Groundbreaking Ceremony for Atlantic Canada’s First Cohousing Community

Posted on


Treehouse Village Ecohousing celebrates start of construction

What: Official Groundbreaking Celebration for Treehouse Village Ecohousing
When: Saturday, August 21, 10:00 a.m. ADT
Where: 54 Pearl Street, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Bridgewater, NS—Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community will mark the start of construction on Saturday, August 21, with activities including planting of a fruit tree by the community’s children, refreshments, music, speeches, and other festivities.

Treehouse Village Ecohousing will be “breaking ground” in more ways than one: It will be Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community, its largest multi-unit residential Passive House construction, and one of Nova Scotia’s greenest neighbourhoods.

The August 21 celebration marks the official start of construction of the $12-million, 30-home project, which has been in process since September 2018 and was officially formed as a Nova Scotia development company in March 2019. Hailing from across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., Treehouse Village households are all shareholders in the company. The expected move-in date is the fall of 2022.

Building a cohousing community is a long-time dream of Cate and Leon deVreede, co-founders and “burning souls” of Treehouse Village Ecohousing. “We’re thrilled to see our joyful, healthy, eco-friendly, multi-age community now physically taking shape in front of our eyes,” says Cate. “This project is a microcosm of how we’d like the world to be — a place where we take care of each other, our broader community, and the Earth, and where our children can experience those values being lived out.”

Treehouse Villagers are closely monitoring public health and travel regulations. “We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone with our Bridgewater and wider communities, both in person and virtually,” says Meg Beliveau, Leader of the Treehouse Village General Circle. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to welcome as many friends and neighbours as possible to share our joy and excitement for this innovative project.”

The community is also taking a fresh look at the usual idea of a groundbreaking. “We won’t be ‘breaking’ the ground,” says Kathy Horton, Leader of the Treehouse Village Policy Circle. “We’ll be honouring the land and the first peoples who came before us — and celebrating our community and all living creatures.” She notes that Treehouse Villagers are grateful to be building on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq peoples. “We seek paths of reconciliation, sharing, and friendship,” says Kathy.

Treehouse Village Ecohousing will feature 30 private, energy-efficient homes and a large, shared common house on a 15-acre property in Bridgewater, located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. 

The 30 private homes will be stacked townhouses, clustered in a form that facilitates social interaction. The family-friendly, multi-generational community ranges in age from six months to 70+ years.

The development will be Atlantic Canada’s largest multi-unit residential Passive House construction — built and tested to the ultra-high, energy-efficient standards of PHIUS (Passive House Institute US, Inc.), greatly reducing energy costs and long-term maintenance needs.

“Cohousing” is a unique kind of housing planned and financed by the future residents, in which privacy is balanced with community involvement. Treehouse Village Ecohousing will feature a 5,000-sq-ft common house with a large communal kitchen, playroom, library, coworking space, fitness area, guest rooms, and a dining room for shared meals.

Construction is taking place on only a fraction of the property. More than 10 acres will remain undeveloped forested land. Building materials and labour are being sourced locally when possible.

Upon completion in fall 2022, the development will be registered and self-managed as a condominium corporation. Condo fees are projected to average only 35 cents per square foot and to include internet for all homes and common areas, as well as the usual costs of heat, electricity, and water/sewer.

Treehouse Village Ecohousing is already 80% sold, but two- and three-bedroom homes are still available. Check out our pre-sale pricing!

RSVP to Saturday, August 21 for the general public:

Covid Safety plan.

Treehouse Village office: 902.593.1256 | |

Leave a Reply