Share |
 

Chapter 10: The Fate of the HemLoft

 

New York seems to have a way of making big things happen. Little did I know, when Heidi and I set off for the Empire State, we’d meet the woman who would give me an essential insight into the story behind the treehouse, and spur me to submit the HemLoft to a major design magazine.

 

Benita, a childhood friend of Heidi’s mom, moved to New York straight out of high school. When she heard we were coming to visit New York on our way back from Nova Scotia, she welcomed us into her tiny home in downtown Manhattan. We had many interesting conversations around design, but it wasn’t until the end of our stay that I showed her the photos of the treehouse. Most people who saw the photos seemed interested in varying degrees, but Benita seemed particularly captivated.

 

Benita had spent most of her life as an art director, conducting fashion shoots for Ralph Lauren and other big players in the fashion industry. Her profession clearly required a critical eye for beauty and intrigue, so when she told me that our photos needed to be in a magazine, I actually believed her.

 

With a steady gaze and a curious voice, she began asking questions, in journalistic fashion. It wasn’t long until she cut to the the big lingering question that I dreaded so much: why did you build it? I found myself grasping for some sort of rationalization that would make me seem less crazy. She said “no, why did you really build it?” For the first time in my life, I was forced to face the truth about it. I said “I guess… I just wanted to build something cool”.

 

It seemed too simple, but it was true. The driving force behind the whole thing was a simple, yet inexorable desire to build something cool. There were no practical motives or profound meanings. The fact that it was hiding below some of the richest properties in Western Canada wasn’t a political statement, it just happened to be where I found the perfect tree. And building with free materials wasn’t out of some principled ideal, it was just the only avenue I could afford. In the end, I was mysteriously compelled to build something cool, something beautiful… and apparently, I was willing to go to maniacal lengths to make it happen.

 

When I asked Benita what kind of magazine to put it in, she threw a question back: “what would you want out of it?”. I told her I want to be able to continue building cool things. She told me to shoot for the top, and get exposure. I took her advice and submitted the project to Dwell Magazine. To my astonishment and delight, I was contacted by the Senior Editor, who informed me that Dwell would be featuring my treehouse in a special outdoor edition, that would be on the shelves all summer long. This was thrilling news but I felt uneasy about the implications. For the past few years, the HemLoft had been a personal secret that only my closest friends knew about. Now it would be thrown into the public realm, and put under the scrutiny of the design world, at large…

 

Now that my well kept secret was in a big glossy magazine, and about to hit the news stands, I started to wonder about the fate of the HemLoft. Would people find it? What would happen if they found it? I had two options: I could rent a pit bull and a shotgun and neurotically circle the premises for the next ten years of my life, OR … I could just not care, and welcome whatever curious prospectors wander in my direction.

 

I went with plan B, however, the extent and capacity with which visitors will be welcomed is hinging on your input. If you haven’t already, please head over to the ‘What Now?’ section of the website and tell me what you think I should do!

 

109 Comments

  • Hi
    I voted for you to try and secure the land from teh Crown so you can keep the tree egg there, but after some more thinking and talking about it, I really doubt if you would get that to happen. I imagine that the main problem for the “powers that be” will be that they would be afraid of setting a precedent with your case and after allowing you some land they would be forced to consider all kinds of requests from other squatters on Crown land, asking for the same thing. So – could you donate your tree egg to the municipality and ask them to establish an small park there and use it as an artist residence or some other public asset??

    • Coleen says:

      Eggcellent solution!!!

    • josh says:

      I agree with the idea to have it donated, as long as they will not take it down. I have no idea what they would actually allow the structure to be used for, but as long as you knew it would be there all all your work wasn’t destroyed, it would be a win. I also agree with the fact that they will probably not allow you to secure the land. Aside from the fact that other people will inevitably want to copy the “act first, ask later” model, there are legal liabilities for allowing people to live there.

  • Lauren Ritz says:

    I just wanted to tell you that your story is amazing!!! and so inspiring. You have built more than something cool… I welled up near the end of your tale, it is so beautiful!! Thank you for following your dreams and by doing so, encouraging others to do the same. All the best to you!

    Lauren

  • Brian Noppè says:

    Wow. What a wonderful story! Such a beautiful design and you overcame so many difficulties to see it through. Congratulations to you and Heidi for pulling it off. Thank you so much for sharing this, it is beautiful and inspiring!

  • Ron Myhre says:

    Very interesting! Great job…..

  • Dan says:

    The amount of work & time you put into this is mind boggling. Great to see it turn out so well.

