'I'm from America. I'm looking to move to Canada': Manitoba village's $10 lots prompt post-election inquiries
People searching 'living in Canada' or 'cheaper land in Canada' find RM of Pipestone, community official says
For those who want to live the full rural experience, the small Manitoba community of Reston seems like the ideal place. You can go for a fall run or play a game of road hockey without having to worry about too much traffic.
Some Americans apparently think it might also be the perfect escape from a Donald Trump presidency.
Tanis Chalmers, economic development officer for the Rural Municipality of Pipestone, said six inquiries from Americans looking into $10 lots in the small village of Reston had been received at her office Wednesday morning alone. The municipality's Facebook page also saw a surge in new likes through the day.
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"In a way I'm not surprised," Chalmers said, adding that the office typically gets one inquiry per day about the cheap lots incentive.
It takes about an hour to drive from the U.S. border to Reston, a rural community of 550 people about 300 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.
The municipality has been selling select lots in Reston and two other communities for $10 for several years in an attempt to boost the declining population.
"When people are searching 'living in Canada' or 'cheaper land in Canada,' the RM of Pipestone already comes up because of the press we've had for our $10 lots," she said.
It's hard to know exactly where in the U.S. the inquiries are coming from, but given the influx came the morning after the election, she believes it's in direct response to Donald Trump's win.
"Especially when they are specifically saying, 'I'm from America. I'm looking to move to Canada.' You can't help but not think that that is what it is about," Chalmers said.
But while it may seem as easy as handing over a $10 bill, Chalmers cautions those thinking about making the move north that there is a process. Prospective buyers need to put down a $1,000 deposit. They get $990 back after they build or move their house to the property.
"You do need to build a house in order to keep the property," she said.
"It does not come with permanent residency or a visa or anything like that," she added.
Chalmers expects to see similar inquiries in the coming days and hopes to see at least a few pan out and new neighbours from the south move into town.
"Moving is something that you need to take seriously but at the same time, there is a lot of opportunity here."