Learn more about cohousing

There’s a lot of great information about cohousing out there. We’ve listed a few of our favorite videos, websites and articles below.

 

good reading

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Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett

Written by the award-winning team that wrote the original "cohousing bible" in the 1980's and first brought cohousing to North America, this fully-illustrated manual combines nuts-and-bolts practical considerations and design ideas with extensive case studies of dozens of diverse communities in Europe and North America.

(Available at the Calgary Public Library, or order as an ebook or hard copy here. Our group also has copies that we’re willing to lend out!)

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Canadian Cohousing Network – 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. Their website contains valuable information for those 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.

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CoHousing Solutions Our development consultant, Katie McCamant, is President of CoHousing Solutions. Her team pioneered the development of cohousing in North America, and have helped create dozens of successful, award-winning communities. There’s a wealth of knowledge on the website.

short videos

PBS Newshour: Balancing privacy and community with design in cohousing (08:44)

Cooperative living arrangements have existed across a number of cultures for centuries. But the concept took a new form in Denmark in the early 1970s with the establishment of Sættedammen, a cohousing community in which residents retain a private living space while sharing common facilities like a kitchen, laundry and play area…

Building Community with Cohousing (06:31)

Film makers Dany Gagnon and Regan Payne interview cohousing residents from WindSong Cohousing Community (completed 1996), Cranberry Commons Cohousing (completed 2001) and Roberts Creek Cohousing (completed 2005).

TED Talk: How cohousing can make us happier (and live longer) (10:15)
Loneliness doesn't always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people around us -- and it's often the result of the homes we live in.

a sample of canadian cohousing communities

Cohousing originated in Denmark in the 1960’s, and was introduced to North America in 1988 by two architects. (One of them being our consultant, Katie McCamant!) Since then over 160 cohousing communities have been built in the U.S., and the concept has trickled into Canada, with 13 completed communities here. In North America close to 200 new cohousing communities are forming or in development, including 21 in Canada.

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Prairie Sky Cohousing – 403 31 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB

Prairie Sky is a long-standing successful cohousing community right here in Calgary. They have built a cooperative and caring neighbourhood based on principles of community, respect, and sustainability. Built in 2003, the community contains 18 homes in a range of sizes.

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Vancouver Cohousing – 1733 East 33rd Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Cohousing consists of 29 privately owned, fully equipped homes plus 2 rental units, in addition to a large and beautiful common house and outdoor common areas. The common house has an area of 6,500 sq ft. and includes a community kitchen, dining room, and lounge; activity rooms for children and teens; office areas; two guest rooms; a yoga studio; and rooftop gardens. As well, there are ground-level gardens, workshops, plus a courtyard and play area that encourage year-round social contact. All parking is underground.

They moved in on March 1, 2016 and continue to have 4 common meals every week. (3 dinners and 1 brunch.)

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Windsong – Langley, BC

Environmental award winning townhome development with glass enclosed pedestrian street.

Nestled on a 6 acre site with organic community gardens and 4 acres of natural reserve traversed by a creek. They opened their doors in July, 1996.

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Belterra Cohousing – Bowen Island, BC

Belterra is a beautiful property about a 15-minute walk from the village of Snug Cove on Bowen Island (a 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver). Thirty townhouse suites grace the hillside overlooking forests and the Coastal Mountain Range. Completed in 2014, the multi-generational community shares vegetable gardens and a 3,700 sf Common House with many amenities, including guest rooms and a workshop.

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Cranberry Commons – Burnaby, BC

A mix of townhouses and apartments arranged around a courtyard in a vibrant urban neighbourhood, a half hour bus ride from downtown Vancouver.

They have incorporated many environmentally sustainable and technology features into their design. Construction was completed in October 2001. They are a community of young and old, families & singles.