  • Chris Ramsay says:

    This is just absolutely the best thing I have ever read and seen. I also lived and worked in whistler for 8 years as a carpenter on some of the most prestigious houses money and an inspiring mind can create. I often talked and contemplated with friends about doing something similar but always concluded that the wealthy municipality would eventually terminate the dream. I know there are other shacks out there, sledders cabins etc..but this is nothing more than a elegant build of passion. Im so glad you continued through with it right up until the salt and pepper shakers were installed and created something that you will remember forever. My advice is simple, no matter what fight for its survival to the bitter end. Always keeping in mind that if it is ever ordered to be removed, that they cant take away your memories and enjoyment of constructing it, which Im guessing is probably the most valuable attachment you have to it at this point. Yourself and heidi will remember this forever, congratulations and im very envious of your achievements. Well done.

    • Roberto says:

      Right on! And well said.

      • Mathyus says:

        Bravo, Bra-vo, well said, and I like to add this is one of the most inspiring stories I have had the priviledge to enjoy and feed my own spirit. An wakening compelling contribution to the natural human will of determination to a whimsical dream to come true and revive life with the wonders of nature. Thank you for sharing, dreaming and building a magical simple wonderous place. A reminder to just believe in your dream no matter the details.

  • Jason says:

    I truly enjoyed reading your story. I could never have done anything remotely as cool or as hard work as this. I envy your prowess. I really hope the egg gets some sort of protection. It’s a BC Treasure now.

  • Claudia says:

    You did a beautiful job, and with your luck so far..I doubt your loft will come down. With the Adventure Tourism Policy on Crown Land and their ‘Land Use Operational Policy’ your Hemloft may have a long life. If you were a back-country/hiking guide and applied for a AT Tenure the following would possibly apply:

    Improvements on Crown land or the foreshore (e.g., cabins/lodges, wharves, floats,
    ramps, storage sheds, horse corrals, trails, camps, etc.); and/or
    Might want to think about your next career…Best of luck to you.

  • Brooke says:

    It’s so beautiful! I don’t know anything about Crown Land regulations, but I do imagine there would be a lot of demand for your design. I see a business model along the lines of: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

    Best of luck!

  • Marvin says:

    Wow! What an awesome story! When I retire I’m definitely going to build a tree house just a cool as yours. Perhaps make it an art studio of some kind, haha. Well done man!

  • Jeanny says:

    I think that you should come build another HemLoft in the mighty Oak that graces my hillside~ You could make vacation destinies all around the world; your own personal “timeshare”!

  • dirk says:

    History repeats itself? 1971 Hespler Ont, I’m 19, hidden high in 4 Silver cedars along secluded stretch of the Speed River friends build a 2 loft secret Treehouse, many artists and musician gather there for years, evolution so cool that in 1974 some guy writes this article..titled,” Modern Day Tarzan & Jane living Tax free in the Trees!” 2 days later, Bbzzzzzz. Government agent Jim Fink tracks it down yanks everyone out and chainsaws the whole thing to bits. No permit, not to code… Class C, etc. Nice blog, but having a magic secret means keeping it to yourselves. Pride, Hubris and temptation are part of the learning experience and artists journey. Just hope you dont really mean near Whistler, and are is infact somewhere else 100′s of miles away just using the Whistler reference as subterfuge ;-) Too late now. LOL

    • Kevin says:

      The longer the cat is in the bag, the more difficult it is to know what it is to exist outside.

      • Bah! Humbug! Anyone who has been creative,
        especially with people, knows that ‘the man’ is
        always eager to grey out, dim, and bulldoze anything creative or unusual.

        The eagerness of the bureaucrat to destroy is fed by gargantuan agencies of grey faceless, soulless,
        cannibals.

        I pray to the Father that your article is full of
        misdirection and camoflage, else you and your
        beautiful creation are doomed. Since it is beautiful and true it is INSTANTLY despised by
        the hordes of army ants in human form – full of
        forms and regulations and an insane compulsion to destroy. I do think the answer is to go into the business of building similar beauties, and hire a cadre to do the paperwork. There is some point, after all, in preserving isolated pure nature. I shudder every time I drive to my own personal retreat, it takes an hour to hike through swamp to reach it, but the destroyers could have been there in my absence. Good luck,
        George

  • Tina says:

    I think it is a truly amazing thing you have done; what hard work and determination to follow through on a dream. I would just keep living the dream until it is found. Cross that bridge when you find it. In the meantime, I would create a brochure of your “egg” and I bet loads of “rich Whistlerites” would love to have one built in their backyard.

