Simplicity is Bliss: Relax on the Canadian Coast in a Hand-Built Yurt

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Canadian singer Shara Gibson can do a lot more than bust out killer tunes; the artist has spent the last few years building a yurt – yes, you heard that right – in Northern Ontario. Built from scratch with the help of her family, the private hideaway sits on 600 acres of scenic wooded land along a private river and the scenic Algonquin Provincial Park. Originating from Central Asian nomadic custom, the traditional structure consists of a round, skeletal frame and an outer skin. This modern adaptation maintains the same minimal approach and resourceful attitudes from 400 BC; using timber from the surrounding forest, the family was able to hand-craft 80% of the tent’s furnishings that add to its rustic, minimal vibe. From the single room interior, one can see the exposed wooden frame that supports the simple structure. At just twenty-three feet wide, the compact space can accommodate up to six guests for just $85 CAD a night ($40 after the first guest). The hosts provide basic amenities, like shampoo, towels, and firewood and tools for making s’mores by the fireside, but they make the point to remind visitors that “We are all guests on this planet.” Available for rent on airbnb, the idyllic retreat offers complete immersion in the natural world. From the fields of horses and endless hiking trails awaiting exploration to the fire pit, river-side yoga platform, and cedar strip canoe, the Yurt offers a unique vacation experience that promotes the importance of sustainability through strict minimalism and a wide environmental embrace.

Lizzie Wright


​Lizzie Wright is an aspiring artist and designer with a passion for the written word. While she works on her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she spends her (rare) spare time riding around Providence on her trusty Cannondale and drinking lots of coffee. She is especially fascinated by the dichotomy between aesthetic form and function, which has an immense influence on her work. As a lover of the natural world, Lizzie plans to focus on Nature, Culture, and Sustainability Studies to pursue a more efficient future for design. Read more by visiting her website

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