The Owner-Builder Network

The Hemloft

Whistler British Columbia – Joel Allen

Gone forever now, but what an interesting story this is! Built on public land, this home lead the owner (borrower of public space?) to a new beginning. Built from materials sourced free on Craigslist, it’s proof of human resourcefulness.

“Like so many wonderful accomplishments, the HemLoft sprang from broken dreams. Joel Allen was in his mid 20s, working for a social media startup in Whistler, B.C., when the company went out of business. Dream one, dead. He decided to retire at age 26 by crowdsourcing the funding for his new life of leisure, but that didn’t work out, either. Dream two, dead.

The Hemloft aka The Egg House
The Hemloft aka The Egg House

In the space that was left, he became a carpenter, found a friend and mentor in an aging hippie named Old Man John, and tramped the woods around Whistler until he knew them intimately. His story is long (and beautifully told at, but the short version is that these threads came together as inspiration to build a treehouse — but not just any treehouse, a house that meshed organically with the environment and was a thing of beauty to the eye and spirit.” (From

As of April, 2013, the home was to be removed, however, the end result is unknown. We read that the hemloft was bought by a hiking company and rebuilt elsewhere but can’t find verification. Maybe it’s all a cover story and Joel is still there, sitting high overlooking Whistler’s million dollar mansions!

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