Canada’s Smallest Rental

Micro-lofts and Housing Affordability

Burns Block is an innovative market rental housing project built by Vancouver companies Reliance Properties and ITC Construction Group. Located at the site of the historic Burns Block in the Gastown neighborhood of the Downtown Eastside, the building dates back 100 years and is on the Vancouver Heritage Register. The building features 30 self-contained affordable furnished market rental suites or “micro-lofts.” Suites range from 226 – 291 sq. ft., making them the smallest in Canada. The spatially-efficient design contains built-in, pull-down wall beds with integrated folding tables, flat screen televisions, compact appliances, ample storage and built-in safes for storing valuables. Typical rental value for each suite is $850 per month, including cable and Internet, and starts as low as $760 per month. The building is 18,000 sq. ft and has five floors. The majority of occupants are between the ages of 25 and 35 and include students and those working in the heart of the downtown area.

While the former use of Burns Block was for a Single Room Occupancy hotel (SRO) with shared facilities, suites in the redeveloped building each contain a “wet” bathroom and full kitchen. The building also features a rooftop garden, basement gym, bicycle storage and several environmentally-friendly elements. The Bitter Tasting Room, owned by Heather Hospitality Group, is conveniently located on the ground floor of the building, which also includes 1,421 sq. ft. of future retail space. Continue reading

Micro-lofts – The Shrinking Condo

Tara and Herb both sent me two related articles about some cool lofts under development in Vancouver B.C. Canada. These micro-lofts are about 270 square feet, the size of two parking spaces.

General manager Jon Stovell says the micro-lofts will have pretty much everything essential for living, including a bathroom, kitchen, workspace and big loft-style windows that provide natural ventilation and bright views of the street.

“They have a fold-down wall bed, and when that wall bed is up, it has a fold-down table. We integrated a workbench with a built-in flat screen TV so that that does not take any room and created a glassy washroom enclosure that functions as a single area — shower, and toilet and sink all in one area. Continue reading