Due to the high cost of owning a house and paying mortgages, more Canadians are looking to invest in the tiny house movement. These homes are much more affordable than traditional family houses, and homeowners can enjoy their homes year-round.

When it comes to tiny homes, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is still a relative newcomer to the revolutionary movement. Although many islanders want to downgrade to a little house, they face challenges regarding the legality of permanently residing in a small house.

Prince Edward Island

Housing availability is a big issue in PEI; however, there are affordable housing initiatives on the island, which often involves simply subsidizing large apartment complexes to provide a roof over the head of residents. There is not yet a shift to making home ownership more affordable.

This is the primary reason why people in PEI are looking to build or rent a tiny home. Small-scale or tiny dwellings, often less than 500 square feet, still have all the amenities of a traditional house – with some twists.

Some are on wheels, while many use a compost toilet and rely on a wood stove or heat pump. Having stoves or pumps installed can be challenging when meeting the Building Codes’ fire standards.

Let’s take a look at what you should know before investing in a tiny house on Prince Edward Island.

Are Tiny Homes Legal In Prince Edward Island?

The first thing you should know is that tiny homes are not legal across Canada. Although more provinces and municipalities are starting to accept these small-scale dwellings – considered to be a house less than 500 square feet – the legality of these houses depends on where you live.

For tiny homes to be legal, they not only need to comply with building codes and bylaws, but they also need to be placed on land that is appropriately zoned.

Building a tiny home in PEI causes one major challenge: these homes are not allowed in many municipalities. Many municipalities in PEI only allow houses to be a minimum size of 500 to 1,000 square feet, which makes tiny homes or houses illegal.

You will have to consult your local municipal bylaws to find out if you can build or live in a tiny home in your desired location.

What Are The Requirements?

The requirements of a tiny house will depend on where you live.

Generally, it is accepted that a house that is a primary residence must comply with the province’s Building Codes. The dwelling may only be constructed on a property zoned for residential living.

This can be challenging, as tiny homes often do not comply with standard building codes. Small-scale homes often have the sleeping area in the loft, which doesn’t comply with ceiling standards for bedrooms.

Tiny homes also often have narrow hallways and doors, steep stairways, and no secondary exit – this lack of space makes it almost impossible to comply with the Building Code.

There is also a difference between a tiny house on wheels and one constructed on permanent foundations.

These homes on wheels are considered recreational vehicles (RVs), and in Canada, it is not legal to reside in an RV throughout the year.

Different building codes will also apply to RVs or mobile homes.

Where Can I Legally Park Or Place My Tiny Home?

Where building laws are concerned with how your house is to be constructed, including standards for safety, accessibility, dimensions, and energy efficiency, zoning laws determine where you may park or build your small house or house on wheels.

Many provinces across Canada do not have specific laws that govern where small homes can be parked or placed, making it a logistical nightmare.

Zoning laws will differ between municipalities in PEI, and the zoning bylaw will depend on how you plan to live in your tiny home.

For a tiny home constructed on foundations, you must consult local zoning bylaws that focus on primary residential dwellings. You will have to consider how many dwellings or structures can be erected on the site and whether your house will be a primary or accessory dwelling to the main house.

A tiny house on wheels is slightly more complicated. First, you will have to determine how your municipality classifies a house on wheels – is it a mobile home, a recreational vehicle, or a travel trailer?

Once you determine this, you will have to consult municipal zoning bylaws to determine where you can park your home on wheels.

Many RV parks allow mobile homes on wheels, and in some instances, people can also park a house on wheels on private property if there is space – but it will all depend on the zoning.

How Often Do I Need To Move My Tiny Home?

In Canada, it is not legal to live year-round in what is considered an RV, meaning you will have to move your tiny home at least once a year.

You should not move more than once every three to six months to minimize the wear and tear that will result in significant damage to your home.

Do I Need A Permit To Build Or Live In A Tiny House?

Most tiny homes constructed on the appropriately zoned property require both a development permit and a building permit. Since there are no specific provisions for small houses in the PEI Building Codes, you will have to comply with the permitting requirements for traditional houses.

Modular homes require a building permit if constructed and must comply with the CSA standard for mobile homes. Construction of mobile homes will have to comply with fire, electrical, health, and structural standards.

You are also likely to require an occupancy permit before occupying any portion of your tiny building.


  • Is it more affordable to build or buy a tiny home?
  • How much will it cost to buy a tiny house in Canada?
  • How wide and tall can a Canadian tiny home be?
  • What are the benefits of a tiny home?