A contemporary adaptation of traditional Mongolian yurts, Yurta is a comfortable and inspiring living space in the best of tent making tradition. It is a functional shelter that deploys in 2-3 hours without turning a screw or hammering a nail. Designed for extreme climates, Yurta is weatherproof and tested to carry wind and snow loads.
Yurta is the super duty tent you will own for a lifetime.
We have proudly designed, sourced and manufactured locally in Canada since 2004. Each Yurta is still crafted from local materials that are natural and non-toxic. This high-touch ensures the very best quality of materials and finish. We love what we do and the care in our production will be evident in your Yurta.
We are uncompromising when it comes to materials. Our frame is made of custom-milled clear hardwood. Known for its density and flexibility, white ash is hand-selected, shaped and assembled into a remarkably strong structure. The structure is visible from inside Yurta, and forms a beautiful and functional frame.
Our insulation is made exclusively for us and combines the thermal benefits of 100% real wool felt with the radiant performance of a reflective layer. This technical felt is a superb lightweight insulator. With a heat source such as a wood stove, Yurta can be heated comfortably when the outside temperatures fall to -25˚C and beyond. It is also an inviting and rich finish for your living space.
Outer covers are sealed by hand for water resistance, yet Yurta is a breathable tent. Condensation from users and extreme humidity fluctuations is allowed to breathe out and dry in time. We believe that a weatherproof but breathable shell is the single most important part of a healthy fabric shelter. This is one of the important reasons we consciously avoid vinyl fabrics and bubble-wrap insulation whose “plastic bag” effect that tends to trap condensation, which promotes mold growth. To learn more about why we think vinyl is evil, see our FAQ.
To enter Yurta is to reconnect viscerally with the different circular dwellings that humans have inhabited across continents and cultures for thousands of years. There’s nothing like the real thing. Come visit Yurta at our shop east of Toronto Ontario, and rediscover the welcoming and comfortable space that is a circle. Or visit our client page for Yurta that can be rented.
"Yurta is an ideal shelter in every sense: beautiful architecture, serene interior design; innovative and completely reliable. I love it.” – Alix in Ontario
Yurta comes in two sizes: 17’ diameter (226’ sq) and 21’ diameter (346’ sq).
For more floor space, multiple units can be interconnected. Yurta can be joined via a simple connector that we provide. This connector can also be used to connect your Yurta to a small outbuilding.
Do you already have a Yurta? No worries. You can connect it to another at any time, without sacrificing your original yurt.
Installation requires only a free-standing ladder. All components integrate seamlessly together to create a tight and weatherproof structure. This 226sq’ (21m²) fully insulated space can be deployed by an experienced team of two in about an hour. It can be easily packed into a 4×8′ trailer.
Your use of Yurta should determine how you approach your platform or floor. Yurta can be staked directly to the ground if needed. With a simple drop sheet, it can be used in true tent style. Adding a round, insulated floor to your Yurta will create a draft-free micro-climate that can be effectively heated.
We encourage you to touch the earth as lightly as possible for your needs. Lightweight structures should not require the ground to be disturbed. We believe that it is best to place this type of structure on a well-anchored, adjustable platform or directly on the ground surface without pouring permanent foundations. As portable structures, the surface preparation should allow the ground to recover quickly and leave virtually no trace.
To be more comfortable year-round, a round insulated floor is recommended for yurts. Yurta works seamlessly with this floor to create a draft-free environment. The structure mounts to the floor, while the wall fabric tightens like a belt around the round floor, providing a near perfect seal between floor and yurt.
Your Yurta includes plans to build your own round, insulated floor. This floor is traditionally-framed, with joists 16″ on centre allowing you to finish the floor as you choose. This floor is structural and does not require a level surface like a deck. Although it can be later moved, the floor is designed to be semi-permanent.
If you do not want to build your own floor, we are happy to offer an optional slotted, insulated round floor panels that assemble in about one hour onsite. This floor is insulated with 2” of rigid SM board insulation and provides a round insulated base for your Yurta in most any climate. It is not structural, requiring a level deck or surface.
You may choose to build a deck for your yurt. We offer a deck kit with necessary hardware and plans to build a portable, self-leveling deck called Octopad. The Octopad is designed for minimal footprint and quick installation. Eight modules form a freestanding deck that can be installed or dismantled in about an hour. A proprietary bracket mount allows each module to be individually leveled on uneven terrain.
