By: Roman Hayter

New North is touring northern Saskatchewan promoting the advantages of tiny homes. 

Susan McKenzie, Interim CEO of New North, and tiny house specialist Kenton Zerbin will embark on an education tour of northern municipalities to highlight the benefits of using tiny homes in the north.

“We are doing a multi-phase approach to the tiny house initiative, with phase one being a survey of various constituents, municipalities, villages, and hamlets to determine what their immediate housing needs are for specific demographics and for specific uses, and once we’ve done this initial survey, we’ll be better able to propose a pilot project,” said Zerbin.  “One thing I like about tiny houses is that you can put that time into other things, whether it’s education and personal development, community, or traveling. That’s why I love tiny homes because they are very customizable to a user and their lifestyle.”

Zerbin is an Alberta-based educator who has spent the last ten years specializing in teaching people about sustainable living. He designed and built his own off-grid tiny house and recognized the public’s desire to learn more about tiny homes.

“Being able to heat your house very efficiently and not have much of a carbon footprint in terms of the energy, carbon, and waste costs that all go into a house, there’s usually a lot of materials and a lot of wastage that has an environmental footprint, so I think that tiny homes do propose an alternative model for how we can live more ethically and sustainably,” Zerbin said.

He has taught workshops across Canada as well as been a consultant for individuals and programs wanting to build tiny house communities and has shown people how to construct them.

“It allows you to put more intention into creating an efficient shelter with well-insulated walls, high-quality windows, and a heat recovery ventilator unit to manage moisture without losing heat inside the house. You can afford to get the better pieces of technology and materials to allow a house to withstand the extreme temperatures of northern Canada,” he explained. 

The northern municipal tour will take place until December 10, visiting the communities of Air Ronge, Weyakwin, Sandy Bay, Cumberland House, Green Lake, Cole Bay, Jans Bay, Michel Village, Buffalo Narrows, and St. George’s Hill.