Cohousing Communities

Belterra Cohousing, Bowen Island

A few years from now, Belterra will be a neighbourhood of attractive, energy efficient homes and common buildings. Our gardens will be lush, our children will be happy, our neighbours and friends will visit, and the members of the larger Bowen Island community will be proud of our efforts. We have received final rezoning approval from the Bowen Island Municipality to allow for 30 townhomes clustered in five compact buildings that will integrate 25 market and 5 non-market homes. The homes will range in size from approximately 500 square feet to 1,200 square feet with a variety of floor plans to meet the diverse needs of singles, couples and families. Several of the plans have been designed with families in mind – efficient, two story townhomes with ground level access, good sized private outdoor spaces and two or three bedrooms. Owners will be able to fence their yards according to guidelines established by the community. The Belterra property is approximately 10 acres in size and is located within a 15 minute walk of the village of Snug Cove. More information here.

 

Canadian Cohousing Network
The Canadian Cohousing Network (CCN) was formed in 1992 in British Columbia. It is a registered non-profit organization that promotes the creation of cohousing communities as a model for sustainable development by raising public awareness about cohousing and by bringing people together to form communities. The most valuable function of the CCN is making connections with people who are interested in living in a cohousing community. CCN links individuals and cohousing groups together to share resources and make the process of creating a community easier and more economical. More information here.
Canadian Senior Cohousing Society
Imagine an innovative elder culture that approaches looming issues in sustainability and health care in an entirely new way. Our aim is to provide the mutual support  to flourish, living in an optimal range of human functioning for the rest of our lives. Canadian Senior Cohousing combines the well-established international model of senior cohousing with new ideas for active aging here in Canada. We formed the non-profit Canadian Senior Cohousing Society  in July, 2011,  to create public awareness and knowledge of senior cohousing in Canada, to promote seniors cohousing at all levels of government, to educate and train interested seniors in the skills necessary for development and management of senior cohousing and co-caring, to encourage and facilitate communication amongst senior cohousing groups, and to facilitate development and management of sustainable senior cohousing communities. More information here.
CoHo@UBC, Vancouver

Our purpose is to help change the urban home experience from anonymity to community. Our vision is a tall apartment building that allows UBC, the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) and other partners to provide global leadership in developing and researching socially and environmentally-sustainable urban dwellings. Our proposed principles include a cozy/friendly/participatory/homey/nurturing/safe/fun/easy/convenient/pleasant community; mixed housing types (studio to 4 bedroom) and mixed people types; platinum collective resources (i.e., remarkable views/amenities) shared by residents/neighbours; aesthetic marvel; and constant campus as living lab (CLL) experiments and publications. We believe that it is the UNA’s and UBC’s imperative to create a remarkable forest of tall residences on South Campus. There is now a substantial literature on architectural decisions that promote triple-bottom-line (environmental, social, and financial) sustainability, including many principles of cohousing (to which the project’s name, “CoHo” refers, along with Coho salmon, whose waters we feed). But there are still many important CLL questions about how to translate those techniques into tall buildings, the places where most humans will live for the foreseeable future. There are also experts now at UBC and elsewhere, keen to help us and familiar with implementing community-building/cohousing principles in tall buildings. And finally, it is easy to imagine how UBC could use a venue like CoHo to test triple-bottom-line design, materials and engineering features. Contact erica.frank@ubc.ca

 

Cranberry Commons Cohousing, Burnaby
Cranberry Commons Cohousing is a community of households who live in a cluster of homes in an “urban village” setting in Burnaby. Through managing our community and sharing common spaces, activities and equipment, we enjoy co-operative and friendly relationships with our neighbours. Our cohousing community was created by people who wanted to design housing that would support greater social interconnectness while making efficient use of resources. In addition to its social focus, Cranberry Commons holds respect for the environment as one of its highest values. We have attempted to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of the community design, starting with the selection of the site right up to the solar hot water panels that were installed on the roof. We formed a not-for-profit corporation and acted as the developer to complete a 26,662 square foot, 22-home multi-family residential building. Construction began in October of 2000 and we moved into our homes a year later. More information here.
Fernwood Urban Village, Victoria

The Fernwood Urban Village is a future Victoria neighbourhood of homeowners enjoying the benefits of shared social and physical resources. We are planning to build our homes in 2013. The efficient, purposeful design and the large common areas of our complex will allow a continually developing sense of community. Homes will be positioned around a secure and inviting courtyard. The heart of the Village is the community kitchen and dining area where group meals will be available, although any resident may choose to prepare meals in their own kitchen. At the Village, our large common hall will be easily be adapted as a multipurpose room for in-house concerts, yoga classes or community events. Other common areas will include a library/meeting space, workshops, media/music room, sitting areas, gardens, greenhouses and terraces. Storage for bicycles and kayaks is an integral part of our buildings. In the interests of maintaining a healthy and vibrant community, the Village will be a smoke-free environment. High-production vegetable beds, and colourful flower gardens are a planned component of the Village atmosphere. These may be maintained by residents who have an interest in organic gardening and permaculture methods. The sunny exposure and micro climate at our location will enable a variety of fruits and vegetables to flourish. More information here.

