“These “bunkies” are in the Thousand Islands area that forms the border between south-eastern Ontario and New York State. The area has been mainly farmland since it was first settled during the mid-1800’s.
The bunkies face south across the lake. Because of the setting, with open fields, limestone shelves along the shoreline and open water, there is a very east-coast feel to the land.”
Karen is planning on building a bunkie on her property on Simcoe Island shown in the last picture but she has some concerns. You can read them here and if you have any suggestions use the comment section to give her your take.
I would like to build a bunky next summer (actually, a friend who is a carpenter is going to build it for me.) The provincial building code defines a “building” as a structure that is greater than 10 square meters, equivalent to 108 square feet. That footprint maximum includes a covered deck where supports for the roof of the deck are anchored into the ground (and may also include an porch area that is not covered.) Technically, anything that is not a “building” according to this definition and size is not covered by the building code and so does not require a building permit. However, it’s my understanding that there is a good deal of “discretion” that can be applied by the local building official, so considerations of shoreline set-backs of 50 feet, height restrictions of 14 ft and assumptions that a bunky will be an adjunct building to a “primary structure” (i.e., a building that has been installed according to the building code) may also apply. These two bunkies have been in place for at least 10 years, maybe longer. Since then, other islanders have put up bunkies, some as additions to a main building on their property and some on vacant land similar to mine. I guess my worry is that I would be halfway through putting the bunky up, only to have the building inspector in the area and tell me I have to stop.
In the attached photos, there is one with a small deck which is 11 by 11 on the exterior, plus the deck. It is the only structure on the property. The other place is probably 10 by 10, away from a main house, but the deck certainly extends out from there and right on the shore line. My property in between: I think my biggest challenge will be that it is vacant land with no existing primary structure. I have always wanted to build something small on the property, ideally about 250 square feet, but in the 9 years since I bought it, the local rules have changed, and now you cannot get a building permit for a “building” smaller than 950 square feet. So the only real alternative financially for me is to go small and comfy, which is fine, because besides the two ferry rides, the distance by land to the property is only about 6 miles from home. Perhaps ignorance of the rules would have been a better source of bliss, and most of the folks I have spoken to know about the 108 square foot rule, but not the other considerations. So much for being curious…
Anyhow, if you do have thoughts or suggestions, that would be great. –Karen