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So, what is to become of the HemLoft?


Since the treehouse was built on crown land, I don’t technically own it, and so its fate is uncertain. For three years I kept the HemLoft secret, but now that I’m finished, I’ve found myself wanting to share it. I even shared it with a big glossy magazine! Coming out of the bush about the HemLoft is fun, however it poses a few problems; if people know about it, they might try to find it. And if the wrong people find it, they may make me take it down.


It took a lot of work to build it, and I’d rather not take it down, just yet. So I’ve been thinking of ways to expose the HemLoft, while somehow making it legal. To the best of my knowledge, Squatting on Whistler Mountain, beneath some of Western Canada’s most luxurious mega-homes would not be looked favourably upon. However, I’ve thought of a few ideas that might be… I’d like you to read the ideas below and vote on the one you think I should do!


  • Given my predicament (read above), what do you think I should I do with the HemLoft?

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Do you have another idea for what I could do with my treehouse? Leave it as a comment!
Thank you to everyone who has left a comment! Although I may not have responded below, I greatly appreciate all your kind and creative input. You people are amazing : )


  • Laura says:

    I know there are ways you can get attention brought to it, and have it protected as a national land mark kind of deal! Perhaps that would be an option too!

    • Ryan Standeven says:

      This could work… I know Me and my buddy would love to visit it sometime.
      It adds to BC’s natural beauty

      • Anonymous says:

        My buddy and I…………….

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        He should build at least 12 of them, offer them as a free campsite for exploring the area and reside in “his” one as a caretaker.

        How cool would an ewok village of those things look?

        • Tracy Tessier says:

          I am a bit technically challenged. I was trying to post a comment but couldn’t so tried this. I think Peter’s idea is a great one but a spin on it would be that you could propose that you would purchase the land at a reasonable price ( It is a very small area of land) and in return you could assist them in building another half dozen that can be rented out and be very lucrative for them. Both parties happy in the end. Sounds good on paper to me but I don’t know. You could always go to the press. We are always pushing go green….

          • Tracy Tessier says:

            OH and I forgot, they would supply everything needed to build them, you would just consult on it and assist them.

          • Ellen says:

            Great idea!Probably the one that would be looked upon most favorably by the powers that be, and hopefully soon not to be. Who knows, by then you may get it for free.

        • Dawn Palmer says:

          This guy ^ has a great idea! Then you could keep your own. The only downside to this would be how many humans you would then be around. I know for me, when I am away from everything, I am there to get away from all the craziness. But he does have a great idea!

          • Tony says:

            If the view openings are directed away from other eggs so when the guests look out all they see is forest and natural beauty.

        • Zach Stoddard says:

          Agreed! People like visiting public campsites for the “outdoorsy” experience, or whatever they’re into. Fact is, if you can make something as unique as Hemloft into an experience for people, and if it lends to the environment (which it does) and brings people there, it’s potential money to be made. So if you can work yourself into the kind of deal Peter’s proposing, and convince the landowner to make the resulting Hemloft village rentable, it becomes a business and you can become the custodian and maintenance technician. Or, the public service route, like Forest Service campsites in the US. Either way, it’s possible if you can get a hold of the right people.

        • maria elena says:

          I was just thinking the very same thing- a grouping of these would be amazing. Enchanted and perfect. Sigh. I love the whole concept. I want to live in a treehouse.

        • Rudd says:

          I think this is the best idea.
          Make it a campsite. Maybe you can buy the land at reasonable price, and rent it as a campsite after build few more hemloft

    • Marco says:

      I agree with that idea,maybe try to get support from some Eco or Bio association, even if they will probably not like the way you fixed the Egg on the trunk!! Another point you could eventually get the attention of this modern builders promoting an different kind of timber house showing the way you optimised and conceived it!
      Anyway something in that kind of ideas,I don’t think you’ll be able to buy the tree!
      Good luck anyway

      • fran says:

        The idea is wonderful, the egg is a thing of beauty. I hope to be able to see one in person one day.

        You have your scale model, you’ve built your prototype. Now take it down before those rich people kick your ass straight to troubleville.

        But really, my concern is for the tree: your current structure is not going to let the tree grow properly. Find a new way to attach it to the tree without metal screws and puncture of the bark, which encourages disease & weakens the tree. Or, find a way to nestle it in a group of trees… so that the tree can grow around the egg. Building around a tree as you have done ultimately kills the tree.

        May I suggest a kickstarter venture?
        Or make a deal with parks canada for making a bunch of eggs for hiking retreats / observation posts, etc.

        Good luck!

        • JMQuinn says:

          The tree was my first thought, too. If the tree doesn’t die, it will keep growing, eventually outgrowing the tree egg itself. We once had a deck built around a tree and, since it was still growing, it eventually pulled the deck away from the house.

          I would second removing the tree egg before it’s destroyed by “the powers that be.” I’m sure you would have no problem finding either a buyer or someone who is willing to have it installed on their land.

          Another idea is to find a place where it can be put on display. Again, think big! The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, for example!

          • Liam says:

            Excuse ME!!! Put it in a AMERICAN Museum. I think not. Why should the US be able to “take credit” and show off something of CANADIAN beauty? Even though this was built in BC by a CANADIAN the Americans would bill it as an American item because they can’t handle something as beautiful as this being built by a FOREIGNER. This a thing of beauty and if it has to be moved it should stay in BC, CANADA. It should also be patented so that others can not copy your idea and then claim it as their idea. I have seen this happen over the years and it is always and AMERICAN who likes to steal the idea. THIS IS CANADIAN SO LET’S KEEP IT IN CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Ron Blodgett says:

            Liam, dial it back a notch, champ. It’s a good thing Canadians have “free” health care. Go get some meds and chillax. Americans don’t want to steal your pretty egg.

            As far as the treehouse goes, should have kept it secret, for starters. Now with the exposure it will likely have to be torn down. It’s unfortunate but will likely be the end result. At least, with the exposure, you have probably already received a number of requests for plans or requests to build for others. If/when you are forced to tear it down, dismantle it and sell it!

        • Anne says:

          This was my suggestion to:”make a deal with parks canada for making a bunch of eggs for hiking retreats / observation posts, etc.” Would be so cool for school camp etc. I am sure they could found the cost in just a few years!

          But yes, you need find a better solution that can adjust itselves to the growing tree..

          It is just lovely, wish you the best of luck!!

          • Ellie Parker says:

            Wonderful idea but build the others away from the original one. That would retain some of it’s aloneness. The growth of the tree is something I am sure, with engineers and architects on your side, could be overcome. I have found that the parks in BC strive to preserve the natural beauty and reason better than most. This could be a win/win situation with the ability to move on with your next project a bit easier than this one.

        • Sonji says:

          letting trees grow around the egg sounds fantastic

        • Anonymous says:

          I like this idea of a total campsite of your egg designs as a nature hide a way.

          • Vince says:

            1) Your place could be treated as a tourist attraction. It could help Whistler get more customers. In fact, they could use your design for their own customer’s dwellings. They, being bigger then you, could also help you aquire legal living status.
            2) Create your own campsite with similar dwellings. Then, sell the idea as a franchise, worldwide.

          • Lisa Brown says:

            I would go!

        • anonymous says:

          and you live in a tin house

        • Darryl says:

          You have achieved a truly amazing feat, it proves that if a person puts their mind to it they can achieve almost anything they desire, it takes work and dedication and you have to see it to the very end, most people would more than likely give up trying, it is an awesome design, stay there live in it as long as you can or want, you built it for ” YOU ” (and girlfriend, friends), you built it where it is for privacy, don’t sell it, don’t take it down, and by all means do not create more of them, it was not built for a tourist camp or all the other suggestions people are advising, it is your own very special retreat in the woods, think of talking to the ones that said they live in Whistler and there are ways of legalizing it, otherwise wait till someone makes a fuss, just enjoy. The tree will be OK. Thank you for sharing.

        • Jesse Davis says:

          My first thought was for the health of the tree as well. Building a tight encirclement of the bark will kill the tree quite quickly as it grows.

          On Pender Island, where I grew up, we have a ‘carol tree’ which has long strings of Christmas lights running up from the ground to a ring near the top. When the ring was installed it was rather loose and posed no problem, but as the tree grew the ring became tight and started to kill the portion of the tree above it. My father was the arborist on the island, and he was the one who went up and replaced it with a flexible ring. AFAIK the carol tree is still healthy.

          for your hem loft, as soon as I saw the flashing around the floor section, I was concerned. Even if it is not tight now, it will eventually be so, and remember that you can kill a whole tree just by taking a 1cm ring of bark off, and pinching does the same. As mentioned before, sinking screws into the bark is a wound leading to disease.

          however, you could create a ‘toothed ring’ with inner splines that could be tightened onto the trunk. the splines dig into the bark but don’t actually break it, and leave pathways between the pinched portions for the sap to flow up past the structure. This, combined with enough clearance around the trunk would let the tree grow a long way before there was a problem between your house and the trunk.

          Making the splines independent and adjustable would allow some adjustment to the leveling too.

    • I like the sound of that Laura, as your idea extends the sharing concept, and respects the artistic nature of the project, too.

      The HL could then go on my list of must-visits for my next BC trip (it’s been too long…)

    • Anonymous says:

      You should rent it out as a luxury retreat in the woods, throw in some stuff about being at one with nature and how the organic use of materials make you feel at one with the forest. There will be loads of dollar filled townies looking to overnight there. Job’s a goodun…..

    • Dan says:

      I agree — I mini national monument would work well. If that doesn’t work, I would say to take it down in perfect condition and send it to a museum somewhere, as I am sure it would attract a few people.

    • Mae says:

      There is a documentary called Alone in the Wilderness. Its about a man who spent 30 years in Alaska alone in a cabin. I think he lived on crown land. Make a longer movie about yourself, and show us how you live day to day. His documentary is available on Amazon,or PBS, and its incredibly interesting. I think they made his house an historical landsite. I like your 5 minute version. Id suggest a 2 hour documentary. Your filming and presence is very very nice.

    • Mike Law says:

      Hi Joel,
      First, Kudos to your ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit! It’s exactly that thinking that built this country and also that which will save it from eventual civil-freedom- diminishing, oligopolistic, corporate control. I think you should do everything to you can to maitain that which you have built, as your own. Yes, I suppose the plan could have used some additional foresight, as to ownership of land, but, I think I read one comment from someone that proposed to help you acquire rights to use the land, and you should avail yourself of that opportunity, and before regulators and jealousy create obstructions, or impediments to your progress. Forestry and or mining rights can be obtained, although I’m not certain if so for the miniscule parcel of land upon which your dwelling’s principal structure exists. Good Luck in the future!!

    • Lorne Malloy says:

      Even though it is on Crown Land, the chances of the Feds finding it are slim. I believe the Provincial Governments are responsible for maintaining the Crown Land. You could approach the Ministry of Natural Resources and perhaps they could utilize the perch for viewing and tagging wildlife and at the same time allow you the use of it as well. That should put you in a safe position. Do not tell them where it is in the region until you see if there is interest on their part and security for you. Just show them the pictures. Maybe they will offer you a job in their tagging department.

    • JoeJimBob says:

      You’ve got peoples attention. Market your story, the structure and start building these for people.

      Keep the original a secret. If it gets taken down, the memories remain. If all goes well you can retire at 36 and have the money to ninja remove it for sentimental value.

    • Denise says:

      call it a land mark a pivital point in history that proves humanity can survive with nature and not with government rules…… and i would like to visit it , it should be a tourist attraction as every home is a part of a heart because it should be, because a heart is a home that comes from within and it goes without, but it still is a home… need solar panels….

    • Eric says:

      I agree with Lauren, you need to get that space preserved, if you can’t acquire the rights to the land. Best of luck, and thanks for the great story!

    • Magdalene says:

      I had the same idea as Laura!

    • Claire says:

      You should build these for a living! It seems like it’s something you really enjoyed doing and people would pay good money to have these on their own land. But because of the attachment to this particular hemloft, I think you should keep it for yourself 🙂

    • halima says:

      First, I want to commend you on a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship! Bully for you!

      The likelihood that the Crown will sell you only the land your loft resides on is highly unlikely. And, I think a waste of time pursuing. How can you own a small portion of a tract which is already owned by the Crown be sectioned off and sold? This could not easily be done, and the legal entanglements involved would be too costly for the Crown to pursue. Not at all likely.

      Sadly, if you allow others to know where Hemloft resides you will invite the irrational and disrespectful of human minds entrance; those who will possibly attempt to take away portions of it and therefore cause its disrepair and decay. Yes, I have read of vandals who upon reading on the internet of interesting properties, have physically travelled at the dead of night only to chip and cut away at homes and architecture, thus forcing its premature decay.

      Additionally, the fact that very few people know of its location allows for it to stay intact and can be appreciated from afar. Though, I would love to personally visit it myself, I know that not everyone knows how to care for things in the same manner as myself. As well, not everyone can appreciate or has learned how to be mindful of other people’s property, let alone their own. Sadly, those who do not possess property, I have learned, cannot help but to destroy that of other people`s. So, best to keep it a secret.

      When and only _IF_ the government stumbles upon its location, perhaps only then could it be a possibility to allow for the rental of the Hemloft for travellers and campers to reside for brief periods at a time. You definitely could charge enough of a profit for it to begin to “pay for itself” in its upkeep. Only when it can pay for itself and there is no cost to government, AND profit actually comes in does one have something to negotiate with government. Also, you need public opinion to help encourage this, too.

      Also, when people are forced to pay “to stay” will they be mindful of the property. I do, however, think there should be a means of still keeping the exact coordinates a secret until those who have paid are given the coordinates. But, again, you still run the risk of people who are not respectful of property to visit. And, then you will see deterioration set in.

      For what they are worth…those are my thoughts on the matter.

      Again, a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship.

      • Chris says:

        I have to agree with this reasoning, keep it a secret. As a teenager my industrial arts teacher, a few friends and I would do our best to keep a very nice log chalet in good repair, for some strange reason though it was a 3 hr hike over several thousand ft. elevation, the windows were constantly being smashed. Go figure. Finally some idiot set it on fire and burned to the ground.

        You might consider obtaining a lease on the land for however long it would interest you.

        Great design, good work. I’m jealous of your skill set.

    • Kyle says:

      Whao! That’s a Gnarly idea!

    • Edyie Gorme says:

      I completely agree with Laura:

      The Hemloft should be preserved as a ‘Whistler Wonder’…It should be open to the public by TOUR ONLY and all proceeds (if any) would go towards Parks Canada.
      Just a warning; before offending the law, try working with it. The Hemloft is an excellent example of Canadian carpentry, workmanship, and; above all; Canadian creativity! It deserves a place in our forests!

    • anne says:

      donate it as a work of art in nature

    • sebastian says:

      Hi ! This is genius! Why don´t you build this here in the Black-Forest / Germany. I think it would be possible to make cosy little rooms for a little hotel here. Contact me if you´re interested! 😀 People like you rock!
      Cheers, Sebastian

  • Ben says:

    Do nothing, just wait and see what happens.

  • Lee says:

    What a great piece of architecture that is. I think it could be a great little tourist walk. You could do it lille they do in Alcatraz & provide headsets, giving them a commentary of each step of the process. Would a also be a great learning tool for other carpenters & with the style of housing in Whistler & the quality of tradesman required for that, they could learn alot. Start a petition to keep it!!!!

  • Terry says:

    Try to buy it and make it an awesome hang out place, give tours or something? I don’t know looks sweet and would love to check it out though!

  • J B says:

    You should move it to another spot deeper in the forrest. This time don’t tell anyone!

  • Adrian Montebello says:

    Perhaps you can donate the building to parks bc to use as a hikers cabin

    other than that, i think its amazing! we have something similar at silverstar, but its not in the resort its about 20km deep in the mountains, get there in the winter on a sled or hike in the summer. its on crown land as well … technically anyone can camp on crown land for free and for any period of time, you have to prove that your “building” is some how temporary and can be moved at any time.

    Legally you dont want to get boned so id distance myself from it, i can understand you want to share and pictures are definatly great to see as for location, id keep it to yourself although you have already indicated that you built it/own it/erected it, so your legally attatched to it now.

    1000 mountain people will love your idea, but it only takes 1 douche bag with a large wallet and a lawyer for a brother inlaw to screw you.

    Nice work, design, execution and final product is great!

    • Dragon says:

      Yeah, donating to parks bc is a good idea! It is beautiful and could definitely be used. I like that it seems eco-friendly, built into the surrounds and provides accommodation without clearing any trees! An idea we should use more often on commercial land. Could be used for research too, so donating to any ecological organisation or to parks bc sounds really good!

    • Chris says:

      +1 on that idea!
      its such a cool, unique design and idea.. i think the right type of publicity could be exactly the type of thing that whistler (the town/township) is always trying to promote (from an image perspective).

    • John says:

      Loved the last part of your comment- thx for the chuckle. It’s too true, though. I realize the complications of this whole situation, but still it’s sad that there’s always somebody who just can’t, or refuses to, see the upside of somebody else’s success, even if that success reaaly only comes from their own sense of satisfaction.
      Regardless of the final outcome, it would be a real shame to have this structure come down, and not be available as a testimony of one man’s inspiration.

  • liz says:

    it’s so beautiful. buying crown land…might be tricky..
    but you should look into getting a 100 year tenure.
    that is how canadian snowmobile..extext all build their facilities on crown land.

    get a tenure…rent it out ..and keep building!! more eggs….make an egg resort.

    happy easter

  • Rocky says:

    I love it……maybe brush elbows with the rich and have them order it for their back yards…I love it!

  • Dragon says:

    Donate it to a small indigenous family!

  • Andrea says:

    Try to find a non-profit use for it and see if you can get the 9ft of land it is on donated. Maybe it can be shred with a few researchers or photographers out there. 🙂

  • jenny kenny says:

    you must protect it. if anything, sell the plans for a small fee, or build more in another area and sell it as a unique resort idea…. not more than $100 per night, or cheaper if they buy shares or something, to help offset the original cost of time and materials. …

  • Tim Smith says:

    I squatted on private land in Whistler for 17 years – and got kicked out (why so quickly?). Crown land is different. Not better or worse – just different. Send me an email and we can chat.

  • Doug Fenwick says:

    I, as a part of the ‘public’ support your HemLoft.
    It is on Crown Land.
    The ‘peoples’ land.
    I am people.
    I say it can stay.

    • Nicole says:

      I second that! I say leave it as is for people to find and use as needed. As a current couch surfer in Whistler, I intend to continue your Sport Sleeping ventures and I love the idea that there is a well made beautiful egg hiding in the woods designed specifically for that purpose. May it get used for just such adventures! And if you need a HemLoft sitter, I have references.

  • Chris Ramsay says:

    Do whatever you can to keep it, go to the Canadian High Supreme Court if you have to..Im sure somewhere in the constitution there is a ruling you have a right to build a dwelling to provide shelter for yourself if nothing else..

  • back woods says:

    another option – just leave it out there with an undisclosed location… let those adventurous enough to find it have a hidden treasure, or those with enough will to find it seek out those in the know. Let it exist as an unurban myth.

  • Sea Austin says:

    honour the loft as one of “canada’s” jewels in the wilderness for everyone 2 honour going in2 the future. Whistler region to be wise caretakers.

  • Kris says:

    Why not try to get other, like-minded folk together, and then go to the government and see if they want to go in on a canopy trail in that area?? They did one in algonquin park… its now a “destination”. Or, you could by the land and make it a bed and breakfast…

  • You have done a beautiful and amazing thing that some people only dream about. But you have seen it through to the end, which most people never do.
    I say keep up that spirit and do whatever it takes to keep it. You CAN DO IT!

    Amazing and inspiring story.

  • Sarah says:

    HA, you did it!!! Just a few more and it’s a full on ewok village!

    Look into a tenure/permit. Best of luck to you! It really is spectacular!

  • Kevin says:

    Don’t bring further attention to yourself by trying to legitimize your treehouse. It would never meet building code, you don’t own the land and the government won’t sell it to you either. The muni wouldn’t want it within their boundaries either due to potential for forest fire close to other residences and there being no ability to bring fire protection services to the site. Market your design and skills to people who can afford fancy backyard treehouses, keep the location of your beautiful home secret.

  • Paul says:

    Awesome! Whatever you do, you’ll need some budget for red-tape costs… like the idea to sell building plans to raise some money… you have something very creative there, others will surely wish to emulate it 😉 Cheers.

  • Alex says:

    Have all squatters laws been completely removed? I assumed that you made this website to prove its existence. I had heard that proof of living in a squat for 7 years and you had some squatters rights but maybe that is an urban myth

  • Li says:

    1. Declare it a religious site, based on your religion which is obviously connected to the sacredness of the place and the tree itself.
    2. Write to the British Royal Family (who are in fact our heads of state and therefore the holders of Crown Land), in particular Prince Charles who is a strong advocate of aesthetic and environmentally cooperative architecture, and ask that they intervene on your behalf to make this a government site showing the possibilities of environmentally creative housing (you as lifetime curator)!

  • Donna says:

    What an inspiring journey.
    On crown land, for viewing pleasure for the people.
    We would love another reason to go on an adventure and like the others said- let finding the Hemloft be our reward. Don’t disclose the location. Let this wonderful story be our map. Only those who respect should seek to find.
    In terms of protecting the Hemloft, consider looking into tenure so it remains yours.
    Your story had my partner and I laughing a lot as I read it to him- brilliant!
    Congratulations on your love, life and luck- you deserve it and long may it last

  • TD says:

    In BC there are 99 year leases you can supposedly acquire on crown land. I don’t know much about it so you’ll have to look into it. Do not let adventurers, geocachers or any of the public use it b/c they will destroy it quickly in a piecemeal fashion. I know this about people, even really good people. Very few humans know how to be respectful of public or communal spaces.

  • Randy J says:

    Donate it too one of the associations like the Canadian hostel association or cross country skiing association that can work with BC Parks to maintain it for public use.

  • live love laugh DREAM says:

    congrats Joel. Very inspiring story about making your dream become a reality…

    If you are okay to make it open to the public: I wonder if you could move it to a location that it could be used as a mtn bike and or backcountry ski hut type deal?

    live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

  • Erin says:

    I’d be tempted to take it down, save the materials, and resurrect when I found a special spot to settle down. Or maybe rebuild on a friend’s property?
    I partially agree with others to just see what happens, but I’d hate to see it vandalized or confiscated.
    Sweet job, you guys are uber-cool.
    My man and I are moving out to Squamish this Sept. I hope to one day see the egg!

  • Robert L says:

    What Randy J said. They WILL find it eventually, so I”d get ahead of the game, and of course, if its dismantled, you’ve got a worldwide marketable home that could go wild,,,It CAN be made to code, and made larger for real living quarters. The possibilities are endless. Of course, the charm and perfection is it s size, and its Secret ::)) ,,,,for now. I foresee these everywhere in the near future

  • Matty D says:

    Great work! In the larger scheme of things, I if you’re willing, you could do very well making a resort/campground in another more viable location. As for the current building, I say ride it out but keep the concept going. Good luck!!

  • Dave says:

    Beautiful. Keep it there until someone tears it down. What happens to the egg as the tree grows in diameter?

    • Eric O says:

      I was wondering the same thing… I had to go back to my own treehouse in 2010 when it was 16 years old (also built on someone else’s land, but fortunately adopted later on!) and rebuild the support to allow for over 6 inches of trunk growth. Like the egg, mine is a full wraparound design. I came up with a floating floor support system so that the tree can now grow another foot or more thicker before anyone will have to do anything other than enlarge the roof hole.

  • jonestown666 says:

    for that it sits on crown land you should look into what it takes on keeping that land. i know that if you set a claim on certen areas of crown land you can pay the property taxes for six years and keep the land for ourself to live in the home. but if that doesn’t work, working with your local gov. to make it a cool legal find it and camp in it thing could work out awsome. i would pay a small fee to stay in it for a night to repay you as the creator of a wicked lil place. also i would pay you to build a few of these on my property which you are welcome to email me about such work opportunaties. thanx for your work and dedication on such an innovative project

  • Jane Iverson says:

    I live in Britannia Beach and we have Mountain Lake Hut up in the mountains above here. It was built in 1960 by BC Mountaineering Club. They also built two others in Garibaldi Park on Crown Land, which have been donated to BC Parks. Why don’t you contact them for advice and see how they went about the process of building and donating these hiking huts, and about whether they had permission to build first or asked for forgiveness after the fact. Here is a link to the information about their huts.
    Your Hemloft is way cool. I just love the whole concept and it’s a great design. Well done! Hope it gets to live on. It would be a cool haven for wayward hikers for sure. ~ Jane

  • jayjay says:

    I think you should travel the world building these fantastic little get away’s… I hope it is never found exept only those seeking it for a get away.

    Question…Is it locked? and are people welcome to stay?

  • iain geeves says:

    I think that this project has all the appeal to be super successful on

    I have no idea what’s involved in purchasing crown land. I suspect you can’t purchase a 9 square foot parcel though. But yeah – use the power of the internet to find someone who can answer the legal questions for you.

    But as for coming up with the cash bucks – once you have a dollar figure, I say try your luck crowd sourcing the funding. You already have almost 3000 likes on facebook – you’re online tribe is already in place, you just need to mobilize them for a kickstarter funding drive. I think you may be surprised how successful these can be. Head over to and take a look.

    (And now I’m just thinking out loud but…I’m sure people will want you to build these for them. There’s no question. Try and find some wealthy patron who will let you live on some obscure corner of their land in exchange for building them a few of these and being like, I dunno, the handyman fixit groundskeeping maintenance guy.)

    Good luck man. As a fellow carpenter, I can really appreciate the work. If you ever need an employee once you turn this into a business, look me up. My family has property in Bralone, north of Pemberton, and I’m always thinking about moving West.

  • Denis Thibeault says:

    The beautiful product of your obsession should be kept at the secret location as a secret. While exploring all available legal options to keep it protected in it’s magical spot. In the arctic private cabins are often kept unlocked as “emergency shelters” for any passers by. This helps avoid any legal concerns. I’m sure it’s different so close to Whister. Some exceptionally well built cabins have signs saying “welcome to our cabin, please be respectful, clean up after yourselves, close the door properly , . . . and enjoy your stay”. Whether a red tape bureaucrat or an ignorant vandal it only takes 1 douche bag to ruin it. So do keep it as a wonderful surprise and be ready for the rain.

  • jf richer says:

    Nice work on your egg! I don’t usually spend much time reading these kinds of personal story websites, but yours was particularly interesting because I also lived this type of adventure about 12 years ago in the woods of Whistler.

    I moved to Whistler in 1999 with little more than 300$ in my pockets and a job as a snowboard instructor. With too little money to rent a place, three of us decided it would be convenient to build a small cabin of sorts where we could live for free. Since it was early January, we slept in bivy bags in the snow while we built this cabin out of salvaged materials from the numerous job site waste containers sprawled out across the municipality. Three weeks later, we had put together what was more of a shack that a fine piece or architectural prowess. However, I lived in this shack near Blackcomb’s base II for nearly two years; enough time to save up and buy a camper to live in.

    During nearly two years of residency in my shack, I’d been broken into, surprised by bears on numerous occasions and certainly scared off most of the ladies I met who had no interest in hiking up to my shack after an evening out at the Max Fish!

    I left Whistler in 2003, only to return a few years later to find the remnants of my shack burned to ash. It was sad to see the site of where I’d spent nearly two years of my life burnt down as if it had never existed, however, the memories of me living there will never be extinguished and will always be burned in my mind.

    So here’s what I’ve learned from my experience living in the woods and how it relates to your own secret dwelling:
    1. If you lock your door, people will break it down, out of curiosity, and soon your private space will be vandalized. Most people tend to respect a place that looks inhabited and will treat your dwelling with respect if they enter and unlocked dwelling and find that it is inhabited.
    2. Bears start looking for food in April and even if it seems like it’s still Winter, they’ll also break down your door scrounging for food!
    3. You have no control over who will take over your dwelling in you’re absence, you can just hope that they will pay it forward and treat it with respect.