Please read more about these options on our Features page.
What is a yurt?
Yurts and circular-tents like them have housed people in Central and East Asia for thousands of years. The portability and easy assembly of their homes was, and continues to be, crucial for nomadic communities. This tradition is indeed what give yurts their true beauty. A yurt is, first and foremost, a tent. And nothing short of the quintessential structure that represents natural harmony and living lightly on the earth.
What is a Yurta?
Yurta is authentic yurt – an original contemporary design for a functional shelter that is strong yet portable. In the spirit of a tent, Yurta features no urban building features. It is designed to connect you with your natural surroundings. Our unique open lattice design makes the Yurta feel like an extension of the outdoors.
How is it used?
The Yurta is a superb short or long-term shelter. Its perfect balance of strength and portability makes it ideally suited to a most any climate, site or use. It is an easy and low cost way to add 4-season space to your life:
Why don’t you use vinyl?
The only place for vinyl is on your turntable. Vinyl is problematic in fabric shelters like yurts for two reasons. First, out of concern for its know toxicity in its manufacture, use and disposal. Second, because its impermeability means that it has a tendency to trap condensation and promote mold. Yurts are not awnings. Fabrics that you will inhabit should be non-toxic and breathable.
But seriously, is vinyl evil?
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) coated fabrics, known popularly as vinyl, is familiar to consumers today for the distinct smell produced in “off-gassing” such as in new cars or shower curtains. Toxic chemical off-gassing from PVC products may contribute to respiratory irritation, damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys, nausea, headaches and loss of coordination. The chlorine in PVC is a source of many of its environmental health concerns, such as the generation of dioxin, a known carcinogenic chemical produced in both the manufacture and disposal of PVC. Dioxins are linked with cancer, diabetes, endometriosis, birth defects, infertility, and immune- system depression. Due to its persistent and bio-accumulative nature (i.e. it travels long distances without breaking down and concentrates as it moves up the food chain) dioxin has become a significant health concern. Both manufacturing and end-of-life disposal of vinyl poses health concerns: PVC releases toxic substances into the environment when it is burned and can leach toxic stabilizers and plasticizers when it is buried in a landfill. Seriously. Check it out.
Do you offer steel entry doors and glass windows?
No. In our opinion, yurts that marry pre-hung steel entry doors and glass windows into a tent’s lattice have missed the mark entirely as yurts. Yurts are tents and are meant to be lightweight shelters. We don’t do air conditioning inserts either.
Is Yurta truly made in Canada?
Yes! Every part of Yurta is a local job. Our team marks and cuts the fabric using our own patterns and we make our frames and other elements in our shop in Ontario. We rely on craft workers throughout the province to make proprietary parts to our specifications.
How long will it last?
We build your Yurta with the intention that you will love it for a lifetime. The frame, ring, dome and felt insulation should last a lifetime under normal use with proper care. The outer cover will require care over time, and eventually, will need to be replaced. With our best fabrics, we expect the outer shell to last the better part of a decade. If you want to extend the life of the fabric, it can be re-coated with acrylic onsite, by you, for about 70$ and a morning’s effort.
Can it have running water and electricity?
You can make it as rustic or opulent as you like. As long as you pay for it.
Does it require a permit?
Do you need a permit to erect a tent? It is impossible for us to know whether you will be required to permit your installation, or for what portion of your setup if any. There is no specific regulation governing yurts today. However, we don’t believe that modern building codes were intended to govern tents. Yurta is a true tent and when used as such, in our experience, Yurta has typically not required a permit. As a yurt, Yurta is rather unique: the structure opens like an umbrella and deploys without turning a screw or hammering a nail and the walls feature soft but functional all-season tent windows.
There may be many things weighed by municipalities such as the type of structure erected, the deck installed, whether the floor is insulated or the intended use of the shelter. Municipalities may even have provisions for tents – sometimes requiring them to be taken down periodically. It is important that local officials understand that Yurta is unlike most yurts that they may have encountered. We encourage you to do your research and ask questions before presenting your plans.
Can you repair or replace parts?
Yes! Your Yurta is covered by a 2-year parts and labour warranty. We can also provide repair services to extend a cover’s life. We offer replacement parts outside of warranty at cost to our customers.
Is it suited to a real winter? A Canadian winter?
Yes. That’s when you’ll love Yurta the most.
Snow and wind load?
