Studying Cohousing Communities

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We are just back from a full and fulfilling 4-day cohousing study tour of Vancouver Island. We attended a 2-day workshop and visited 4 cohousing communities: Harbourside Cohousing in Sooke, Pacific Gardens Cohousing in Nanaimo, Ravens Crossing Cohousing (in development) in Sidney, and West Wind Harbour Cohousing (in development) in Sooke. 

The workshop “Is Cohousing for You?” was delivered by cohousing expert and Harbourside Cohousing founder, Margaret Critchlow. We met her when she delivered a keynote presentation at the Canadian Cohousing Conference in Moncton, NB, this past June. She invited us to attend her workshop, and then bring back the materials to the East Coast. The workshop provided great insight on how to introduce prospective residents to cohousing, and we are looking forward to sharing parts of Margaret’s workshop with you this fall.

It was helpful to speak with the groups who are developing new cohousing projects. Since the development process is so fresh for them, they were able to give us plenty of useful advice. It was nice to witness their sense of anticipation as they stood proudly on their land and shared their plans with us.  

Visiting the two established cohousing communities was an important “reality check”. To really BE in the midst of community life, and sense for one’s self the feeling of living in a cohousing community: the flow of neighbours, the laughter of children, the tension and resolution of conflict, the spontaneous hellos, the peace of the private spaces. Having a taste of that is truly fuel for the work we are doing to make this dream a reality.  

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