    That is part of the magic of doing nothing at all; except planning a trip a couple years down the road to revisit your dwelling and hopefully, somebody else will have made it their home with a great story to share!

  • Chris says:

    Very cool!!! I like the crowd sourcing comment…also think popular mechanics or DIYmagazine etc. Sell the plans/kits and stuff. You have a nice little business opp there. And don’t worry, everyone does stuff cause “they think it’s cool”. It’s innovation!!!

    You have probably seen this, but this is a good place to start concerning squatters rights.

    Good Luck

    • Helen Monday says:

      I agree there is a definite future for you in eco-architecture and design. I would buy your plans if it can be demonstrated that the tree’s development is not hampered by your hemloft. As for this structure, you may need to accept losing it, but the idea and the brilliance of its execution will belong to you always. Bravo!

  • Against the wind says:

    Offer it to Whistler tourism or whistler blackcomb for a strict 2 year contract based and allow them to “rent it out” (you’ll need their marketing advantages to assist you) as an attraction (engagements, romantic getaways etc) for those who can afford to visit it. Make sure that they are legally and liabiliy responsible for the property during these 2 years. Split the proceeds 40/60% share. Involve the government by donating your profit to a district schoolboard, BC healthcare or whatever organization they can agree upon. In exchange insist that they help you obtain rights to the land and have them grant you and provide you the documents to buy the land. Sign the documents before you lease it to whistler blackcomb or whistler tourism and have a home inspector sign off that it is stable and safe considering it’s original design.

  • John Noble says:

    I say keep it private.

    But you can recoup your costs by renting it out. Small risk of disclosure, but the people who want to overnight in there are probably the good people.

    Heck, I”d rent it. And I”m good people.


  • john says:

    I say apply a cloaking spell or invisibility charm right away! I’m serious. You know what to do.

  • Sean says:

    If you tell anyone you will have every dirty hippy from Tofino to Halifax sleeping in it …..which is what its for but i would hate to see it turn trashy and or be vandilized. Keep it to yourself man !!!! Good Work!

  • Cyrus says:

    Build a city of eggs in the trees.

  • Becky says:

    Your endeavor to build something cool is completely understood and and I bet it’s appreciated by more than you would think. I think you should leave it in the hands of the world and let it incubate. Good on ya for gracing our world with its unique presence and many happy projects to you my friend, from one craftsperson to another, you really hit that one on the head 🙂

  • Laura Goodwin says:

    I’m not sure of how you can keep it as your own yet but I definetly think you should invite some teachers/healers and do some sound healing with brain frequencies in your beautiful space – not very often of course. Maybe all the good Karma will help you find your answer…. Let me know if you do as I’m recovering from a brain injury myself. Good Luck!!

  • Gili says:

    Wow, I love the design, what an accomplishment! I hope you manage to find a way keep it where it is.

  • heidi says:

    Good work, and inspiring. Surely there is a way to get a license to have it there (maybe as a ”temporary structure”) as it’s in the community and tourisms best interest to keep it exactly where it is. If you don’t mind sharing it with the public then brainstorm a small project you could operate out of it or a nonprofit you could lend it to in support of some endeavors they might have. In the meantime, start a public opinion poll and petition to help preserve it in the case you one day encounter some legalities. Please don’t do it on that assumption though- rather do it on the assumption that no one will have a problem with it at all, it’s just neat to see what the province thinks about such a thing. Since it’s already in the process of being fully publicized i’m sure you’ll have some interesting offers come your way 🙂

  • Maia says:

    I think it would great for there to be more hemlofts. Can the design be used to inspire a camping resort area, with 12 hemlofts to sleep in, and the original maintained as the honorary prototype?

    The hemloft is an act of nature, as humans are part of nature, and the hemloft is an excellent reminder of the human-nature connection. So, it would be best to keep it in it’s original location. Perhaps as a camping spot – would the Land Conservacy be an appropriate venue?

    Best of luck! I say dream big, and the answer rests in the most resplendent dream / idea. Very inspiring that you wanted to ‘build something cool’. You built outside the envelope of codes and regulations, that restrict human ingenuity and risk stunting our shared intelligence. Your action was creative and innovative, which our world needs more of to survive our current planetary predicament.

  • Ed Maric says:

    I lived in Whistler between ’04-’10 and heard tale of a mad carpenter building a little squatter’s hut in the woods. Awesome. My suggestion is to leave it fate. Thanks to the web, the accomplishment has already made it’s mark, and I’m sure the experience was reward enough.

  • Peter says:

    Mate, what can I say! Being a carpenter myself, I fully appreciate what you have created. It is something out of a fantasy world, and with Whistler as the backdrop, fantasy has truly become reality! Living in Whistler, I have a desire to find and appreciate your work, as I’m sure many others do.
    I believe your efforts to design such a structure that has minimal impact on the surroundings, is what makes it a piece of art that stands for more then the coolness you had set for it. It looks like it belongs!

    Moving onto WHAT NOW? To have your creation torn down by the council would be a great shame, once it’s location becomes exposed. Which by the sounds of it will happen eventually if it hasn’t already.
    If go down the road of regulations and laws, you will most likely get frustrated by the inadequacies of the councils solution. In just the same way home owners do when they can’t construct something because of building codes and restriction. Non the less a solution maybe found but, it may destroy the pristine image and bond you have with your creation.
    I believe having a small plaque just asking those who find it give it the respect it deserves and do their best to leave it in they way they found it, with little more then foot steps as a reminder of their presence. So in the future, whoever stumbles across your little paradise can enjoy it also.

    In the meantime, begin a new project to take your mind off the What Now? for the HemLoft and let fate decide!
    PS. if you need someone to get the oil and paint brush out, I would happily keep her looking fresh after a harsh winter!

  • rain on the parade says:

    Its important to remember facts of the situation. That it is built illegally on government land. These structures are known as trespass cabins, and I hate to break it to you but they are burnt down and destroyed all the time, even wonderfully creative and imaginative houses such as the hem loft. Additionally tree houses by nature rarely meet modern building codes. So my advice, any attempts to legitimize an “unsafe” and illegally built structure may only hasten its destruction. Its very kind of you to show us your beautiful creation and you deserve the respect of those who appreciate. However if I were you, and I wanted to preserve it, I’d stop talking about it and keep it as the ultimate secret make out spot. High fives dude, its awesome.

  • CC says:

    Become friends with park planners informally and they will let you know what your chances of success are to make it a camp site or to leave it where it stands. I am sure you can find them in beer parties in the summer around Whistler.

    Leaving it as a secret or making it public seem like the best option!!! Also, maybe get in touch with the land conservancy or someone that wants to protect land and see if this can contribute to those projects and get more leverage that way. Good luck

  • Dave says:

    Hey, I love the house! It looks like an amazing place to be and inspires me to try and create a similar type of structure one day. I hope that I can find it one day! I think you should put up one of those wildlife cameras that is motion activated, and see how many people actually do visit the house. You may even be able to see the reactions of people when they discover it for the first time, which may also make it a more rewarding structure for you now that the labour of love is complete. I think that the house is now part of its environment. Let it stand, until it becomes unsafe. I Can’t wait to see what you build next! all the best!

  • Caroline Moorey (UK) says:

    He loves this sort of thing and will be able to help you secure it’s tenancy I am sure:
    > HRH The Prince of Wales, Highgrove House, Tetbury, Gloscestershire, UK
    As it is Crown Land (ie owned by Her Majesty The Queen – his Mother) you should copy in
    The Crown Estate
    16 New Burlington Place
    W1S 2HX
    Good luck – and don’t think they are un-approachable – they welcome this sort of uniqueness – Charles is your key – Go For It and include lots of pictures in your letter.

  • Cathy says:

    I know you can lease crown land for a small fee and lots of paper work, check it out.

  • iris says:

    Its beautiful. This is just the beginning – why not let it be and move on to teaching others how to create their own hemlofts or creative housing. Let the inspiration grow like the trees….

  • Kirby says:

    Here’s a simple idea. While I was living in the Columbia Valley I stumbled upon an incredible little cabin not far from town but hidden in the woods. It was completely covered in antiques; hockey skates, lacrosse rackets, bits of cars, farm implements… every inch. So much so that I had to take a closer look. Naturally I expected it to be padlocked with “Keep Out” signs everywhere. Instead, beside the door which had only a peg slider to keep it closed was a small chalk board saying, “Welcome, please enjoy.” Above the door in wood block letters was “Icarus.” So I went in. It was filled with treasure. A four poster bed with down duvets and bug net. Binoculars and bird books, an armoir filled with board games, slippers and house coats of every size, a complete country kitchen and a few carefully placed signs saying things like “Tip: if you feel the floor is getting dirty, sprinkle some coffee grounds from the cupboard around. They pick up the dust!”

    I suspect they call the place Icarus, because they – whoever ‘they’ are – know they are flying close to the sun with this little social experiment. That being said,almost 5 years after I discovered it Icarus remains intact. No vandalism, nothing missing. Just a treasure in the woods passively awaiting discovery.

    My suggestion? A small chalkboard…

    Thanks for adding a beautiful little adventure to our community.

  • Juda says:

    You could treat it like a sand mandala and leave it to time to decompose slowly back into the Earth. Being built on Crown Land in Canada discussions with the Canadian authorities about what options are possible may sort out the legal hassles. Though having read your story and how serendipitous that journey has been, I would suggest ‘Do nothing’. Actually, I don’t think you need do anything now. The HemLoft has a life of its own.

    Thank you for being its Creator.

  • McClain says:

    This building process, has obviously been something very special to you all. You poured your blood, sweat, tears, and a “bit of cash” into this project. I know that question you have in the back of your mind that says. What if we have to leave and tear this wonderful accomplishment down? I am in a similar predicament. I have a beloved family farm in the low-lands of South Carolina that is for sale :(. But I am trying every day to find a way to keep it. So find a loophole! Make friends with the land owner! You have to keep this tree house. It is a testament to throwing caution to the wind and creating something incredible. You went from a steady job and pursued an extremely difficult trade of carpentry. So don’t just sit and see what happens. Create your own outcome and keep this special little wooden egg nestled up in a pretty tree in YOUR woods.

    Good Luck

  • Adam Saab says:

    Hey Joel,
    Well I suggest that if you really want to build more of these you might see this house in a similar way as you saw the shed in your parent’s back yard.

    The shed gave you blisters and hand injuries, but you recovered. This project’s fate may give you injuries of a different kind. But what you build after will be larger and inspire you again.
    Just as the skills from the shed grew the seeds to be a lead carpenter, so could this “egg” hatch into a lifestyle of custom home building.

  • Claire says:

    After hearing @Peter’s offer to visit it with a paint brush after the winter, I thought it would be cool to put together a few people who live in the area to come by every so often and check on it, keep it fresh etc. I really like the idea of a plaque/chalkboard/guest book – anything to invoke a presence. It’s going to become a legend.

  • Timothy Charles McEwen says:

    i came from a great upbringing, and saw the bullshit for what it was – the disparity, the negligence, though no one is perfect – to then rejecting the status quo and living in the bush/tent. I love your way, and offer you this – we can only give, and never expect a return. Open the place up as a walkers hut, such that we have in Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps, given it is 7 miles in or so, it could be the starting point for a big mapped out trek? Let it be! With Energy. Tim

  • WiccanK says:

    Your HemLoft is completely awesome by the way! Hopefully you will be able to keep it, but if not, is there a way you can take it down that disassembles it without ruining it so that you could put it back up somewhere else? You could probably turn your idea into an eco-friendly type business. You could even use re-purposed materials.
    Also, I would have voted for buy the land the tree is on, but I think it probably a lot more legal hoops than turning it into a public camping space, at least here in the States whatever County it’s in would refuse to subdivide a larger lot into so small a parcel.
    Good luck with your lovely little hideaway!

  • Your helmLoft is beautiful. If you are worried about the fate of it, I have a suggestion for you. I haven’t read all the above posts, so I assume someone has probably offered you the same but you would be more than welcome to disassemble it (I would even help you). Load it onto our truck or trailer, and move it up to our property in Greenwood BC! Its a beautiful spot.Big. Private. Close to two Okanagan powder ski hills (with passes costing $360 a year or so!!) Water on the property. Fertile land… and the beginnings of an eco village that we hope to establish in the next year. It seems like, from what I have read about you and your little HemLoft, that your ideas and ideals seem to align with some of our own. Anyway, just a thought. If you are interested, drop me a line! Either way, Its beautiful. I would love to have you come up for a visit and perhaps do a workshop on building similar structures. As for the Craigslist free section… its like my best friend! hahaha! we are outfitting our homestead with as much stuff as we can collect of use. Picked up a 13′ steel spiral staircase this morning, that will be perfect for the barn. Cheers!

  • David Sinclair says:


    simply, you are an inspiration. Everything manmade is fleeting. Your creation and Hemloft’s precarious predicament is a poignant reminder of our own fleeting existence. Thank you for making our world a richer place and keep designing and dreaming. If all you achieve out of this project is to bring happiness and inspiration to others, job done. The rest is cream.

    In relation to protecting Hemloft, I see the magic of taking a wait and see approach, however, and rather ironically in contradiction to my comments about the fleeting nature of things I think your project does deserve to be preserved

  • Peter Hudson says:

    If you are interested in keeping the hemloft on firm legal footing, you might want to read up on the BC Mineral Tenure Act ( In my time with the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club, I staked several mineral claims in order to use provisions of the legislation to gain access to locked logging roads. I know there are also sections of the act which allow for “improvements” to crown land on which you have staked a mineral claim. Staking a mineral claim costs about $0.04/acre, so your 9 square feet might not cost very much to protect.

  • Bexx Ferri says:

    Joel, you rock! What a beautiful creation! It’s hard to say what to do with it, but the last thing I would want is to have it taken down! Buy the land! 🙂 Everyone seems to have stated many fantastic ideas.. I’m excited to see the outcome!

  • Lynzy says:

    Try a License of Occupation. That is what you require in order to build on Crown Land. It might be a bit trickier since the building has already been built and I believe you have to state a reason for obtaining the License (in order to run a business, etc), but worth a try.

  • GalNextDoor says:

    Keep secret but offer to celebrities – use their fees to build MORE EVERYWHERE!
    I really like the open concept idea, without publication, word of mouth would hopefully travel to like minded caretakers.
    Also – sell the plans for many others to build!
    Best of luck to you!

  • Peter says:

    Why not create a building kit, so others can build their own Hemloft. That way maybe you can generate some money to find a piece of land you can buy so you don’t have to deal with this uncertainty. Land that’s off the beaten path. Awesome project.

  • Ben says:

    I am not familiar with laws in BC, but if the issue ever arises you can indeed try to register it as a work of art or national landmark under a non-profit organization that you establish. Then you can use your non-profit org status to purchase the land for less than you would have to pay if you were a private citizen.

  • Michelle says:

    Good for you and following your inspiration to create something cool. I hope you can buy the land or get tenure! Maybe go the arts route, it is a work of art and needs to be preserved and protected. I hope people are respectful of your work of art and just leave it be.

  • Mike says:

    It seems likely to me that with all the exposure and interest you’ve received in the house so far, that the government may choose to look the other way.

    On the other hand, if you tell them where it is or offer to buy the land, you will force them to make a decision publicly one way or the other. In order to abide by the laws and be fair to others who might wish to do something like this in the future, they will have to tear it down. If you continue to keep it a secret, then they won’t have to make a decision, and will probably leave well enough alone, knowing that it would be bad publicity if they tried to take it away from you.

  • marite priore says:

    deberias revisar la legislacion de otros paises para ver si puedes validar tu derechoa ese pedazo de tierra.
    tu has afectado artísticamente una zona de bosque ,algun derecho debes tener de estar en ese lugar.
    la tierra y el paisaje son de quienes lo aprecian y cuidan,puedes valorar tu proyecto desde un sentido espiritual de la pertenencia,tu obra es tuya y tiene valor.
    te deseo mucho exito en la gestión y desde Argentina veré que dicen nuestras leyes para ayudarte!!!

  • Terry Tong says:

    Well, my friend. I know someone who needs this. He is a biologist. Very regularly, he needs to go into the forests or jungles with his team to extract certain species of plants and make a record of them for research or keeping track of the natural habitats changes.

    This tree house would provide great shelter for people working in the same field as him, because currently, my friend has to sleep in the wild in a tent, which is of course dangerous if there are bears or snakes lurking around, which I think is inevitable.

    So, cheers mate!

    You’d have to speak to the person in charge of the park.

  • Martin Lentz-Nielsen says:

    I could seriously see myself living in a treehouse like this!

    Please try and buy the land, it would be such a shame to take it down.

  • Steve Meek says:

    Hello Joel,
    I loved you story. If I lived any where near their I would make it an adventure to visit your tree house. The search would be fun. I hope you are able to visit often and may it be their for years to come. You kids will love visiting with you. Good luck and may all that do come across it repect your labor of love.

  • Kristine says:

    The HemLoft is most definitely a work of art. See if you can get into contact with a local artists’ guild or non-profit that can help you keep your treehouse where it is 🙂

  • Austin says:

    Is there a possibility of involving religion or beliefs for the sake of not being able to move it or distroy it? Just a thought…

  • Holly says:

    This is ART, not carpentry…. it should be preserved as such. I am in awe of the grace, balance, and beauty of this “usable sculpture”….

  • Frank says:

    Would be a shame if you had to take it down. Maybe it could become one of several similar structures in a camp, like Hostel in the Forest.

    Also, have you considered selling the plans and materials to build it as part of a do-it-yourself kit?

  • Andy Hawkins says:

    Play it safe, take it down, draw up the plans, get them certified and start selling them and with the proceeds buy (or lease) some land and put it back up.

  • Ellery says:

    Now that’s a talent worth sharing. Perhaps its time to move onto something bigger and use that talent to help others.

  • Adam says:

    Look into adverse possession property law, not sure how it would work with “Crown land”

  • Chillie says:

    While I have my concerns about how you dealt with the effects this house has on the tree, I have a suggestion. If you donate land to the queen of england she is required to turn it into public park land. I don’t know if you can donate the building to her but it might be worth looking into.

  • Mike says:

    Don’t tell a soul.
    Call it what it is, this is an illegal backcountry hut, not dissimilar to any other renegade backcountry ski hut.
    Your project is in direct violation of section 57 of the Forest Practices Act.
    BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands Officers are instructed to burn down any backcountry huts that don’t have tenure.
    Tenure is hard to get:
    Basically, applications go in and referrals are sent to FrontCounterBC, a centralized agency that sends the application out to any party that might have a stake in the land’s use, from Forestry to Tourism to Native Affairs. Reports come back to the rec officer for the area. They are reviewed, and then a decision is made. If not approved, the hut (if already built) is dismantled.
    There are dozens and dozens of illegal backcountry huts built on crown land, especially up towards Pemberton/Duffey area.
    Periodically, these huts disappear overnight.

  • Caitlyn says:

    Although I voted that you should buy the land, I also like the camping site idea.
    But as a camping site, I think it would be fantastic if you built more tree houses like this one for the campers to stay in 🙂
    At the very least, I think that a campsite where you stay in a tree house instead of a tent would be super cool. It wouldn’t even have to be near your own tree house.

  • Will F. Gavriel says:

    It’s beautifull place.. i wish one to me !! i hope visit in future..
    good luck

  • Alex says:

    Tear it down to preserve the lumber/hardware. Then build another one, this time, on land that you own.

  • Cate Kurtis says:

    Offer an open house 1 day a week or month, but only if the authorities find you out. Have a proposal written up in preparation for when they do.

  • Kishor P. says:

    My name is Kishor, and I approve of this message.

  • Chuck says:

    Find some small endangered specie to live underneath the egg and you should be good.

  • Debbie says:

    Do nothing and keep it a secret!!!

  • Su Yee Aung says:

    If i were you,i’ll announce public to know the hemloft. Something good result can be come out i think.
    If you think good,the better result you can get.

  • Make use of kickstarter! I voted for the buying of the 9 sq ft and if anything could help make that happen, it’s probably kickstarter.

  • crown land isn’t empty land, or government land, it’s the canadian people’s land, obviously. the fact that some parts of it are empty is a beautiful thing.

    i think you should answer this question in a way that nearly always works – what would you want others to do? particularly others whom you don’t like their design sense – say the guy who wants to build a galvanised iron hunting shed on crown land.

    the only thing i can think of that passes that test is: collect all your info, get good at meeting people who can help in government, and make a submission for it to stay, as a public resource. if they say no, take it down (i can imagine it would be easy to find someone with private land happy for you to install and use it). if they say yes, then what a lovely gift to give to the people of canada (and beyond) you have made.

    well done, mega respect for the detail

  • Devin says:

    I agree with some of the people above, you’ve created art here. It’s beautiful, and if you contact the right agencies you could probably get it preserved as such. Your safest bet is probably to try and buy the land first, as applying for any sort of art certification would require you to make its location public, but you could possibly recoup your costs if it is accepted. Then, as a protected work of art, you could leave it up and would get to show it off some more, without having to worry about the wrong people finding it and ordering it to be demolished.

  • gretchen says:

    if you would like to keep it, the easiest way to get some rights to the Crown land might be through staking a mineral claim on the area. (perhaps you know this already, or someone else might have posted this info, but I will give a few details if you don’t have them). a mining claim is fairly cheap, and fairly easily done through (there is an office in squamish i think). BC’s mining act is very old, so it grants some pretty sweeping rights and protections to claim holders. purchasing the Crown land in another way would take a lot of time, and might not be very easy because of existing tenures on the area (probably related to forestry or commercial recreation) and a requirement for the land to be sold competitively after all the zoning and orders are passed. good luck making your decision!

  • Jeff says:

    Doesn’t anyone feel like they’ve been duped a little here? I can’t be the only one that has this funny feeling the complete truth isn’t being told. I feel, after not being able to stop thinking about this for several hours for some reason, the intent of this was always to market it in some way. I mean, If the goal was to build something cool and to learn carpentry, then why tell anyone? You could have kept this a secret for years, but instead your taking photos of it to NY? You have video and pictures of the entire building process? I don’t know, you seem to be posing in every picture and flaunting your talent in a less than humble way.
    Am I wrong? I just don’t like the feeling of being lied to in order to gain my sympathy. My meaning isn’t to be negative, and if I am wrong then I am sorry. Maybe some one else has some insight on this. Or maybe you do.

    Hey Jeff, it’s Joel,

    I can see what your saying here. But the driving force behind the whole project truly was to build something cool. I’ve been that way throughout my whole life. I didn’t compromise quality once. I think if you read through the story and look at the photos, you’ll realize that it would have been an insanely risky and elaborate marketing stunt, and there would have been no way to predict that it would get this kind of attention. This is a happy by-product and it’s what happens when you pursue in a genuine way. If it were purely for marketing, karma probably would have kicked me in the ass : )

    • Douglas says:

      yeah, he’s proud of what he created. would you not be equally proud once it was done? as for complete truth…yeah, something ain’t quite square here (carpenter lingo).

      • Jeff says:

        Douglas, you are right. If I had done something half as cool I would be pretty excited about it. I am one of those people that is always in conflict with feeling proud about stuff I have done. Not that I haven’t done stuff to be proud of. More like telling people about it. I am my own worst job reference. As far as the other part, something just wasn’t sitting quite right with me after reading though the whole site. I don’t know, it’s kinda weird. Why should I care what his motive is or was? And who am I to judge him? I just felt compelled to comment on it. Thanks.

    • Jeff says:

      I don’t think this was a marketing stunt and I don’t think you could have predicted the attention. You have very right to be proud of your creation. But are you telling me it never crossed your mind to use this in some other way? That is my question. And I admit I might be dense, but what is so controversial about this. You knew the whole time that you where doing something less than above board, right? That there were certain risks involved and now that it is there, it’s hard to deal with the potential consequences(getting torn down, burned down, you fined, nothing, whatever). They say “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission” at least in my area when asked why you didn’t get a building permit. I think it’s as interesting and controversial a question as to why you built it and where you chose built it. I appreciate your response and look forward to any other comments. Thanks Jeff.

  • Saleh says:

    Since 72% of voters think that buying the land the trees on, start to see how much it may cost and let us know how we can assist you. I will be happy to help at any time

  • Andrew Kay says:

    Rooting for you man, that is a cool tree cabin house.

  • Silvio says:

    great idea, perfect… stay tuned

    with best regards from switzerland

  • Euskaldun says:

    This looks like a pretty good Kickstarter project. You have completed an awesome project and you have the opportunity make a statement with it. I don’t really care if you keep it all for yourself, your initiative here is awesome. Why should the bloody Queen of England own it? Crown Land in and of itself is a completely bullshit construct to give respect for a foreign Monarch. For Christ’s sake you guys are all Habs anyway – and the guillotine was another contruction made of wood and a bit of Steel. Fight the Power, you made it, keep it. If it was on ‘Indigenous land’ that may be another matter, and if it was not environmentally friendly I would say get it out of there – but as a site-specific sculpture that respects the land, and the Tree…hell no, don’t take it down, and don’t bother letting other people find it easily…perhaps a personal appeal to the Queen as the ultimate owner?

  • Jimmy says:

    Shoulda kept it secret, very cool place…sad truth is we need rules and regulations in place or everyone would be coming out to build their dream treehouse if they didn’t have to pay for land, could build whatever and wherever.

    • Julia says:

      I am happy about the fact that Joel is sharing his experience with us, for it gives hope and inspiration: Finding and building a home and shelter lies within our nature. This story reminds me of my childhood, where I never stopped building houses, caverns and other hide aways from all kinds of material. It is hard to put in words, how much happiness and satisfaction a place can give, that you created yourself. I grew addicted to it, and so last year my boyfriend and I decided to live in an old caravan, that we are constantly working on in order to solve storage problems, create more light, space and other muli-funtional gimmicks. We are pretty far and expect to complete the first phase by next year. The thought of having to give it up one day hurts physically, so you and Heidi have our deepest symphathy and respect… Your Hemloft is so much worth fighting for! I will keep track on it, and I can’t help dreaming about seeing it in real live one day… If I should find it, of course 😉

  • mini says:

    just saw the video on the chive . it really made me smile

    i really hope this story has a happy ending !

    greetz from belgium !

  • Douglas says:

    What I think you should do is apply to Parks Canada (or the government body affiliated with the crown lands) for a custodian position, with your unique location. ALSO, write a letter to our Governor General asking for special consideration regarding your site.

    Pretty sure that as long as you’re not leaving a footprint on the environment (which I’m sure you’re careful of to avoid leaving trails to your home) and utilizing a waste disposal system (I assume you cart your trash out) that works well…I cannot fathom the government being assholes about it as you’re not profiting in any way while on the crown lands. If anything you’re a constant eyeball to the territory and surrounding locale and can be of much benefit to universities and colleges with your knowledge of fauna/flora/animal life in the area.

    I myself had lived in the crown land like you once but I was living out of a small cave for about 6 months foraging off the land taking small game for my own sustenance and competing with the bears for fish & wild berries. (most them bears would take my fish!…but I had no problems with that. we got on rather well…I helped flush game towards them and they did well. they’re kinda like dogs once you get used to it…big huge forceful dogs you don’t say no to if you plan to stay in one piece.) But anyhow…if more than 10 ppl know where you live…you’re not gonna be in any privacy for long. people will love to see your work and sharing your creation and the beauty of the area.

    and like a lot of people…try the kickstarter. suggest a wifi hotzone and I’m pretty sure a telecom would throw money at you for monitoring the antennaes. (antennas? attenae?… you know what I’m saying)

    anyhow send me an email and I’ll see if I can’t find more options for your place.

    It would be a shame to need to dismantle a perfectly unobtrusive house in an accordingly unobtrusive location.

    have you found any ‘panner camps’ from the 1900’s in the valleys yet? if you get bored…get a metal detector and look for loots/archaelogical artifacts pertaining to the area. pretty sure if there’s nails, boards and pans…you’ll find them and a museum might pay a pittance for it. but the real reward is finding those places and marking them for historical reference.

