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Dougie Do'ins

Living Remotely or Off Grid

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Howie asked for an update, but not too much real activity happening on our property.

 

I was there in early April for a surprise early season test of extreme isolation / social distancing. I stayed in one of the cabins of my friends lodge 'next door'. It was only for five days, but I absolutely loved not seeing a single person at all. Turn the lights off at night and not a light or sound anywhere. Hiked our property every day (not much snow left). It was really good for getting the lay of the land, with all the undergrowth gone.

 

I installed a trail camera along a well-worn path with hopes of spotting bear/moose/deer/elephants. Left it for four days and saw nothing. Lazy wildlife. Had a duck waddle up to my cabin from the lake as I was sitting on the porch having a beer and a puff. He came by daily and we'd have a good chat and some bits of bread.

 

Pics from the cabin/bay, top of the ridge main house site, and trail leading up to ridge through maple (syrup) forest. Our property is everything you see on the left from the bay.

 

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Here are a few preliminary design ideas for the main house. It's all quite modular in design for ease of construction. I like the idea of an open glass pavilion for entertainment, but a separate private wing for bed / office. It's a bit of a courtyard design with a secure boardwalk connecting the spaces (zombies / bears). I'll post plans later, maybe.

 

I've done a lot of drawing....it's part of what I teach as well, so practice.

 

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Latest guest cottage design (I've got a few). Idea is to build this first, learn a lot of lessons about living off-grid before committing to the main house. Then you have a spare cottage for guests.

 

Logistics of placing the two houses close enough to share services (septic/road access/solar/water) without being too close. Location of guest cottage and main house would be along the ridge at the top of the existing trail. I don't want to bulldoze the forest for any new roads. From the top of the trail you would see the guest cottage to your right, and would follow a trail for a few minutes to get to the main house (I'll add a site plan).

 

Extra mark for anyone (other than Karl and Cochyn) who can recognize the design reference.

 

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Site plan. Existing trail from road bottom center. Guest cottage where orange 1 dot is, main house yellow 1

 

Very steep hill down to water. Existing setback of 100' would put you half way up the slope. Best to build on ridge with 360 views. Big winds though.

 

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I have to ask. How fucking unbelievably loaded are you? 

 

Can I have a yacht? My cat is named Neko and has no eyes, so I'm sure you agree I need one

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36 minutes ago, Remmie said:

I have to ask. How fucking unbelievably loaded are you? 

 

Can I have a yacht? My cat is named Neko and has no eyes, so I'm sure you agree I need one

It’s the Canadian Shield, it covers a large swath of Northern Ontario (muskeg and tundra further north and deciduous forests and...ummm...Toronto...south) so property can be relatively inexpensive. 

 

There is no way I am retiring in Winnipeg (I don’t mind it here but it’s not for me) so it’s either Nunavut with my daughter or a rustic cabin in the boreal forest. Would love to live in the mountains of BC or Alberta but for that you do need a bit of the money Remmie is talking

aboot.

 

Anyway looks fantastic neko and I’m sure the duck and cats will become fast mates before a rampaging forest lion or the Boreal Hippopotamus makes them a meal of them.

 

Fun fact- the boreal hippopotamus has only one predator- the Great Freshwater Lake Tuna. 

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55 minutes ago, Remmie said:

I have to ask. How fucking unbelievably loaded are you? 

 

Can I have a yacht? My cat is named Neko and has no eyes, so I'm sure you agree I need one

A cat with two eyes?

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1 hour ago, Rico1304 said:

Farnsworth? 

 

45 minutes ago, Rico1304 said:

I’m assuming the Barcelona chairs were a clue. 

 

Top of the class. 

 

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2 hours ago, Remmie said:

I have to ask. How fucking unbelievably loaded are you? 

 

Can I have a yacht? My cat is named Neko and has no eyes, so I'm sure you agree I need one

Remmie,

 

It's easier and cheaper to draw things than to build them.

 

As NP said, it's the Canadian Shield. You can buy huge tracts of lands at quite reasonable prices. Just not always easy to find. We're just lucky that our friend (who is loaded) offered to sell it to us. 

 

Living in Vancouver, owning a house bought almost 20 years ago makes anyone a millionaire. The money we would make from selling up here could easily cover building in rural Ontario.

 

The corona virus is doing its best to fuck things up though.

 

 

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The guest cottage is better than most people’s houses. The whole set up looks awesome. Fabulous wilderness as well.

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Stunning, Neko - really elegant, refined and considered homes. My own would err for more solid and less glass and push the PassivHaus standards and make them cosy little boxes that are kept warm by a candle! Slightly more Olson Kundig than Mies, perhaps. 

 

But wow, I hope it comes to some sort of fruition!

 

I want to start giving some thought to my "10 year plan" to become carbon neutral, it'll be less remote but hopefully something almost as interesting!

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