Livestream: May 22, 2023

Hi everyone!

In case you missed it, Kevin produced a livestream on May 22, 2023.

He talked about:

  • Recognizing Bev Galloway for her donation via Buy Me A Coffee.
  • Kevin and Emily (Yellow Submarine) moved from Brampton on February 2.
  • Rural internet options
  • What’s next?

Excerpt From Livestream

Lazily edited for readability using ChatGPT

Hey everyone.

This is cool. I’ve been spending some time configuring the live stream. It’s definitely a work in progress, but the goal here is to put together something entertaining while minimizing the amount of editing work I’ll have to do later. So, here we go.

I had some time this morning — Happy Victoria Day, by the way, on this Monday, May 22nd, 2023.

Now, let’s dive into the updates. I wanted to fill you all in on what’s been happening since February.

Recognizing Bev Galloway

But one of the first things I wanted to do was offer recognition to Bev Galloway. If you haven’t seen it yet, I posted a little clip a while ago. Let’s queue that up for you.

Let’s do this…

Here it is. See, I’ve been working on sorting all this stuff out. Okay, here we go:

This video is long overdue, but I wanted to thank Bev Galloway for her generous donation of $25 back in January, which she made using our Buy Me A Coffee donation service. We had our first in-person meeting in a very long time, and your donation was greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, Bev.

So, thanks again, Bev.

The Buy Me A Coffee service is a convenient way to offer financial contributions to our project. It would be awesome if you wanted to support us. We anticipate that there may be overages, unexpected expenses, or simply a desire to take a coffee break. So, we have set up this service. I believe there’s a link in the description of this video if you want to check it out.

Kevin and Emily (Yellow Submarine) moved from Brampton

Big updates: Em and I sold our house in Brampton. The sale is closed, and we have now moved to Mattawa, the town next to where we plan to build. We have started the process of design work and other preparations. I took some photos on the day of the move to give you an idea of what it was like. Let’s start sharing my screen again:

This is the day we were moving. It was a cold Friday in February (exact date: February 2, 2023). There was a freezing warning and a snow squall watch. You can see the snowy conditions in these pictures.

We had been planning this move for months, so we had everything ready, including a truck. We loaded the truck over two days. I left Brampton around 12:31 AM, stopped halfway, and then continued the journey on Saturday morning when we arrived in Mattawa. It was extremely cold, around minus 28 to minus 30 degrees Celsius, even colder with the wind chill, possibly reaching minus 40. It was quite an experience.

We had to stage everything, so we had certain items in different rooms. In the truck, we used the biggest one available for rent from U-Haul, utilizing every inch of space. I took photos as we loaded, starting with the back and filling up the Mom’s Attic section above the cab. We packed everything tightly, using totes and crates.

One important item was Paddington’s crate. Before leaving the house, I recorded a video, sharing our plans and mentioning our stay with John and Wendy from Project Blue Kingship in Northern Ontario. It was a two-day trip, with help for unloading on the other side.

Our realtor, Sammy Kohn, did an amazing job of helping us to get staging for the house. It was unrecognizable, and the listing was incredible. When we arrived in Mattawa on that cold Saturday morning, it was minus 25. I noticed an interesting coincidence—the truck we rented had information about a dinosaur on its side. It reminded me of our son Toby, who loved dinosaurs. It was a cool welcome to Mattawa.

The morning after we unpacked, I woke up to a fantastic sunrise in Mattawa. It was undeniably cold, but there was something bearable and lovely about it. It didn’t live up to the extreme cold I had heard about Northern Ontario, especially since we are in the northeastern part. I took a photo of myself and the view from our backyard, which is by the Ottawa River. It’s a beautiful place to stay year-round, and I truly love it here.

That’s the last photo from that collection. So, yes, we sold our house, and exciting things are happening in Mattawa.

Rural Internet Options

So, I wanted to revisit a topic I discussed earlier in a short video about internet options and what people prioritize in their internet service provider. Let’s play that video again…

Here’s a question for you: What factors are important to you when considering your internet service and provider? Are you more concerned about reliability, speed, or price?