  • martin says:

    I would further investagate ” leagalizing” it to avoid its destruction and any ramifications to you. I would also suggest you look into its value as an scientific and or enviormental reserch platform. If you could work with such groups to share it in some way with them it could be a win-win situation for all. A great idea and beutifully crafted place though, providing you have and keep acting with care and consideration to the enviroment I am behind it all the way.

  • Ken says:

    First off, very inspiring. I enjoyed reading the story and I do hope for a positive outcome for The Hemloft.

    What should you do? Whatever your heart tells you. You never know if you can secure that land if you don’t try. People may tell you that it’s impossible to do, but it might not be. If you truly wanted to “just build something cool” you should be able to sit and do nothing, allow whatever to happen to happen.

    I suspect that if the structure is discovered by authorities, they will probably have it deconstructed over “safety concerns”. With so many frivilous lawsuits these days, everyone is concerned some idiot will fall out of a tree and sue the landowners.

    I do wish you luck and thank you for sharing your dream and creation.

  • […] per evitare che la sua creazione sia smantellata. Cosa gli consigliereste? Scriveteglielo qui. Extra […]

  • Jay says:

    I think your best option would be to try and purchase the land that The Hem Loft is on. While making it a publicly accessable location seems ideal, you’ll always get those people who would do it more harm than good. What makes The Hem Loft special is the fact that its so secret, and it’s YOUR secret. Every one dreams of having a place like the this, If you bring it to the public, you’ll loose the magic of it all and the personal meaning it has for you. SAVE THE HEM LOFT, MAKE IT YOURS PERMANENTLY!!!!!! VIVA LA’ HEMLOFT!!!!!!

  • Pete j says:

    What a superb sanctuary and what craftsmanship ! Do ALL of the above and more to keep it ! I would willingly sign a partition ! Hope it turns out well for you …. Pete

  • brian shorey says:

    hi, nice, nice, nice. i say, “do nothing”. allow whatever is going to be to be. enjoy what time you have there in the meantime. with your talent and perseverance you’ll likely have another magic project in the future. if you lose this one it may open the door to the next one. clinging to this one may block an even better project.

  • Liam says:

    I’ve always been a fan of the little “secret hiding place”, especially treehouses, and I’d be so saddened if this one was to go away. My suggestion is to try, as best you can, to explain your predicament, buy the land the HemLoft is on, and then keep it. I’d also try and raise money to buy the land by either showing people around the site, letting people sleep at the site, or just making a kickstarter. I’m sure a lot of us online would love to save the HemLoft. Good luck. ^^

  • Tony says:

    Try to make it yours your going to have legal hoops to keep it. So go all the way! I’m sure you could ask for donations on this site. (I’ll give.) I second making it a camp site I’m sure you hid it way out of the way so only the true adventure seekers will use and respect it. Any how its a great thing and when I get a chance to go to Whister I want to see it. Good luck Sir.

  • Barry says:

    As far as I am concerned they should just leave you alone, it’s a beautiful Tree house, and it is not causing any problems as far as I am concerned

  • belinko says:

    Sell, relocate and recreate the HemLoft at one of the local “mega-homes”. I’m sure that they could justify the purchase for this piece of unique carpentry and art. With the publicity that the HemLoft has received, I don’t think it should be a problem to sell. This way it could be saved and re-purposed.

  • AConfusedDonut says:

    You should put a Zipline leading from the Hem Loft to the bottom of the hill its located on! Or… maybe add another pod to a nearby tree that connects to the Hem Loft via some sort of bridge! I love the design and I hope you have a great time building new stuff!

  • David Biron says:

    We are here to create – that is our sacred mission in life. It is important that this creative endeavour be kept alive to inspire others. I was wondering if you could LEASE the land from the Crown for say, 50 or 100 years?
    Try your best to conserve this little hideaway but give thanks and keep an open mind to new adventures if it has to come down.
    We wish you the very best of luck!

  • Everett Moore says:

    4 options for what we think you should do with the loft…is NOT enough. Personally, I think you should just keep things as it is.

  • Truk says:

    I think what you did was an awesome endeavour and it has left such a minimal impact on the forest. I would see if you could purchase the footprint or at least a crown lease of the area with an foot easement from the nearest public road.
    If you get the right person working with you; it might work out for you. I love the space!

  • Mark says:

    You can see from the comments that your idea is very polarizing. My advice – suspend this website, shop your story to a publishing house and try to get a book deal that could fund your land purchase while also garnering more exposure.

  • Jools Thatcher says:

    The land you are occupying is not for you alone to enjoy but for future generations and the plants and the animals. Judging by the video you have already created damage to the landscape. What about your waste? Do you hike it out too? I bet not. Do the right thing and remove your structure to where it will do no damage. If you get away with it then how many other people will follow – because they feel entitled to hold what is not theirs too?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your comment. The fact that it has to be a secret is due in part to the reality that it violates the spirit of crown land. If it’s worth keeping, take it apart and move it someplace that you own. Some of the comments speak of people destroying what doesn’t belong to them. Are you in fact not destroying what doesn’t belong to you.

  • Matt says:

    If no one else knows the location of it, I continue to keep it a secret and keep it hidden. I also like Mark’s idea and try and make a book out of it- bring in some revenue. Obviously if the park service knew of your location they would make you take it down, think of the precedent it would set if they knowingly let you stay. Every bum with a tarp and a few boards would start to squat out in those woods.

    It would be cool if you could buy the land, but I highly doubt that its possible.

    I loved the video and photographs.

  • Moi says:

    Great idea from Mark…….shop your idea for a book deal……..OR a better one……..I am going to help you. just wait and see LOL 🙂

  • Viola says:

    There should be no reason for such a creation to be taken down.

  • CW says:

    With all the positive publicity this has received would petitioning the Crown to allow it to remain and be protected without the location having to be divulged? Perhaps making that a public petition in addition to whatever legal one you have to create would be a valuable addition. Maybe via one of the websites such as, or It’s such a beautiful creation it deserves to be preserved.

  • Tux says:

    Do nothing if all you want to do is live there. This might blow over with no-one ever finding your place.

  • triantus says:

    dude! you’ve built my dream house. outstanding work. as to what to do now, here’s what i’d do: get a lawyer’s advice first and explore all legal avenues. BUT whatever you do, for the love of god: NO TOURISTS PLEASE. 😉

    and ignore jool thatcher’s comment. what damage? the structure perfectly blends with the environment, no pollution, etc…. and every bum with a tarp who wants to live in the woods will obviously do so, regardless of whether or not someone else already built a tree house. what a lame argument. the land is open and belongs to the people.

    and for all the naysayers out there: if it ever so happens that there should be a mass exodus to the forest, well, just like we have enforceable construction regulations, we can also devise new rules that allow people to live in the forest as long as they respect a simple set of principles such as ‘don’t do anything that spoils or otherwise damages the environment.’ it’s not complicated. problem solved.

  • Superman says:

    cover it up and make it unfindable like Batmans Batcave – Superman

  • emi says:

    Get all the tree huggers to help you hug it so nobody touches your awesome house 😀

  • Mark says:

    If it’s on crown land it may be difficult to buy, but im not sure. I know some parks have yurts, small cabins, available to rent to park patrons. I think any form of preservation for the HemLoft will present its hurdles but keep it up! This thing looks crazy cool!

  • Ryan says:

    You deserve the Hemloft fight to keep it.

  • Nancy says:

    You created something that is beautiful and awesome but you built it on a land that isn’t yours so you are in the wrong and it should be taken down and put somewhere else! I suggest you build and sell them, you are probably going to make a lot of money doing so and if you do that you could buy yourself a land or an island and you could do what you want there. If I had money I would buy one from you (it would be awesome on an island!).

  • Lino says:

    I love it!
    Consider that it’s not build on crowns land. It’s only touching it (bridge). Ask Canadian Aero Space Agency for aircraft license 🙂

    Really, could this be the way to solve the situation? Who is in charge if you put it this way?

  • Maria Hill says:

    I would suggest making a deal where you live in the house as long as you want and then the park gets the house after you are through living in it.

    Good luck.

  • I love the idea and what you did! Now I want my own treehouse like that… Technically you could argue your case that crown land belongs to all Canadians, so it is yours as much as the next citizen in this country.

  • Phoebe Addison says:

    HemLoft came from the heart & is why Heidi became part of it & came into your life. You have the satisfaction & documented memories of HemLoft. In order to continue on the same journey & from the same place, “heart”, you have to let things play out as they will. That being said, presenting it to the Crown as a monument to “natural” living e.g., eco-friendly alternative building, minimal footprint, architectural ingenuity, an example of internal strength, vision & determination, etc. & suggesting a park/eco trail area around it, especially in the location it is would have a permanent preservation of your dream, intent & efforts for the world to share in. What could possibly be better than that!!

    • SBE says:

      I thoroughly agree with this. Furthermore I would say there is some mileage in saying that it clearly isn’t a “permanent” structure, I know that this will work in some countries. Also who has the right to say that this is un-ecological – it’s probably one of the most ecological places I am aware of. Well done, and don’t give up, to move it somewhere else would be a crime after the length of time it took Joel to find the right tree. As for those who are saying “what happens when the tree grows”. With somebody as persistent as Joel I would have thought he would have done some research on that. AGAIN – DON’T GIVE UP!

  • JFR says:

    Putting something up and asking for forgiveness to keep it is not the way to do things. I suggest taking it down before others put up tarpaper shacks it the belief that theirs is a nice as yours.

  • Lin says:

    First, let me echo what everyone else has said: the Hemloft is beautiful and magical! It is a work of art of which you should feel justifiably proud.
    But second: apparently I’m the only one viewing this who has vertigo. My first thought on seeing it was “beautiful” and my second thought was “I’d never get to see the inside because of those beautiful wooden “stepping stones” WITH NO HANDRAIL that gives access to it.
    When I saw the “What now” section, I knew that it would only take one person with vertigo or otherwise “impaired” to fall off the little bridge and break their neck to put an end to the Hemloft. And as beautiful and magical as it is, that is probably the first thing any sort of “official” would think of also, and IF they didn’t make you tear it down, they would make you put all kinds of ugly safety railings around it to make it “safe”. Sad but true. So keep it’s location a secret while sharing it’s magic as much as possible. And this may mean nothing more than photographs for us to enjoy.

  • Gerry says:

    The skeptic in me says you went public to make a name for yourself..

    The kid in me loves it.

    The romantic in me loves it even more…

    Keep it secret….

  • morgan ramsey says:

    personally i’d start a business by designing full sized homes and camps using the same idea as the hem loft. i can imagine an entire neighborhood full of hem loft homes. you could even build several small hemlofts and connect them via covered and enclosed walk ways, simular to a rope bridge, to create a house or camp from it. you could also incorporate solar panels and wind tunnels to supply the hem loft homes with a renew able energy source. these things could be the economic and environmentally friendly homes of the future!!! there is serious money to be made from this if you go about this the right way. i sure as hell would want one!!! in regards to what to do with the the original hem loft itself. buy the land it’s on with the profit you make from the new business idea i gave you!!!!

  • Sumi says:

    The authorities, if they deal with you, will most likely take an “ex ante” approach. Your supporters are virtually all “ex post”. Look up the differences in these two approaches to legal decision-making and you will get an idea of what’s likely to happen.

  • Sumi says:

    The authorities, if they deal with you, will most likely take an “ex ante” approach. Your supporters pretty well all take an “ex post” approach. Look up the differences to these two approaches to legal decision-making and you will get a better idea of what’s likely to happen.

  • Hi Joel,

    Loved your story. Love your dream. Can’t fathom your apparent lack of thought for what’s next.

    As a creative type (freelance photographer) I’ve discovered the best way to get things done, especially illicit but creative projects, is to find someone who is enthusiastic about it to become a project angel. There are plenty of business owners, entrepreneurs, internet startup kings, etc out there with the money and connections to make this story end however you want it to.

    Peons like you or I would have a hard time making the government listen to us, so excite someone who can help. With a copy of the Dwell article in hand you should not have trouble. In fact, last week I photographed someone who might want to help you. Email me if you want me to ask on your behalf.

  • Forgot to include my website:

    No need to publish this second comment.

    The other option of course, is to become a famous architect and then the government will want to spend money to preserve and maintain your art. Think Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • It’s been up for three years and so far nobody’s found it and asked you to take it down? Leave it there. Keep using it. Let others stumble across this magical project and enjoy it. Soon the media heat you’re feeling will die down and people will forget about it. Just because you’ve attached your name to it publicly doesn’t mean anyone has the legal authority to ask you to tell them where it is. And nobody’s looking (by “nobody” I mean “the man” has better things to do). If someone from the province ever does find it and goes to the extreme of taking it down, from what I understand you could be sent a bill for whatever costs they incur to remove it.

    BUT if it’s on crown land (and there aren’t some weird bylaws because Whistler is a Resort Municipality and it’s in city bounds) you should technically/legally be able to keep it up as an “emergency shelter” as one other commenter already pointed out. You have to leave it unlocked and you might want to make a sign that states that somewhere, or just a sign that explains what it is and that, when people DO stumble across it, they feel welcome to hang out for the night or the afternoon.

  • Matt says:

    Move it to my land in Oregon. You can leave it there forever. Stay as long as you like. For real email me if interested. Cheers.

  • AshleyZ says:

    I don’t love the idea of squatters, but I also think that ordinary Canadians should be able to enjoy the land before Harper sells it to his rich friends.

    If you build on land you don’t own, maybe you should treat it like an ice sculpture: create something that you know you’re going to lose eventually.

  • David says:

    While doing nothing may seem like a workable solution, the problem is the government probably won’t, particularly as you have now have an international profile. They’ll now be looking for the Hemloft. Most jurisdictions now use 30cm satellite imagery to identify and track activity, so it probably won’t take long. They certainly wouldn’t want people body running out in to the forest and building lofts in the trees. What would happen without the bureaucracy?

    Two possibilities are lease the land, as most provincial are not inclined to sell crown land these days, or by the logging rights, then not log the location.

  • The internet says:

    You need to Open Source the Hemloft’s design and publish it. That way, even if the worst happens and the original cannot be saved, more will be built, likely in equally beautiful and secluded locales, and the design could well be adapted to a form of sustainable housing.

  • Juan Abásolo says:

    ¿ Los habitantes originarios de Canada tuvieron que buscar permisos de un “gobierno”?
    ¿ Los primeros invasores de Canada (ingleses y franceses) tuvieron que buscar permisos de un “gobierno”?
    ¿ Las tierras públicas no son de todos?
    Pensar en nuestros orígenes y trabajar en función de ellos y del futuro nos hace ser mejores que cualquier gobierno.
    Hermosa casa por cierto… No permitas que te la arrebaten.

  • xiaomixiaoze says:

    try let your house like a art sculpture, let them believe it’s your art, should save it.

    good luck man:-)

  • […] This beautiful egg-shaped tree house named The HemLoft, it’s built by former Canadian software developer and current carpenter Joel Allen. Coz The HemLoft built on crown land, so maybe it will be taken, if you like his idea or wanna help him, click here>> […]

  • Jeff H. says:

    I think it should be taken down. Its a beautiful cabin and you seem to be doing it very low impact and I have no problem with you living your lifestyle. However, I think this will encourage more people to live “off the grid” in our pristine forests. I don’t know that many could or would live your style of lifestyle while leaving the area as untouched as you have. Part of the mystique of our forests is the fact that they are uninhabited by humans. They are a place we have not domesticated, and they should stay that way.

  • Jen Klauzenberg says:

    I think its beautiful and I support you completely!! Start a fundraiser, Use the funding to cover the cost of the land. You are strong, inside and out!!

  • Luke Brandon says:

    I agree to keep your beautiful creation a secret to be only enjoyed by the adventurous types willing to put the time and effort to discover the Hemloft. A sign on the door welcoming people but also asking to respect the place and to keep it a secret will help to keep the masses from ruining it. Also the owners in the nearby mansions won’t want a steady stream of people parking on their road.

  • Gustavo says:

    I don’t know how much it would cost to purchase the 9 square feet but your design, and story could inspire enough people to donate (I found this link through and they have a great community that could help out). Also, could you possibly rent it out to Canada Parks people during parts of the year for the exchange of leaving it there and be protected?

  • Liza says:

    if you sold the architectural plans to build it, you might earn enough money to buy the land its on. I know a lot of people would love to re-create what you’ve done here. We have some land that we’ve always wanted to build a tree house-living house on, and a space like you’ve designed would be great there. You could earn some money selling your design to people like me.

  • coq10 says:

    Rattling fantastic info can be found on this web site.

  • Nelson says:

    So beautiful and welcoming that I want to visit for a long stay, but I’m comfortable not knowing where it is, simply that exists.

    Keep it secret, keep it safe, and share it only as you have, with photos and videos that really leave no clue.

    When I read about the HemLoft I kind of hoped you’d made it modular, that it could be disassembled and moved to the crook of some other tree. But if it can’t, then keep it hidden and let us read about it for the next 20 years. There is power in the mystery.

  • Sarah says:

    Donate it to the local council to become an info site for hikers with maps, information on local flora/fauna and eco awareness.

  • K says:

    I think you should look into what it would take to have it used as a fire lookout station. I know here in America in our national forests we have fire posts. It’s a very lonely position where one person or a small family will live for several months out of the year and keep watch for forest fires or anything that can damage the land. It sounds like your lifestyle and this place would be well suited to that solution. Maybe even offer the land owners of the people who own the land surrounding it to keep a watch out for any potentially harmful things to their houses and property.

  • Peter says:

    As you’re probably going to lose it eventually due to the way the world work, set up a donation link on your site for people who respect what you have accomplished.

    Given what you have achieved, I’m sure that it must open a few doors for you work wise.

  • David Morrison says:

    Congratulations – a beautiful structure. Try to save it.
    I know nothing about relevant Canadian laws – but you might consider approaching one of your universities and offering to carry out long-term siting/observation of local flora and fauna as a way of obtaining official support for permission to remain. A couple more hemlofts nearby, run by a university for legitimate research purposes, could persuade the Crown authorities to look favourably upon your unauthorised initiative!

  • Karin says:

    You should definitely build more eggs. The design is marvelous, and it’s absolutely something that would fit in modern day holiday sites. And I can imagine rich people would pay to have something like it built as a playhouse for their kids. It’s a beautiful, unique treehouse. If I had the money (and a decent tree in my backyard) I’d want it.

  • Jordan says:

    Buy it. Ask for donations and buy it. I would donate a hundred bucks, no problem. What you have done embodies the spirit of dreaming, construction, and escape. This was an amazing story.

  • Brian says:

    I reckon you should be able to holiday there when you wish to and then the Hemloft could be rented to other respectful folks by some charitable trust .Then the local authority should employ you to build affordable holiday pods using your talents , so that ordinary people could also enjoy that beautiful countryside in comfort . I read all your story well done mate for building your dream . Regards from a Scottish woodcrafter 🙂

  • ANDY says:


  • DolfanBob says:

    Good lawd. Why would you want to go public with it. You have had three years of privacy bliss. You and the animals would never get any peace. People suck so don’t let them ruin this for you.

  • Oren Boder says:

    Technically no-one owns the land. This planet came out of the Cosmos, much like us; just as no-one can truly lay claim to our person, we cannot lay claim to land. We have no right to, yet we do because of Human arrogance. So I say you should keep your loft, and keep living as you have been and ignore all the officials telling you otherwise, because truly, claiming land in the manner that Humans do is utterly ridiculous. It’s your house, built on land that was here long before Humans were, no-one has the right to tell you to take it down.

    Good luck to you.

  • Debbie bartlett says:

    I would love to see more of these built so families that have autistic children could go for a stress free vacation. Autistic children love the calmness and piece fulness. It would be a bit of heaven on earth for these very special children.

  • Melanie Blades says:

    I loooove what you’ve done! I feel you should find out if you can buy the little piece of land your treehouse is on, and if not, if you can lease it (a very,very long lease)..Once you find out what the price is (I am sure you can work something out, I have faith!), offer to be a permanent Resident Caretaker/Guardian for the immediate area where the treehouse is located, do this as a service for the forestry commission (you’re obviously love nature, and should be on the payroll for anything that involves the environment, maybe they need to know what plants, animals, etc. is there, right?) then let us all know if you have any money constraints regarding the purchase or lease of the land where the treehouse is so we can contribute to the funds you need, and then…Update your entries so we can all follow the latest ‘happening’ with Hemlock Treehouse and you! Good luck all the way from Hawaii, from a kindred spirit who deeply appreciates and identifies the dream and the will you display…:)

    • Melanie Blades says:

      Sorry, I misspelled the Loft’s name, my keyboard does auto-correct and I didn’t notice it, genuine human error! and I didn’t finish editing what I wrote…Still, find out what ALL your options are, and let us know…Now that HemLoft is known, probably worldwide, you have a lot of goodwill behind you…It is a work of Art, for sure, and a testament of Canadian ‘can do’…However naive, wishful, irresponsible or immature you seem to have been when it came to appraising or weighing what the consequences would be once the HemLoft’s existence became public knowledge, the bottom line is that HemLoft exists…And as the ‘father’ of this magnificent, fairy-tale abode, I hope the government gives you a chance to legalize your ‘trespass’, just this once…To me,(a foreigner)HemLoft symbolizes “CANADA” with majestic resonance…:)

  • L Larson says:

    I think that you should be allowed to keep it – it is beautiful and shows great ingenuity and talent. I suppose that would perhaps cause more people to want to try something similar and then it could get out of hand. However, you have a little bit of heaven there and I wish you well and hope that somehow you can stay there if that is what you want. Maybe you could teach people to make campsites like that on owned land and then the idea might spread to other places and people could enjoy natural holidays in the woods. In the meantime enjoy it, it is truely lovely.

  • Gina says:

    Agreed with the majority – leave it as is and see what develops. This is GREAT publicity for Whistler and the Canadian National Park Service!

    It is stunning! Thanks for sharing it with the world!

  • Anonymous says:

    You should not disclose the location of this amazing piece of work to anyone that you do not personally know! This is an amazing piece of art and YOU worked hard on it for years. This is yours and you did a wonderful job on it. I voted to just buy the land if you can and keep it!

  • Ash.E says:

    First of all, don’t let anyone you don’t know (or trust) visit it. Any form of attraction or tourism will ruin all your hard work, I’m sure most decent people backing your scheme would understand this. You could buy the land round it, although I’d imagine that on Crown Estate this would probably cost a mint. Therefore, try to hang onto it for as long as possible, but peacefully. I’d be amazed if there is anyone out who’d want to take down your masterpiece.

    Good luck, Ash.

    (p.s. Make friends with the local bears, and if anyone comes by giving you aggravation, just call on your hairy neighbours!)

  • Karim says:

    I love it and I think you should be allowed to build more of these in appropriate places. It could be very popular for tourists and I am sure provide a special experience for a lot of people. I know I would happy to spend at least a weekend in one.

  • Ben says:

    I hate to say it, my friend. But, eventually, I believe you will have to take it down. Several other users above have cited the idea that if the crown does sell you the land, they may be setting a legal precedent that would open doors for others to build like you have. The HemLoft is beautiful; genius even. But if it leads to others building in such a beautiful natural wilderness, how is that any different from the homes being built a few yards away? While the design and the idea is original, it just seems to be tainted (slightly) with an air of encroachment on a natural habitat.

    I have to say though, I don’t think you should stop soliciting and publicizing your designs. You could be on to a whole new design of housing for nature enthusiasts, environmentalists, and adventure seekers. Make your designs public. Start your own business. Keep shooting for publicity in regards to your thoughts, ideas, desires, and designs. Who knows? Soon enough you may have enough money to buy a plot of land where you can replicate the HemLoft.

  • sue says:

    It’s beautiful, and should remain, and you should be allowed to remain living there with no hassle from the authorities. However, if they set a precedent and allow the building ( and you ) to remain….whats to stop hundreds of others trying to do the same. I hope you are givrn a special dispensation to remain in your beautiful home.

  • Dave says:

    Why not turn it into a burger, come ice-cream parlor for passer byes and gain a bit of income out of it….

  • Torontorian says:

    Great job,,,it must have been ur dream and passion,,I’m sure government will help uuuu with it. 🙂

  • Matt says:

    Not sure what the real estate laws are but in some places if you maintain the land for a certain period of time you could argue that it is yours since you put time, effort, and possibly money into it. Same with putting a fence on someone’s property, if no one says anything and a certain amount of time passes, it could then legally become your land. Depends on where you are and the laws regarding those matters though.

  • Henry Chan says:

    I don’t quite know what is the right thing to advice you, but stick to your wonderful tree house is what I would do. You’ve done a great job,it is totally Canadian and your inspiration is most appreciated. Whistler should promote to tourists with condition to stay one day only with ” Donations are welcome “.

    Kids, families, foreigners, students, creatives are welcome in advance booking. I would also keep your website, and take it to next level. Think positive, thing big,and bigger. $$$$$

  • MoonShadow says:

    Leave it there for the kids of the rich people who buy the nearby properties to find. Disown it, since you don’t legally own the property anyway, and simply donate it as an art project to the property owner. (i.e. the crown) Perhaps make it’s presence known to the ham radio geeks nearby, as a “broadcasting from the hemloft” game.

  • Hillary says:


  • PacNWJerry says:

    Add another page to this blog and make it a “million dollar pixel page” (google search it) and sell advertising to pay for what you need, be it legal or land.

  • Linda says:

    Love the loft!! I think it really is an awesome creative piece of art work! It blends very well with the natural resource. Whether you turn it into a camp, purchase the land or sell it as an environmental tower/lookout. You have an awesome design that needs to be patented and used for future sales. Don’t lose that!! Its your future!! I would love one on private property to use!!

  • Betsy G says:

    It is clear you did not do this for the money, but I really think you should sell the plans and kits. Creating a business out of this would make it even more fantastic because others could live part of your dream for their own personal reasons. It is really a thing of beauty, and I believe sharing this commercially allows those of us less talented and not as creative to have something we would not otherwise have. Add to that you would be creating jobs as you grow your company. You may eventually lose the Hemloft, but with the proceeds, you could buy your own land (no mortgage) and build it again or something different. Plus, you could retire! Many people dream of hitting the lottery. You do not need this. You have creativity, ingenuity, talent, tenacity, and an idea that many would love to share in. You truly have a marketable product. I hope you would not think of this as selling out. Building a business to provide something that people want and that will fulfill them ways you can’t even imagine is a noble service. Plus, I truly believe that new innovations in living spaces will come from this initial idea. Once the ball gets rolling, all kinds of fabulous ideas will come from it. Good luck!!

  • Drew says:

    I think if anyone gets serious in taking it down, it should be protected as a national treasure of ingenuity and protected.

  • Tina says:

    I would contact Prince Charles, as he is a great proponent of beautiful (green)architecture and it is on Crown land! Maybe he could help.

  • Anonymous says:

    your work is amazing. i will try and cast a spell so that no one takes it down.

  • Roberto says:

    You have done a remarkable thing. You have a lot going for you; look at the appreciation! You may have to sacrifice this little wonder, but fight for it anyway. You will have many opportunities in life. Keep developing your vision and understanding. “Beauty will save the world.”

  • David says:

    unfortunately I thought there might be Adverse Possession claims that you could file but after looking a little bit into it I found: Federal Real Property Act and Federal Real Property Regulation and it states this “Section 14 – No Title by Prescription

    14. No person acquires any federal real property by prescription.


    Section 14 states that adverse possession, or “squatters’ rights,” does not apply to federal real property. This provision is essentially unchanged from the previous legislation.

    This section was first enacted in 1950 to bring federal real property in line with provincial real property in several provinces, where title by prescription had been abolished under provincial land titles legislation. There are also other reasons why the section is beneficial. As a matter of policy, federal real property is to be used for the benefit of the people of Canada. Therefore, one person should not be able to gain an interest in federal real property at the expense of all other Canadians without the Crown’s knowledge and approval. Also, as a practical matter, the nature of much federal real property would make policing of “squatters” both impractical and expensive.

