After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) returned higher than ever. Flocks of crowds visited, ready and desperate to enjoy a quintessential end-of-summer activity.

While on the event with my family, my daughter spotted the Green Container Home first, “Mommy, can we go in there?” she asked, pointing at a modular structure with wood accents and huge, inviting windows.

The very first thing I noticed was the solar panels on the structure, though barely visible from the bottom, and I used to be immediately excited to learn more. In line to enter, people around us were already considering it as an accessible solution to country living; “Perhaps we will afford a cottage in any case” considered one of them commented. One other was considering through its investment potential and said “Plop a couple of of those down, and also you’re set. We could market them as glamping.”

This got me considering that size-wise, it’s an ideal option to swiftly get more sustainable residences in the town, in keeping with Toronto’s laneway and garden suite initiatives.

Going up the ramp, I imagined the deck could adorn lush planters. The entranceway is nicely lit, with no fumbling at midnight to open your cabin within the woods. An open concept layout greets you with a galley kitchen, dining area and lounge.

Floor-to-ceiling windows within the fundamental area make sure the unit feels vivid and airy. The kitchen boasts more cupboard space than many new-build condos in Toronto and energy-efficient appliances, including a dishwasher and propane powered stove-top.

The bedroom is spacious, 10X10, furnished with a double bed, with ceilings high enough to accommodate a bunk bed. There’s even room for a built-in closet or a dresser and bookcase.

I used to be inquisitive about the toilet, wondering if it might require a septic tank. Nevertheless, I used to be pleasantly surprised to learn that the unit is entirely off-grid, has a waste-water incineration system, and the toilet also features a shower!

An enormous upgrade in comparison with many cabin and glamping yurt style rentals in the marketplace.

Image collage of the Green Container Home that was displayed on the 2022 CNE. (Sofia Martimianakis)

While living in considered one of these container homes, taking the little ones into the woods could be an option year-round. Having a spacious refuge from bugs and rainy weather when you have got children in tow makes a giant difference, and this might feel like staying in a resort suite with stunning views.

What was clear from testing this structure is that guests were quickly capable of see how this form of sustainable, modular housing could impact their lives.

Whether a mini-home, office or gym, an in-law suite, or a cottage alternative, the probabilities are bountiful for residents and investors.

I imagined future displays having an accompanying audio tour playing as guests toured the suite, drawing their attention to a number of the unit’s modern features.

Something like:

Welcome to the Green Container Home, designed by Balance Containers in partnership with Micro Green Solar.
The 320-sq ft. unit is totally off-grid, powered by solar and propane, featuring heating and air-con and an EcoJohn incineration water treatment system.
With a spacious bedroom, open concept living area, galley kitchen and full washroom, the GS-320 is fully customizable to your needs.
Further upgrades can be found equivalent to built-in cabinets and a covered porch alcove and deck.
Construct anywhere.
Live anywhere.

Speaking with Eric Ballance, President of Ballance Containers, considered one of the appeals of units with solar panels depends upon the situation, the upgrade to panels could cost similar to connecting the unit to the grid.

He said that going with panels means bypassing the red tape and entering into your unit much faster. Also, because the unit doesn’t require a septic tank connection, it’s much easier to place in than a typical garden suite, which requires trenching to attach with the fundamental constructing.

It may very well be installed anywhere; he said, “In cottage country, on a rockface even, where they wouldn’t have the opportunity to place in septic.” The GS-320 is considered one of the corporate’s smaller units, “We like to think about them like adult Lego; they could be fully customized and built to any size.”

With the City of Toronto adopting the Reasonably priced Laneway Suites Program and the Garden Suites Plan, the main focus has shifted to expanding housing options in the town with creative and reasonably priced solutions.

Along with this particular unit’s efficiency and sustainability, Eric explains, “For Developers, they might arrange temporary small housing communities on vacant land that otherwise won’t be occupied for 5-10 years. These units may very well be dropped in for a housing solution after which moved in the long run. We’ve got various developers petitioning Government officials about municipal land not currently in use. This may very well be an interim housing solution.”

In Vancouver, over the past three years, greater than 650 temporary modular supportive homes have been created, providing immediate relief to a whole bunch of individuals and not using a home.

The Reiderman Residence is a brief modular housing community supporting homeless and at-risk populations with 78 pet-friendly homes, a community kitchen, and training and employment opportunities for residents. Similarly, Margaret Mitchel Place is a 53-studio home modular constructing with a community garden and peer employment programs designed to supply opportunities for residents to hitch the community.

The hope is by increasing awareness of the advantages of modular housing solutions through exhibits just like the Green Container Home on the CNE, units just like the GS-320 could be considered a viable solution to the housing supply crises within the Greater Toronto Area. The unit shall be back on display on the Ballance Container Showroom in Oakville, ON and may also travel to other Canadian fairs over the following few years.

Off-grid living never looked so good!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here