  • Random Guy says:

    Wow! Great work… Not sure what the rest of the people commenting on here are thinking; but I think you may have found your retirement… You have quite the idea for a business and because no one else has thought of building egg tree houses and renting them out to people – Heck I’d rent one just to try it out! Not gonna lie – You kind of have a niche here. I say buy the land, build a few dozen of these egg tree houses and rent them out for a few hundred dollars a night. ($200p/night x 24 = $4800 p/night! WOW!) lol – Before you know it you’ll have paid off the land, building costs and labor and have some serious POSITIVE retirement cash flow! Just my opinion; but hey, lets not forget some random guy made millions off of a blanket with some holes in it and gave it a cute name “The Snuggly” I’m sure this will do well! :) Best of luck!

    • Nash Alvarado says:

      You so far have given the right idea! All one has to do is remember how people shop. They wanna see working models, “kick the tires” so to speak. Renting one out for a hoiday is good. Maybe if a consortium donated land and materials, a showcase for better living could be explored. I applaud your suggestions.

  • KC says:

    Being a carpenter/ski bums son/ laborer, I know just how much time and work has gone into this thing. I must say, it’s absolutely beautiful! You’ve really inspired me to someday do something similar, once I get outa high school that is… HA! Seriously though your story is so incredible and inspiring! I really hope it all works out well for you in the end, best of luck!

  • Tammy says:

    Your story is awesome and inspiring… very well written!

  • Kay says:

    Wow! I’ve loved reading your story. I even told the dog to go away when she wanted to be fed because I was “busy” reading this.
    I certainly hope your beautiful “egg” doesn’t have to be pulled down. Several people have offered ideas here but I like Mieke’s idea of donating it to the municipality as an art studio, etc., unless it happens to be on land owned by the nearest zillionaire.
    Best of luck. I really admire how zealously you followed your dream.
    K

  • Andy Hawkins says:

    It’s not often I find a new site and then site here to read it from beginning to end. Great job, both on the egg and the site.

  • Chillie says:

    No where in your descriptions has it said that you looked into the pressure on the tree that keeps this building attached Did you take anything like that into consideration before building?

  • Nash Alvarado says:

    I suggest working on variations of your habitat and looking for people with available land that will allow you to build. I would seriously like to peek into your brain. I love your creation. I love using discarded materials to create things with. Look for “Green Sponsors” people need to see working variations. You might end up with clients. Your ideas appear as part of the environment. You might be surprised.

  • Lorenzo Girotto says:

    Great story and amazing treehouse! I love it!

  • eviltwin says:

    Really you should be ashamed of yourself for bringing your shack to the pristine Crown forest.

    Regardless of the structures artistic merit you have scared trees that do not belong to you.

    Grow up buy your own property and build to your hearts content.

  • Sandy says:

    Your story and detremination is inspiring I hope you will be able to keep your dream.

  • Ashley says:

    I found you on a blog featurette about small homes, and it was amazing the criticism I saw. I thought it was great that you did the tree house project, and it seemed to me to have a smaller carbon footprint than most projects we see today. In the US, we had the homestead act until the 1980′s, and I’m not sure of your country’s rules and regulations, but it’s definitely looking into!

  • ericjt says:

    Great story and project. You have a right to be proud and I hope it brings you many good things. Unfortunately, the future of the structure will be affected by the growth of the tree around which it’s built. In five to ten years the tree and/or the Hemloft will suffer for it. The tree could die from strangulation eventually, or it will slowly rip the structure apart – or both. I hope you make plans to remove it before that happens.

  • pat says:

    Bring it to the States. California, especially the Redwood Forest (which has hippie communes still to this day) could use your idea in those beautiful trees. with your plan the parks could “rent” them out, pay you well and you would be in Heaven there. I would certainly be one of the first to want to spend a few evenings in your beautiful egg and in the splendor of Gods largest trees!

  • Matt says:

    A story like yours has the power to awaken something incredible in us all. Thank you.

  • Barry Watson says:

    Everybody should have at least one thing in their life
    to look back on and be proud of.
    I built my own house years ago and then built my dad’s house.
    Good luck to the guy.
    He is famous now.
    Does he like eggs?
    LOL

  • Star says:

    What now? Use the money from “building something cool” for others, for there will be $ to buy your own land and stand of trees and move the egg to it.
    You are remarkably talented, Sir. You will find a way to make it all work and it will be as original and beautiful as your egg.

  • Jack says:

    I’ll help you promote your tree-house… I’d do a story on it.

    I was very impressed with the shape. A very natural design, but maybe next time not build on government land?

    J.

  • Paul says:

    I think the Hemloft is great. I think the Canadian goverment should be very interested in installing several in designated areas for use by ornitholigists and other groups who need a simple unobstrusive habitate from which to conduct their studies. In particular is should be used by educational and research establiments.