    Title by prescription on federal real property may still be possible if the chain of possession started on or before June 1, 1890 and the prescriptive title was acquired before June 1, 1950. This is because before enacting this section in 1950, a person needed a 60-year period of adverse possession to obtain title by adverse possession against the federal Crown.


    Modification of section 5 of the Public Lands Grants Act, which read:

    ” 5. No right, title or interest in or to public lands is acquired by any person by prescription.””

    So it looks like you cannot keep it long enough to claim title because it is federal land. I would find private land that is as secluded and remove the helmloft and build it there and then look into Canadian land laws to adverse posses it getting title to the land after X amount of time.

    It is a very cool tree house though! Good Luck

  • Ali says:

    If it is american what a shame amazing idea can i visit it if its in london?

  • Liz says:

    Without doubt one of the most visually beautiful things I have ever seen.
    You have added a very special and organic thing to those woods and to take it down would be a travesty. I voted that you should be allowed to buy the piece of land its on so that you can protect the hemloft. What you have created is amazing, but more than that, it highlights all the superfluous stuff we all have in our homes that we don’t need and probably could live without!

    I would love one of these! Well done you! Here’s hoping you get to keep it.

  • Tony says:

    What about donating it to the bird watching society or as a general hideout for studying animals in the wild.

  • kiya1994 says:

    It’d be an amazing geocache hide. Well done on fulfilling a dream.

  • Kath says:

    I think you have a blue print for a leisure industry goldmine here. I am sure people would love to hire a unit like this for a day to watch the wildlife and enjoy the experience. It would provide employment to those that: built them, provided administration services and the guides to take people to them – as well as the pleasure gained by those who participated in the experience. For starting an investment like that – they may let you keep yours rent free.

    One other thing, if you do have to take it down – they cannot take the joy of the experience of doing what you have done away from you or the skills you have learnt. Just enjoy it – every day. Be thankful for the blessing – and thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Neil Adlard says:

    Truly unbelievable concept! And complete inspiring !

    I congratulate you on the idea and the motivation to complete the project? I would like nothing more
    Than the opportunity to sit and have a cold beer with you? And chat about the whole conception !

    Thank you for sharing this with the world, but I wish you had kept it quiet, and just enjoyed the freedom, the clean air
    And the stunning views!

    I wish you all the best Joel.

    Best regards


  • Helper says:

    Try to use the Kickstarter to get enough money to buy the land with the trees. Bad thing is, you have to tell the others where the treehouse obviously is because they need to know which land you want to buy.

  • trish says:

    I’d just leave it as it is & enjoy it while I could.It’s beautiful,totally eco-friendly & not harming anyone.You never know what tomorrow might bring so just live each day as it comes….Great job :))))

  • csut says:

    Contact Prince Charles both through the magazine and personally. Patent the design before anyone else does. Also start a business selling similar tree houses for children. I would have thought Angelina and Brad would love it.

  • Jane Hughes says:

    Write to the Queen and ask her permission to leave the house standing as it is. Years ago (c 1948/9) the Queen’s father gave permission for a woman known as Camberley Kate to collect wood for old age pensioners on crown land (The Barossa) in Camberley UK. This was after the police had tried to stop her collecting wood as it was crown land (Ministry of Defence). How do I know? My father wrote the letter for Kate as she was my mother’s cleaning lady at the time.
    So you never know, your beautiful house might be something the Queen would think worth intervening for. Good luck!
    This link tells you a little about Kate who was a real character

  • Caroline says:

    I think your hemloft is amazing. It, your hard work and inspiringly inventive project should be congratulated, admired and definitely preserved. To pull it down would be desecration. The hemloft is beautiful and compliments the beautiful surroundings. Good luck to you.

  • adie hush says:

    Fantastic, your a role model in these times of sit on your ass and stare at a screen. Plenty of people give up on their dreams and never follow their heart. Off to create something. Good luck.

  • Anna says:

    I think you are very lucky to have lived there at all and would keep it as quiet as possible as it would be so sad if you lost it. My children would think you were the coolest ever, well part from me and their dad of course!!!

  • Cherie says:

    I hope the authorities can see beauty when they see one. Preserve this creation of art. And you should be commissioned to build more beautiful houses on earth! Eco-homes. Good on you. Thank you for giving mankind hope that we can still build beautiful things and not just destroy earth bit by bit.

  • Logan Clark says:

    This is beautiful and it’s not hurting anybody, so why should it be taken down. It’s art work and doesn’t make the place look untidy in any way at all. I definately think it should be kept up. Great work and creativity!!

  • Emma says:

    I’m sure someone has already offered this suggestion (would love to read all your lovely comments but simply don’t have the time) but how about offering your expertise (and maybe some plans) to the local authorities in exchange for the land. That way they can roll out some kind of affordable housing project which you get to work on and you get to keep the loft?
    Good luck with whichever path you and the loft end up going down.



  • Brad Wills says:

    Find a rare bird species, and move it in to the egg. Then wait for rare bird to produce eggs….then have egg and eggs protected by wildlife act….Simples….

  • Linda says:

    Wow, it is fantastic. It would be a terrible shame to take it down, as reading the other comments, many people find this fascinating and eco friendly too. I would say if push comes to shove and you need to off load it, then instead of taking it down, donating it to an eco friendly organisation would be a good idea. I believe that it would be in safe hands then. I think what you did is great.

  • Eveline says:

    Whilst I think the Hemloft a wonderful concept beautifully realised – for which, respect – I can’t think how to safeguard it. If the crown lands allow it to stay, they would have to allow every such house to stay, and I could see similar houses then being legally built throughout the crown forests. Other people WILL build if they see they can make money from it.

    I think you may have to dismantle the Hemloft and rebuild it legally somewhere. There must be forests where regulated building is allowed and where you could raise money to buy land. Your house will still be beautiful :o)

  • Kirsty says:

    This is the cutest thing I have ever seen. No one with a heart could take it down, people want it, let it stay.

  • Rachel says:

    You have built a truly beautiful home. Whether it stays or not, you’ve still added truth, beauty and inspiration to the world. Awesome.

  • David Debuty says:

    Turn it into something like a small church. A place where people can pray. Or maybe even donate it to a chruch by keeping all rights to it and and 60% of ownership. In Greece I know that if you were to do that it would be then protected by law and no one could tear it down.

    Good luck!

    • Brian Johnston says:

      I love the idea of turning it into a prayer retreat. Make it a non-denominational church, where people can get away for the day, be one with nature and one with their Lord.
      By the way this was a great story, I would to read more of it in a book form. I sure hope you and Heidi are still together.

  • Jo Hayhurst says:

    In this world of lots of doom and gloom I think its fantastic that you have done this. Yes, not strictly legal, but for your devotion and hard work as well as initiative and consideration for your surroundings, I think you should be allowed to keep it up and enjoy it! Why not try and get a design patent or something and sell them as a “pack” like huff houses? Perhaps donating a proportion of your sales to the Whistler national park people/the Crown? Good luck whatever the outcome! x

  • Amalio108 says:

    Afternoon Joel

    Share the plans/design/bill of quantities/budget with the rest of us all, who knows, you just might provide enough inspiration to a few to replicate your design around the world´s forests and draw attention to how relatively simple is to integrate housing/accomodation into nature without causing mayor disruption.

    With a few more of those pods you could start an Ewok settlement 😉

    Well done mate, fantastic Idea

    Warm Regards from Spain

  • jen in NL says:

    I love your house! (I’m curious to see where you sleep though – in the top or at the bottom of the egg??) I’m surprised an eco type company hasn’t hired you to design living spaces like this elsewhere. Well done, I say sit tight and see where all of this press takes you. Best wishes to you! XO

  • Hugh Fulljames says:

    Ask the Park’s authority how much you’d have to pay them to keep it. Then raise that money on Kickstarter or something. I’d give you $10 to keep your dream!

  • -blank- says:

    Great house, and wonderful video. Unfortunately this guy is a douche-bag. This is the problem with people today. They feel they’re entitled to whatever they take. Why not get a job building these wonderful houses, save up your money, and buy land like a proper member of society, then fulfill your dream. Don’t just take up residence and intrude on public land. You are basically a homeless person begging for money. Try using your skills to improve your life, and not be lazy and beg.

  • I could easily live in that tree house, and I’m a sixty-six year old Russian Orthodox monk. It could not be more beautiful! It looks like it grew there, and I hope the Canadian government will find a way to allow it to stay in place, AND for you to continue living in it. It could be the government’s way of showing repentance for what they’ve allowed to happen to so much of the old growth forests of British Columbia.
    Abbot Tryphon

  • Vicky says:

    Its a beautiful piece of art-itechture Joel, donate to the Canadian People – let the citizens decide! Wait for some philanthropic dude to offer you a tree on his estate and build Thehemloft#2 for yourself to keep.

  • KT says:

    PATENT your design,then sell the design for loads of money,then BEFORE revealling location,asked the high n mighty if you can buy a small spot of land,if agreed,then show(get it in writing first!). If not,then just keep your secret!:-) Its great,Id love one!!! Good luck

  • Charles Scolt says:

    Write an adventurous / love story making the HemLoft the prime focus and see if you can get some producer to make a film / tv serial on it. Sounds good. ehh !!! All the best.


  • Frank says:

    You have a problem Mr. Allen… you’ve created a fantastic idea and you should totally build more of these bad-boys! Built legally of course ahah. There can be such a demand, especially since this is on Canada’s ‘sunshine coast’, to have a small scale ‘Eco-friendly’ resort made up of numerous ‘HemLofts.’ This kind of ‘tree-house’ is prefect for people who love to experience the wilderness, and just want to get away from the city for a few days. The costs can be minimal, and in someways you would actually be assisting BC’s tourism. Patent this concept and protect it; because people will try to take advantage of this.

    What’s worse, is that you, Mr. Allen, had a wonderful idea and actually came through with it, now you have a duty to yourself and others to protect and improve upon this wonderful concept you worked so hard for. So my advice is; spend that extra bit of cash, and protect this concept. Good Luck with everything. F.H

  • Angela Wranic says:

    I’d love to have one for my farm in Missouri.

  • Chris says:

    Just claim the land. There is nothing more to land ownership than a claim. You don’t really own the land just the claim to the land. The crown says it theirs, so you can say it’s yours; two claims to the same piece of land. If you want to ask permission ask the local Indian band as they have a prior claim.

  • Erin Reed says:


    You made me smile like you used to back in the old days. Happy to hear you are living your dreams, in love and creating spaces that inspire. I do not have any more suggestions then what is found above, however to me it is a piece of art, and beauty, to me and I am sure to all that have come across it. Maybe this is the answer, keep creating these types of secret places- get funding from private investors who love this kind of hidden art, and design more spaces in other spots in canada. Every time you create it you get a feature in the magazine- this creates more buzz and then you are getting contacted from all of the world to come and help create these inspiring places. Don’t stop creating, don’t take it down- do more.

  • Jfry says:

    You have made something unique and magical that you have already enjoyed the best part of: its creation. The one thing that worries you most is that you are now at the mercy of the consequences incurred by taking land that is not yours. Now the question is, how do you deal with these consequences?

    My suggestion, give back. Offer a solution that involved sharing your creation and development with others, such as schools, and take donations you would put back into the forest that you built your loft within. Turn it into a preserve that you would be responsible for maintaining. This way, you would be taking responsibility for your actions and giving back for what you have already taken.

  • You have two options, as I see it:
    1. Keep it on public lands and transform it into something the public can enjoy; this however would be quite difficult
    2. Move it on private land and raise money on Kickstarter. Obviously, it would have to be open to the public under some sort of rules (much like Autoshare, perhaps?) so that people can contribute the money necessary to buy the land.

    Whatever you decide, this is awesome! Even if you take it down, this is inspiring for what one can do with his imagination 🙂

  • Noel Perrier says:

    We have a law in England called squatters rights, after a length of time inhabitating the egg,you have the right to own it outright, if you have a similar law in canada……….. dont tell anyone where it is and keep you’re head down! good luck

  • Tom Adams says:

    Its incredible, the amount of hardwork and passion that went into it! As much as sharing it would be great for the public, its something you did and has significance to you before others.

    Fight To Keep It Up!

  • Wim says:

    Wonderfull !
    you must try everithing to safe it, but keep the location secret !
    greats from Belgium !

  • H says:

    I think you should just go with the flow and see what happens. I think that maybe, the process of making it, the challenge, the craziness, was what was fun about this. I think that deep down you know that you can never keep the hemloft. If you had ever intended to keep it forever, you never would have built it on land you don’t own. you built this cool loft, and I have no doubt that you will go on to do bigger and better things, beyond your wildest dreams (or – judging from your actions so far, beyond anyone else’s wildest dreams! lol). Like a parent who’s child has grown up into an adult, you just have to accept that things change all the time, you still have the memories, and the loft is still an amazing achievement. The achievement is more important than keeping things as they’ve always been. And letting go of the loft (if and when the time comes to) may open the door (and free the time) for more cool(er) projects. Hope this makes sense. Thanks for reading it if you did

  • walter / BELGIUM says:

    You ask the state if you can operate it like a mini little hotel for passing walkers. The walker pays the state or municipality a one night fee .. In Austria and France, this is done with the refuges in the mountains. It is an opportunity for walkers to make a stop there and enjoy the nature. Good luck.

  • Patricio says:

    First off awesome job, I wish I had that talent in building.Have you looked into claiming the land? I have heard there are ways to claim crown land , after all we all think we own or are entitled to own land when we get a mortgage but in reality no one owns land. We have the ‘use’ of land, therefore ‘buying’ land is a manufactured reality created to control us working slaves. The ‘System’ has many creative ways to put us in our place ‘control’ us, the word ‘person’ in blacks law dictionary pertains to a ‘legal fiction’ we therefore become an entity where we can be governed by what the ‘law’ says. It’s unfortunate most cannot live or think outside the box, you my friend have so congrats and I hope you challenge the system in one way or another. I find it amusing that we all become scared of what could be on this blog like they are after us! I’m curious what has any government done to protect BC rivers let’s say, or any resource really. It’s theirs for their taking is it not? they sell the rivers to foreign investors without asking anyone. So i think what you started is much bigger then you think, why not make it a statement if the government is going to sell off our water, our resources then let’s all take over Crown land , it’s not their land anyways!!!


  • Hans says:

    You have to stay there ,the Hemloft is too nice to leave. Good luck !
    I support you from Belgium !

  • Peter says:

    It is very clever, and I like the design. I have seen complete spheres for rent somewhere else in BC. Perhaps as many have said, the Parks would be interested in it as a model, or even as an overnighter cabin for wood walks. Nice work. Must be more ideas in that brain….

  • Dimitris Maleskos says:

    Nice one sir…that hemloft is amazing. Many people will try to force you destroy it but you must not…Trees belong to earth and the people that live on it not on goverments…. Its yousr right don’t let anybody take that away,sorry for my English
    Greetings from Greece

  • Marc Boels says:

    Greatings from belgium, i can say just this, it is a wonderfull hous en maked whit love and passion.So dont let it go down but try to keep it. You are forfilling you dream and let facebook and other social sites work together to forfill you dream and to keep it.
    Love from Belgium Marc and Hilde

  • nlepan says:

    You could turn this into a cheap housing/hotel option for tourists and pitch it to the tourism board. Build many of them, or sell them as kits for people who want to build their own on their own land, you will make millions.

  • Contact these guys and see if they have suggestions, they build tree houses all the time.


  • BJ says:

    Take it down… I love how “self-funded” now means using someone else’s property. Freeloader.

  • mentallykilled says:

    in conjunction with say a local school/college maybe use it to teach about what can actually be done by recycling aswell as what can be accomplished by putting your mind to something. It could be a good motivator for children and may also allow you to keep it there as a “teaching” resource

  • Daphne says:

    Please consider donating the treehouse to a children’s park or children’s school play yard. What a wonderful inspiration to future generations! We are never too old or too young to dream high! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • lucy manning says:

    How about getting the National Park Authority to adopt it and use it as a hide or place of serenity for us all to enjoy? Beautiful design…now you have a prototype….

  • Katy says:

    I haven´t got any idea for a strategy to keep your treehouse. However, somehow, great craftsmanship, artistic beauty and blending in with the forest´s magnificent beauty doesn´t seem to me to constitute a typical “squatter”. To have to take it down would feel like a burocratic crime. What would anyone gain from taking it down. Not very much I´d say. Of course it shouldn´t have been built in the first place but it´s very beautiful and now it´s there, I say leave it. It somehow belongs. It would be my dream to live in such a place. Maybe the people in high places, rather than rigidly sticking to their rule books could consult you on how to make environmentally friendly living spaces. You´ve got some good skills there and a natural feel for the nature around you.

  • Kiyomi says:

    I think you should leave it up, not make it open to the public, but turn it into some kind of couples retreat vacation spot. I know the property isn’t yours but I think that, IF, the queen comes after you, then this could be a financial agreement. You use The Hemloft to make a profit, and then pay her for the land you used to build the amazing tree house on. And afterwards keep using it as a vacation spot for couples or just adventure seeking people who enjoy the wilderness. I’d pay to stay there for a week and just live with nature! There’s tons of ideas for this magnificent natural palace! Think about it

  • Rob says:

    the problem is if someone falls you could loose everything!

  • Mathyus says:

    BUY as much land surrounding it, even if that means getting investors, build more eggs around near it and create a public retreat… I just made $ 4 diagrams with ideas on your egg. YOu got a goldmine sitting in your magical hands. Create it and they will come, build it and they will come. dream the unthinkable you already started that. GO GO GO

  • Matijs says:

    The loft you build is A W E S O M E !!
    I think you should just buy the land but in a secret. Don’t let the people know where it is.
    Keep it yours… I would love to see your loft, but I think everyone on this site wants to… So, make it public and you will never have a moment alone in your loft. Keep it for yourself enjoy the time you can spend in it… And maybe, you can make some more and sell one to me 😉

  • […] on Crown land, I don’t technically own it, and so its fate is uncertain,” wrote Allen on his blog. “To the best of my knowledge, squatting on Whistler Mountain beneath some of Western […]

  • terry curtis says:

    this thing is beautiful, great job. Beautiful location as well. Good luck on what ever you decide to do with it. I hope the Queen does not force you to remove it.

  • josh wallace says:

    Well, i did not read all of the comments, so maybe my idea has already been thought of. I think you should make it into like a ranger outpost/emergency house. I think they have houses in alaska that act as a refuge to lost campers/explorers. They are not really houses, more like little sheds with stoves in them. The HemLoft could be like that! Just a way cooler one. So if explorers or the like should happen to stumble upon the loft, that could stay in it for a few nights, or whatever. Yah. But it should definitely not be taken down!!!! Good Luck!!

  • Joanne says:

    Become a children’s entertainer – this has Fred Penner’s Place written all over it!

  • John says:

    I have a very similar story and perhaps some advise.

    I live in a national park in California, on a few acres of private land in the middle of the park. About 1/2 a mile from my house, I found an abandoned cabin, built in a ramshackle way, which looked perhaps like an old fire lookout.

    I totally remodeled this cabin, thinking that it was on my land.

    Eventually, someone from the government, looking for illegal bike paths, found my cabin, and they demanded I take it down or move it to my private land (which would be *very* difficult). I fought them a bit, explored various options including a survey (it was about 20ft outside of my property line).

    The adviceI I got from the real estate agent, and from another construction company was to stall. There’s no law against being incompetent. If they call you, call them back a few weeks later, at night when they’re not there. Continue “cooperating” but make the process drag on.



    That’s the worst thing that can happen.

    The government workers are underpaid and overworked, and unless you push something in their face, they have other things to do. Don’t be a nasty person, just be “a lot of work” for them.

    Eventually, people change jobs, budgets are cut or moved around, and your project will go into a “something to eventually look into” file.


  • carlinde says:

    Indeed, make it a learning project. No doubt you can tell a lot about the woods that surrounds you, the way you build you tree house, why you build it etc.etc. Make it a project after your building project. A lifestyle to teach. But try to keep it “small” and not turn it into an amusement park.
    Good luck, done the right way all can benefit.

  • Peter says:

    Why Why Why now the hole world now’s it, I’am from the Netherlands. Now the hole world now it and it is in our newspaper and now are some “crazy” people looking for that egg in the woods and now the are destroying the forrest.
    So had to keep it for your sellf….. but now it is to late…. or destroy the egg and post it now PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Isn’t there a Green Team program in BC? I wonder if they could help.

  • Jake says:

    Try to keep it secret, tell only people you trust of the location. Leave a note in it asking anyone who comes upon it to feel free to use it, but be respectful of its secrecy. Once to many people know where it is and use/abuse it, it will lose so much of what makes it special. Perhaps, to you, it lost much of that when you told the world of its existence. Personally, just knowing it is out there somewhere, like a hidden treasure, creates a mystique that is both tantalizing and mystifying. I hope it stays hidden, or you tear it down with out letting anyone ever know.

  • cory says:

    why dont you find out which reserve owns the land and go talk to them about it. usually if you offer them something they will let you do anything like maybe build them one for there kids to play in..

  • Anonymous says:

    sorry if someone already suggested this, but there’s no way I’m reading all those comments…If you guided people to it (after insuring they were cool enough to get in of course) blindfolded and let them spend the weekend there you could raise the doll hairs to buy the nine square feet.

  • Kevin Pezzi says:

    Here is some legal justification for NOT taking it down: since it was built on “crown land,” the crown doesn’t legally own it because everything they have was stolen from the people. If you trace the roots of royal power back far enough, it all comes down to using force (including lethal force) to subjugate people. Go back far enough, and there was no King or Queen in any country, nor was there a legal and ethical election to choose them; they appointed themselves and forced others onto their knees by bashing skulls. I discussed the preposterous justification for monarchies in a blog posting: The bloody roots of royal power (

    If the so-called royals have an ounce of common sense and ethical values, they know they have no legal right to anything they plundered. It would be unwise for them to risk giving you the opportunity in court to make them demonstrate how they came to power: by transferring it from one generation of thugs to the next. The first generation of so-called royalty were unquestionably barbaric thugs without a shred of legitimacy, so what makes the second, third, or 33rd generation any more legitimate? Nothing. So my advice is: stand your ground, literally and figuratively.

    BTW, I must commend you for the superb craftsmanship you demonstrated. I built a couple of microhomes (pictured on and a shed shaped like a lighthouse (, so I know how challenging it is to build the HemLoft. You are very talented! Great job!

  • Daniel from Texas says:

    I think your chances of buying it are slim. You’ll need to buy more than 9 square feet. You will also need to get right of way to walk on the private property to access it. I love the little house. I would have made it a tad larger though. I would rather work than live in 9 square feet but then again, it sounds sooo cool. GOOD LUCK. If they sell it to you, setup something and I will donate to the cause.

  • Donna LV says:

    Wait and do nothing. But if push comes to shove, get it legally protected via a conservation group. Don’t rent it out to tourist; allow conservation groups, bird watchers, etc. access to it. You have made a very nice place and you want others that will treat your loft and it’s surroundings as carefully as you.

  • Brendan says:

    Ask to buy the tree….. whats that 1 square foot?

  • candace says:

    go into bussiness, and build more, people would go nuts to have a cool little place to go to every one in a while, what a great place for campers, raise some mony buy the land and creat a campground. The perfect little get away for campers.

  • Rob says:

    I don’t know if Canada has squatters rights, but that would be worth looking into.

  • Ken says:

    I’m sorry. The question is, ‘do you have any ideas you can offer on how to keep what is not mine?’ Well, no not really. Any particular reason you think you should?

  • Trin says:

    Probably to late to patent the design (if that’s even possible) Maybe strike a deal with the gov’t and allow you to keep the current one in exchange for building more as emergency shelters for hikers/adventurers. Not entirely sure how to protect them from being destroyed. Unless of course they could also be used a camping sites and build even more of them, and like any park, you pay money to stay ($ goes to up keep) and you leave your personal info in the event things do get wrecked by the vistor, your held accountable.

  • Yash says:

    I believe that instead of all these options above or just as a backup, you should get public approval and try to make people to want to buy a HemLoft. You are a genius and you have created an efficient way to live in harmony with nature. You are a carpenter and instead of making regular houses, get people interested in making you build HemLofts. However if you actually need to buy the land, I give a suggestion for a petition or fundraiser. Thanks for considering my comment among the 302 others. Count on my help, if you need it.


  • MissLise says:

    I think you should definitely keep your location secret and make your money back by patenting your design & selling the Hemlock Pods. It would be such a shame to see it trashed. After all this publicity online I’d even be inclined to take it down & move it so no one finds it! Such a wonderful idea living amongst such beauty keep it special & sacred.

  • Camy says:

    I’m seriously blown away by your drive and your art. What you’ve done is fantasic, but sadly, I can’t see you keeping it. Treat it as a learning curve, draw up plans, publish them (open source), and give it to whistler as … a fun geo caching prize or whatever (they could use it as part of their tourist publicity) – provided it’s not torn down it’s a win-win.

    You’re awesome. 🙂

  • Dan says:

    I would turn your treehouse idea into a business, your obviously a great tradesman with addition of creativity and vision.
    I’m sure many privately owned properties around Whistler, BC and even Canada would love to have a cool retreat such as your treehouse.
    All this international attention should fuel a good buisness launch, and being featured in a great outdoor magazine can’t hurt.
    Good Luck, I hope the government goes easy on you!

  • Kerry says:

    I just saw a artical about it on a site there, You obviously took great amount of effort and passion to build this place it would be awful to tear it down. The campsite idea is a great but you could also attract the wrong kind of people. You could buy the land but not all land comes with building permits sadly. I dont know much about the area but is it possible that you and the person who owns the grounds could partner up and open it as some sort of get away? Both could make profit of it and you could slip into your retirement peacefully or branch out and possibly start a buisness of making egg shaped tree houses, The new wigwams. It could be for hikers if its hiking ground im not to fimilair with the area but you could use it to benifit the people walking in the area or living in the area? or even for charities set up a new park within the area for people to come out and relax instead of a camping ground it could be a park where people can come visit and there could be more than just the hut but gardening places and make it a activity of relaxation days out. Im lost for ideas as it is pretty late at night over in this part of the world. I hope it all goes well and your wee egg stays intact! x

  • Ben says:

    I love this Idea! From a Business perspective, I think that you should look into licensing your design and then gift it to the owner. Then look for an investor who would be interested in copying the design (you already have tons of free marketing) and sell communitys like this all over the world. It can be done and I think would be awesome! Everything amazing started with an “impossible” dream.

  • Neil says:

    Firstly I admire the fact you just built it to be ‘cool’ and not any radical movement. I grew up with a mechanic as a father who urged me to tinker and build.

    I’m sorry if this is a repeat but I didn’t have the chance to read hundreds of comments. Sadly, I don’t think you are going to buy land. HOWEVER I do expect they best course of action is to secure a lease on crown land. Forestry companies and developments have been doing this for years and I would believe a ‘special exception’ lease would be your best approach. This would essentially allow you to use the space.

    Without a foundation you have technically not built anything but you are occupying crown property. I would enquire with the zipline companies how they have secured use of crown land 😉 Good luck!

    And to everyone else who thinks he had ulterior motives; sometimes its just fun to build something.

  • Xriz says:

    It looks very nice.

    But you should take it down; code wise it will never be considered “safe”, not that you did a poor job, it looks well built but building codes are strict and it is on public land so if some of the kids that live in the expensive homes close by find it, turn it into their party pad while your gone and hurt them self’s, their parents are going to sue the “state”. Hell, just a fan stopping by to cheer you on, slips and falls off that elevated walk way could end up in a law suit. That is why the government will ultimately want it gone either by you or them.

    Disassemble it and try and make plans you can sell to others that want to build a treehouse like it on their land.

  • Lorraine Harrietha says:

    I would keep a low profile. I know you are excited about your wonderful creation. Knowing the government they would make you take it down or they would take it down in an instant.
    Your own shangrila! The less that people find it, the better.
    I love camping! I have camped for over 40 years and I would love to have my very own Shangrila! I wish you all the best! AND you are a great carpenter!

