Skinny legs and all

Skinny or narrow homes are now back in style and in demand.

Narrow houses

The land is getting expensive, population booming, the rate of single dwellers are some of the changes in the real estate market. Gone are the days of mega houses built for a big family before the boomers came in. Most Millenniums live in an SRO, single room occupancy, high rises.


Vertical living covers air space. Having a false balcony with a narrow ledge is a selling point, I suppose. You can open your patio door and a place for outdoor smoking. Most of these rooms are non-smoking facility which is a good idea.


In Gastown, where the statue of Gassy Jack stands, across it is an iconic narrow building and expands wider to fill a triangular city lot. This is a heritage building that fascinates me and still has to find the story of it.

Jack Chow Insurance

The Jack Chow Insurance attached to a pink and teal coloured structure is listed in The Guinness World Record as the skinniest building in the world. Historically, it was known as Sam Kee Building erected in 1913 at the corner of East Pender and Carrell Street with its very own alley named Shanghai Alley or Chinatown Heritage Alley.  A guided tour is opened to the public, but if you are claustrophobic, this is not a place for you.  Also, when a group enters the building, we can only walk around in a single file.


8 thoughts on “Skinny legs and all

  1. We have just spent the last 10 days in Arizona, mostly outside of the cities, enjoying miles and miles of open land. I don’t know if I’d like to live so cramped, so close to lots of other people. At home, in Michigan, we have over an acre of land so not so close to neighbors either. I think I like that better than vertical living. Though the city life is fun to visit!

  2. Many cities have a variation of the triangular building, and like you, I have a fascination with ours in downtown Toronto. It is easily one of my favourites!

    High density living seems to be the new mantra. I suppose it is preferable to the ugly urban sprawl with its ubiquitous big-box stores that’s occurred over the past several decades. While I lament in the summer months about all the work associated with maintaining a yard, I can’t imagine being boxed-in living in a condo. I guess that is just the reality for this generation of Millennials.

    • Having no green space is what I would miss living vertically. The millennials are constantly on the move and not so focused on what type of dwelling they live at as long as they can escape to nature.

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