Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Vancouver micro lofts: Canada’s tiniest rental suites

Photo credit: Derek Lepper

I’ve written before about Vancouver micro lofts, but just recently I came across another Vancouver micro loft project. But this one – called Burns Block – is the smallest self-contained furnished rental apartment in Canada. It is in a historic, previously abandoned building which has gone through extensive safety upgrades and heritage restoration.

Each micro loft unit in Burns Block (located in a 5-floor building in Vancouver’s popular Gastown neighbourhood) is between 226 and 291 sq. ft. and will rent for around $850/month – which includes cable and internet. The micro loft building offers a rooftop garden, gym, bicycle storage, and features several environmentally-friendly elements.

All 30 suites have built-in pull-down wall beds, integrated folding tables, flat screen TVs, compact appliances, storage, and a built-in safe for valuables. It also comes with a sofa, chairs, and coffee table. Pretty cool for someone new to the city who doesn’t have any furniture.

I think this is an awesome project. No, it’s not for everyone, but $850/month to live in one of the coolest areas of Vancouver? And in a heritage building!? That’s pretty awesome. These micro lofts would be great for a student or young professional.

Would you ever consider living in one of these units?

Photo credit: Richard Lam

Photo credit: Richard Lam // Tenant in photos: Andrea Wong

Photo credit: Richard Lam // Tenant in photos: Andrea Wong


Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Paige says:

    The place I live in now is smaller than this and it doesn’t have a fold-down bed. This place looks quite luxurious! Living in a small space really makes you realize that you can only take up so much space at once.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I currently live in a much larger space (though splitting it two-ways with the bf makes it $750/month). Of course, location definitely matters!

    Even though I love all the space I currently have, the pictures of the loft in Vancouver looks really spacious! I guess the key is organization, keeping the place clean, and getting rid of all the junk that tends to accumulate over the years!

  3. Anya says:

    If it was just me, I’d definitely live in a micro loft. I love the great use of space and you can’t beat the monthly rent!

  4. Diedra B says:

    It’s cute but I’m sure they don’t allow pets. A second person in that space might also make it. . . hmmm. . . tight.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yeah, I definitely think it was built with a single person in mind. But that being said, I used to live in a 300 sq. ft. apartment when I first moved to Vancouver, and it seemed big enough for two people. Have to get creative with the storage and be a bit of a minimalist to begin with… :)

  5. Brittany says:

    Ohhh, that is so super cute! I dream of being able to live in a place that tidy-looking. Not that my apartment is messy, by any means, but that loft is just so streamlined and gorgeous!

  6. MoneyMaus says:

    I would DEFINITELY live in one of those! Completely furnished, great location, cable (probably basic?)/internet included and all those amenities of a high-end building – that is a total STEAL! (FYI, upon Googling these apartments, it turns out the building was gentrified and used to be a place for those with HIV/mental illnesses, sad.)

    • Yup, it’s smack dab (sort of) in the downtown eastside. It used to be a Single Room Occupancy hotel, which means everyone shares a bathroom on the same floor and has a 200 sq foot room to sleep in. A lot of protestors are against these new developments because it means that the downtown eastside is gentrifying and there will be less subsidized housing for the poor in the downtown eastside to live in.

  7. Michelle says:

    It’s cute, but too small for me.

  8. Cait says:

    This place looks sweet but… where’s the oven!? How am I supposed to make pizza or cookies without an oven? ;)

  9. Jessie says:

    I agree – it’s cute, but defn. not for me…

  10. Leigh says:

    Those are cute, but 220 sqft?! No thank you! Then again, I’m buying a two bedroom condo for just me…

  11. Architect says:

    I like the design. But I think it’s a terrible neighbourhood and a terrible price. I rent an apartment in vancouver that is four times the size for the same price. I’m concerned that these units signal a future trend toward expensive rent. And I think it’s crazy that these are being touted as affordable.

  12. Jimnet says:

    I currently live in a “micro loft” (I just love the term for it!). My currently place is about 260 sqft. and I just LOVE it. It is small, easy to clean (I can give the entire place a once over in less than an hour), and I think it is more than enough space for me.

    When you use less space, you really realize how much “space” you need.

  13. I live in a 300sqft apartment in Hong Kong, and I love it! The bonus is, I no longer make impulse buys on shoes/clothes/bags because they take up a lot of space.

  14. koko says:

    Hi Krystal!
    My apartment in Ny is barely 150 sq feet and I pay $1310 each month :( This Vancouver apartment is a dream !!!

  15. Ali Lowell says:

    These are supercute and not much smaller than my studio in San Francisco – much better light and view, to boot! I’d totally live in one of these : )

  16. Money Rabbit says:

    If they had these in Toronto I would totally want to live there!!!! Unfortunately, they don’t, and I’ve bought some sweet stuff to fill up my 750sqft. Curses!

  17. Jeremy says:

    holy shit… I know Andrea Wong!

  18. SOLD! I’d love it :)

    It looks chic and clean.

  19. neko_indi says:

    Were I single, I’d cheerfully consider it. However, I must say that I would much prefer an oven than a dishwasher – living on your own, it would take a week to accumulate enough dishes to bother running it!

  20. The use of space is superb! Love the building too.

  21. Tricia says:

    Definitely something I’d consider if I really wanted to live in the city though I’d want to swap out the dishwasher for an oven.

  22. These are so very cool! They remind me of Japan’s micro houses. I feel a micro house would help me keep down clutter, since I would much more quickly feel overwhelmed.

  23. Shawn Singh says:

    How are these suites for sound? I produce music,Would it be a problem with noise at proper times of the day?

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