Yurta is tested to take a snow and wind load. Properly installed and used as directed, it can handle anything the Canadian climate will throw at it. However, we always urge clients to think of and use their Yurta as a tent, as such we do advise that Yurta be cleared of snow as soon as possible.
What is the order process?
Yurts are made to order. If Yurta is right for you, we take a 30% deposit at the time of order and the balance when you pick up your yurt. Please contact us for accurate production timelines, which vary through the year.
Do you ship?
From the Arctic circle to Australia, we have shipped Yurta anywhere in the world. Shipping requires crating your yurt to protect it in transit. Yurta can sometimes be shipped directly to your door, but the oversized crates make shipping less costly when Yurta is delivered to a commercial dock or picked up by you at the terminal with a pickup truck.
Can we pick it up?
Yes, absolutely. Yurta packs neatly into a 4×8′ trailer. Our largest model can even be packed into a minivan. We’ve fit our smallest into a station wagon.
How much will I love my Yurta?
More than you even imagine.
"It was even better than expected." – Laura in California
|Mongolian Yurt – The original||“McYurt” – The vinyl building||Yurta – Contemporary yurt|
|Outer Covers||Natural Materials||Toxic Outer Covers||Natural and Non-Toxic Materials|
|Vinyl (Poly-Vinyl Chloride) presents serious toxicity concerns in its manufacture, use and disposal. Read more in our FAQ.|
|Breathable covers and insulation||“Plastic-bag” shell||Breathable Covers and Insulation|
|Vinyl’s total lack of breathability can be problematic for fabric shelters. Pairing with plastic bubble-wrap insulation adds another airtight layer. This plastic bag effect traps moisture and promotes mold growth.||Cut and sewn by hand with care and precision that cannot be beat by automated machines. (we desperately tried)|
|Limited Lifespan||Good lifespan||Good lifespan|
|Cotton canvas does not withstand the harsh effects of UV. Maintenance options and lifespan are limited.||Nearly air-tight. Vinyl cannot be maintained.||Fabrics can be painted as they age with their same original coating.|
|Additional effort and expense to waterproof – to start and during the course of ownership.||Weatherproof out of the box for its lifespan.|
|Wool is hand-felted into a thick but coarse layer that does not reflect the radiant heat from a wood stove.||Bubble wrap provides little thermal insulation to help regulate ambient air temperature.||Our technical felt is 100% wool with a reflective layer built-in, made exclusively for Yurta. The ultimate in lightweight insulation.|
|The space||Dense and Closed Lattice||Dense and Closed Lattice||Minimal & Open lattice|
|Our unique design and use of materials creates an open and airy space.|
|Typically no windows||Smaller glass windows||Huge All Season Windows|
|Our windows are nearly 4’x4′. Yurta can have as many as seven windows.|
|Short walls||Cheaper hardware and fixtures||Highest Quality Purpose-Built Construction and Hardware|
|Central support reduces space||Off-the-shelf hardware like galvanized L-brackets and zip-ties are part of the finished product.||Attention and care in every single detail.|
|Plastic bag effect|
|Urban building materials||Hardwood Frame|
|2x4s and similar urban building materials form the finished structure.||Made of clear, solid white ash, the Yurta frame is a work of art in itself with every detail machined by hand to the finest tolerances.|
|Set-up||Onsite build with Horsehair Ropes and Knots||Onsite Build with Nails, Screws, and Ropes||Deploys Like an Umbrella|
|Requires building it onsite, as with any typical urban structure. Is not designed to be deployed or moved with any frequency.||You don’t turn a screw or hammer a nail. Yurta is a tent right to its core.|
|Flexible and Adaptable Design|
|The Yurta design allows you to adapt the structure with relative ease. Start with a basic Yurta with zippered door, then upgrade to a solid door, add insulation or even connect additional yurts or outbuildings without losing a thing.|
|What kind of yurt do you want?||Old world technology||40 year old ‘urban’ design||The best thing since the original|
|1000+ year-old design. Capable and sometimes ornately painted. Limited functionality. Designed for and made in the dry Steppes of Asia. A time-tested shelter without the finish of modern engineering. If not Yurta, then this.||A hybrid of tents and permanent buildings; round buildings with urban functionality: steel entry doors, sliding sash windows even air conditioning. These yurts are more shed than tent.||A super-duty, minimal footprint, functional shelter that is a joy to be in. Designed, sourced and manufactured in Canada for extreme weather. Hand made with the finest quality materials. Love it for life.|