Letter to the Editor – Housing


Dear Editor,

I hear there is a push on in North Grenville to build tiny homes as a possible solution for affordable housing for the many who have little hope of getting a place of their own. We wanted to build a 600 square foot tiny home for our son and his partner but you’d be naive to think that the process of getting a building permit from NG would be straightforward. It was painfully slow and incredibly frustrating dealing with the inflexible bureaucracy. 

We started the building permit review process for a tiny home on December 15th.  It is now April 2024 and we have virtually given up on this initiative. Why?… because we have been stifled by the NG building department who seemed unable and unwilling to make the building permitting process fair, effective or efficient. We now fear being abused during the building process. Despite providing them with code compliant architectural drawings, stamped engineering documentation, and manufacturers’ shop drawings for structural components, a series of confusing rejections by a plans reviewer ensued. Our designer warned us of the inspection shenanigans before we submitted plans, but we never expected we’d be subjected to outright opposition that amounted to bureaucratic malpractice.

For any of you thinking about building a tiny home, be very wary of the pitfalls and frustration which you will encounter with the NG Building Department. For us, this was a total exercise in futility and we cannot say that it was in any way pleasurable or helpful.

Andrew Thriscutt


  1. Nobody controls these inspectors; they are unaccountable. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing administers the Building Code Act, which sets the legal role of inspectors, together with administrative rules and a Code of Conduct. However, the MMAH passes the oversight role to Mayor and Councils and cannot discipline bad inspectors. Councils’ hands are tied in that they cannot (by law) interfere in the interpretations of the Building Code by staff. They can address administrative performance, however, to do so requires a knowledge of the Act and expertise in the inspection role. Few councils outside of large municipalities have staff capable of overseeing the inspector role.


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