  • Such determination, imagination and hard work! Loved reading your story. That’s what I call living life to the max – doing something incredible just because you want to and have the drive to attempt it.

  • Paul Mellor says:

    Th story is really good and as for the egg maybe if you donate to Canada and its people yo might get the Canadian people behind you to leave it where it is, maybe they will ask you to have it as a tourist attrachtion. Great Idea lovely Egg love it love it love it.
    I want one.

    • Kate says:

      totally agree – donate it – let others come and see it and use that to generate talk and work for yourself if you want it.
      Sadly, there is a reason that beautiful, pristine areas of nature are desginated no-go areas – it’s to keep them that way. And while I think what you did was really cool, if everyone did it, then those areas wouldn’t be so lovely, and the animals that can shelter there would have to find somewhere else to exist (or cease to do so). Give it to the canadian people to be used as a research station or similar, or even just a destination to hike to and have picnic at.

  • BillyAnn says:

    Wow! Its been a long time coming, but finally, something I find as awe-inspiring as FLW’s Falling Water!

  • David says:

    Patrick, it is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Absolutely a work of art….

  • Chris says:

    Great website. Really inspiring story.

  • Ellen says:

    Great
    The Canadian Forestry Commission/Royal Parks should hire you to build more of these cool lofts as viewing platforms that’s what I think it should be used for or check out a British website called Canopy and Stars http://www.canopyandstars.co.uk – this is what is currently all the rage in the uk it’s called ‘glamping’ (several of my friends have their huts on this website) people from the City pay good money to get back to nature and stay in yurts and shepherds huts with no electricity etc. it’s like camping but in a ‘cool’ hut or ‘designer’ tent – you could do the same thing but with much more beautiful buildings, why not design a whole bunch of different ones for different trees – the possibilities are endless…..!!!

  • Linda Lee says:

    Your hemloft is a piece of art. I love it. I am so glad you shared your treasure. You have good things coming your way.

  • Dana says:

    I LOVE what you built and the story behind it. It sounds like you had the utmost respect for the trees, animals and the land your egg is nestled in. Maybe the government will consider taking a positive step forward, as opposed to a negative one. This is CLEARLY not a typical “squatters” story. Your vision and design of the tree house is a beautiful and sophisticated compliment to its surroundings. You were gifted with a talent that should be seen and shared. I lived in Whistler in 1992. It’s a beautiful and magical place and it goes to show how nature can inspire dreams! Big dreams! Congrats to you!

  • sonja aquino says:

    what a lovely poignant EGG story … next time i’ll walk in the woods every now and then that i must look up under the canopy of blanketed greens if there will be more eggs to hatch and definitely they are your patented eggs …

  • On The Fence says:

    As a fellow designer/artist I applaud your amazing work. As someone said in a previous post, I’d love to see how your mind works as this took not only a simply beautiful and amazing creative concept, but actual hard work, determination, luck and I’m sorry to be crass, but balls of steel to see it through.

    However, having grown up on a small caribbean island, but on a vast piece of property my family owns (where we’ve had the odd squatting issue), I do think the only downside is that you built this structure on land that isn’t rightfully yours to do such a thing.

    I am a hippy at heart and really do love what you and your gorgeous soulmate managed achieve with your fabulous “egg”, but perhaps use this as a learning experience for use in your future together. You are massively talented and have received so much press that I’d find it impossible to believe you couldn’t use it to your benefit – legally – in the future.

    We live in a world and time where you can’t just build a home somewhere simply because you want to, or even promote that others should do such a thing. Go out there, buy some land (with all the money you’ll make from future jobs) and start building again. Then you can retire after working hard and making enough to live comfortably and simply! Retiring at 26 simply isn’t an option for the vast majority, neither is it an an option at whatever age you’re currently at. Work hard, build some awesome places for people, then use your money kick back!

    I’ve stayed at an amazing “tiki” style shack in the middle of nowhere in Panama that some awesome kids from England built in their 20s, after they’d bought the land (for next to nothing). You have vision and talent, so rock on dude! The possibilities for your future are endless.

  • Jacquie says:

    I think that by now her highness knows of your “EGGshell” and will probably look upon it more as a work of art or constructrual design progress, rather than a squatters shack. Perhaps even offering you a placement, to provide some on other royal grounds for , lets say, vacationers??

  • Meredith says:

    I am so excited for your passion and what you have made out of it! I have always longed to build a treehouse, have many books about them, though my work takes me to larger residential remodels. Someday I hope to build a treehouse for my office when the right place comes along! Michael Pollan’s, A Place of My Own was a great book, as well, about ideas becoming reality. Your work is inspiring, your craftsmanship impeccable. I couldn’t be happier for your adventures. I think your goal is complete, to build something cool, so if the crown takes it away and doesn’t understand or isn’t helpful… There are always more places to build and more people who share your passion. Best of luck to you.

