British Columbia

Off-the-grid float house is 'perfect choice', say retired B.C. couple

Land prices are not a problem for one B.C. couple who have chosen to leave terrestrial living behind in favour of a floating lake cabin, tethered next to a cliff face.

Margy Lutz and her husband Wayne's floating cabin sits on Powell Lake next to a cliff

Margy Lutz and her husband Wayne live in a float house on Powell Lake, B.C. (CBC)

Land prices can be astronomically high in many parts of Canada, but they're not a problem for a B.C. couple who have chosen to leave terrestrial living behind — in favour of a floating cabin east of Powell River.

Retirees Margy Lutz and her husband Wayne live in a 420-square-foot, solar-powered float house on Powell Lake. The cabin is next to a cliff and is tethered to shore by a cable. There is no running water. 

"It's not for everybody," Lutz said. "Right here, we have no internet and no television — you could if you had a satellite, but we've chosen not to do that."

Lutz uses a hand pump to bring water up from the lake, and a floating garden built on cedar logs allows her to grow everything from asparagus to beets to carrots. The cabin also acts as a dock for the couple's boat.

Margy Lutz's floating garden built on cedar logs allows her to grow everything from asparagus to beets to carrots. (CBC)

For the most part, Lutz says living off the grid has been "a perfect choice" for her and her husband, though the two of them did have to make an adjustment when it came to the bathroom.

"We went to Composting Toilets and built ourselves a bathroom, so that's a wonderful addition," she said.

"We used to, in all kinds of weather, have to go up four flights of stairs [to an outhouse], and that was not always fun."


This story is part of a series produced in Vancouver about alternative housing options across Canada.

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