Pacific Gardens Cohousing, Nanaimo

In September 2009, construction of our 25-unit apartment-style cohousing project was completed on a gorgeous 4.37 acre parcel of land in the University Village area of the City of Nanaimo, located in central Vancouver Island on the west coast of beautiful BC. There is a good mix of 1, 2, 3 and 3 bedroom + den units, which range in size from 711 square feet to 1,550 square feet. Each unit opens onto the glass-roofed atrium, which leads to an extensive (8,000+ sq. ft.) Common House. The Common House boasts a large kitchen and adjacent dining/activity hall with a children’s play area as well as other activity-based spaces such as a crafts room, music/meditation room, and conversation lounge. There are also an office, elevator, woodworking shop, laundry, office, guest rooms, and storage rooms. The property has lots of space with tall trees, wildflowers, bees, butterflies, eagles and deer, a salmon-bearing stream and park to the south, a seasonal pond, and a westward view of Mount Benson. Vancouver Island has the longest growing season in Canada, and we have flourishing organic gardens on the site. Once an old farm, it still has numerous producing fruit trees. More information here.

 

Vancouver Cohousing

Vancouver Cohousing will be built as privately owned, fully equipped homes, plus common areas on a mountain-view property spanning three double-deep lots on E.33rd Avenue between Knight St. and Victoria Drive. The homes will range up to three-bedroom units, and all parking will be underground. The main shared area will be a common house with a community kitchen/dining room, activity rooms for children and teens, office areas, music room and a rooftop garden. As well, there will be ground-level gardens, workshops, courtyard, play area and glass-covered atrium to encourage year-round social contact. We have come together as future homeowners to design affordable housing that is family-supportive, senior-friendly and energy-efficient. We are working through the city approvals process for rezoning. Ranging in age from babies to seniors, we are singles, couples, grandparents, and families with children at home. We are not a political or religious group. Our members work in government, health, the movie industry, media, child development, teaching, counselling, consulting, law, engineering, third-world development, and empowering Canadians with disabilities. More information here.

 

West Coast Senior Cohousing, Sooke, Vancouver Island

If all goes well with feasibility studies and rezoning, here is the view from what will be our Common House on the waterfront site we secured in central Sooke. The site, currently operating as Sooke Ocean Resort,  is a five-minute walk to groceries, concerts at the church, dances at the Community Hall, coffee shops, restaurants, the post office, and the bus stop. Our mandate is to build an intentional neighbourhood of strata-titled housing for seniors that is affordable, environmentally friendly, and socially/culturally supportive, allowing people to flourish through mutual support as they age in place and in community. Our mission is to be a sustainable senior cohousing homeowner community that promotes healthy aging in place. The physical structures as well as the social fabric of our community will nurture an innovative elder culture with lively connections to the larger society. We are a group of about 25 people, mostly in our 50s and 60s, from the communities of Sooke, Metchosin, Langford and Colwood near Victoria, BC.  We are starting now, before we get any older,  to develop senior cohousing for ourselves in our home community on southern Vancouver Island, BC. More information here.

 

Yarrow Ecovillage, Fraser Valley

Groundswell Cohousing:  For those who like the countryside and community! 33 homes nestled between a 20-acre Community Farm and the walkable commercial area in the small thriving town of Yarrow we are home to a collection farmers, telecommuters, teachers, nurses, and just about every other career imaginable.  We love to eat amazing local food, entertain each other with opportunities for book clubs, yoga, belly dancing, farm hobby projects, and beer making.  We’restill looking for one or two of our amazing new neighbours . . . are you one of them?  Out here, things move at a simple pace.  We walk and bike as much as possible, we enjoy the simple things life offers in our rural setting.
Elderberry Cohousing: This might be home for adults who prefer a little more “peas and quiet”. Still here at the ecovillage, a group is forming to create an adult-only cohousing group that will have a mature focus. As we collect people, we are looking to begin the design workshops sometime this winter.  Now is your chance to build your dream community with the support of the infastructure already in place at The Yarrow Ecovillage.
More information on both projects here.