December 8, 2023

Have Home, Will Travel

Tiny Home owner looking for new location in Northumberland

Article & images by Valerie MacDonald

York University Masters’ musicology student, cellist Cheryl Ockrant, has lived in a tiny home she designed, north of Cobourg, for about six years.

It was only meant to be in its present location temporarily and the property owners have been very fine neighbours, but now it’s time to move so she’s looking for another rural location.

Hopefully, one where there are fellow musicians and artists nearby, plus an adjoining plot where she can put her gardening skills to use as she has been doing since living in Hamilton Township.

The two-bedroom home (with an optional third), plus two loft spaces, has a full kitchen, and a sunken living room that is used as a rehearsal space. Her 21-year-old, recently married daughter who sings opera and is studying at Dalhousie University, occupies a section of the house at one end of the mobile structure. At the other end – so that they don’t hear one another practicing — there is a triangular-shaped music space for Ockrant.

The footprint of the building is 10 feet wide by 32 feet long with the triangular-shaped music space built over the hitch that allows the home to be moved.,

Every bit of space has been carefully planned from the front to back.

Unable to afford any apartment in any urban area, her tiny home project has given her some independence and control. And, this not-so-tiny space has suited her family’s divergent needs. It’s also a place where she teaches music.

The classically trained musician has a special focus on touch dance and is known as a free improviser, enjoying working with those in the disability community. She says her daughter is an “amazing singer” destined for international recognition.

It’s two main sections came from Hamilton and Muskoka. During COVID-19, the price of renovations and building this unique tiny home “doubled in price,” she said. But she got it completed. She captures rainwater for daily use. Specialty equipment purifies it for drinking water. A vermi-composting toilet provides for bathroom needs. The building does have full electrical services, so it is not off the grid.

Ockrant is hoping to move “this fall or sooner” if she can find the right location, which could be a shared spot with other tiny homes, she said. The move will require moving the entire contents out of the building and hiring a special tow truck.

“There are other tiny houses in the area and we should love to get together.”

She can be reached through Facebook. Here is a recent post:

“Hello Tiny House lovers, I am throwing this out to the universe!

“I am a tiny houser, York MA candidate and Free Improvisor in Toronto looking to meet with anyone who is willing to explore having a tiny house on their property, and I am open to locations. Being near other artists and musicians is the goal.
If you are, or know of someone who is open to a Tiny House musician working at home, has a need for a second pair of eyes on a loved one, a gardener to raise vegetables and maintain beauty, to oversee pets or snow shovelling, please message me. This post is shareable.
I am a working cellist but I am also nearing the end of my MA in musicology. Further research will be continuing in performance anxiety, free improvisation, and Polyvagal Theory.
My tiny house is looking for a new home, and we are open to locations and opportunities for a creative community sharing.”


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