  • Jessica says:

    I don’t know if this has already been said…but set up a kickstarter campaign to raise money to buy the land. Its awesome and crazy and your story has already spread round the web like crazy. people will donate money to help you keep it up. I’d give ya $20!

  • A.K.S.S. says:

    Since the wonderful little treehouse hideout sits on the Queen’s property, technically it really belongs to Her Majesty. You should present it to Her majesty as a “Surprise Gift” for her Birthday and ask her for merciful forgiveness for trespassing. She might just forgive you for not making a mess of the place, and just maybe let you keep it there and use Her Majestys Treehouse Hideout for holidays. Nice work by the way!! : )

  • David says:

    I think you should take it down, quietly, or at the very most offer donation for use in Parks. However, I think the liability would force government to tear it down, for chance that someone would fall off the steps. Alternatively, a renovation with handles may defile the original intent. Either way, I worry that seeking ownership may create a precedence for company x seeking to also build on crown land. Or worse yet, encouraging joe public to go out and do the same thing. But, you never know what expertise joe public has. You certainly seem to have some skill at carpentry and design, but there are others out there who would make a hack job out of a tree with no remorse. Just saying!

  • Randy Ranson says:

    Try and get a beer making company to sponsor the ‘find the HemLoft site’ by hiding a case in your HemLoft. Not only do they get to spend a weekend in the HemLoft for finding it, they get the case of beer to drink while they’re there. You could hold a contest at the same time that any donation made of $100.00 to aid in the purchase of the crown land property, will receive a small sized plaque with the name of that donor placed on it and the tree that the HemLoft is sitting on, and every donor with a plaque gets an opportunity to come and take a visit and experience the feeling of what it would be like to live in such a unique dwelling.
    I wish you well, I think that with all that Canada has to offer, Canada can afford to lend you one of its trees to call your own.

  • Kyle says:

    You overcame alot of seemingly insurmountable challenges in the building of your little tree egg. As a high-end furniture builder, I understand the satisfaction one receives from performing a difficult task with wood and performing it well. You are a natural and that is rare these days. But…The treehouse does not belong to you. You built it on someone else’s property, dummie:) The only thing to do is give it a funeral. Burn it up and go on to the next project. Do it right this time….

  • Bruce says:

    If it’s true Crown Landm you can lease it for 99years.

  • I think you should write a letter to the Queen. After all, her Grandmother Victoria had her very own Pitchford Hall treehouse. You could call it The Victoria in her honor. You work is not only beautiful, it’s inspiring in the way it defies weight, mass and time. It is one of the most organically lovely things I’ve ever seen made by man. Congratulations!

  • jawnbc says:

    It’s stunning; you’ve done a beautiful job.

    But Crown land is one of the few tools we have for preventing the overdevelopment of our forests–imperfect mechanism that it is. If your treehouse gets to stay, you’ve just incentivised the squatting process for any and all who want some prime alpine real estate.

    I would guess that Cypress Mountain was rather rustic: real estate development is now up to almost halfway up. Heart breaking.

    I hope you can move and preserve it. But I would like to see it go.

  • Kookibear says:

    I think that requesting the zone to become an area where more ingenius tree houses could be constructed. I would ask Dwell magazine to help you and they could run the contest like they do for pre-fab homes… get the BC government and Town of Whistler involved in the marketing and a la peanut butter sandwiches you have a new ploy to draw people to the community and possibly get them to be able to stay on site for cheap. Thereby all of a sudden Whistler isn’t just for the rich! everyone of all classes could enjoy the zone of treehouses.

  • Sixbears says:

    Think back to your original decision to build on Crown land. You must have imagined how you’d feel if the place was discovered while your were building it. Go back to that feeling.

  • Keith T. says:

    Why don’t you just write a personal letter to the owner of the land (The Queen of England) asking permission to stay there. Including a waiver of responsibility for you and any guests releasing her from any personal injury. Explain in detail what your intentions are and she might just let you stay. However, I can’t see her allowing you to rent it out or otherwise generating personal income from it. Good Luck!

  • josh says:

    I do not think you will be able to keep it, if you were able to then everyone would try to do the same thing and it would create havoc. I voted to buy the 9 square foot of land just because it sounded like a good idea 🙂 Good luck on your en-devour

  • Hef says:

    Any chance you could become a local “game warden” of sorts? a steward of that acre of land? part of a research team ? count the animals ? work in exchange for staying there? be part of a search and rescue communications tower?

    • GK says:

      Some of the more sensible ideas i’ve read – as unfortunately I’m sure the authorities that be will not allow you to keep it in situ in its present state (primarily because it’s not your land and also because of the tree issue of hemloft being bolted directly into the tree/building codes etc etc). Nor would they look positively to selling you 9sq ft of surrounding land. It is an inspirational story and i’d love to hear that you have been allowed, in some form or other (maybe with modifications allowing for the tree to grow perhaps), to keep your beautiful creation. I am a desk jockey most of the time who gets to travel a bit on work but i’d have love to have accomplished something like this, if only as an affirmation of my determination and capabilities, and the will of the individual once he/she sets their mind to it! Good luck with it and your future creations!!

  • dirt bag landowner says:

    sorry , did not look through all comments .

    has this been resolved yet ?

  • janet donais says:

    I think your place is most awesome! And with so many homeless people, it could be an
    answer for them. It also could be a great get away place, to get away from it all. You are very good at what you do, nice work. I hope you can buy the land and keep it for yourself. Very creative work, I would love one also. I would like to know if you can sleep in it and is it rain proof? It is so cute..janet


    This treehouse project and website smacks of a really bad planned sensationalist publicity stunt.

    Amateur carpenters do no build with oodles of curves in their design – its far too difficult and complicated, wood is not naturally… curved; if they do build a warez structure on someone else’s land, they never reveal it, esp. not with a slick as shit website; and if you were retiring at 26 and building out in the woods, you’d be poor as shit and not scarfing high quality wood off of craigslist… unless you have your own sawmill, wood is expensive.

    I know all these things, because my dad is an expert carpenter and cabinet maker, and we owned a sawmill. In his entire life time he’s only built 2 curved things… a water wheel, and a curved dentist office front desk. So a mega curved egg is *not* going to be a project for an amateur carpenter to undertake. Possible? Yes? Likely? No. Because all those curves add a huge amount of unnecessary complexity of wetting/bending/warping wood on jigs. A normal carpenter would simplify by using as many straight lines as possible where possible.

    • Amy says:

      I suspect, stongly, that you didn’t take the time to read any of his “story” before commenting. If you had, then I think your opinions would be vastly different.

      People do, in fact, do things that others say can’t be done. Let’s see…there was walking on the moon, diving to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, breaking the sound barrier, doing a heart transplant…shall I go on?

      And any artist will tell you that triangles and circles are the strongest shapes. Haven’t you ever tried to bust an egg by squeezing it in your hand? Almost impossible. Haven’t you seen bridges made with trusses of triangles? Why do you think they do that? Using straight lines is the weakest form of building against natural elements (refer to the shape of a submarine…round…or a roof trusses on a house…triangular). The Howe Truss design was used on bridges for a reason.

      That said…you can find anything on C list…free…in good condition. If you don’t know this as fact, then you haven’t tried to look.

      As for warping and bending the wood, if you had the courtesy to read his diary and story before you commented, you’d have known that’s not how he did this.

      If you are irritated by the fact that he accomplished something that you thought couldn’t be done, then perhaps you need to find a dream of your own and prove others wrong. My philosophy…don’t dare me to do something you think I can’t do…cause I’ll just go out and do it to prove to you that I can. Looks like he did the same thing. Only no one told him he couldn’t…he just did.

      Now…where was I in accomplishing that dream of mine? Oh yeah…

  • Emil says:

    did you consider doing a systemic constellation, in order to see what the underlying dynamics are?

    this will make your/our efforts better informed and therefore potentially more effective

  • Darlyne says:

    Have you considered trying to lease the land surrounding the tree? Might be much more realistic than trying to buy the land.

  • Angel-face says:

    Awesome story! What an awesome architectural structure! Since the government and other landowners will likely not want to keep it there, take it down and rebuild in another tree on land that you, a friend or family own. That way you can still enjoy it! You worked very hard on this project. It’s worthwhile keeping it 🙂

  • janet donais says:

    I think this whole story could be a really good movie…how it was built and all the trails and errors you went through to build it and best of all it is a great love story.

  • Amber says:

    Talk with the Bank and make a resort of it by placing more of these funny houses

  • Allan says:

    Hey dude,

    Beautiful work. Between 2004 and 2005 some friends and I did a similar thing (but far less AMAZING) as high school students. It was also built on crown land. The photos on the blog below don’t show it in it’s finished glory (as no one owned digital cameras then!) but basically a 5×8 meter deck with a hut on top. (excuse the childish teenage ramblings on the posts, we were 16)

    My only recommendation is don’t have a fire up there. We built a safe fire place and had a fire, and the next thing we know someone had reported smoke coming from the bush. The voluntary fire fighters turned up, and the next time we went up they’d smashed it to bits in the name of saftey.

    Anyway, best of luck retaining your pride and joy. It’s glorious.

  • I haven’t seen anyone write the first and simpliest solution, just ask the queen for the land space.

  • Gerard Klaui says:

    I think your current strategy is the best: get the public behind you so you can convince the authorities your Hemloft is a fine example of how people should/could live in the nature. All the best!

  • Anne says:

    Personal i find you did a very good job to make a treehouse the way you did .
    The owner from the land you build it can learn a lot from you .
    It would be a shame if they let it break you off from there property.
    Find as many media as you can , bad media advice the rich people can never use.
    I’ll hope you make it .
    Best regards and a lot off succes .
    The Netherlands .

  • Phil says:

    Even if, worst comes to the worst, you’re forced to knock this down – why don’t you start a business making these fancy treehouses?

    I’d imagine you’d earn quite a bit..!

  • Nina says:

    Make a gift of it to the Queen, and ask her to let it remain as an example of living in harmony with nature.

  • Maarten says:

    Beautifull built. You got ‘free’ publicity off it, people now can see you’re a craftsman.

    But do tear it down please. Nature deserves to be nature again. You new this risk all along and should accept it. Greetings Maarten

  • Ginny says:

    Why not write Her Majesty and ask for permission to use her hemlock tree??? Send her a copy of “Dwell” and a link to this site. She’ll probably be delighted!

  • Ken says:

    I couldn’t stop thinking our your idea last night. I can’t say I’m convinced this hasn’t all been well thought out with a considerable amount of advance planning. But if not, patent your idea.

    Your going to need start up capital if you haven’t already obtained it. Then you could build and market these homes and sell them directly to the end user. An alternative or adjunct business model is to maintain control of the supply, assuming you have the patent. Build them and offer them to people on an eco-resort. You could build in the forest or by a lake or ocean etc. to attract Eco-tourists. Your company owns the land, the homes and generates a revenue stream through renting them out to tourists who would really enjoy having the experience.

    In addition, it serves a higher purpose of bringing people back to nature and elevating their appreciation of it. And people protect what they appreciate.

    The response your are getting to this suggests the customer base is out there. And if all this in fact has already been well thought out and planned for in advance all I can say is, nicely done. You talent as a carpenter are equal to your talent as a businessman.

  • Anya says:

    I really like your treehouse – it is a feat of engineering ingenuity in style and execution. Kudos to you and Heidi. However, since you have a long shot at actually owning it legally (I doubt it that the government will want to set a precedent – build-then-buy-on-government-land is not a good model if they want to keep citizens law-abiding), you might want to donate it officially to Canada for a chance at preservation. Maybe an eco-museum?

    Hope that whatever legal repercussions there are, they won’t be extensive – it was a good move to get publicity for future goodwill. You and Heidi are very talented and resourceful.

    Good luck!

  • Rebecca Page says:

    I think you should really try to buy the land! And if it turns out to be really expensive, set up a Paypal account and people who appreciate the work you did will send you funds to afford it! – Rebecca

  • Mich says:

    All my support from Europe! I really hope this wonderful childhood dream of yours will survive!

  • Russell says:

    Sell the plans on-line, or sell the whole thing as a package.

  • Anthony says:

    I totally agree with the idea of building a bunch of eggs. I would contact some of the different University outposts and research stations. Most of them are in terrible disrepair, and Universities always want as much prestige as they can get. Think cabins for the Grad students and professors.

  • Shakes says:

    Love the story, the egg, Heidi, Mark, Jayne, Free Range Ryan — love it all.
    1) The land does not belong to you. It is very unlikely that government will allow the egg to remain.
    2)The reason your egg and you are featured in a magazine is that this feat is extraordinary. Most people aren’t going to take such extraordinary measures and end up with such special results. Allowing your egg to remain there would be, essentially, opening up Crown land to anyone with a hammer and an idea.
    3) The egg needs to come down and rebuilt somewhere else.
    4) You’re in a quandary, but reading all of this I think you know what you have to do. Your responsibility isn’t to the egg. It’s to the majesty of nature. Having the egg stay in place, ultimately, won’t benefit that forest one bit.

  • whistlerskigal says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so may be duplicating – why not contact the Zip Trek folks? They pioneered the whole zip trek/eco tour adventure in the Whistler wilderness, and know everything about how to safely affix structures to trees. And they may have some ideas on how to move forward.

  • Marulein says:

    I wish you could just live your dream and live in it, keep it and cherish it. Lets hope any of those mega home owners help you keep the result of your craftsmanship. I cant even begin to imagine how stuck up someone must be to own a house like that and then to demand your secluded hide away to be taken down whilst they cannot even see it!

  • Zach Liske says:

    Neat story. What if the house was not a place s much as an idea and a passion that could be relocated? Like an eagle choosing another tree after the storm takes down it’s nest. If that was the case, funds could be raised for purchase of land somewhere fitting and the house could have a new, legally sanctioned life. Perhaps even trade time shares for investment money? There is a long tradition of houses moving, even across the state. You could also reach out to the park service to have them “Find” a suitable location that would serve as a hut or way station for hikers in exchange for relocating the house. Seems the value of the house may not be in it’s secrecy, but the public purpose as an inspiration.
    well done!

  • Sable says:

    Making it publicly accessible, such as donating it to ParksBC would mean the site would fundamentally change. It would have to be made more accessible bringing up a whole new set of concerns (toiletting facilities, drinking water, waste disposal, fire control, emergency accessing, etc.) The idea of procuring tenure like other private organizations do would be the safest way of maintaining the site as it is and of keeping control over it. As for protecting the tree, given the nature of a forest, the loss of the tree would barely be noticeable as the others around it would quickly fill the void but there is also the likelihood that the egg could eventually be crushed as the nearer trees grow. However, the death of the tree would lead to rotting and possibly cause the destabilization of the HemLoft. You would have to look into ways of stabilizing the structure in that case. Other means of securing the structure would have to be investigated if you do go on to construct other HemLofts. I vote for obtaining tenure, which would give you the time you would need to investigate all avenues of preservation and improvement.

  • […] So Joel Allen is asking you, the public, to help him out by sharing your ideas on how to protect it. […]

  • PeteR says:

    Have an architect draw up some plans for it – and sell them.

    You are an impressive moron.

  • Homer Watson says:

    Not sure if this is still an option,but in the 1990s i was told by the govt that we could still homestead in Canada.You stake a claim,stake a homestead and after a few years of living there and improving the land you end up owning it.Since no one knows where file your claim or stake your ground or whatever the legal term is,and try to end up owning it if possible.On a side note i thought Crown land used to be the queens but nowadays is considered owned by the country,not pos on that tho

  • Karen says:

    See if you could get the local tourism board to market it as a tourist attraction. If the local community benefits from your creation I can’t see why they would make you take it down. Either that or build 16 more and rent them out as ‘private getaways’! 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Amazing story and ingenius idea, first and foremost. Although you may not have started on an eco-friendly path, but perhaps exploiting this avenue may help protect your treehouse. The world, espcially Canadians, are very eco-conscious. It may be to your advantage that you did repurpose a lot of your materials, demonstrating that it is entirely possible to create truly beautiful and inspired architecture, using one of the most awe-inspiring landscape in the world. Congratulations to you and I belive you will continue to be fortunate in all of your future endevours. It might also be wise to patent your design, as many, including myself and my fiance, may want to recreate it.

  • Fabrice says:

    First what you did is very beautiful and also of quality and whoever share the same feeling must share some of the same dreams. When I saw it it’s like if I realized it was a dream of mine too. I love nature, the woods, how many kids do and build their own place even if just a seat on a branch! I did when I was a kid. I think you got more than enough ideas from the posts above. You can actually pursue most of them in the same time. It would certainly work as a point of interest, a land mark, if some idiots don’t get on it too much, you could sell the projects and build it for some rich people. Build it for the parks as observation point as someone said. If you keep a low profile, you may survive but what you get ? if you show it as you started to do, you don’t know what is going to happen but you will have certainly more options. I think you know that, otherwise why did you create a website and ask for comments and ideas ? To make it public also sets the legal base ground for defending your own idea. I don’t think someone can now copy your same design, unless he can give proof it existed before you did it, you put it on this website. Houses on the trees they started to build few thousands of years ago, but this model belongs to you now! Good Luck. If I knew where it was I would certainly come to see it (you said only 5 minutes after all, not even that much fun, 1 hour deeper in the woods would be better:-))

  • Jos Marx (netherlands) says:

    Very Well Done.
    Try to keep this loft as it is, and maybe by playing it smart you could come up with a deal with the authorities there to build some more as watchtowers for the forest keepers? if everything else fails you should try not JUST to take it down but disassemble it neatly and build up somewhere else afterwards, but ONLY after you’ve done a rigorous study of the wildlife around you. Gather as much material as you can, reports, pictures, film, whatever. Cherish the project! Good Luck!

  • Kristina says:

    Go to to start a petition to let you stay and/or buy your tree. I love your house, I only wish i could live in one also. Too cool, hope you get to stay!!!

  • erica roemer says:

    This is the realisation of a very core and innovating Dream. … We should protect SUCH dreams As Well As – other – True Nature Dreams, like saving forests!!

    Do a forester course, buy or Rent a (very) small part of the forest, offer what you can offer, without too much disturbance of the atmosphere around “The Hemloft” and ask for support Everywhere (every day something!) with signatures… and support similar core and true dreams yourself, anyhow.

    And what is more: Keep Believing in your splendid Dream / Idea, whether in carried-out form or ‘just’ in your mind!! (“The dream’s dry seeds, if kept with care… stay able to expand elsewhere.” – from a poem of mine. ) So don’t cling too much to the results of all your effort… but just do everything you can. It’s great! It’s perfect!

    Wish you great happiness!!!

  • Harwood Ferguson says:

    First of all, you have indeed created something beautiful here. I do worry about the impact on the tree. Some in thread have suggested it will eventually kill the tree, which would be a shame. Putting that aside for a moment (assuming it might not be true), I think you find yourself in a quandary. It may have been best not to tell anyone where it was, especially since it’s relatively accessible. But since that is already done, I fear your location will be discovered before long, and that someone is going to be unhappy about it. I like the tenure idea very much. I think buying the land may be very difficult if not impossible, but I don’t know much about that to be honest. Donating it is a possibility, but you will lose the access you have to it now–so many people will want to visit or use it, and it accommodates so few. You’ll have to decide if you want to keep it for yourself. If that’s the case, either pray that no one finds it, or re-build deeper in the forest!

    Either way, good luck! Would very much love to see it one day. 🙂

  • dee says:

    Well if you knew it was illegal, why did you do it in the first place, but I am not much into Kings and Queens, the monarchy is old school, why does any person think they have the right to be supported by other people? I do not agree with class warfare. no do I believe in the 99% taking my money. I work and I think everybody else ought to too. I do not feel sorry for you if you are made to tear down because once again, if you know your doing something illegal don’t do it. I do not think you will prevail on the purchase issue but I would give that a try anyway. Basically you are a squatter.

  • erica roemer says:

    … I can see you and The Hemloft are in perfect harmony with nature around you.
    You are a (very) unique human beiing: in his (hers) natural habitat! You may live there OF COURSE as Well as that bear… and I am sure you are having a great spiritual And practical influence on the whole forest.
    Man is part of nature, too…
    … And man has a mission, hasn’t he? … to be the steward of all animals, plants, birds… Your Dream is a very core one… The law should RESPECT your belief…………

    * Have some lawyer figure it out for you. There must be the possibility for Exception, otherwise the State cuts the roots of Growth and Evolution… (so in the end is’s own roots as well).

    * Have some architect help you draw up a (the) plan of The Hemloft (for that it will be in an official way) and go on with / start the procedure of asking for permission retrospectively.

    Do what you feel is Best, because it deserves the Best!

  • William says:

    I think the Queen should knight you and grant the land to you as your own private fiefdom!

  • sasha says:

    Write the Queen, beg her forgiveness, invite her for tea and ask if you could stay.

  • Ben says:

    I don’t know if anyone has posted, but if this is reasonably weatherproof, I might be interested in buying the land from the government and the structure from you. I’d have to see it first and soforth but I’d be happy to compensate you for your work even if the government claims you can’t sell it because you don’t own the land or whatever. If you have any interest feel free to e-mail me.

  • Brady says:

    Your journey with the location and treehouse are complete. Take your pictures and memories and move on with your life. What a wonderful memory/story to have for the rest of your life – don’t risk spoiling it by hanging on. You have given your “art” to the world, let it go now and move on.

  • Jesse says:

    At a time when so many people are going homeless, the economy is unstable and the environment is being bombarded with pollution. It is inspiring to see how you built this house out of shear inherited ingenuity, inspiration from friends and a low to free budget. You could capitalize on this idea as many suggest or you could gift the concept to others much as it was gifted to you. God bless

  • alex says:

    Donate it to the Queen– it is on her land, after all, and it might get you out of trouble! Your creativity and talent are evident in your work, and with being featured in a magazine and all, you can build 100 others (and go into new designs as well) elsewhere. Your job security is your talent and your tenacity. I predict you will be one popular carpenter with loads of requests!

  • Mathieu Gravel says:

    Get a socially-conscious group with money to buy it/the land and make an arrangement with them for you to keep it a few weeks every year. A credit union (VanCity comes to mind) might be interested. It would be a great promotion for them: become a member and get the chance to win a few nights in the HemLoft. I’d join just for that!

  • Stephen says:

    Although you obviously had nothing but the finest of intentions with this project, I think it’s time you dismantled ‘HemLoft’ and returned the site to its natural state. Not only will the tree thank you, but so will the bear and all the other animals that live there.

    On a more positive note, you’ve already got a tremendous amount of satisfaction from this project – this publicity will undoubtedly bring you much more.

    Good luck!

  • Erin says:

    This is a beautiful, beautiful project and I think your work is wonderful. However not allowing buildings on Crown land is how we keep Whistler from being eaten up by mega-homes. Please consider taking it down and rebuilding it on private property, not for the risk to you, but for the risk that the door might be opening for further development in the wilderness.

  • jane storer says:

    One day you will want to take your children into the Hemloft and have the most wonderful time telling them the evolution of your dream. This is something they will never forget and your persistance in the face of adversity will live on in them. What a wonderful legacy. Kids would find this a magical place to have in their backyard, so I suggest numbering all the pieces and dismanteling it for future re-assembly in the garden you will have with Heidi one day.

  • Jason says:

    Wow! You figured out how to solve the homeless problem in B.C. without spending millions of dollars maybe the government should give you a meddle of honer instead of making you tare it down. Think of the possibilities instead of building megastructures and killing our natural resources people might try and live in Harmony with nature.. Great on you I hope you revolutionize the world.

  • reba says:

    Suggest looking into the leasing laws of public lands in BC. There are leases to logging companies (to do massive deforestation), energy companies, tourism companies and more. I am more familiar with public lands legislation in Alberta. There may be a way that you could lease the land, legally, or would be worth taking up to court to amend the legislation to allow low-impact residences, such as this one, to be allowed to lease the land. Beautiful work and good luck! p.s. curious about how this will work in the winter.

  • Beatriz says:

    You’ve made a wonderful thing! I think you should continue showing it to the world in this very sensible and amazing way, so maybe you can melt more hearts, and big people will suport you!
    Good luck 🙂
    kisses form Brazil!

  • Minerva Mullick says:

    OTHER OPTIONS: In the United States of America we have laws which protect “squatters rights”. Read the following information about Adverse Possession in the State of Californiaand check to see if Canada has similar laws. Your project is ingenious!!

    Rationale Behind Adverse Possession.

    It seems inconsistent with owner rights to allow a trespasser to take legal claim to land, but the policy serves many useful services. First, trespassers may not be intentionally squatting on land. A faulty deed or a dishonest seller may have given the occupier the reasonable belief that she is legally occupying or using the parcel of land in dispute.

    To successfully claim adverse possession, a squatter must occupy the land for an extended duration, which means that the land is essentially unused by the original landowner, and thus is being put to productive use, rather than sitting ignored.

    Open and Hostile Possession.

    California adverse possession rules are located in Sections 315-330 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. Adverse possession requires open, notorious and continuous possession of a hostile and exclusive nature. This means that a trespasser must take actual physical possession, openly using and improving the land, for her exclusive benefit. It must be the type of use that would be easily observable by a passer-by or by the legal owner. The use and occupation must be continuous; it cannot be temporary, or occasional, or the time period requirement resets.

    This must continue for 5 years for an adverse possession claim to mature under Section 322. The payment of property taxes on the land will also be required to allow a squatter to make a claim of legal ownership as opposed to a claim of use (easement) of the property against the original landowner.

    If the squatter is in a landlord-tenant relationship, then the adverse possession is 5 years from the last payment of rent, so it will not include the time occupying the property during the lease.

    Defenses Against Adverse Possession.

    The law clearly codifies the belief that a landowner who does not police her properties deserves to lose them, as it is of no benefit to the state to allow land to sit unused. Therefore a landowner needs to make periodic inspections of her land, merely posting signs is insufficient. Another option is to give permission for use of land.

    For example, if an absentee landowner were to give written permission to a adjacent property-owner to plant a garden or allow the neighbor’s cattle to graze on her land, she can defuse any adverse possession claim since she has acknowledged the use and given permission. Offering to rent property to the user is another option to break any attempt at continuous possession.

    Good luck!!

  • Keith says:

    Very Nice Indeed – No doubt you’ve inspired others with your story and beautiful creation. I’m sure for every naysayer, you have a hundred supporters. Build another I say!

  • Dave says:

    Dismantle the thing, buy your own piece of land and pay taxes, and reconstruct it. If you didn’t build it able to dismantle…well I’m sure there are lots of things you’d like to try differently on a second one. I’d suggest picking a different tree then a hemlock, they are messy and prone to disease when injured (could try a pressure ring), but you probably already know this.

  • Roman says:

    Occupy it! It’s awesome and if protestors can occupy the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery for weeks on end, then you can do the same!

  • larissa says:

    Sell the design for treehouse homes and for outdoor emergency shelters along long stretches of land. YOur a web designer I want what you have so do others.

  • Missus Zoe says:

    If the reason for building it was to “do something cool” – mission accomplished! Take it down on your own terms as opposed to being court-ordered with some threats from the powers-that-be. Or leave it as it is and let Parks Canada or whoever do with it how they see fit and let the Hemloft continue it’s own story. You were a part of it’s history – not the other way around and now let it be a part of someone else’s history. You seem to be a free-spirit so detaching yourself from it should be easy although I understand the money, effort and love that was invested. I think your next step is to come up with something else born out of your passion and imagination and learn from your mistakes. I urge you to not sell the design (do you even have a patent?) because it will lose its mystique in mass production and instead inspire others to come up with their own idea. Perhaps now with your fame, take on a project that makes a political statement about low-income housing or about sustainability. Alternatively, combine your IT background and love of coolness and create a website that is a platform to all things cool! Good on you for what you have accomplished thus far!

  • DaveHutch says:

    Joel – if you start thinking this is going to lead you back onto the retirement track, I am going to re-film Kira putting the boots to your retirement plans! She’s a wee bit older and four years wiser (plus she’s in Grade 1 now).

