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Free to a good home via Craigslist: Whistler's HemLoft treehouse

Time for 'secret' egg-shaped dwelling to find new home
photo submitted

Whistler's famous HemLoft is looking for a new home.

"In a full-circle type of way, I've decided to return the HemLoft to the place from which it came; since I acquired most of the materials for free from Craigslist, I'll be posting the HemLoft's materials as a disassembled DIY package in Whistler's free section of craigslist in the upcoming week," said the HemLoft's creator Joel Allen in an email.

"If you have any interest in acquiring these materials and attempting to rebuild the HemLoft on your own land, please keep an eye on and respond to the ad."

Since the secret egg-shaped HemLoft was first discovered it created a buzz in Whistler and around the word - even appearing in architectural magazine Dwell.

Allen built the treehouse hidden in the woods of Whistler on Crown land as a covert personal project in the fall of 2009, without a clue about the scope of the project or the life it would eventually take on.

"After three years of clandestine missions into the bush in my after-work hours, I was finally putting the finishing touches on my special loft in the woods," said Allen

"But unlike many other creations on crown land, I had no intention of living in mine. To me the HemLoft had become a celebration of its surroundings, a human connection to the immeasurable beauty of an ancient forest."

The Hemloft was completed in 2011 and at about the same time Allen set out on a three-month cross-Canada road trip. "Faced with the quandary of abandoning my beloved creation, I decided to publicize its existence through a website - - and invited curious adventurers to set out in the backwoods of Whistler to find it," said Allen.

Since then hundreds have made the trek to the secret location.

"I was a thrill to meet these people and witness their moments of discovery," said Allen. "I left a guestbook and on my next visit, two months later, I found it overflowing with wonderful sentiments, colourful drawings, and entertaining tales of the misadventures and triumphs experienced while searching for the HemLoft. It was heartwarming to feel a connection with the visitors who shared a similar sense of adventure and appreciated my labour of love."

"While the experience of sharing the HemLoft has been immensely gratifying, I am now posed with a new quandary. I built the HemLoft as a tribute to the beauty of its environment, but it was never meant to stay there long term. To me it was a charmed visitor, lucky to exist for a while in the timeless backdrop of its surroundings. Unlike a forest that will continually renew itself and grow in beauty with each season, human creations need maintenance and care. They need owners who will look after them as they age. And they need permanent homes.

"Here's to the next chapter of its life!"

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