Renforth — Renforth Wharf is the winter playground of the rich, nestled between Saint John and the “old money” of Rothesay, N.B. Every winter the Renforth ice-fishing shacks become more elaborate, displaying comforts of home such as wood stoves and sleeping bunks. This year, however, there is one noticeable difference.
“Well he come along and put up his structure but I personally think it’s right ugly,” said Montgomery VanderSloot of Saint John. “It’s a slap inda face of the people out here dat worked hard and pay good money to have nice tings.”
Harris Remington, chairman of the Renforth Ice Fishing Council, agrees. “I just don’t understand why, in the name of god, you would think of such a thing. It cannot stay. It’s an eyesore.”
The “eyesore” is the brainchild of local zine publisher Julio White, who has recycled an out-of-commission Porta Potty into a tiny ice-fishing shack.
“I like to come here to relax and just get my mind off of work and zines for a bit,” said White as he prepared his equipment before entering the shack. “It’s too small in there. I have to prep out here.”
The shack itself has enough room for only one person. The toilet bowl has been removed and now serves as the hole where White drops his line and patiently waits. He revealed a seat on the back on the door that folds down.
“I’ve always had a knack for making things smaller,” he said. “That’s actually how I got into zining. I was watching that show Tiny House Hunters on TV. I went to the bathroom during the commercial and it just hit me: why not a tiny ice-fishing shack?”
White showed off the modest interior of the shack. “I’m not harming anyone… I’m here to get back to nature. It’s simple, better for the environment, and it works, so what’s the problem?”
“The problem is dat it’s ugly and confusing,” explained Montgomery. “Not ta mention unsanitary. People were peeing in der for weeks before anyone knew it was sum guy’s shack.”