years.

This new tiny home movement has found its niche with Canadians young and old.  With more and more Canadians shifting towards greater economic and environmental sustainability, who knows how big the tiny home wave will grow.