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Ontario retiree turns a caboose into a tiny home


A retiree from Ontario has just purchased what is being called the “cheapest house in the GTA” – a caboose in a commercial parking lot near Milton.

Laurel Wynne said she sold her previous property – a 1921 schoolhouse – in February 2021. She told CTV News Toronto that she had the property for about a year before realizing the drive to see her family in Oakville was just too long and the cost of the renovations added up.

The 64-year-old said she didn’t believe she qualified for a mortgage and didn’t want to pay more than $2,500 a month in rent, so she started browsing websites real estate and came across a listing on Zoocasa for a red train caboose in Campbellville, just outside of Milton, Ontario.

“I thought well, it might be achievable.”

Inspired by anti-poverty advocates who were building tiny communities of homes outside of Hamilton, Wynne decided to take the plunge and buy the house.

“I really like the cool factor of such an old structure which is quite quirky. So I thought I could make it work during the summer,” she said. I don’t have a mortgage and I have a place to stay.”

“While I’m not homeless by any means, I’m also not able to afford the kinds of homes I had before. And I don’t even think if I’m being honest, I don’t know that I want this.

The house sold for $45,000. Wynne must also pay the owner of the land $500 per month; however, she said that in the future she might consider buying land where she could put the caboose.

The structure was previously used as an office by a limousine company – the interior had three large benches as seating, as well as mirrors and a sound system.

43 Main Street East, Campbellville. (Jennifer Krane/Realtor.ca)

Wynne added that it may also have been used as an ice cream shop in the past.

“He’s been there for about 30 years.”

The structure is wired for electricity but is not hooked up to any plumbing so will need to purchase water. Wynne is currently renovating the caboose so that there is a living room, bedroom and bathroom. She says even with the renovations, she expects to pay less than most other properties on the market.

The caboose has been listed since at least November 2021. At the time, real estate agent Jennifer Krane told CTV News Toronto that she did not recommend the property for residential use in its current condition, but that it could be equipped for running water by installing sewer lines and holding tanks.

“My seller is hoping someone will move it and enjoy it in their own space, whether it’s on their own property as a tiny house or in their backyard for the kids to hang out with,” she said. .

Wynne says her family was surprised at her new choice of home, but they were supportive of the effort.

“I think my friends, I mean those who know me, know that my situation is not going to lend itself to conventional housing.”

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