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DOUG FORD: Off the grid

A man’s home is his castle — literally speaking if you’ve seen all the inventive ways homeowners are managing to live off the grid and on.

Indeed, some folks of royal lineage overseas still live in castles, but that’s just the beginning.

Some European homeowners have converted D-Day era bunkers on the beaches of Normandy into unique domiciles, as have Americans with former Cold War era missile silos in the Midwest.

Several television programs depict construction of tree houses of all sizes and designs, both small and massive, and the typical hunter’s cabin of yesteryear has now become upscale.

Want to buy an island?  There are a number of private islands for sale throughout the world, varying in size and amenities.

Islands for sale are located in Ontario, Canada, at a list price of $9.5 million, Belize, Central America for $3.75 million, in British Columbia, Canada for $5 million and off the coast of Maine for $1.4 million.

For those with lighter wallets, try a small island for sale in Panama, Central America, all yours for the price of only $400,000.

There are no guarantees of electricity or running water on a lot of these properties, so come prepared.

Of course, if you truly want to “rough it,” you can try the “hermit” lifestyle.

Although much of it is made for television, a number of quasi-survivalists have been profiled, some with little or no contact with civilization unless absolutely necessary. 

You have to take whatever you see on television reality shows with a grain of salt, anyway, but even Bear Grylls had a disclaimer at the beginning of his weekly adventure series (Man vs. Wild).

Grylls always came up with imaginative ways of finding shelter for the night, making use of palm fronds or pieces of driftwood.

Our recent weather also reminds us of another form of shelter similar to what the Eskimos build to shield themselves from the severe winter, the igloo.

Only so much you can do with chunks of snow, and there are examples of houses made of ice, but personally, I prefer my vintage 1940’s Cape Cod style home. 

After all, home is where the heart is.