  • Michelle says:

    In addition to purchasing the land around the tree, maybe you could also make a deal with the Canadian park service where it could be rented out and you and the park service would each get a cut of the rental fees. Win-win for everyone.

  • Charles says:

    I believe you should wait; Although be prepared to share a compromise with the people who find it illegal or troublesome. I also think you are a handsome man who can win their approval with whatever you find most appropriate for the Hemloft, stay classy and creative man.

  • keith says:

    Hey there, just saw your Hemloft on Global news. I love it, I want one. Do you have any drawn plans to use to build my own? As for your prediciment, I would to go to a Service BC office or to the Land Management Branch and get the appropriate permits or crown lease. There are some very great ways to legally own this great little get away. Service BC can show you how to do it.

  • aw says:

    Send a well written letter to the queen herself. Include all your thoughts and feelings, along with several pictures detailing the construction and the finished product. Apologize for your trespass and assume all liability. Ask her majesty for permission to continue use of her land. In the U.S. many states have a laws called “squatters rights”. You automatically own a piece of land if you openly use that land for 20 years, with or without the knowledge of the landowner.

  • Maarten says:

    Great story. I was intrigued and I laughed out loud a few times while reading. What now: there’s a few examples of cabin-like structure throughout Canada that are just used for common use and all locals to enjoy (those who know its secret) E.g. there’s a beautifully built dacha on a mountain top in the South-West Kootenays. It’s being maintained by all that visit, leaving practical items for others to use (kitchen utensils, canned food, fold-up chairs). A crosscountry ski organisation is the official superintendent. They might have a legal setup that would make it possible for the HemLoft to remain where it is, being enjoyed by the few people who will actually make the effort of going out there, and love it for what it is. Shoot me an email if you want to know more details or want to get in touch with people running said dacha. Good luck on your endeavors, all of them!

  • S2Speep says:

    Well there are many options for tenures on crown land like special use permits, license of occupation etc. etc… before u take it down, check those options out, I would say the Whistler Muni. might also want some sort of tenure on it if its winthin the muni….no one from gov will take it down as long as its not dangerous, or a fire hazard….the muni might be a different story….

  • efron says:

    Your knowledge is shared. If location is still somehow secure, then live it out for your own good. F**K the moral grand standers. There are ways to protect the tree. When time comes move it. I have designed and built off grid, back country, internationally: stay renegade. Playing a game with anachronisms will be more trouble than it is worth. You have already prevailed, no need to make a good thing better. Peace.

  • kyle says:

    buy the land. Use kickstarter project to fund it.

  • Emma says:

    The queen has enough land and stuff already. She should let you buy it. It is cool.

  • Bruce Fast says:

    I spend a lot of time hiking in wooded areas that not too many people go into. I have found several shelters none as nice as yours but I believe there is a right or should be a right to build shelter and sleep in the forest especially if it is public land. I have improved some shelters and I see it as an extension of the art work I leave in the woods. I have general rules of the sculptures and things I build and leave in the woods. First is I only use the materials I find there and I do not kill any live plants. I think many shelters could be built by volunteers, (they may save someones life some time) or just make a homeless person more comfortable for one night. I think if you build a shelter on public land it is best to consider it public so you need to gift it to the public. I consider the rough shelters I find and sometimes improve on to be a human abode, much like a finding a cave if I were a bear. If unoccupied I or any one would be welcome to use with respect. Personally I hope you find a way to share your shelter if not where it is now maybe in a new location. And I hope many many more are built so more people can spend more time in the forest. If we built enough of these I bet we could reduce homelessness significantly.

  • Andrew says:

    You’ve got to be the same age as I am. I work with software as well. I’ve been thinking of ways to get me out of software and I have thought about carpentry.

    Is the land just crown land, not a park ?
    If it is a “park”, donate it to them and offer to maintain it for free. Perhaps park staff could establish a shedule so people could sign it out, including yourself and friends, and use it.

    If its just considered crown land. Hunters build blinds, which stay up for years, on crown land all the time with no bother from the government.

    You could establish a set of mirrors around the dwelling which would make it disappear like a hudini trick, no one would ever see it 🙂
    You could get the mirrors on Kijiji no prob.

    Approach the well off folks in the nice homes above you, perhaps they would be interested in keeping you in the woods to add character. I dont think the gov would move you if no one objects to you being there.

    Put a big nipple on the top and raise money for breat cancer 🙂 who could say no to that ?

  • Dawna says:

    I’m assuming (and hoping) that you are not destitute and in need of a place to stay. But why shouldn’t crown land – which belongs to all citizens of Canada – be used by those individuals who ARE destitute and in need of a place to stay! I think you should use this opportunity to stand up and say “Hey I have nowhere else to go!” So that people living off the streets in downtown can choose to live off their “government managed” land instead!

  • Suzanne says:

    You could invite the queen for tea! 🙂

  • Kerron says:

    This is an amazing and creative place! I really hope you can figure out something to keep it, and your life in the woods. Too bad the magazine said where you were located.

  • don power says:

    write to the queen and invite her for the weekend,(she is a great lady) she will fall in love with it and give you a pardon with access of right of way.
    Good luck

  • Abdus Khan says:

    Dear Joel,

    My honest opinion is to build more of them in the surrounding area, and find a local developer or real estate investor to help you buy the land, and turn it into an exotic resort. It will generate income for you and for the city in taxes and fees. They will definitly let you keep it then!

    All the best,

    Abdus Khan.

  • Shirley says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. Although I would love to be one of the lucky ones to happen upon such a beautiful structure, I think the only way to keep it the way it is now is to move it to private land. Because unfortunately, not everyone who finds it will give it the respect it deserves and I really can’t see the government allowing it to remain where it is due to liability issues. But I’d leave it there for now until they authorities ask to remove it. I think you built it for the thrill of knowing the right people will find it and be amazed. So enjoy that thrill for a little while longer, you deserve it. I wish you great things because you and Heidi seem to be wonderful people who have the best of intentions.

  • smokey says:

    Wow I love it a nice egg shaped tree house fight for it try to buy the land and if that doesn’t work well insead of them taking it down you can pay rent for the part of land or they can make it a campsite area and rent it out… I would hate to see them destroy it…. I would love a place like that…..

  • andrew says:

    start an underground movement with other passionate and adventurous carpenters, and turn the hemloft into a movement. nationwide. little tree huts in the woods all across our beautiful country, for anybody seeking a few a hours of peace with mother nature. DO IT!!!

  • phil's gal says:

    Pay small sum rent to the people of your country til things are worked out or donate put money to the side savings account charity organizations purposes or also become the royals personal carpenter, landscaper help them out so the people stop rioting about monarchy once in a while, personally I think their cool like how they go to other countries and help people in poverty maybe they’ll have a heart and help you too, Also with this idea you’ll probably become millionare maybe more,even though tree houses exist maybe more people will want to live or have them, maybe you can travel and build more and also become a famous architect and sell your designs all over the world, I wish you luck , lots and lots of luck save the HemLoft…long live the HemLoft… save the HemLoft…Prince william he’s helpful to everyone, nice helpful friends to everyone does charitable work, especially on myspace. His family too!
    Hey should call you Sir JoeAllen of HemLoft you deserve the title , I also vote for Sir Joe Allen Plus vote for save the HemLoft… Again Good Luck and may all you dreams come true you deserve it, There’s a lot of people who don’t want or do not do anything with their life and you want and are doing things and you deserve success and also I hope you help people along the way… Be it with charity work bring other people homeless people put them to work with your venture teach them carpentry wood work,Give back… I hope you strive succeed… i hope for the best and a wonderful outcome for you. Good Luck May Life be good to you and lead you on a wonderful path .
    I also like how you built it out of free stuff you received obtained if people were nice to give away maybe you can give back too it’s a tuff; hard, could be cruel world out there you came a long way from sleeping in your car, please don’t forget about the hard times you had and please I hope you can help and give back to what you’ve learned from your experience, dont ever forget, with your gain, never forget and give back, be it by helping, teaching others of your experience also i hope maybe they can write or you write a book regarding your experiences and also maybe make a movie, I know i would want to see it, how you came out of poverity, living out of your car, making something out of yourself, you could give other people hope and confidence a real life story to strive and make something out of their your self, again Good Luck I hope for the best for you and everyone out there, that they strive succeed for a better life never give up, keep up the good work, your obviously a Great carpenter! I hope you make forbes magezine! I hope for the best for you and everyone, if their good people, I wish them the best ,if they have it hard in life , i wish them the best, good times, bad times, hard times, Everyone deserves a chance in Life and from what I see you have talent in carpentry ; building . Good Luck and Save the HemLoft… whatever the outcome is dont forget about your experiences… keep moving forward expand your horizons… dont give up… Good Luck I can’t say it enough to you, I wish you the best on your endeavers… work hard,play hard dream, dream, dream…

  • andrea says:

    Optimize and sell your project plans, or however try to register your project. The idea is good, it may become a business.

  • lpc 2012 says:

    Plan to build an egg city with guided tours and rental units. Show the plans to the news media, they have a way of making things happen. Good luck

  • lindimity says:

    Not only are you an extremely talented builder, but a great video-storyteller. The shelter is beautiful, the land is beautiful, and the video made we want to give away everything but what I could carry and move to a tiny house in the woods. I think though that the chances of the authorities letting it stand (if found) are very slim. It would be setting a precedent for allowing anyone to build on public land illegally if they just build it pretty enough….and ‘pretty’ is very subjective. I agree that the design is so wonderful, and the craftsmanship so awesome that you could market these very successfully. I hope I see more of your work in the future.

  • Alan says:

    It should never be taken down, or taken away! Turn it into a charity – profit free – and make it available exclusivley for disadvantaged children (young cancer patients, for example) and one of their parents/ gardian to spend a night or two in it. That way it could support itself for a noble cause.

  • Fred Ciraco says:

    You have the plans, sell it as art or find a buyer that will give it a good home and build another one somewhere that you have permission or have rights to the property.

  • Gary Jones says:

    Sell it to the government and then rent it back from them.

  • david says:

    I think this is an amazing idea. One day if I could I would build a city out of tree houses since they are completely eco-friendly. It’s so connected to nature like the way humans should be. Well then good luck to you in your future. I wish you and your house eternal happiness.

  • luke ettles says:

    bro you should buy the land cos if its like 9 spuare feet its like 300 dollars for something that cost over 10000 dollars

  • Simon Evans says:

    You obviously posses an incredible talent, desire and sense of style and creativity, I commend you on a brilliant structure. Unfortunately though the topic is mute, I am no lawyer but I suspect you have no input in the decision as legally it doesn’t belong to you and therefore you have no say in what happens to it, I could be wrong. I do love it though.

  • Isis Van Laarhoven says:

    get the tree and leave XD

  • Spencer says:

    I have no Idea what to do. But I had to say that I instantly fell in love with it and wished it were in my local forest so i could spend as much time there as I desired. After reading the comments i guess i would leave it and hope it falls of the radar. if found i think it should go to a museum or something your work is to amazing to waste.

  • Jeremy Ellis says:

    Hi Joel –
    Your egg-shaped treehouse is beautiful and the story about it – in the YouTube video and on this website – is fascinating. I read the part about how you created it because you “wanted to create something cool”, and you have achieved that with the treehouse, the video, the website, etc.
    Here is my suggestion about what to do: You never owned the treehouse – you knew that when you were building it, and I think the fact that you are publicizing it now is founded on you wanting to not own it. So give it away. And since the Queen (and Royal Family) of England apparently own the land, give it to them – that would be easiest. They are smart and will see the beauty and will not want to tear it down. Offer to maintain it for them, and you will probably be able to visit it whenever and as long as you want. Trust them; they will make good decisions regarding your beautiful creation.
    As for you, I think you need to have a photographer take the “perfect” picture of it that will always hang on your wall. You will look up at that picture and be inspired by the experience of building and publicizing it, as you work on the next cool thing in your life. I think you would rather be “Joel, the guy who started his brilliant design career with the treehouse in Whistler woods”, than “Joel, the guy who built the treehouse in Whistler woods.”
    Good luck. Thank you for adding to the beauty in the world.
    Jeremy in Minnesota

  • Seth Barrett says:

    You could always give it to the Prince William and Kate as a late wedding present. The English are pretty big on manners and destroying a gift would be, well, rude. heck they may even make you the care taker

  • Bob says:

    Throwing money at my screen but nothing happens.

    If needs be to raise money for the land, make a donation option. If this story gets around on facebook or the news you would get some decent amount of money.

  • AJ says:

    Grow up. You don’t own the land. You had no right to build it. What makes you exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else?

  • Kelly says:

    Amazing, Beautiful and Inspiring story. I wish you all the best of luuck in any descion that you make.

  • G says:

    Let Nature Take it’s Course of Action. Faith and Fate

  • Keep dreamin' says:

    You’re young. If this is your first stepping stone, just wait and see where you’ll be in ten years. Great work!

    • YG says:

      I agree with Keep dreamin’… it was a stepping stone to something more. It was a great project, enjoy it for the happiness and joy you achieved in creating it, and use your experience to design more spaces for others who might pay you for a replica tree house on land they own. I read your whole story and you took precautions to prevent it from being discovered. Now that you’ve shared it with the world, don’t worry about exposing its location and the fate of it, as you have achieved a lot already. The journey is the reward!

  • Daisy says:

    Thank you for sharing you lovely home, I wish I had a much larger one for my family! I hope that the powers that be appreciate how much work has been put into your egg, and will let you stay…I wouldn’t recommend everyone doing this on crown land, but I hope more people take a page from your book and find creative and frugal ways to live. You’re clearly very talented; good luck on your fight to stay, I’ll be rooting for you!

  • Ron Golemba says:

    Donate it to the crown with some reserved rights of usage as many people do with heritage buildings. Good luck!

  • Carole says:

    Hi Joe:
    Can’t you petition the Queen for the small plot of land and make it a tourist destination? Or just petition her for you to keep it up as it enhances the woods it is built in? Maybe an online petition with lots of signatures so she can see how much it is loved by the world’s peoples?
    Peace and much success for you!!!
    I am from California and do not know anything about royalty.

  • Steve says:

    Nice idea, but can’t be condoned as others will also feel it’s their right to squat on crown land.
    One concern- candles/cooking, and no sign of any fire repression system since no water. I would only be in favour of it staying in place IF there were some sort of fire response. While some have noted the impact on the tree itself, can you imagine the impact of a careless candle or cooking spill lighting the structure on fire? Wouldn’t take long for the whole area to be up in smoke!

    So find a solution to that and you have my vote for it staying in place!


  • Thomas says:

    We all wish we had a little escape of our own but pretty straight forward, don’t build on land that all of BC has the right to enjoy and is not for individuals to build on.

    Unfortunately not all squatters take as much care to build somethings that attractive hence the rules.

    You are probably not going to win either way unless it has been engineered. If you end up getting the property it would probably have to meet building code, so probably damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Since this is now in the public domain the government won’t want to be liable and doubt you want to be sued if someone falls off the entry way so I would look for a nice piece of property and move your creation and enjoy before the government dimantles it and burns it.

    Good luck moving it.

  • gis says:

    Here is some information every Canadian should know.
    1. There is, according to a 2007 report, 75.9 acres of available land for every person living in Canada;
    2. The Crown owns the land, in other words, although we pay “fee simple” for land it belongs to the Queen — no Canadian really owns the land–no matter what. If the Crown decides they want a piece of land, basically, they can ask you to move at whatever price, if any;
    3. There have been legal battles over squatters’ rights, many.. and there are old legal laws regarding the use;
    So what it boils down to, as far as I am concerned, is that Native Peoples, Canadian born and non-Canadian born people are still wards of the Queen— she has complete title to Canada…no ands, ifs, or buts. Why on earth do we pay for the land we live on, that we are born to, are we mad??? The Native People know this, that is why they still wage legal battles today. Instead of knowing our rights, many of us choose to believe that Canada belongs to us. The U.S. citizens fought a battle to retain their land for themselves, and won. This is not about rocking the boat, this is as it is written–we are all “squatters”, we pay to live on the land as renters basically. Bottom line. The decision is yours, if you want to have a battle, be prepared, you will need advocates and many years of your time. Take a look at this:
    This is only one small site, there are all kinds of sites with legal information and cases.

  • ole says:

    get a prospectors licence and stake the land – should buy you a couple of years….

  • Anna says:

    kudos to you! when i first saw the HemLoft i thought it was some sort of new hotel/retreat in whistler and thought it was amazing – i was ready to book a weekend!! all the best in the future – i’m sure you can sell this bad boy if they make you take it down.

  • Laura says:

    I think you did an amazing job. if you can get to keep it, that would be great. If not, it was great for the 3 years you were building and living in it. At any rate God Be with you. My prayers will be with you. Dallas, Texas, USA

  • Bob says:

    I say, leave it’s location a mystery! My guess is only people that love nature like you do will ever stumble across it and they will respect it. Don’t tell the government anything. If you’ve been building it for 3 years and nobody is the wiser, chances are they’ll never be. The noisey stuff is over! Enjoy it, let trustworthy and nature loving people enjoy it. Bureaucrats won’t know anymore than anyone else how to deal with it and the red tape they will dream up will be a nightmare. Treat it as a gift to whoever happens by it. You knew going in that you were doing something that others might have disapproved of and it did cost you lots in time and money, but you’ve learned soooo much because of it. You’ve found a life partner and a whole new skill set. You’ve done something that most people would never do and good on you! Leave it where it is, visit it once in awhile, and carry on with your next adventure! I’m sure it will be something very interesting. Thank you for sharing!

  • Philippe Major says:

    350 comments huh… wish I had time to read them all.
    In 2003, I did a similar thing in Whistler. I would still be there now, but after only 3 months, the bears came and destroyed everything. The goose bumps I had then, are similar to the ones I got when watching your video…
    I now practice Real Estate (in Ontario), don’t know the rules to keep/buy the land, but if it’s support, petition or public pressure that you need in order to win this battle, just let us know what you need “US” to do, I think most people will support you.
    You never know, maybe in the futur, we’ll all own our own tree somewhere! Wouldn’t that be nice?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Joe,

    Awesome treehouse.

    Well, the Queen of England only thinks she owns the land. But that is only because she (the English “government”) stole it by force. That doesn’t make it hers legally. It makes her a thief which is illegal. The rightful owners are the Native Canadians who the queen stole the land from. So, show some respect for the rightful owners of the land, and ask the native people if you can keep it there. Yes, it will probably be a legal battle, but sometimes, someone has to stand up for truth and justice.

    Good Luck,

  • Sandy says:

    Build more treehouses! Keep those creative juices flowing 🙂

  • Jeff says:

    Request the members who own the land on which your “nest egg” sits to leave the property alone and consider making it part of a larger park?, playground?, eco-site?, or similar. I suspect, over time, interest in this project will subside and the locals will be left with a feature that illustrates man’s ability to fuse with nature. I completely understand that rules are rules, however common sense should allow this structure to exist as it does not seem to be causing any harm.

    On the other hand, a large contractor should be hired to destroy the house, reclaim the land and establish a tar-laden path leading to a monumental shopping district/parking lot, which illustrate man’s ability to dominate everything.

    …then they can hang a picture of The HemLoft inside the newly built home improvement store, with tips on how to build your own dream house…

  • Gaucho says:

    This is awesome. I think you should let people find it and if the authorities want to take it down, let it go. This may be an exaggerated version of the childhood tree house and tree houses are not supposed to last forever anyway. You need to be off building something cooler.

  • del says:

    Although a neat idea and cool structure, a person does not trespass on land owned by someone else without permission, and definitely not deface that property. I know Canada is full of liberal flakes with limited personal rights, but on my land in Texas, you would be shot for trespassing and your structure blown apart by my AR-15.

  • Devon says:

    Let’s get one thing straight. Utilizing crown land without permission and permits is against the law. This guy has just walked in and taken what he wanted and should be treated as a thief. The biggest problem is that the attention that this has gotten could cause others to suddenly just do what they want. Did he check to see if the area was protected or whether he would be affecting local species. No, I don’t think he did. I’m sure he’ll say it’s just a little treehouse. It is really quite nice. However, if it isn’t torn down and he isn’t punished by the law then it will give others the idea that they can just do what they want in untouched ecosystems just because they can with little regard for anything there or our laws

  • charlie_atkins says:

    Maybe you can make a deal with the government as it belongs to them. Rightfully, they should determiine what happens, but maybe they will appreciate your dream? Naaahhh! Either take it down and rebuild it on your own land or leave it for the government to decide and move on (out of jurisdiction). Neat story and wonderful dream. Sounds like Heidi is a keeper. I guess there is nowhere in the world a person can be free anymore. We are all subject to the ruling class (even in Amerika).

  • Sarah says:

    I would love to visit a campsite where you can stay in your own little HemLoft for a few nights! I’m assuming you would build more of them, but if not, do your best to buy the land, if at all possible. This represents a major turning point in your life and a beautiful work of art. It should not be lost.

  • Sheila says:

    Invite the neighbors to take turns spending a free night away form their kids.
    Have some under-privileged youth visit as a field trip. It’s a great lesson in what someone can imagine and then create. It was interesting that you did not mention telling people about it. You may have gotten talked out of it, loosing all your joy.

  • Patty says:

    I am in awe of what you have accomplished! If the land is actually owned by the Queen of England–then–why not appeal to Prince William? or Prince Charles who is known for his organic and architectural preferences——see if you can get them to convince the Queen to allow you to buy the land for $1—IF you must buy it! Perhaps you may be able to have a title of ownership ‘granted’ to you, for the uniqueness, and the environmentally protective way, in which you have accomplished this feat. What you have done may become an ‘example’ of what can be done without destroying the environment.

    Besides, it is my quirky opinion, that once global warming melts all the glaciers–many people might wish they were living in a tree house, instead of underwater!

  • Alejandra H says:

    I tried to read all the comments but there were to many… so if this was already stated then I support it. I would say try to find out if you can rent your spot from the powers that be. It is really to small a spot for so many people to visit/go in. This way you have some control and potential privacy. You could get donations to pay back rent if that is what would make things better. This way you can can still have access and use of your creation the queen or who ever can set some ground rules such as sanitation and waste disposal and people can’t just walk in on you. Just thought I should put it out there. Good luck.

  • Natalie says:

    What a fascinating story & a beautiful creation! So many people have left brilliant suggestions, but I’ll throw in my two cents for good measure. My opinion is that you and Heidi need to think long and hard about what you want for the future and about how HemLoft fits into that future. Is it merely an annecdote on your life’s journey? Is it the beginning of a business plan and a design model for the future? Is it your life’s legacy or is it merely one of many “cool” things you want to do (or build)? Once you know the answers to these types of questions, you can proceed from there.

    Since your initial purpose was only to build something “cool,” you can safely say mission accomplished and take the tree house down to protect the tree and yourself. This is undoubtedly the easiest path and sets you free to start on another great adventure. But perhaps you feel differently now? Maybe you are more connected to both the structure and the land it is on than you were when you started the project? If this is the case and you want the tree house to survive in its present location, you need need to retain legal counsel (specializing in property law) to realistically discuss your options.

    Regardless, your story is inspirational and HemLoft is a beautiful representation of your talents and determination. Thank you for sharing it with the World Wide Web.

  • Anne says:

    The value of what you’ve made is in you, not in it!
    Go do something with what you’ve learned – build more, find a new challenge, find someone who sees your brilliance and wants to partner with you by providing what you lack, be it money or land. You are pure opportunity : )

    good luck

  • can you may be carefully cut the tree in mauve it in one piece? If so mouve it on to your own
    propertie. If not good luck

  • Can you may be carefully cut the tree in mauve it in one piece? If so mouve it on to yoyr own propertie. If not good luck

  • k says:

    hemloft, no hemloft. All same. Plant trees.

  • Hudson says:

    You’re story is just beautiful. Research the land owner and tell him your story and past. If the man is humble, he will allow you to live there.

  • Bernd says:

    I want to remind those who criticize Joel’s lovely effort as being sacrilegious to the virgin forest, that this site is within the Resort Municipality of Whistler, a community that annually encourages tens of thousands to get on jet aircraft and fly halfway around the world to spend a few days in their wildly excessive dwellings with heated driveways. In order to make this resort happen, nature was severely worked over and tens of thousands of trees were removed, as usual. And even at Whistler much of what man has built in the form of roads, buildings, signage, power lines, billboards, machinery, dirt piles, etc. is, as usual, an unfortunate eyesore. In this context the Hemloft, is refreshingly modest, beautiful to look at, and generally doesn’t offend the senses like much of what lies nearby. And while it is on public land, it is, in fact, not in a Provincial or National Park (thank God for those!!).

    Because of its high aesthetic qualities but its “illegal” location, the Hemloft has sparked a lively and healthy debate about whether all squats, should be treated as equal under the law, as numerous commenters have suggested. In another similarly unauthorized realm, that of urban graffiti “art”, I find the vast majority of work defacing and ugly. But some, like the work of the acclaimed artist Banksy, is truly insightful and creative and enriches those who are lucky enough to view it. Similarly, all squats are not created equal. Most that I’ve seen are random collections of miscellaneous junk thrown together with little care or skill and should be removed from sight as quickly as possible. And while appearance is a decidedly subjective matter, it seems the Hemloft, and its story, is being considered by most of the 380,000 who have viewed it on Youtube to be very compelling and enriching. So what to do with it?

    As an architect myself, I have long since learned that bureaucracy can generally not be expected to make value judgments and discern the good from the bad. All they are able to do is follow policies legislated by the elected, who themselves, like all of us, are challenged by the tough decisions that real life is made of. So all they can do is prescribe broad regulations and lump everything into them. In this case, though, I hope they can prove me wrong.

    As well as inspiring us with this fine example of what artistry can be achieved by a dream and a great deal of loving work, the Hemloft is enriching us even further by forcing us to think very hard about when it might be justified for beauty to trump the law.

  • tess says:

    I would create a non-profit organization with a focus on keeping our forests beautiful and clean (or something along those lines) and send out cyber invitations for members.
    The Hem Loft would serve as a “mascot” or a visual home base, kind of like the heart of the organization/forest.
    If you stand for a cause and your numbers increase it’s possible that they may allow you to keep the Hem Loft in it’s current location.
    If it’s self serving then they only have to kick YOU out. If it serves MANY it’s a little harder to get rid of all of you right.
    Good Luck !

  • Aaron says:

    As the treehouse is on crown land, you have squatters rights to keep it until you are dead. You have no ownership, so you cannot sell or give as an inheritance. But, as long as you are alive, and using it, they cannot tear it down.

  • gman says:

    You don’t appear to have any true concept of respect for other people’s (or in this case public/crown) property or rights. If you don’t remove it yourself quickly, I feel that you should be charged, fined, billed for the costs of removal. Jail or community service if you can’t pay. It would appear to me that you were raised to be a self-serving brat without the slightest trace of professionalism. You’re above the law and shouldn’t have to contribute because you’re so special, is that what your daddy told you? I am hoping that you will be made an example of and publicly humiliated, especially in light of your decision to go public in a pathetic attempt to garner up sympathy. I find it to be disturbing (but not surprising) the level of support you appear be getting from many commenters. Grow up.

  • tatiana says:

    I really like it is a beautiful lodge and I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  • Coline says:

    In Britain certain people who live and work in woodland can build habitations but only they can live in them and they can never be sold or inherited.

    One such home won best project of the year on a “gran Designs” TV programme…

  • Marie says:

    it would be so stupid to have it taken down.It melts so nicely with the environment.
    Why not convince the relevant authorities to use it as kind of observatory of nature,faune,birds… and have it become part of the national park.
    Well I really do hope you come to a constructive solution.
    Best of luck and my admiration for having realized what is every child ‘s dream to have a hidden secret shelter in the wood.
    Marie (58y)

  • Jennifer says:

    What you have constructed in fabulous and I think now that you have put your concerns out there, you just may have alot of help behind you. Whatever your decision will be. I love it! It would be a shame to have to take it down. I think your on to something big here. Good Luck to you.

  • wim says:


    keep it secret.
    if that doesn’t work,
    move it.
    if that doesn’t work,
    build another.
    keep it secret.

    great job and inspiring. i want to try the same here in the east.

    thanks dude!