  • Mathyus says:

    I have never posted a comment to any site or blog. This should be the story off the Year. Adventure, true human will, inspiration to the human will, A magical dream come true to share for adults and children globally. You should even write a publisded short story table book. I would buy it. For this is what dreams are made off, you created a magical kingdom. DONT STOP JUST CREATE MORE, PLEASE, I HOPE TO READ MORE MAGICAL BUILDS FROM YOU.

  • Athena says:

    I think your treehouse is just beautiful. The attention to detail and craftsmanship are quite impressive. I hate to say it but one of my first thoughts was ‘oh my goodness! the legal liabilities and code violations!’ I’m not sure how things are in Canada, but in the US a land owner can have some legal liability if a person is injured on their land– especially if they knew (or should have known) that person was there. That’s one reason people don’t want kids to build tree houses on their land. So you might have to remove the hemloft. That being said, maybe some wealthy individuals would want a hemloft on their property for kids or adults. I wish you the best of luck!

  • albe says:

    A beauty for sure ,the tree house, where ‘s the sanitary sewer /water /electric , off the grid.
    Free property ? why not everyone? No taxes?
    Well a dream that may exist say in the Skeena valley far from Vancouver. If one lights afire a infrared device from a helicopter could see the heatprint.
    Not a naysyaer but be prepared for the people who are jealous.

  • Ove says:

    Greatings to both of you
    I worked for BC government for 30 years before I retired in 2004
    There is a way to legalize your dream and obtain legal posession, that may be achievable
    =The BC government has traditionally allowed anyone who wishes to, to locate land and apply for a government lease of said land
    =In the past this was often done along lakes as in Youbou on Vancouver Island for summer lake cabins
    =more resently this expandeded massively into leasing hughe resorts for tourist ski developments like in the Bogaboos/ East Kootenays
    =I would enlist local community support or allies, and set up a small tourism ‘business’, using the tree house as a show and tell draw
    =You could even live there or partner with someone who wants too
    =while needing to separate business from private life
    =or you can do it as a streight private summer land lease, without any business angle
    =go for what you really want first
    =then look at nearest options
    =if you want to live there, you need to meet ministry of health rules re water supply (just carry in drinking water)and sewage disposal (a suitably located pit or vault privy or whatever the local health inspector suggest that is suitable)
    =this is just the tip of the iceberg, but there are ways to achieve a lease for the acreage, including the access path and land you need for private or business type project, full time or seasonal use
    =I will be happy to provide you with suggestions based on 30 years of experience with the unusual
    =I do not want to give my full name and experience in an email, but will call you to give you more information in private, as I used to cover the Whistler Region Professionally for 20 years, if you e-mail me a contact phone number to call (it will be kept confidential)
    =if you are interested in pursuing these kind of options, I will point you to some allies that may help you
    =have a nice day, and thanks for dreaming the unusual

  • Ove says:

    my comments were too long/ so I will split it in two parts
    first Ove says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm
    Greatings to both of you
    I worked for BC government for 30 years before I retired in 2004
    There is a way to legalize your dream and obtain legal posession, that may be achievable
    =The BC government has traditionally allowed anyone who wishes to, to locate land and apply for a government lease of said land
    =In the past this was often done along lakes as in Youbou on Vancouver Island for summer lake cabins
    =more resently this expandeded massively into leasing hughe resorts for tourist ski developments like in the Bogaboos/ East Kootenays
    =I would enlist local community support or allies, and set up a small tourism ‘business’, using the tree house as a show and tell draw
    =You could even live there or partner with someone who wants too
    =while needing to separate business from private life
    =or you can do it as a streight private summer land lease, without any business angle
    =go for what you really want first
    =then look at nearest options

  • Ove says:

    part 2 as requested modification???

    =if you want to live there, you need to meet ministry of health rules re water supply (just carry in drinking water)and sewage disposal (a suitably located pit or vault privy or whatever the local health inspector suggest that is suitable)
    =this is just the tip of the iceberg, but there are ways to achieve a lease for the acreage, including the access path and land you need for private or business type project, full time or seasonal use
    =I will be happy to provide you with suggestions based on 30 years of experience with the unusual
    =I do not want to give my full name and experience in an email, but will call you to give you more information in private, as I used to cover the Whistler Region Professionally for 20 years, if you e-mail me a contact phone number to call (it will be kept confidential)
    =if you are interested in pursuing these kind of options, I will point you to some allies that may help you
    =have a nice day, and thanks for dreaming the unusual

  • Perry Reed says:

    I loved it. Being a long time carpenter and a closet wood butcher, I have often been called into creating so many different things out of wood. I had a lot of great teachers along my path. People who know me have often called me because of my abilities in wood such as stripe laminating beams and arches (my neighbors have learned to not ask questions but watch and see what comes out). I had to laugh about your hoarding materials as I went thru the same thing so many years ago.
    I hope that you may be able to go thru some process with the Queen and be allowed to stay on at her property as some kind of grounds keeper at large. You never know, she might be open to such a position.
    Best of luck to you and Heidi. Never give up your dreams in woodworking.

