Affordable and Tranquil – Life on the Water

By- Ishan Sohi

John Fox, a full-time carpenter, claims living on a houseboat is a much better choice than living in a condo in Toronto. He recently built a new single storey houseboat for himself.


Fox built his houseboat by himself in 10 months

The houseboat is located at Bluffers Park at the bottom of Brimley Avenue.  The houseboats there are made from either big boats, pontoons or dock containers.  He prefers to live there because, he says, it is more affordable and tranquil to live on the water.  He built the houseboat himself in only 10 months.

‘Sometimes while watching TV in the evening , all of the house boats in the neighbourhood will light their hanging lights and that experience makes me feel good in living on a house boat “ says Fox.

Fox says his monthly mooring cost is $900.  That includes the slip as well as all his utilities and taxes.

The houseboats are some of the cheapest homes in Toronto.  Prices range from $150,000 $400,000. Unless it is an existing houseboat,  you might have to wait for months to get a spot according to the Bluffers Park  administration office. There is currently a houseboat listed for sale on  The “Betty White” is a one bedroom houseboat for sale for $150,000.

The “Betty White” is listed for $150,000 on

More housing options for homebuyers are urgently needed as affordable housing is a problem throughout Toronto . For a family of three to live in Toronto on average, the cost each month is around $4950, while for a single person, expenditures might vary from $150 to $2500 depending on where you live . Residential and non-residential projects’ development fees have increased by 40% and 46%, respectively. For this alternative to super luxurious homes could be the boat homes which can save you pockets from being ripped off .

The location may be within some peoples’ budgets, but you must keep in mind that $900 is also required each month for “marine costs,” which cover all of your utilities and house taxes. According to Fox, the majority of owners mortgage their houseboat with at least 30% down.

Inside Fox’s houseboat

Melanie, a staff member in the administrative office, is still in awe of the newly constructed house boats and acknowledges the effort Fox put in to develop the new toilet seat for house boats. Normally, people had to throw away toilet waste in bags from holding tanks, but John’s house has a technology that allows it to be burned in the toilet itself , making living on the house boat easier.

Fox claims that because the houseboat offers all the necessary amenities, like heat, broadband, and running water, it is an excellent alternative to a condo.

Fox’s kitchen would fit right in in most condos.

He notes there are two negatives to living like this.  There is a lack of nearby parking. If you leave something behind at the house boat, it could be a long walk because  you might have to park a distance from your door. Second, on windy, winter days, it can be a little bit colder because the wind chills come from the water. TMelanie says she has seen a lot of heat was used to insulate the homes on the majority of houseboats.

One of the intriguing things Fox’s neighbour saw was a deer swimming up from the bottom to the top, which was also caught on camera. He says residents here are more cooperative and united than those in any other part of Toronto.

Moreover wildlife like swans , ducks , beavers, racoons and more can be seen roaming around the water which is a great experience according to Fox.

One minute radio wrap is also available.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.