Although the video was not complete in the YouTube short, the main point still stands. Now, let’s get back to the topic of internet. One thing we have learned is that we don’t have access to fiber optics in our area, which limits our high-speed internet choices. However, it’s not impossible to find suitable services. It brings us back to the fundamental question raised in the previous video: What matters to you? If you prioritize quality service, you can get it, but it comes at a price. So, let me get straight to the point. There are a couple of technologies I find interesting. The most obvious one, if you haven’t heard already, is Starlink, Elon Musk’s low-orbit satellite service. It’s quite impressive. Bernie and Alain from Project Red Carr have been using it for over a year, going on two years now, and it seems to be reliable. Their speed tests show quick response rates and fast transfer rates. They’ve faced some challenges with Starlink adjusting their service levels without necessarily informing customers, but you can find more details by searching online. Regarding our research on internet options, Starlink was definitely one that caught Alain’s attention a while ago. We put ourselves on a waitlist and have received our Starlink dish, although I haven’t had the time to set it up completely yet. Meanwhile, we needed a temporary solution since we weren’t sure when our Starlink would arrive. That’s when I discovered a service called MapleWiFi.

…Well, it works and serves its purpose, but it requires some tweaking to optimize its performance. MapleWiFi is essentially a device that utilizes AT&T service in the United States. They have an agreement with the three major carriers in Canada: Bell, Telus, and Rogers. The internet access is unlimited between these carriers, but it is subject to AT&T’s network traffic management rules. This means that at times, you may experience longer ping speeds or response times, and certain services like Twitch may be limited in resolution, almost like throttling. However, it does offer unlimited bandwidth, and the speed is decent. Sometimes, it can even be comparable to Starlink. However, all these options come at a high price, and in the case of MapleWiFi, the customer service is lacking. Eventually, someone on the other end does respond to your email and provides helpful tips to optimize the connection, but overall, there’s room for improvement. Currently, I’m using the MapleWiFi/AT&T service for this live stream, and it seems sufficient. I’ve been using it for meetings on platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams without any major issues so far.

I hope for more options to become available because Starlink is not the only solution. However, it’s important to note that all these alternatives come with hefty price tags. I mentioned earlier that cellular internet options are available in Canada through Bell, Telus, and Rogers, but they have significant limitations on monthly bandwidth and additional costs for more bandwidth. This makes it impractical for working from home. The last thing you’d want is to run out of bandwidth during a business meeting. That’s simply unacceptable.

So, these are the factors to consider. With Starlink, you’re looking at around $100, or approximately $160 after taxes, per month. MapleWiFi is similarly priced.

Well, that’s pretty much all the information I wanted to share. It has definitely been an interesting experience. Hey, if you’d like me to provide more detailed information on this topic, just let me know. I understand that for most of you, it might just be a passing interest or something you’re casually curious about.

To summarize, if you’re living in the city, you have a lot more options available to you. However, if you’re interested in delving into the technical aspects, pricing, and other details about internet service where we are, please inform me, and I’ll be happy to create some content specifically for you.

What’s Next?

Alright, so where do we stand now? We were discussing rural internet options, and now it’s time to talk about what comes next.

So, what’s on the horizon? Some exciting developments are underway. Alain and Bernie from Project Red Carr have been finalizing their drawings and entering discussions to secure contracts for initial work on septic systems and permits. It’s a thrilling progress that’s happening right now.

In addition, I mentioned that Em and I from Project Yellow Submarine are planning to engage in conversations with services like Beaver Homes and Cottages. They offer an intriguing program where you can purchase a model or design for your house and they provide detailed pricing for all the necessary lumber, hardware, and more. It’s definitely worth exploring, especially since they have a partnership with a bank to offer construction loans. That can be quite helpful. So, that’s where we currently stand.

I’m also considering sharing links to other YouTube channels that have inspired us. Let us know if you’d be interested in learning more about them, and we’ll be sure to post those for you. For now, that’s all the updates. Oh, wait, that’s not the right image—here we go. So, that’s the latest progress. I’ll work on finding ways to provide more content, whether through the blog or short videos. I was fortunate to have some free time this morning to present this live stream to you. I hope you enjoyed it despite its unpolished nature. Anyway, stay tuned, subscribe to our channels, and we’ll catch up with you later.


