In this video, we meet Bonnie from Wakefield, Québec, Canada who is living on a gorgeous tiny house boat that is full of character and charm. The River Den (or La Tannière) has custom-made asymmetrical windows, a classic ship’s wheel, antique fireplace, and hand-built furniture — all of which give the boat a warm and cozy feel that makes you feel at home as soon as you step on board. The boat is docked on the shore of the Gatineau River and Bonnie lives in it as often as she can when she’s not renting it out on Airbnb (
The tiny houseboat was designed by Bonnie and her boatbuilding friend, Denis Tremblay, who is known locally as the Wakefield Pirate. Denis and a few of his friends built the boat by hand, including the aluminum frame and the custom windows, the cabinets, and the grill floor in the loft.
The boat is built on 5 pontoons that are designed to provide flotation while still taking on some water to keep the boat weighed down in the water for stability. The pontoons are also designed to freeze in the ice and are made by a local company called Les Quais Navigables (
It’s a 4-season house boat that is fully insulated and has an antique wood burning fireplace to provide heat in winter. For power, they installed a deep cycle marine battery that provides 12-Volt power for the lights, bilge pump, and navigation lights. They have a Separett composting toilet from Sweden ( and a sink that pumps water from the river for washing dishes. For refrigeration, Bonnie uses a cooler with ice, but she might invest in some solar panels so that she can power a proper fridge eventually.
The main floor has a kitchen, toilet, dining room and living room, and upstairs there is cozy a sleeping loft with a grill floor that allows heat to rise through the floor, and sun & dust to travel down to the main level. One of the windows in the loft opens up onto a gorgeous rooftop patio with a cedar deck and has space for some solar panels if/when Bonnie decides she needs them.
The boat has a gas motor and can be taken out on the river which is quite impressive considering it’s size! To make sure the boat was still road worthy, they built a wedge roof over the loft that can be taken apart if Bonnie wants to transport it to a different location. The boat is currently docked in the quaint little town of Wakefield, Québec where there are cute cafes, restaurants and shops right across the street.
If anyone is interested in renting this house boat, check it out on the Airbnb website here:
Thanks for watching!
Mat & Danielle
STAY IN TOUCH!
Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.