These Snug, Off-Grid Cabins in Canada Start at $141 a Night

These Snug, Off-Grid Cabins in Canada Start at $141 a Night

By Christin Perry
Run by a husband-and-wife team, each of Cabinscape’s tiny homes is a cozy wilderness retreat.

Avid hikers and travelers, John Loerchner and his wife Laura Mendes were stumped when they had their daughter, Ava, three years ago. Camping no longer seemed like the best option, but they didn’t want to swap an experience in nature for a hotel or rental. So, the couple decided to build a tiny cabin as a landing pad for weary outdoor enthusiasts. They loved the results so much that they quickly added a second cabin, and then kept building. Today, they rent five different cabins that are scattered across the wilderness of Eastern Ontario.

"We started Cabinscape as a way to meld our interest in sustainable design and our passion to create, build, and inspire connections in nature," says Loerchner.

Even on the coldest winter day, these cozy cabins, which are heated by a propane furnace, are warm and inviting. 

Loerchner and Mendes designed their cabins to be totally off-grid: solar panels provide electricity, while lake water feeds the shower. Compost toilets eliminate the need for a full septic system, and water from the kitchen sink is gravity-fed from 20-liter jugs of fresh drinking water. 

The cabins are designed to have the smallest footprint possible, while still providing creature comforts, and stay connected to the landscape through large windows and decks.

Solar panels on the roof of the Penner cabin provide all the electricity it needs. The cabins are mobile to reduce the impact to the land, and to take advantage of different locations depending on the season.

The Mason cabin features a handmade bar made of reclaimed wood. The garage-door wall can be lifted to create an indoor/outdoor connection to the patio for al fresco dining. 

In the warmer months, the window can be raised to allow those on the deck and inside the cabin to chat face-to-face.

Ranging from 128 to 240 square feet, the cabins are tastefully designed with the Scandinavian concept of hygge in mind. Cozy textiles, plenty of reading space, and ample natural light fill the tiny dwellings with a feeling of warmth even on the coldest winter day.

Plenty of sitting areas can be found in the Joni cabin, which comfortably sleeps three guests. A wood-and-glass railing along the bunk bed ensures natural light isn't blocked by the loft area, and allows a warm summer breeze to circulate.

Each cabin comes equipped with a fully functional kitchen. Above, a wooden countertop echoes the hand-hewn, reclaimed wood on the walls, which was provided by John Loerchner's brother. 

Shop the Look
Woolrich Camp Blanket
Rugged wool camp blankets made by the oldest continuously operating woolen mill in America.  Woolrich has been in the business of woolen blankets since the Civil War, when they supplied blankets for soldiers to use to keep warm.
Tolix Marais Barstool
Metalworker Xavier Pauchard not only brought the art of galvanizing steel to France but also took the process to the next level by creating the Marais A Chair (1934), as well as a selection of stools.

The kitchen in the Joni model features a stainless steel sink and faucet, and a wooden countertop made of logs that John Loerchner milled, planed, joined, and then sealed with floor varnish. A high shelf cleverly disguises extra kitchen items, which helps to reduce clutter.

Perhaps one of the best features of these tiny cabins is that they can be easily moved to different locations. So whether the deep snow of winter calls for skiing and snowshoeing, or a sparkling Canadian lake beckons in the summer heat, Cabinscape cabins can be at the heart of the action. 

A glass-infill railing allows for uninterrupted views of the surrounding forest.

Book your off-grid cabin stay at Cabinscape starting at $141 a night.

Related Reading: 

The World’s Most Popular Airbnb Is a Geodesic Cabin in California

These Nordic A-Frame Cabins Offer Thrilling Treetop Views

Project Credits:

Designer: John Loerchner

Architect: RAW Design / @rawdesignto

Builder: Cabinscape

Interior Design: Laura Mendes (Cabinscape)

Contractor: Paul Bedard


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