  • Donley says:

    Use the tree house for as long as you are permitted and when you are evicted from your piece of art in the woods, simply move on to the next “cool” thing you desire to do. You did it once and did it well, so whats to stop you from doing something else just as exotic.

  • allen zarazun says:

    so a mexican crosses the border into whatever state and builds something…you know where this goes.crown land??have my own problems with the government denying access and i OWN waterfront.
    truly inspiring building but…chainsaws are ready.
    54/40 or fight!go home!or move,buy and change citizenship

  • Brenda says:

    I loved your story and your adorable tree house! It brings back memories of all of the tree houses and forts that we built as children, not nearly as evolutionary as yours. Labouring all day, hot and dusty, hungry and tired … and ever so happy.

    Good for you for enjoying your life to its fullest and not ignoring that ‘little spark’ that so many of us wander around with sitting in the background of our consciousness, wondering why we are not fulfilled. There is nothing as inspiring or jaw drop gorgeous as nature is!

    Considering this site, your video, and your tree house design and implementation, not to mention your paid day job – you are both extremely talented . You will do well wherever you land and enjoy each moment along the way.

    Good luck to you both!

  • Daniel Bouza says:

    Hi, not only did you build something that is cool you did because fate came your way and as the end result it looks like fate will decide what should be done. Keep in mind the experience you had and how you lived and shared your life all came about because of fate with an idea. Napoleon Hill would have been proud of how you accomplished this …

  • Brenda says:

    Wow, what an awesome story! Good luck to you and hope everything works out for the best. This is truly an awesome story and a work of art. I sincerely hope things work out the way you want them to as you have put so much of you heart and hard work into this project.

  • JADon says:

    I haven’t read the other comments so forgive me if I repeat something already said.
    Do authorities already know where it tis? Just a matter of time till they find it? If they don’t know yet just let all this die down.
    I was thinking and wondering if rather than tear it down, they might give you some sort of job that might allow you to keep the home. Not quite sure what it might be exactly. Research scientists always have some project on the go. Observation, counting some aspect of the population (animal or plant)…. Try talking to some researchers in the Forestry division. Good people and they’ll listen to you and may be able to know someone who can pull some strings and make the “take it down” crowd go away

  • rick says:

    Simply this .Serenity and
    simplicity !

  • Kim says:

    I loved this so much, that I also read through pretty much the whole website. This is something I would rarely do these days.
    The design of your egg tree house is amazing and so unique, and your passion & determination, just brilliant.
    I must also add, that my theory about meeting a partner or life-partner & new friends goes along the lines of: do what you love and are passionate about and the right people will cross your path. You have proven my little theory in such a beautiful way.
    Looking forward to more stories, inspiration & adventurious news.
    Much admiration & respect your way.

  • Josh says:

    Thoughts and Ideas:
    Ordering you to dismantle the tree would be the destruction of art. Nobody wants that. Public opinion will prevent any governing body from making such an order.
    Keep the media on your side (I learned of the tree-house from Anne Drewa’s story).
    Appeal on your homepage for free legal aid. Any lawyer would love to receive exposure on the international stage.
    Work with a local College or University to transform this into a base camp for biologists. Universities have funding and contacts to protect your shared interests.
    Invite Search and Rescue teams to stay and train here.
    Appeal on your website for Free inspection from a safety engineer.
    Money follows energy. You will have the support that you need to keep this structure standing.
    Final thought: Lighthouses are maintained by Light Keepers. Could parks Canada employ you to live here under some kind of arrangement?
    -Good Luck!

  • Chris E says:

    Here’s an interesting question: If you were to purchase that property, do you think that the government would be open to selling more parcels as long as they stuck to similar architectural and environmental constraints?

    Hell, I can see an entire community coming about from something like this. Maybe not necessarily in your neck of the woods, and I don’t know whether or not you would be warm to the idea of having neighbors in a place previously so secluded, but I’m just tossing ideas out, here.

  • Jen says:

    Whistler has an incredible arts council, don’t be afraid to use them if you need to.
    Beautiful life.