  • gis says:

    F.Y.I…The Queen is still owner…
    These are all great comments. I only wish Canadians could be as free as they want to do as they wish on the land that we live. BUT! It is not ours. The Natives argue to this day that it is theirs and the Queen of England has NEVER relinquished the land known as Canada. Bottom line as I mentioned earlier, we are wards of a land that is not ours to do as we wish. Read the Constitution, although we have government representatives, they answer to the Queen. She still has the kick-backs. This is MOOT. Be prepared for a real fight if you choose to stay.
    “The Queen of Canada’s Royal style and title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”
    “The Constitution sets out the basic principles of democratic government in Canada when it defines the powers of the three branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The executive power in Canada is vested in the Queen.”
    “Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the United Kingdom and of 31 other states and territories, is the legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface.
    Her main holdings are Canada, the 2nd largest country on earth, with 2,467 million acres, …
    Good luck in taking this on!

  • Loske says:

    Congratulations! Beautifull. Natural Free. From Argentina : Loske .- Thanks.

  • Jeff says:

    I think it is quite sad the overwhelmingly positive response to this. If his structure had been ugly, nobody would be interested in this. Dwell wouldn’t have been interested in it and neither would a majority of you well meaning people reading this story. But we look up to people that can do stuff we can’t or are wealthy or attractive and let them get away with things that just are not right. What’s to stop a contractor or a large company from doing the same thing? Should we suggest they get special treatment too? I think most of you could agree that if we let him do it, then we have to let everybody, and we don’t want that. For every guy like Joel there is someone else ready to exploit the situation to their benefit. If someone where able to do something like this and then buy the land after the fact, what happens when, now that they own it, and they don’t want you anywhere near it. Our public land would quickly disappear. It’s not a matter of the art or craftsmanship or creativity, it’s about taking something that is not yours to take.
    Please consider this before giving your approval to this.

    • A Heidi-wannabe says:

      The thing of it is, he didn’t take it. And the angry commenters on these pages also seem to miss that point – it isn’t about him not paying property taxes and mortgage payments when others have to and that being unjust. If you read the whole website, you’ll discover that the plan was never to make it a home. The builders live elsewhere. Another province, now, as I read it. It’s a gift to others, now. For Joel, the journey was the goal. Yes, he could dismantle it now and get paid to rebuild it on someone else’s property (there are a number of offers from buyers & potential clients just on the comments through the website).

      But it is a BC treasure. It’s lovely, and it’s on Crown land. We’re the taxpayers, and now it’s ours. It’s up to us to convince the governments/Crown to leave it on our land (for starters, I suggest a site link to an online petition for preserving the pod. Hopefully the petition will include many BC/Canadian/Crown-Commonwealth citizens wanting it preserved, but possibly also if we get enough signatures from citizens of other countries, to tweak the interest of BC Tourism?

      The Crown will only get really motivated to do something about it, I think, if the local multi-million-dollar-development homeowners learn of it, begin to feel threatened by the notion of vagrants/smoking/fires/whatever, and campaign to have it gone. So another thing we could do is try to be proactive anticipating that, and brainstorm some approaches to that… what might be do-able incentives for them to want it to remain?

      Meanwhile, get some Masters/PhD Forestry or Environmental Engineering students involved in a project of checking out the tree, determining whether as some here insist the tree’s life is in danger, and if so, do a thesis or project on adapting the site to make for a happier tree. And to plant a few new ones.

  • Josh says:

    go to (where people can get money from donations or purchases) and sell tickets for tours of the house in exchange for money to purchase the property. You could also sell big-ticket items like “for a $20,000 donation, I will build a similar house on your property.” You’ll get a job making beautiful structures all over the world.

  • Melissa says:

    Looks neat! Like it.
    I think you should try and buy the land or make it into a campsite.

    Or make it a turist atraction. For people to come and see.
    Or get your papers to make it in to a hotel. and make it in to a bussnes.

    How many rooms are in there or beds?

  • Patty says:

    Go Joel. What an inspiration! Too many people are basically social zombies, its so cool that you have the brilliance to design such a neat structure! Unbelievable imagination and resourcefulness! The ultimate eco earth friendly statement! If only we could all let the imaginative, brilliant parts of us shine through as you have. As far as I’m concerned, this is true artistic expression, its an asset not a liability! This kind of power put to use in society and eco building can improve the world! I am envious! You have paid honor to nature! Too cool!

    • Leonard says:

      Hello Joel, we live in England in a small village about seven miles from the City of Cambridge. We live in a bungalow,(single story house) beside our home we are very lucky to have a field and wooded area with a stream running through it, as one walks through this area it is away from all the noisy trafic. It is so peacful with only the sounds of the birds singing, it is a place where one can unwinde and forget the stresses of life. We can see how wonderful it could be to have this all the time, and to live alongside all the birds, animals insects, plants, srubs and the trees, but unfortunatley it can only be a dream, as many of the people have said in their comments, what if all of us wanted this, there would be no more beautiful woods and forests, we would be destroying the very thisngs we love about them.

  • damta says:

    treehouse guy: see if you can file a mining claim, that would allow you access to the property and,if you do certain amounts of work per year, you retain it. the thingis you do not have to even perform any mining. research it and you’ll seeitis true.

  • Liltus fawkes says:

    Give it to Canada upon your death bed. 🙂

  • Jacqueline says:

    Love this house!!! shouldn’t take it down! Try to buy it if you can! 🙂 support you!

  • Joan says:

    Document its natural cycle or other fate with lots of photos.
    The open lattice is exposed to rain and mist that come down through the hemlock canopy. The lattice may develop moss or other decay fairly rapidly as the top of the egg does not overhang. It will receive the spores that decay wood from the surroundings. Who knows how long it will take to turn green and covered in mushrooms.

  • Steve says:

    Maybe the Government should leave well enough alone.
    With all the people that have damaged lands and buildings you have done the total opposite.
    You have brought a design and a beautiful structure that blends serenely with the lands in fact I think its a beautiful structure.

    It was great to see the video, read the article and would love to try something like that myself
    I as well as probably many others that have been to this site have dreamed of doing something like this but have never acted upon it. You have not only thought but conquered.

    Great article which I have shared with many friends and bookmarked.
    It will be interesting to see the outcome so I hope that you will keep us informed..
    I look forward to reading more

    Thank You for sharing

  • Robin says:

    Start a geo-sleeping website so that other people with hidden gems can join and all of us can find amazing free one night accomodation across Canada. I for one would be motivated to set up a squatters site near my home in exchange for information about other cool over night locations. I have been an avid sport sleeper for a number of years and this would be a great way to take it to the next level.

  • Joop says:

    Is a free state an option?
    Wouldn’t it be great to see four signs on your tree:

    – End of the North American Union
    – End of Canada
    – End of British Columbia
    – Welcome to the Hemloft Free State

  • bennie says:

    Give it to a native tribe and have it protected under treaty rights

  • Andrea Lorig says:

    On second thought, I like the tenure idea as well. Anything that will preserve your beautiful structure but, acknowledge the fact that, being built on Crown Land and being built around the
    Crown’s tree, it belongs to the Crown. Perhaps you should offer it to the Royal Family as a retreat. Of course, they might not be able to find it.

  • […] Joel Allen is getting a lot of attention for his grown-up treehouse nestled in the branches atom Whistler Mountain in B.C. […]

  • Nina says:

    I think you are a genius (: Love your idea! Don’t give up on it (:

  • jason thompson says:

    so I didn’t read all the posts sorry I just don’t have that much time. As a custom carpenter I really love the design and idea of the whole project. a few years ago the new did a piece on wasted building products in alberta and it got to me. To see a work of imagination like your have to be taken down would be heart breaking. I used to live in Squamish and absolutely loved it there, I’m not entirely sure what the laws in B.C. say but you may want to check into having squatters rights to the 9 sq ft of land that the tree sits on.

  • KJH says:

    I absolutely love this!! Not only is it functional, it’s beautiful. This is where innovation starts and you’ve done a great job.
    If the government makes you take it down, I would hope there are lots of people with their own land who would let you build/re-build on their property, just for the novelty of it and because they share your vision. (hint hint to people with acres of unused BC beauty)
    I wish you all the best and hope that all we hear about it is good news. Kudos to your pioneer spirit and sense of aesthetic!

  • morningsdaughter says:

    Isn’t it a little egotistical for you to think that you can get away with breaking the law just because you made something “pretty”? What if instead of wood you used a cardboard box and some cheap paint, but you still called it “art”? What about if I decided to steal paint (from a store or government construction doesn’t matter) to paint a mural to inspire people to love others?

    The truth is, you’ve damaged that tree. You’ve damaged the wilderness around that tree by walking through there. And you’ve taken what isn’t yours (usually called stealing). And you’ve created a fantasy world where you believe your entitled to something just because you want it.

    I’m trying to decided if you sound more like a 2 year old or an egotistical maniac.
    I really don’t mean to come off nasty, but you’re breaking the law. Perhaps instead of trying to decided what you /want/, you should decide what’s /right/. Remove yourself from where you don’t belong and try earning an honest living. (Like really try, it takes more than 3 years…)

  • ARG says:

    Take it down and develop plans so others can build their “hemlofts”. Of course sell the plans so you have an income from them…

    Oh, and find another location less contentious to reassemble your hemloft and enjoy it!

  • Cassidy says:

    I think you should tell them you would like to buy the property that it is on and if they don’t let you then tell them this is really all you have and that you spent alot of time and money on this and need somewhere to stay,that you’d love if they would be nice enough to let you stay!

  • Diane says:

    I think you should sell plans to build an hemloft habitats. Also sell kits. You will then have tons of money and buy up all the property surrounding the egg. Loved your tale. Not only are you a great builder and designer, you really have a wonderful flair for writing!

  • Ignacio Cubillas says:

    I do not like it to be destroyed, you took too much effort! Not really know you can do with the current HemLoft, but it is great to you to share the design, and how to build. I would say that you did under a Creative Commons license, because I support it, but you could also consider selling the design … Imagine Hemlofts many around the world!

  • Jeff says:

    Here’s my thought, the egg house is an amazing design and has captured the attention and desires of a long list of “want to be visitors”, myself included. Take it down and stay clear of trouble. Then, reassemble a new version that is suspended by cables. Ensure that the cable is guarded so as not to cut into the tree’s bark. You could span a cable between two trees and have a second cable dangle the egg between them. In the right location, like the one in your video, you could make dozens of them and charge admission or rental fees!!!! A new era camp ground.

  • A Different Lisa says:

    The treehouse-builders should check out the history of some structures like the Flavelle Hut which is one of many backcountry cabins in BC. It’s a large (for a backcountry hut), multi-person structure but as I recall it too was built, unapproved, self-funded, in the wilderness, as a gift to be used by any people willing to respect it.* As I understand it there was bureaucratic scolding when it first came to light, about it being on unapproved land. But they couldn’t ignore that it’s among the nicest backcountry huts in the province and is now used by many serious backcountry trooper, in summer and winter. The Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC would be a good starting point to find out some of the history and verify that I’ve got all the facts right on that.

    This isn’t the greatest photo of that hut but you get the idea:

    * My recollection is that the Flavelle Hut was funded & built by family and friends of Keith Flavelle, as a memorial, after his death (from an avalanche or mountaineering, I think?) They helicoptered in materials.

  • A Different Lisa says:

    Because this has gone so international – I saw comments from Hawaii, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, England, US, Russia… – & viral, I suspect there will be a response in the media tomorrow or the next day… maybe from BC Forest Service, even though it’s Crown land… a concerned media release reminding all that building structures in the backcountry is illegal, potentially dangerous in terms of people using structures, & their big concern of drawing people to a place they hang out, & forest fire dangers. I think they’ll love the structure, and of-the-record wish it could stay, but will be worried about the precedent if they don’t respond asking that it be removed. Since it’s illegal, I think they’ll remind you that you are subject to $xx- fine. But I don’t think they’ll charge you, I think they’ll just ask for it to be gone by xx-date. Hopefully I’m wrong on all of that.

    But if they do – I’ve read through a bunch of the comments & it’s fascinating how many people respond to it as art, and mentional emotional responses – childlike wonder etc. – they have from seeing it & reading about it.

    And there are some great, controversial, clever, whimsical etc. public responses to it, some really interesting conversations about public space.

    So I think if you are told for precedent-legal reasons to dismantle it, that it should actually become public art. Either a Vancouver Art Gallery / National Gallery installation, complete with the story about its creation, and all the public debate about right to public space, or outdoor public art, with some of the same. So I’ll send this on for pondering to the VAG & City of Vanc’s Public Art Committee, and see what happens.

    Please do update the site with the fate of the structure, the fate of the site, and where your own work leads you.

    There are many offers on here to buy your HelmLoft, or to hire you elsewhere to build them, or to buy the plans – we’d like to follow where this goes!

  • Ananda says:

    Begin a partnership with Crown, and open it to the public as a tourist attraction. It’s beautiful!!

  • Fyreflyre says:

    Beautiful work. The word envy does not encompass what I feel all who have shared in this story are feeling at this marvelous endeavor. I certainly hope that private ownership of the parcel is in your future, you may consider contacting an architectural or engineering society to declare your structure as a point of interest within the forestry, that may gain you some protection even if you are forced to vacate.

    Good luck, greetings from Ohio.

  • nobody says:

    You can’t do NOTHING. The government knows about it right now and they are actively looking for it. Let 60 minutes do an expose on it.

    Maybe you could make more and sell them to the park for use by tourists. Raise some money and give them to homeless people. Lots of possibilities.

  • Sofie says:

    I’m from Belgium you’re story even gets in Europe. Let the Hemloft as it is and see what happens! The right people and idea’s might just turn up .
    Just don’t put it down and enjoy it as long as you can !

    It is truly an inspirational story !

  • Petar says:

    I think you shold buy the land,settle it and make it a legal public summer-winter camp :))

  • Pascal says:

    Sorry, but i am French and it will be easier for me to write you in french, so use google direct translation (like me) 😉
    Tout d’abord, un grand bravo pour l’esthétique et l’ingéniosité dont vous avez fait preuve.
    Je pense effectivement, comme beaucoup d’autres personnes te l’ont dit, qu’il va falloir que tu adaptes ton œuf au besoin de croissance de l’arbre et NE PAS utiliser de clous ou vis ou tout autre moyen de liaison qui pourraient endommager la structure de l’écorce, car au final c’est l’arbre entier qui mourra et ton œuf avec !
    Si j’ai une idée à te suggérer, c’est de rendre cet habitat nomade, car si tu veux continuer à vivre dans des lieux dont tu n’as pas la propriété, il va falloir que tu sois mobile !
    Donc, essaie de réfléchir à un système démontable. D’une part cela t’évitera de devoir t’adapter à la croissance de l’arbre, car indubitablement, l’arbre va grandir, et donc, ton œuf avec, et d’autre part, le fait de vivre trop longtemps dans un même lieu sauvage, perturbe l’écosystème de ce lieu.
    Si tu crées un système adaptable à la croissance de l’arbre et facilement démontable, tu peux aisément pouvoir le commercialiser et/ou le diffuser en open source.
    Nous présentons à travers notre festival ( des innovations comme celle que tu as réalisé. C’est donc avec un grand plaisir que nous pourrions t’aider à diffuser ton procédé et t’aider à rencontrer de multiples acheteurs potentiels.
    Au plaisir de te lire et bon courage. (

    P.S: N’attend pas trop longtemps pour adapter ton œuf au besoin vitaux de l’arbre, car passé un certain délai, l’arbre risque indubitablement de mourir 🙁

  • George Sulea says:

    Hey There,
    Love the treehouse; why not try to make this into a sort of art installation? I mean, if you could get someone to subsidize the project, you could use it as an example of literal outsider art and they’d have to give it a “by”. And, if you could find a sponsor, you could buy MORE of the land, and create a small “art colony” of builders:)

  • Charles West says:

    You should take the HemLoft down and preserve it. GPS tag the location of the tree if you haven’t already. Keep in mind that nature provides more than one perfect tree. While you work on a better anchorage solution, you can also discuss some of your franchise/reproduction options with the authorities and the affluent (probably the same thing). So, focus on donations for storage of the original.

  • Poomsey says:

    Best of luck! We are here to help.

  • Ron Blair says:

    I vote for making it a national monument. Its a treasure to be sure.

  • Tim says:

    First your tree house is beautiful but you built it on land that was not yours and now you want to waiste taxpayers money on the justification of your illegal actions. You sound like a child asking why you can’t keep it. You used your secret to promote yourself and now must realize the cost which should be the removal of the house on your dime,if not further fines. Did you ever think who would maintain this structure or did you plan to just leave it decay in time wrecking the environment. To put it simply it’s like you robbed a bank then went to the national post wanting to become famous.

  • DMH says:

    I think it is wonderful:) I would be concerned about those who might abuse the privilege of using it publicly and that it might be vandalised. I hope you don’t have to take it down!

  • Anna Perry says:

    i’d say buy that little square bit of land, but the selfish part of me wants the option to come camp there one day! that is so cool, and really beautiful. the people above had lots of good ideas, and i hope you’re able to keep it up!

  • Sandi Fentiman says:

    You think with all these green/eco movements, that the government would catch on/help on to this great idea. The house is environmentally safe and could be part of the movement; made part of a camp, educational purposes, etc. Speak to government officials like Al Gore and others; that would be the place to start with the government.

  • Peggy Tramble says:

    Perhaps if you have a Green organization use it as an example of living green, you could get to keep it. You would have to put up with people wishing to see it. Actually I would love to visit your tree house. It looks wonderful.

  • Red says:

    I among many people could totally benefit from the outdoorsy feel. I don’t see why people shouldn’t follow in your footsteps and build some of their own. It’s quite unfortunate that your Hemloft is on ”somone else’s territory”, making it difficult to keep it where it lies now, but, hopefully, people will see the practicality and beauty of the entire project. If I lived in a forest like that, you can bet I’d be planning to build one this very moment, in fact. Too bad I live in the middle of a vast expanse of fields…
    But don’t lose hope. I’m sure the Hemloft will pull through somehow. 🙂

  • hans says:

    Looking great!
    Voted for buying that land, but I fear that house will disintegrate on it´s own in a decade or so.
    You made some basic beginner errors by bolting your structure directly into the growing tree.
    Mr. Garnier(Oregon) has these problems figured out already.

  • hans says:

    Another hopefully helpful link after some more googling:

  • Pogo's friend says:

    Try fund raising at: the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Maybe people will donate enough for you to buy the land!

  • Humza says:

    No one would love to take such an amazingly crafted house down – I’d suggest try to find the owner of the land and see if the owner wants to buy the tree house?

    If not, maybe not buy but just keep it there for the sake of it (: and give you the privileges of checking it out once a while.

    Another option is as you pointed out: to buy the land where the house resides.


    Go to some Law firm and get a consultant – I am sure he can help you out much more better as the whole problem is related with the legal laws and so on.

  • Youri says:

    Convince Discovery Channel to make a tv-show about buildings like this one.

  • Paige Giarmona says:

    I don’t know if this has been said before (I’m not going to read through all the comments!) but maybe talk to the person who owns the land (if it is a sole person) and see if you can work something out!

  • Russell says:

    That is carpentry at it’s most natural beautiful state man, you have inspired me. Just seeing the pictures it screams passion. The fact that you’ve created a treehouse without anyones knowledge and kept it a well kept secret is awesome. I am excited to find it and write in that guest book, it’s a goal of mine, and you made that possible.
    People who tell you to play it safe are insane! Nobody ever had fun filled adventure in life while “playing it safe.” more power to you!

  • Troy says:

    I am from New Zealand and thought I’d let you know how beautiful and elegant I thought Hemloft was, I also think it is something worth saving. Having read a number of the previous posts my ideas were not original at all, they were to gift Hemloft to the crown and enter into discussions with the parks authority about the possibility of making more of them (of course with alterations to allow for the trees growth etc). I didn’t read all of the other posts but also thought that if the crown was interested in more structures like Hemloft perhaps the government could look at the construction to teach or upskill the unemployed, or as a form of community service for young offenders? I would love to know what you decide to do regarding Hemloft and hope that you keep us informed once you have decided.

  • cats meow says:

    this tree house is amazing,,,and only a true carpenter could do such craftsmanship on such a small budget..i would let things lie until you hear otherwise….the only trouble is..if whistler municipal are not making money ..there might be taxes paid etc….to bad you weren’t a native ..they would just claim the tree and get it

  • TheUptaker says:

    What a wonderful idea! I played alot with the thought to build my own home deep into stone. Yes, you would laugh, like dwarfs, in the middle of a mountainous region 😀

    Be an example, contiue such projects people – humanity is not happy in cities, we all know that 🙂

  • Lofty says:

    Hello from New Zealand! I just wanted to say my cousin went to live on crown land here 40 years ago, got married and had two kids all in the middle of the forest. He managed to get consent to live there in return for services as a park ranger. He recently published a book about it: A Life on Gorge River.

    I am wondering if you could find a way to get a 100 year lease from the crown for the small space in return for allowing magazines and other to publish your creation. I am sure many creative professionals and organizations such as architects, designers, carpenters, and artists would find your beautiful tree house inspiring. The other option is to keep it a secret for as long as possible and hope people simply forget about it if they do not find it soon. Whatever you decide to do with it please never give up your dreams of creating cool things. For some of us stories like yours is the reason we get up and keep trudging through our lives. Congratulations on completing it too! It is no small accomplishment to finish a project of this magnitude with such a meager budget to start out with. Whatever you choose to do next, I hope to some day read an article in the future about your creative exploits in carpentry.

  • Rover4x4 says:

    Some ideas:

    1. Sell the project to other people can make.
    2. What about a Hotel in Trees with many others Hemloft? Buy another land.
    3. Sell Hemlofts and export it.

    best regards.
    from Amazon rain Forest

  • Amy Lee says:

    I love the hemloft…and honestly not to sure on what you should do, but I do know this. It’s amazing and if you feel threatened by people taking it down…you should take it down first. Furthermore, design more and sell them…you’d for certain become rich….a real success. Amazing what you did…absolutely amazing and I pray you and the lady stay together. 🙂

  • Greg Brown says:

    I loved your story and adventure. I will be building something cool also.

    I think “Fran” suggested the “Kickstarter” idea. I second this. Looks like your survey is saying buy the land. The public will love your story and back you up with $. What can you lose, you will always have the memories. No one can take that away!

  • peggy says:

    buy the air rights where your tree is then you shouldn’t have to take it down

  • frodo says:

    I think you’ve gotten the benifit from this, good on you.
    Now, take it down, clean up the site as best as is possible, before it’s found.
    This will allow you to get on with your life with the least frustration, I think you’ll find you’ve created a career for yourself as it is. and will likely be offered other magickal spots on which to build.

  • Stacy says:

    Start reffering to it as a Fireloft….become a volunteer fire lookout. My husband and I volunteer fire lookouts here in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. Most of the lookouts have a gate to lock in the evening or in the off season. I bet those million dollar homes would love you to watch for smoke!! You can view the lookouts on the way…they are rebuilding the Needles lookout that tragically burnt down last year…look up Needles..maybe you can contact them and present your ideas. I really enjoyed your story. Come up to our Lookouts sometime.

  • annonamus says:

    i think the hemloft should stay in place

  • Annomounus says:

    I think you should buy the area around the tree. You worked so hard on it and went through so much. Never give in. I wish you ggod luck and hope you can keep the HemLoft up and continue living in it.

  • creighton says:

    I think if you buy the property you should be able to keep because you put alot of effort into it and because you are living in it so they should not be able to kick you out you built it you own does’ent matter who owns it you built it so it is yours

  • WeedMOB says:

    I’ve Build alot of huts and cabins , just don’t tell people about it , its shitty when people find something you put so much work into and they act like its nothing

  • Go to and start a petition to leave your loft alone, or make it a landmark, whichever you think would be most acceptable to the govt.

    Remember to send the petition when the signature rate slows down a lot. It’s easy to get 20000 signatures at Care2. Set your goal at 20,000 to start, you can always increase the goal if you hit it quickly. Be sure to send it to Facebook, Twitter… so you get as much exposure to your petition as possible. I’ll post it on my FB page if you send it to me too.

    Care2 has 18 million member activists fighting for the environment as well as a host of other causes. Their petitions are highly successful in getting govts to see alternatives to more draconian measures they might be more apt to take.

    Good luck, I love your loft house, it’s just lovely!


  • Hilary says:

    Beautiful and ispiring:) Art in the woods for all to appreciate: ) Wish more people would contribute to life in ways like that! Wonder, Magic and Imagination hidden in the forest: )

  • Kate says:

    Perfect your design (especially regarding the fixation to the tree, perhaps in combination with lighter materials. See where they strapped the house around the tree).
    There are plenty of holiday resorts (like Centerparcs in Europe) who might be interested in a design like this. The last years I’ve read more and more stories about unusual hotels/sleeping experiences (like the iglos on and yours definitely is one too.
    Congratulations for living your dream. You sure will have some interesting stories to tell your kids and grandchildren 😉

  • Elliott says:

    As its a national park already can’t it be turned into a wildlife/bird lookout? We have loads of these in Britain, cabins in which you can observe nature. That way the Government may pay YOU to look after it 🙂

    Best of luck and please keep me informed


  • Adderefag says:

    Today is documentation indisposed, isn’t it?

  • Desmond says:

    You should try legalizing it as a tourist attraction if you could! Need to pull strings though! Amazing work by the way! 😀

  • […] the authorities to take the Hemloft down. He has written extensively about his predicament on his website and he has a few options listed on which readers can […]

  • Nicely done Joel! I just did a feature on you and The Hemloft on my blog House Crazy. (see here:
    I haven’t had a chace to read through all the comments yet, so this may have been mentioned… but what about the possibility of leasing the land around the tree (and access to it) from the gov’t?

  • Lawrence says:

    I doubt if the Crown would sell the land. But, they may lease it.

  • TribalTek says:

    Network with some other treehouse technologists or ecovillages [eg.,,, or] one of whom might be willing to assist you in dismantling & relocating your structure to their land … I also concur that the concept of free-hanging so as not to impede tree growth long term is critical.

  • kevin says:

    “Whatever will be, will be!” Follow your initial intuitive decision….you’ve done the work (brilliant, inspiring work) and now I think you should just walk away from it. Let the story evolve past you and hopefully spawn many more. My dad once build a huge dry stone wall from rocks he dug up to clear land for a garden….he toiled and tinkered to make it just right….then the the municipality wanted to expand the road near it, which would involve destroying the wall. It was out of his calloussed hands. And he didn’t lament its passing when the bulldozers arrived. At the time I was dumbfounded he would so easily let go after so much work….but he told me……I did it just to do it! Sound familiar!!
    You are obviously talented and supremely strong willed….and I’m positive that you have created many avenues through this endeavor to reach early retirement (my goal was freedom 35!..Still workin’ on it!! ;))
    So to quote Jack Kerouac…”…it’s the too-huge world vaulting us and its goodbye. But we leaned forward towards the next crazy venture beneath the skies!”
    I hope for your sake and mine and everyone else who’s been smitten and floored by your story that the Hemloft becomes a permanent fixture in Whistler lore and a permanent real life reststop so the dozy dreamer.
    Much respect!!!

  • Anoymous says:

    Hold it down with a claim of right
    serve a notice to your government that you hold the GPS coordinates with a claim of a right

  • Chris says:

    This is such a fantanstic and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it. I hope everything works out!

  • […] Joel’s problem is that he’s built the treehouse on Crown land (in Whistler). For the uninitiated, that’s basically land technically owned by the government, and he’s not allowed to build it there. He’s put together a page to get some opinions on what to do, and it’s available here. […]

  • Salvadori says:

    Too many comments to see if this idea has been floated – make it a World Heritage site!

