My list for the quintessential safe home

By Linda Sepp

Good bones list:

  1. Bungalow / ranch style (preferred) with unfinished or slab basement (slab is best).
  2. No air fresheners, scented candles, indoor smoking or in house pesticide applications.
  3. No plastic/vinyl siding OR recent renovations.
  4. Acreage with sunny food garden potential, minimum 3 acres, the more the better.
  5. Away from nearby houses, rail, hydro lines, cell towers, agricultural or golf course pesticides and fertilizers, and other air pollution.
  6. Vacant /unoccupied, unless they have MCS and or use only natural fragrance-free products and materials.
  7. Electric heat preferred … no in-floor heat… electric/wood can be upgraded to just electric, and forced air can be changed over to electric (if necessary for a good house).
  8. Room to use as vented appliance room (i.e. laundry room near kitchen).
  9. With unpaved driveway, garage.
  10. Within one hour of a year-round source of organic food and produce not in a supermarket.

Any carpet, laminate flooring, plastic tubs and surrounds would have to be removed and replaced so the purchase budget would drop and reno budget rise accordingly.

It should be at least 15 years old (for the formaldehyde to have offgassed enough) and have no mould/mildew/damp issues.

The TOTAL budget is $200,000 which includes closing costs and renovation, so unless the house is built solid and chemical-free, owned by an MCSer or people who cleaned with baking soda and borax and didn’t use pesticides etc, the purchase price will need to be up to $50,000 under to allow for some major changes.

The ideal wish list is for a modest 3 bdrm brick bungalow with a garage and a barn and a bunkie (and a gazebo) in a fair sized clearing surrounded by acres of wooded and not built up land with a couple of fenced in veggie gardens already in place. I need the barn for the goat and chickens who will keep my lawn maintained.

I think my main thing is I need space away from people and pollution. With some good sunny space for some veggie gardens. I need a fair amount of “privacy” from pollution.

I also need a decent working kitchen, where I have room to learn canning and dehydrating, etc., and a way to create a vented appliance room beside the kitchen, maybe two vented appliance rooms so food and laundry don’t mix.

Outbuildings: garage and a vented storage that isn’t in the garage–maybe that’s the 3rd bedroom?–and a visitor’s bunkie would be good.

The search area is this:

While avoiding local industry, agriculture, rail and power transmission lines, cell towers, as well as major touristy beaches, golf courses, etc., but having organic food accessible, not from a supermarket or highly fragranced health food store:

  • The south east corner is at 7 and 41 around Kaladar.
  • The north east corner is at 41 and 60, between Golden Lake and Eganville.
  • The north limit is under North Bay, under Algonquin Park.
  • The north west limit is Parry Sound from around 124.
  • The southwest area is around 400/69 meets 12 (Orillia).

Need to check availability of year round organic produce in the north-western areas.

Southern boundary

Hwy 7 to the south on the east side (between 12 and 41).

Hwy 12 up and over Lake Simcoe from 7 in the east to 400/69 in the west.

Eastern boundary

Hwy 41 to the east (between 7 and 60).

Northern boundary

Hwy 60 at the north (between 11 in the west and 41 in the east).

It doesn’t look like there’s any hwy from 124 east of 11 through the Kearney area between 11 and 60, (which would take you along the SW area of Algonquin Park).

North (under Algonquin park) to Sundrige/South River and hwy 124, (which is south of North Bay).

Western boundary

From under North Bay, west and over to Parry Sound along 124 (provided there is a year round source of SAFE fragrance chemical free organic food within an hour).

South along 400/69 back to Hwy 12 /Lake Simcoe.

Between Madoc and Perth around hwy 7 is Sharbot Lake where they are planning (and fighting) uranium mining. Chalk River /Pembroke to the north of there also have uranium issues. Those places are out.


Photo credit

7 responses to “My list for the quintessential safe home

  1. Great list, linda…wishing you well in finding a place…soon.

  2. Linda,

    I’m sending prayers your way and hope you are successful in finding a place to live. Is there any way people could help you to find a place to build a small home of your own using non-toxic materials? I’d be willing to contact landowners in your area and get you info on small house building plans and non-toxic building materials. In the long run, having your own home might be the way to go if we can raise the money with you. If you build a small home with maybe just one bedroom, a large kitchen, and whatever else you might need, it would cut down on overall costs. Please let me know if you’d be interested in this idea and how I and others could help. In the short term, I hope you find safe housing soon. All the best and a big virtual hug,


  3. Thank you for your kindness and very kind offer Trish. I’d like to discuss this with you by email.

  4. I recently found out that the whole area north and NW of Toronto that was on my safe list will be made unsafe for me due to the G-8 summit.
    There will be added cell towers and road work = new asphalt up and all around highway 11 to Huntsville and the Parry Sound areas.
    Asphalt is deadly to me for at least a month, and it’s unlikely the added wireless capacity will be removed, all thanks to more than $50 million in infrastructure spending.

  5. the boundaries are for the toronto area?

  6. The boundaries are pretty much within a 4 hour radius of Toronto, away from agricultural (pesticides/fertilizers) and industrial areas. The other main issue is access to non-supermarket-contaminated organic foods year round, as described in this blog post and the discussions on facebook;

  7. Hi Linda,
    Have you considered asking some high-powered real estate agents to take up the search pro bono? If you’d be comfortable with them probably getting some publicity for their business for helping out…
    I can think of one that seems to be the king of rural property sales north of Toronto (used to see his signs on all the farms when I lived in Caledon).
    Please let me know if you need things delivered or have any errands – I’m in the Leslie/Gerrard area, and have a car and some time on mornings and weekends.
    All the best,

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