  • Gordon says:

    Congratulations on your ability to fulfill your dreams. Keep dreaming and creating. There are obviously many who are happy for you. Gems, large or small come from the heart. One has only to see the tragic results of our BC mountain and hill sides being ruined by huge, ugly, high-priced structures that meet code.

  • Georgia Hyde says:

    So beautiful, peaceful & serene. My dream house. How did you know? I’m here in Tasmania, Australia. I live as a carer to my Mother in a ridiculously large house on 9acres including bushland. I long to build something simple and unassuming in the bush. The laws here in Oz are probably different to Canada. Here I think you can apply to lease Crown land & build something. Everything has to be approved & cannot be sold to another party but dismantled & the land returned to its original state if & when you leave. You’ve gone about it back to front, so if the laws are the same I don’t fancy your chances. Can you dismantle and put the house up again on a willing landowners land. Whatever the out-come congratulations & enjoy it while you can. Georgia

  • Epiphany Stone says:

    I love this. My friends and I have been thinking of doing something like this for a while. Getting land and making a community of sorts without cutting down the trees. Thank you for the inspiration and good luck

  • DAwn says:

    Dude, you try to retire at age 26 before you ever really worked on OTHER people’s money. You build a novelty house on land that isn’t yours hoping the public will be so inspired by your novel tree house they will come to your rescue and bail you out again.

    This sounds like just a plan B version of your failed Plan A retire at 26 scheme.

    Dude, get a real job and support yourself instead of looking for handouts, no matter how creatively you seek them. Leeches are leeches.

  • Can you tell us more about this? I’d like to find out some additional information.

  • joey says:

    What interesting commentary! I am with the vast majority who applaud your creativity and courage to imagine, outside the box. You created a beautiful, functional space, in harmony with Nature. The powers that be would do well to hitch their wagon to your ascending star…. Inspirational!

  • Sometimes I contemplate if folks truly take time to compose something original, or are they only just dishing out words to fill a site. This certainly doesn’t fit that mold. Thank you for taking the time to write with awareness. At times I look at a page and question whether they even proofread it.Fantastic work with this article.

  • Alise says:

    Simply amazing and inspirational!! You’ve already made history!!

  • Michelle says:

    It’s lovely. Even if it ultimately has to come down, it’s an incredible achievement. This is a commercially viable design for sure. Many people would love to have such a beautiful structure on their own property but lack the skills to do it themselves. Start a company, get funding, and keep building your beautiful treehouses!

  • The land never belongs (in Natural Law) to anyone.. The land is always in the hands of those who live on it..work it, care for it. Government is all fiction, fraud..made up by those that wish to control all that they see. We are born innocents on the land..and then, unfortunately, the sociopathic brain, steps in..and become politicians, judges, government. We never needed masters..and you are master of your home..and the land you built on. When the whole world REBOOTS..soon…we will not be in chaos, as propagandized by corrupt govts…we will at last be free OF THEM. All the best, and keep me alert to anything I can do..even if it means changing ‘the powers that be, or think THEY BE’….

  • JAKE says:

    amazing design for a tree house hope you are allowed to keep it

  • Charles says:

    I’m with the DELETE THIS WEBSITE AND KILL ANYONE WHO FINDS OUT. Just kiddin’. This thing rules.. I wish I too could be a carpenter and build a house in a tree.

  • DougD says:

    The egg is a perfect shape for hanging a cabin on a tree. It’s also a perfect shape for this project since the egg is a universal symbol of re-birth. Impressive work!

  • Marietjie says:

    Reading your story has made my day. You seem to be such an enterprising and nice person, as does Heidi. Best of luck to you both. May the right solution come to you, and may everything turn out well. xx

  • Tiko says:

    How about create blueprints and plans for it to sell so people like me can own one? See if Canada would allow it to be made a public land mark or see if you can deconstructed it to move elsewhere? Please keep me informed.

  • Hernán Hernández says:

    No se hablar inglés,su matéria la taduzí ayudado por el “traductor”. Increíble, cuando era chico, vivia en el norte de la Argentina y escuchaba las novelas de Tarzán por ondas cortas de rádos de Buenos Aires. Yo tenia unos nueve años y a medida que escuchaba la rádio me imaginava como era maravilloso vivir en una casita echa en el árbol.Asi creciendo y me cambié para Brasil, donde vivo. Compré una chacra y allá tenia un árbol muy grande y pensé alli construir una casita de Tarzán, pero desconfie que el árbol podria cair, pero la idéa permaneció en mi mente. Cuando comence a construir mi casa, tenia la idéa fija de seguir haciendo otros pisos, como el primero, segundo y en fin, tentando imitar la casa de Tarzán.
    así, construí una casa de tres pisos y me encanté vivir en todos los pisos de mi casa. El último piso fué hecho como se fuera una casa de campo, con ladrillos a vista y las paredes internas todas de madera, en estado natural, tablas enceradas, inclusive el techo. Así viví durante un buen tiempo con mi familia como se estubiera viviendo en el campo. En los dias que no necesitaba salir a la calle permanecia en mi casa disfrutando de la felicidad de estar de vacaciones en el campo o en la playa. Fué maravilloso. Tengo un projecto de casas construídas en árbol de concreto entro de un ambiente de selva natural. Amigo gracias por inspirarme con su coraje y vaya adelante. Su almirador. Hernán.que Dios lo proteja.]

  • Andrew In Scotland says:

    What a fabulous story. Would make a great movie :)

    I truly hope your beautiful tree-house remains where it is for many years to come. Thank you for brightening up my day :)

  • Congratulations. You are a special people and a good Entrepreneur. Go ahead. Come to Brazil; we need people like you.

  • Sarmad Qureshi says:

    Amazing read to an amazing plot of an even amazing retirement plan.
    Its a great feeling one has to achieve something like this & that too when one has no formal training in the field.

    I haven’t read through all the comments here, but is there some talk about you having to give up the treehouse?

    Good luck for your future escapades,
    God speed ….

    Self-taught handy man,
    Sam – Karachi, Pakistan

  • Chad L says:

    Your story made me cry by the end. I loved it! Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Klaus says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, I loved it and hope the best for the future of your project. I really hope that your government officials will turn the blind eye to your project.
    Please add the next chapter to the story – even if it not a happy ending. On second thought – maybe not: If nothing happens – delete the website and stay quiet

  • Matt says:

    Really really inspiring and motivating story! I enjoyed your posts and how the story developed so much once you started the project. Hats off to you! I hope whatever happens it can be preserved and enjoyed by others, I ended up here from Pinkbike.com reading a story about freeride MTB in B.C. and saw the Helm in a picture of some guys riding a trail that went right under it, I was captivated!

  • John says:

    A maximum of one keeps a secret a secret. By now you’ve probably told enough people where it may be found that the chances are high that the government will find out. When that happens, they may leave it alone, or they may go out and destroy it on general principles. I’d recommend keeping it’s exact location a guarded secret and hope that weather, time and vandals don’t destroy it too quickly. All other considerations aside, it looks like a nifty project. It’s too bad that you are on the other side of the continent and don’t have the opportunity to visit the site.

  • Corey Wells says:

    You guys rock ! Love the attitude and energy. Keep on the unbeaten path and prosper. My advice on the Hemloft is to leave its fate in trusted hands (enough people know and care about it now) and move on to the next really cool thing to build. Cheers. If you’re ever in Creston BC drop in for a coffee ( contact thru website).

  • Eduardo says:

    I enjoyed this very much! Thank you! :D

  • PETER says:

    Great story that is wonderful to share as you are one of millions who have lost much or all during the recession and are finding a fresh start that is inspiring.I would donate the tree house to a conservancy to rent for an artist retreat if a personal lease for the tree is rejected. I would also sell your plans and/or agree to build it at a nice price for others as a vanity purchase. As one who has camped all over the country I envision these also being built on Forrest Land all around North America by a company that can promote the national forests visitation and make a profit renting them to hikers. Many of us want to explore such remote areas but this would be safer in bear territory than a tent. Keep on!

  • Armida Scopazzi says:

    When a lot of time and energy go into something so special it is wonderful to see how others respond when you share. Thank you.

  • Matt says:

    I applaud you for doing something that just felt right. I wish I had the courage to do likewise.

  • Klaus says:

    What a wonderful (also well written) story and I am totally in love with your house.

    If I may ask a technical question: how did you actually conjoin (I hope this word make sense, but you’ll hopefully get what I mean) the tree and the construction/the house? Did you use any screws or something like that?

    All the very best to you and Heidi!

  • Lynn says:

    Wonderful to find someone that followed through on dreams and fantasys, no matter how impossible they seem to others. I have only managed to accomplish very small things, but still more than the norm. I relished your story and will send it to my son who is a little more advanced than me but way behind you. Thanks for making dreams come alive for others. I hope The HemLoft lives forever!

  • Christian says:

    WOW!!!! I’ll pay you to build me one! :-)

  • I’ve really loved reading your story. I think you’ve found your retirement into this, right? :) The treehouse is just beautiful. The attention to detail and craftsmanship are quite unique in my opinion. I wish Heidi and you the best of luck!

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © 2017 The HemLoft All rights reserved.