Blue Kingship and Yellow Submarine join Red Carr

Projects Blue Kingship and Yellow Submarine took a small detour through 2022 into 2023.

As the real estate bubble was starting to contract, John and Wendy took advantage of the sellers market to sell their property in the city ahead of schedule, and move to a property in May 2022 that is close to our build site.

This has opened up many more opportunities, one of them is for Emily and Kevin to also move up ahead of schedule! With the gap closed between the Papineau Homes projects and the Toronto, it will be easier to make time to build, and be together.

The move for Kevin and Emily to join John and Wendy took months to plan. But of course, the weather didn’t care. On the evening Kevin moved north, a snow squall and cold temperature warning had been issued. On the day Kevin arrived with the truck, it was a crisp -28 C outside, without the windchill! By the next day, the cold had taken its toll on the truck battery, and it would no longer start until later receiving a boost. The truck did have some cool dinosaur info though that I think Toby would have liked, and that was an appreciated synchronicity.

Now that we’re all near the property we’re building on, we’re hopeful that it will be easier to create content for you, including live-streams!


“Best Wishes, I’ll Be Watching For Updates”


Preparing The Shoe – Part 3

While Project: Red Carr prepares their building drawings, we’ll be uploading footage taken from 2021 from when we all worked together to help the Red Carr family move into The Shoe!

In Part 3, work continues. And we introduce a very, VERY important part of the process we had to look after.


Preparing The Shoe – Part 2

While we’re organizing plans for content to create, here’s some archival footage from July 2021 when we were all working together in Preparing The Shoe.

In Part 2, we do some painting, start setting up the new HVAC system, and show Project: Yellow Submarine’s accommodation for a few weeks.

Unpaid product mentions:


Preparing The Shoe – Part 1

While we’re organizing plans for content to create, here’s some archival footage from July 2021 when we were all working together in Preparing The Shoe.

In Part 1, we unload our skid-steer loader, prime one of the kids’ bedrooms, and prepare the utility room.

Unpaid product mentions:


Yellow Submarine: Energy and Water Examination

Kevin has maintained a private database for about a year, tracking 4-5 years of electricity, natural gas, and water usage at the property they currently reside at. The intent behind this is to better understand how energy use changes throughout the year, right down to the day or even the hour. This will be important when considering the specifications for off-grid electrical and rain harvesting systems. This data will help determine how large a battery bank to build, how large an inverter to install, and how much water storage capacity will be needed.

Equally important is to understand the energy and water harvesting potential of the property, which Kevin has also been researching. This information will help determine the size of the solar panel array that will be needed to recharge the battery bank within a limited seasonal window.

Project Yellow Submarine has made this information public! Check it out here:

Have any questions about the project? Let us know!


Yellow Submarine: Project Binder

Kevin and Emily are in the process of preparing a comprehensive project binder to consolidate all of their thoughts and notes together, in preparation of engaging an architect to help them produce a design for their dwelling that will take all of their goals into consideration.

To that end, they’re going to start sharing some excerpts from their project binder, which will include things like how to consider a potentially suitable location, auditing space for a home, and determining your utility requirements.

Have any questions about the project? Let us know!


Papineau Homes Theme

The music for Papineau Homes theme was composed in a way to honour Toby Montgomery, by emulating elements of music that remind us of him.

Read: About Papineau Homes Theme


Home Design Considerations

Planning has started for each of the teams future dwellings at Papineau Homes.

Bernice and Alain from Project: Red Carr have a rough design that they’re ready to take to a draftsperson for detailed drawings to get approved by the local municipality.

Kevin and Emily from Project: Yellow Submarine, having the benefit of more time, are taking a slightly different approach. They want their home to be entirely off-grid, and possibly incorporate rainwater harvesting. They have been carefully documenting their electricity and water usage to assess the system sizes they’ll need.

Each team will share more details over time, and we’ll continue to produce videos at each significant milestone.

What questions do you have about building a rural home? What about off-grid and rainwater harvesting? Let us know!