  • Jessica says:

    This dream is an amalgamation of ingenuity, a lot of wunderlust, a little more determination, a touch of fate! There’s only a few options that can occur if you reveal its location: 1. The land owners reclaim it & do what they’d like with it. 2. The land owners let you buy it. 3. The land owners are so impressed that they let you keep your sanctuary, while keeping out the malevolent. 4. They feel total violated and bar you from their property. 5. The land owners let every one in and they destroy it.

    Ideally, #3 is the most desirable; however, this tree house is more than a spherical morsel of awesomeness fasten to a tree in an ingenious way; it’s a testament to the human spirit!

    Since the fun of keeping such a secret is almost too much to bare, if you choose to reveal it’s location, perhaps you should leave it up to fate.

  • Alexander Lopez says:

    Could it be possible to save it as a piece of valuable arquitecture? Here in Venezuela (and I know there are other countries that do this) a bunch of houses have been saved by declaring them art pieces, worthy of being maintained as such.

    The famous Waterfall House by Andrew Lloyd Weber wouldn’t get a build permit these days, but it’s so important (not to say awesome) no one is allowed to alter it.

  • Mike Wagner says:

    I hope you don’t lose it. Its beautiful! Good luck!

  • Mike Wagner says:

    Beautiful job! I hope you can keep it! Good luck!

  • Sandy says:

    I wish you would build more, in other locations around the world, telling no one until the pictures are published. Never giving specific locations, just general so those of us that like to roam about may be lucky enough to stumble on one someday 🙂

  • barbl says:

    I think that you should market plans for it. Like the people that do the tiny house website they sell just the plans for small houses, that sleep 1 to 2 people and can be mobile or permanent. My guess is a lot of people who might not have access to have you actually build them a egg/pod treehouse would be more than willing to buy plans to build their own. Use the photos and story as a building point to sell the plans and hopefully you can find a way to keep the original.

  • JP says:

    If it is on park land or some other sort of public land (not sure what kind of crown land that spot is) perhaps the government would accept the house as a sculpture and gift and could be preserved as such – a work of art donated to the government or crown or whomever controls it. Perhaps a fund could be established to hep care for it and other future art projects in the parks (maybe other projects would be sanctioned prior to installation).

    Here in San Francisco there have been a number of sculptures and other works installed in the Presidio which is Federal park land in the city. Here is a link to some Goldsworthy works in the park. I think there is a park association or “trust” that commissioned the work.

    Good luck. 🙂
    San Francisco

  • Graeme says:


    Since this is Crown land, I think you should appeal to the Queen for help. Either that or gift it to her ,though you might have to tidy up if she comes by.

  • Jane says:

    Find out what happened to the old squats near Rainbow and in Function Junction. I’ve heard many are still standing. In the 60s Whistler was around 10 percent squatters, some of the squat builders became quite famous (you could check out about this in the museum). I know that one couple went on to become successful local builders after their squat-building stint. You have become part of Whistler’s cultural heritage, a local tradition, there must be established protocols already.. And you’ve done it beautifully, it’d be crazy to wreak something so internationally appealing. Good luck

  • Victoria says:

    I really love what you’ve built, it’s so gorgeous and creative. I don’t know whether it should stay or be moved but either way I hope it continues to exist. Creative projects like this are why I hope to be an architect. I wish you luck in continuing to build cool things. Perhaps legally from now on?

  • This is in Canada right? In the U.S., Federal government lands are immune to adverse possession, but the same might not be true in Canada. I would keep the treehouse up until it’s an issue.

  • Randall says:

    We have a wilderness retreat where we own the land so we can definitely save your creation and perhaps grow a village. Contact me at

  • Chairman Meow says:

    This sounds like a great story, and thats all it is, a great story only. How much of it is true? We shall never know. The fact that you want to retire at such a young age (and your questionable pursuits to achieve this) pretty much gives away your type of character. Yes yes you will always have your supporters aka people who like your treehouse and your ‘story’ and Canadians and people from your clan; but your character and your true intentions as a whole deserves to be scrutinised further….

  • Stefanie says:

    Can’t you start just a petition? We BCers have proven that when we care enough and get lots of support behind something, we are capable of great change.

  • Marcos Tomasini says:

    How about to speak with the owner of the land (probably the government, i guess), and present a project to build more of those (great building, by the way), and create some kind of eco-turism.
    I think that would be great

  • alejandro says:

    I think what you could do is have it registered as a public art work.. and then see if you can get a special permit for you to live there every so often (in order to do “maintenance”, “maintain its artistic integrity” etc…) It might be a little bullshit, but it would probably work

  • alejandro says:

    Also, you could simply sell it to one of the guys in the mega mansions you mentioned are nearby….

  • Swanie says:

    You could take it down and rehome it. I can offer it a place to stay at my farm 😉

    Beautiful thing.

  • Ike says:

    From one illegal tree house builder to another, you are a visionary. I live in the Bay Area here in California. I built my daughters a bi-level clubhouse on stilts in our back yard. It started small, but took on a life of its own and is so big that it requires (required) a permit for construction. Luckily for me, I have terrific neighbors who haven’t ratted me out to city inspectors. Because I did this mostly on weekends, I never started construction before 10am or worked past supper. In fact, several “strangers” knocked on my front door just so they could come over and check it out. Like your treehouse, I worked hard to make it aesthetically pleasing, complete with a living roof so everyone has something pretty to look at. I’ve had several neighbors suggest I submit my clubhouse to a magazine, but given your dilemma, I am reticent

    I found that the simple act of designing and building my clubhouse was one of the most satisfying experiences of my adult life so far. Your treehouse is impressive – your design is congruent with its surrounding, simple, but well thought out. Your choice of location is, to say the least, gutsy.

    I hope you get to enjoy this work of your hands as long as possible. May you find joy in this great act of daring. All the best, “The Amazing Sasquatch”

  • a.d. says:

    fantastic structure – I hope you’ll sell hemloft plans to other handbuilders when you need to fund your next move. hope you’ll email me with any petition drive you might undertake.

  • Nate says:

    you should make a few more of them and turn it into a little cabin rental place

  • Chris says:

    Otherwise get the National Park Service to turn it into a ranger station!

  • Mark says:

    Making it a national landmark sounds most promissing.

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  • Melissa says:

    Patent, then license the design to a builder. Or custom build them for people. I’ve seen custom outdoor houses of the same nature in Europe and people pay a lot.

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  • dirt bag landowner says:

    found a solution yet ?

  • Linsey Wright says:

    This is absolutely amazing work! Your not harming anyone, it should be aloud somehow. Whether it’s a public thing, or your own. It’s just too beautiful, creative, and calming for someone to ruin.

  • Greengoddess1 says:

    What a wonderful thing. I hope you will create and market a kit for these things once you figure out what to do about the original. I own a few acres of wooded land on the northeast coast of the USA, and I’d love to stick one admidst the trees there. Talk about low-impact living!

  • Geebs says:

    For lack of better words the product is awesome. Reading/watching this was a refreshing break from finals. There are undoubtedly some great ideas above, but there needs to be strong consideration for legal barriers. I’d suggest the petitioning to create the site as a destination for “eco-voluntourism”. By that I mean a site where volunteers are able to serve on local trail maintenance or environmental restoration and also enjoy the beauty and amenities of the house and its surrounding location. This would be at a substantial fee that is additionally put into a government fund that supports environmental preservation of the crown land. As a grad student in Nonprofit Mgmt with participation with International NGOs and carpentry service with Habitat for Humanity, this is right up my alley. Best of luck, brother.

  • Fiona says:

    Brilliant & beautiful! A model of sustainability in many ways; an exemplar of inspired, heart-soul-driven enterprise; a piece of art. On all fronts this should be protected, honored and celebrated. Let this happen around the story and photos of it all and let the tree-egg and place just be. May the gift from all of us to you be the respect of letting it be. Thank you for the wondrous!– (And do call on us if it is threatened. I am sure we’ll stand in defense of the egg, and you. Big love. F

  • Joanna says:

    I just love it. I would love one in my garden! Taking it down would be destroying a work of art. You could probably make these for parks and other public areas – possibly not so high up – as shelters from the rain and places for children to play. I would like one as somewhere to sit and think and write. I am in UK and I saw your video on twitter. It made my day 🙂

  • Bonnie says:

    I think if possible to make this more a public awareness, mainly targeting the new generation. Many people out there are struggle with housing expense, and believe it or not, many household items (literately almost everything) are in high tariff tax range.

    If this can be approve as a new way of living ( safety concern etc all build in ), then perhaps to have people to vote on it.

    It will be a shame for government official to take your tress house down ( because of their whatever reasons, political view and media pressure etc ). Your design had truly showed that WE can live an substantial life, as long as all consideration are build into the picture ;))

  • NancyDL says:

    You should set up a PayPal link so that those of us who want to contribute can do so easily.

  • Shaelyn says:

    A couple of ideas…
    1. Copywrite the design and sell use of the plan. Use the proceeds to buy or lease property to move it to.
    2. Try to obtain a long-term lease to the forest land (some federal properties in the U.S. can be leased for 100 years)
    3. Move it to one of the undeveloped San Juan Islands
    4. Find someone who loves it as much as you do…with land and partner with them to move and use it.

  • Anonymous says:

    9 Square feet?! That’s a 3 foot by 3 foot square. i think you figured wrong.

  • Catherine says:

    First of all, get a lawyer who will appreciate the publicity he will get for this case and who will, as a result, not charge you much, if anything.

    Secondly, look at the area the house is in, can this be turned into some sort of tourist attraction to bring people to the area and therefore generate income for the authority that owns the land? It would make them more amenable to the house staying there.

    I understand the issues, you are basically trespassing and camping on what amounts to private land. There are health and safety issues involved as well.

    You may have to consider taking down the tree house and perhaps moving it elsewhere. I imagine that someone would be prepared to offer financial backing for you to turn the design and construction into a business.

    I really hope it works out for you, there are very few places in the world that are not owned by somebody otherwise I am sure there would be alot less stress in the world if we could all build our own homes. It’s lovely, well done on the work you put in to build it, you just might have to put some more in to keep it.

    Don’t hide, they will find you and it makes things worse.

  • stu art says:

    i had a vision once about emergency stations on the ski hill. for people who get lost. remember that guy who got lost at night on whistler mountain or blackcomb. this kind of tree house could have saved him. there should be a few of these on every ski hill. besides that; these tree houses are homes for the new age people that want to tread lightly. thnks

  • Wendy says:

    You’ve got a personal project which is so inspirational to others, they feel more aware of what they, too, appreciate. That is your legacy no matter what else. You realized your vision. You shared your vision. Your vision is greatly appreciated by so many people. Good things will ripple outward from this. Thanks for sharing the fact of it’s existence.

  • Erin says:

    I built a treehouse (not even *close* to as cool as the HemLoft) when I was in college. I lost the dorm lottery and needed a place to live. When I left, I took down everything but the platform and left it there. Five years later the platform was still there. For all I know, it’s there still.

    You did it. You have a true prototype of something beautiful and functional that could be built for many purposes. And you’ve lived in it rent-free and can continue to live there for who knows how long? Long enough to figure out a way to turn this great idea into a living I’ll bet. There are great ideas in this comments string for doing just that.

    But own it? You don’t own it any more than I owned that little spot on my college campus. And I wouldn’t have been allowed to buy that spot on campus, nor will you be allowed to buy nine square feet of a wilderness area. Your true use of space there, in any case, is a lot bigger than nine square feet. It’s a cute idea, but there are plenty of places you can build more of them, and finance land of your own, if that’s what you want. If you want to live in a wilderness area, you’ll have to live with a certain amount of uncertainty, just like the rest of the animals.

  • Lukas says:

    You need a saweet hamock hanging through some trees

  • Matt says:


    First off let me say what you created is amazing. My suggestion would be to expand a donations section to your website. I am uncertain as to how crown land works, but if you could raise money, that would help your plight, either to buy the land outright, or pay taxes or occupancy fees, if there is such a thing. If one things for sure governments love collecting money for doing nothing! The Best of luck on the Hemloft, and your future endeavors.

  • Cole says:

    Leave a journal inside and have people write down the date they came/left and have them write a little bit about there stay. Little cabin up in the woods by my house has this, really cool to read about others experiences.

  • Shaun in San Francisco says:

    The HemLoft is a labor of love that deserves the status of a national treasure. It should be every bit as renowned as the Capilano Suspension Bridge. One suggestion: Place a small donation widget on your website, so that you can save donated money to buy the bit of land upon which the treehouse resides.

  • Forestforthetrees says:

    You have followed what seems right and your creation has accomplished what it should. It has brought joy, hope, creativity, thoughtfullness and connection to those who have been exposed to it. I hope that those in whose hands its fate lies can listen to the same honest and uncomplicated truths that you were able to trust, knowing in some way that all would turn out as it should.

    No matter the fate of the HemLoft itself, you have created and inspired and influenced – more than most of us can hope to accomplish with our humble gifts. I congratulate and thank you.

  • Gary says:

    Don’t do anything and in the meantime talk to some lawyers and see what they say. I think making more designs that don’t affect the tree as much and selling them is a great idea, but don’t build anymore on public land. Good job!

  • […] he doesn’t technically own it, but he’s kind of tired of keeping it secret. You can vote for the HemLoft’s fate (my instinct: 1,000 write-in votes for “give it to meeeeeee!”) and see way more […]

  • Paul Dutch says:

    Make it into a Kickstarter Project!
    You already have all the bits needed for a campaign.
    And by the looks of the amount of comments, you have plenty of support!
    Let the public vote with their money on whether you should own the tree.
    Of course, you’d have to think of what people receive in return..
    Maybe you could have little Egg Treehouses 3D PRINTED that clamp around tiny bushes in peoples gardens and give those to whoever donates. Then with the rest of the money that you WILL raise (people seem to go wild over these kinda projects because they don’t dare doing it themselves), buy the tree and perhaps make it a rental accommodation or similar..
    Just my two cents! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your story! Well written indeed.. You’re a guy with many talents..

  • VerdantSage says:

    Keep it secret, keep it safe!

  • Larry says:

    The site really needs to be protected. Donate it to the crown as a public attraction and let the government control access and maintain it.

  • Dave says:

    Seriously though, have you considered calling it a ‘Bothy’ which are legal on ‘crown land’?

  • Shawn Molko says:

    Make more of them. Find more trees, build more HemLofts and sell them to people. This is an amazing idea and can be the start of something new. I myself would love to live in one of those. Maybe you can build a whole neighbourhood of them up in a bunch of trees and have bridges connecting them together.

  • Tina says:

    Amazing treehouse and so many great ideas and comments. Your treehouse is a thing of beauty and I commend you on your talents and creativity as well as your determination to follow through on such a project. I loved the idea of a sanctuary or emergency huts as these do save lives. All I know is that if I am every in BC again I would love to find this and marvel at its inception. Best of luck in keeping it intact!!

  • We are in a perfect forest outside of Nelson,B.C.

  • Paul says:

    I would try and get an non profit educational / government funded group to acquire the site to be used exclusively for the purpose of teaching young people the incredible life lessons you experienced. It’s a remarkable story, beautiful nest, and a great movie and book concept. You deserve the best!
    When I lived in Pa. there was a Wharton Esherick museum. A house he built and designed (check it out) may be an angle you can employ.

  • Dagmar says:

    I think the beauty of it is that it is hidden and free and I believe you should let the cards fall where they may. You made it this far. It may be tomorrow or ten years before anyone finds it. However, your story is so compelling from start to finish.
    You may never own it, and it may go the way of being taken down and I know you have this website and have been published in a magazine. But… I think you should consider getting a coffee table book published for your story. This is the perfect story and art work for such a thing. Do it and leave your egg to be free. Free of bureaucracy and bullshit.

    Ask yourself, what would old man John do?

  • Rohan says:

    Turn it into a buddhist meditation centre in the woods and register as such. I am sure religious properties are offered special protection.

  • b says:

    build a small eco-community for people to visit or live in. A Forest city of orbs…

  • Sandy says:

    Build more! All over the world!

  • michael says:

    First, incredible construction. Just amazing.

    My idea to preserve it would be to leave a note in it with anonymous contact information stating that if whoever owns the land it’s on agrees to not knock it down, in writing, you will not only reveal yourself to them but also help them also build another similar sized project free of charge. perhaps they may like what you’ve done (I don’t see who wouldn’t) and take you up on the offer.

  • Yankelowitz says:

    Please come to Africa. We have plenty of forests and it would be fun ! :’))

  • Stacy says:

    Secure funding from a certain amount of people who will receive, in return, a certain time each year in the treehouse. Use the funding to purchase the land. For example, “auction” off an entry fee into a limited stay in the treehouse for X amount. Get 50 people to do so, and each receives a week in the cabin for X years. Use the advance funding to pay for the land and then you, and your investors can enjoy the fruits of your labor for many years to come. I would bet that those 50 people become a close knit group as they all have the love for the treehouse in common; and they have a vested interest in taking care of your treasure. Win/Win.

  • Kriszta says:

    Don’t take it down and do not make it public, where exactly it is! You better try to “sell”the idea, the look to others, help them build it in legal conditions. So you keep the goat and the cabbage as well, as we say it in Transylvania. We cross our fingers for you!

  • Jason says:

    You could ask the BC Mountaineering Club for advice on how to gain some acceptance from the government. The BCMC has provide input about details on shelters in BC parks.

  • Renee says:

    I love this story…it’s soulfully inspiring and just shows how dreams with perseverance can come true~ I hope this remains a secret & sacred place for eternity (although I’m not going to lie- it would be nice to stumble upon it one day 😉 Best wishes to you and your future endeavors~

  • James O'Connor says:

    Man should be able to live where he wishes, as long as he’s not hurting the environment he lives in. We live in a Society today where it costs you money to simply LIVE. This is wrong. You and I were NOT born into slavery, much as “they” would like you to think so. We live in a system that needs to be rebuilt and changed, if possible, without the corporacracy telling us HOW and WHERE to live.

    This “HemLoft” is a SUPERB example of how some, if not all of us, can live. We can live with a MUCH smaller footprint on mother-earth. Not all of us need 5000sq. ft. homes with tons of wasted space and pointless materialistic items.

    The “HemLoft” should be a crusader for a different and more friendly way of life. One where we live WITH the earth and what it provides without mowing down her natural beauty and natural resources to create huge earth killing buildings. I’d love to see a group of us come together with the same ideals and buy a huge chunk of property WAY out in the mountains, like this. LIVE WITH THE LAND, not on it.

  • Ross Bullock says:

    I think you should try and get in contact with the landowner. I know it could be a little bit of an awkward conversation. “Hello there I built an awesome tree house on your property and its now featured in a magazine, and people have been very supportive.” Land owner gives you a weird look and punches you. Just a possible scenario haha. I think you could be very surprised how he or she reacts though. You said most of the homes in the area are “million dollar homes” so the owner might actually appreciate the beauty of the tree house, because they have beautiful homes also. You maintained the integrity of the owners property while adding some beauty and monetary value to the property. I think you should take a leap of faith and see what you could work out, there are lots of decent people out there.

  • colin says:

    something tells me that this advice may not be received too well, however, I feel as if I would be doing you a disservice by withholding my two cents. i think that you should simply fold. if the crown has ruled against the hem loft’s existence, then let it be. it sounds as if your life with heidi has progressed in a new and uncharted direction, and that whatever it was that you were seeking in the early parts of the project’s brief history has been achieved. you accomplished something that you are proud of and that really can’t ever be taken away from you. so unless a recent financial windfall has settled in your life which would facilitate a simple and stress-free “buyout”, then chalk the whole experience to personal gains. trust that if it was the physical, tangible aspect of hem loft that you were truly seeking when you decided to follow through with its construction then you can use the skills that you developed and honed in the past past few years to enjoy a new project. cheers.

  • Tiko says:

    One more thing. Try Kickstart to help you rise funds for purchase and even try a group called, to help copyright the plans to sale.

  • Michele says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. I agree that encouraging people to build on Crown Land is a problem – but this is certainly a prototype for a great idea. Definitely love the Ewok campsite idea. Get some financing to do this on some land in BC – could be like the ice hotels in Quebec. Your story writing and video production are very professional – you are a truly gifted person (and Heidi too) with a love of making beautiful things. Keep going – good on you.

  • Blue says:

    I have heard of a law that if you manage to squat on crown land for a certain number of years, without being discovered, that you get to own the land. look into it. I’m sure someone knows about it, or you can find the info somewhere. Best of luck.

  • Victor says:

    Build more 50 lofts like thaton other trees near this and open a Resor-tree and gain money.

    regards from brazil

  • léo says:

    Could you do this beaultiful home im my farm in Brazil?
    Nice job!

  • Mariana says:

    Build more eggs in others trees and make it some kind of a camp! So everyone could espend one day in a eggloft at whistler =]

  • Eiman says:

    I agree with Mariana, build more and make it like a camp.

  • Don’t get attached to keeping it yours – maybe you could donate it to the municipality where it is located to be used as a center where people can go apply to go as a kind of retreat or residency,who are working on projects for alternative construction/land use/conservation etc. This would involve setting up some kind of umbrella organization etc to administer the space but it might be worth it and it would have a legacy.

  • janet says:

    your looking at right of ways if u buy the land around the tree, i think the govt should let u keep it there until you are able to get back on ur feet. the govt takes so much from us and when we need them to help us they want to be butts about it. we have to go by the laws and the govt is the first to look around the laws in anyway they can to get away with their mess. my prayers go out to you.

  • john says:

    Enjoy what you’ve done, and be ready to move on.

  • Joey says:

    Hi, to my understanding, if this is on crown land, you won’t be able to purchase it and you won’t be able to purchase just a portion of it either. Crown land is leased, and the only way to buy it is to bid on it once the lease runs out and that’s assuming the person leasing it doesn’t renew it. When you bid you have to bid on the whole lot. I could be wrong but that’s how I understand it.

    This tree house is absolutely amazing though and whatever you choose to do, I hope it stays up so I can go and see it! My parents own crown land in SK, they might be able to give you some tips! Contact me if you’d like to talk to them 🙂

    Concerning being there illegally, I have to agree with Lucia, don’t keep it to yourself. If you do that you won’t gain the power of the people, which is who the government should be listening to at the end of the day. Also, as preservation you should use your dslr to make a virtual tour incase they make you take it down.

  • Fen says:

    Please don’t take it down. The world is in such dire need of creative spaces like this that remind us all there is still some magic left in this human world. Try to buy the land around the loft. Try a kickstarter campaign. I’m sure you’ll be able to raise some money that way.

  • melissa says:

    this inspires me! it is the ideal home to live in, and it’s such a shame that anybody would want it removed. i wish there were more like you, and one day i hope to follow suit.

  • Andrea says:

    I’d like to see the next project be a project devoted to your love! The wonderful lady who helped you with this nutty idea. Build something for her, propose and marry in it. And then share the photos with the world. We need more Canadian love stories 🙂 Any kind of madness seems appropriate in the name of love in any language. Do it! I’ll donate to that!

  • Seasonn says:

    You have a great following now, I don’t know where you are in the process of trying to keep the tree house, but if you have been approached by officials, try a petition to keep it as an example of ecoloving or off the grid living. I don’t suppose you have plans to sell of the hemloft? You could raise some money selling the plans. I would definately buy them 😉

  • Ginger Eden says:

    Ok, this may sound insane… Find a way to remove and relocate the tree to different land. Yes i know thats stealing, but its only illegal if you get caught, keep that in mind 😉

  • Ginger Eden says:

    Dont listen to haters… it cracks me up how many people are actually all concerned with the health and wellbeing of the tree. Its a tree. Theres plenty more. If you want to be an advocate for something than theres plenty of real liveing creatures suffering daily- i volunteer at an animal shelter. theres so many animals that need real help right now… the trees will be all right, trust me.

  • Ginger Eden says:

    If its isnt possible to remove the whole tree, would it be possible to take the hemloft down in a way that it could be reassembled elsewhere? Possibly use a different type of support system or even another tree

  • Jenna says:

    Turn it into a kickstarter project to raise the money needed to buy the land that it’s on. One of the donor rewards could be a free night in the hemloft. 🙂 Good luck!

  • ANNA says:

    SEWIOUSLAY!!! SERIOUSLY!!!that man did sooooooo much work for nothing? to take it down? omg. h8 those people. GUYS VOTE FOR, : TRY TO BUY SOME LAND THE TREE IS ON.!! UNLES UR A DEV.

  • pink flaherty says:

    Dont do anything. Keep it for yourself and your girl. Do other stuff for money and buy property somewhere else and build another one if you want. Keep it secret. At any rate you have given so many clues as to its location someone will find it eventually. I surely could care less about the one percenters living higher up on the hill. Dont own it or it will own you. Stay free.
    Smiles, nice job.

  • etan says:

    What to do with the hemloft: What about an artist retreat? Im sure that designers, writers, painters…etc. would love the opportunity to live there and work for a month or 3 or 6. You could have a group of folks (perhaps initially comprised of you and a few friends) judge the applicants and then it could carry itself such that the previous residents could assess the work of the next years applicants. You could have a kickstarter for funds to run it and to help provide food for whomever is there.

  • amyw says:

    Could you potentially move the hemloft? You could see if someone who actually does own land in whistler might lend some space and a tree to you out of good will. They would have to have a spacious property where the hemloft could have an acceptable amount of privacy though.

  • Larry says:

    I’ve been there recently it’s still intact and looking very good. Thank you for sharing your secret! I hope to have a sleep-over in it one night!

  • Melanie Martin says:

    I sure hope the Crown realizes what you created! Because what you created is awesome! If the Crown would let you live there for the rest of your life, then just leave it to them to be able to use in the future for scientists to use while working in forest and checking out nature. They could even take that idea and implement a few throughout the land for studying. What a view I bet you have! WOW! I’m jealous but I have a cave site picked out for my future dream 🙂 I wish you the best of luck! Please update the outcome whatever it may be. I’m rooting for you 🙂

  • The problem with this situation is that if the gov’t allows you to keep it, it will just make way to any person building on crown land. Also if they were to let you purchase the land it would also give people the notion that they can take over a piece of property and build and then attempt to purchase. If I were you I would try and find a way to donate it to the government under the stipulations of course that it not be torn down but rathered admired as the spirit of canadian birdwatchers or loggers or whatever spin you can throw in there because it is pretty impressive. It could be a tourist attraction… just sell it well to them and get a petition with signatures. Best of luck! Cheryl S.

  • P says:

    Give it to the crown in a very public manner. It would then be a treasure and also very rude for them to tear it down.

  • GG says:

    A dream come true. Congratulations on your awesome journey… both of you. You have talent my friend and should use this talent to become a world-class architect. How much would someone pay to have [you build] a custom home like that? Life-sized so to speak. Call your new business… “Egg House Homes Inc” then trademark the brand. I wish you success!

  • Shelby says:

    if you squat in it long enough and can document it, the land becomes yours (i’m pretty sure..)

  • Dave says:

    It is beautiful and they should leave it there. Canada does not have enough heritage and you sir have just added to the beauty of one of our parks. Leave it open for people to visit….. or approach the government and buy that tree. Whatever the outcome I hope your orb stays for many many years to come

  • Pogue says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful idea, but I wish you had protected the secret a little more. Now people will get involved and nothing improves when people get involved.
    I’m sorry, but I think the gov’t will ruin this for you.
    I suggest you use your experience and your art to make some money which you can devote to a solution. Why not sell the plans for 19.95 a set? Draw up new ideas and sell them, too. Write articles or a book and sell those; T-shirts, key chains, commemorative underwear, whatever. With the profits, you can try to buy the land or some private property where you’ll be free to build what you want the way you want.

  • Jared says:

    Perhaps you could work with whatever the Forestry department is in Canada to name it as a saftey shelter of some sort. I used to live in the Rockies and there are many saftey shelters throughout the mountains for hikers in case of emergencies that are kept available on well known treks, etc.

    I wish you the very best and appluad the wonderful craftsmanship of you and you fiancee (or now wife possibly)!

  • Adrian says:

    i think you should buy the land and allow people to stay there occasionally (you would get to choose when). when people stay there you could ask for donations or for a solid rate. It looks like it is a great place to relax and get out of the busy city of vancouver,or seattle.