What is a Yurt?

It’s a tent!

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 in minimal footprint 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.

About 50 years ago North American yurts started to appear, and this venerable tradition was jammed into the mass production of fabric yurts with the cheapest available materials and construction. These "McYurts" were a Frankenstein of Mongolian tradition and modern North American building ethics, featuring PVC, glass windows, steel doors and even air conditioning. These designs continue to exist and populate the continent.

YURTA is different.

Composition of Our Yurts

Yurts are both strong and lightweight. With planning, their compact footprint allows you to achieve a year-round shelter with minimal site preparation.

A yurt’s anatomy typically includes the following components.
Each element shown may not be required depending on the particular shelter, the site and the needs of users.

the “tonoo” was covered by fabric, vented via guylines from the ground
corkscrew mess like skylights
includes a slick operable acrylic dome over a round central compression ring made of solid wood.
Outer Fabric
canvas, not too waterproof
impermeable and toxic
is weatherproof, maintainable and breathable. The only consideration is breathability. Look for how your roof attaches to your wall.
usually, no windows
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Chimney Vent
in the middle of the space, between two pillars
out the wall like a house
chimneys vent through the roof like traditional, but we clear the central space, and push the chimney to the side to open the space.
multiple layers of thick felt
canvas covers are hung to hide the plain bubble-wrap insulation typically sealed around the frame
combines the best of traditional and contemporary materials. 100% wool felt is needled to a radiant layer. This thermal and radiant capacity makes it an excellent lightweight insulator that is completely breathable.
is framed with a structural circle, cone on cylinder. Our frames are full natural hardwood, which is flexible, beautiful, and on display.
doors are crafted from clear furniture grade cedar.
usually two pads for a family to migrate to through the seasons
: build or buy a floor from us.
not usually employed
North American building standard poured footings
decks are built with a minimal footprint, using freestanding Octopad construction.

About Us

Yurts and fabric shelters are more than just a 20 year love affair.

Yurta is our own completely unique, contemporary interpretation of a traditional Mongolian yurt.

In 2004, we designed and built our very first Yurta at our rural studio in Lanark Highlands, Ontario on the picturesque outskirts of Ottawa. After 10 years manufacturing in the charming hamlet of Greenwood Ontario, we moved near the hamlet of Columbus Ontario, north of Oshawa Ontario.

We are committed to conscientious production with respect to our clients, our community and environment.

We continue to design, develop, test, manufacture and improve Yurta from our rural studio. Every part of a Yurta is a local job, with minimal transportation of goods.

Each Yurta is handcrafted from natural and non-toxic materials from scratch in our shop.

Certain components, such as our doors and custom hardware are made according to our specifications by local master carpenters and metalsmiths. We support independent local shops and rely on their workmanship to meet the tight tolerances our product demands.

This high-touch ensures the very best quality of materials and finish. It also means that we can only produce a limited number of yurts and why we sell out of Yurta every year.

We love what we do, and the care in our production will be evident in your Yurta.

As architects, makers, artists, poets and dreamers, these little shelters continue to be a source of inspiration to us.

Patrick Ladisa, Marcin Padlewski
, Anissa Szeto & the Yurta Team

What Makes us Different

We do everything differently here.
Even for yurt makers, we’re not typical.

Remaining fundamentally faithful to Mongolian yurt traditions, Yurta's contemporary functionality and fine finish is designed for Canadians.

Faithful adaptation, reimagined for all of Canada's seasons. Breathable. Bright. Warm. Sustainable.

Efficient installation deploys with one cable and two pins, all without turning a screw or hammering a nail. You can’t argue that it isn’t a tent.

Our entire enterprise is an environmental initiative. We make a minimal product, with light footprints. We produce one garbage bag a week.

We are uncompromising on quality, design, and ethos.

Our yurts have to have it all.