Our Blog

All Sold – Treehouse Village Ecohousing

Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community slated for completion in early 2023 A “seed of an idea” planted more than four years ago has come to fruition. Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community – Treehouse Village Ecohousing – announced today that all units are pre-sold. The development is well underway at its location in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, with construction slated for completion in early 2023. The 30-unit,…

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A multilingual cohousing community

Pourquoi? Warum? Por qué? Waarom? Why are so many folks flocking to purchase a home at Treehouse Village Ecohousing in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia? One of the exciting things about our community is all the languages our members speak — French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch (so far!). But no matter the language, we all speak “cohousing”. We can’t wait to share meals in the Common…

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Treehouse Village Ecohousing Site showing the buildings under construction

Construction Update

Signs of spring are popping at 54 Pearl Street, including some accelerated progress on the building of Treehouse Village! Despite the challenges of our winter weather, we have been making steady progress with constructing our community.  At this point, in early April, work is happening on the workshop, the common house, and three of the four residential buildings (buildings 1, 3, and 4).  Workshop &…

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Two bedrooms, a mudroom and a view of the Common Green – what’s not to love about the Pine?

A spacious kitchen with a breakfast bar, an open concept living and dining area, two bedrooms and a front door that opens onto green space, and all this for under $400,000. What’s not to love about the Pine? For Teona and Max Bjork, it was an easy decision to make. Originally, they had planned to move into a 3-bedroom Oak, but when a Pine became available,…
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A big deal about a small town

I’m one of the many Canadians who have decided in the last year or so to escape urban life for healthier, greener pastures. I plan to work remotely and enjoy that elusive thing called a better quality of life. So, I’ve bought a condo at Treehouse Village and I’ll be moving to a town called Bridgewater. I didn’t know much about Bridgewater before I joined…

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Modern energy efficient new 2 or 3 bedroom home in Bridgewater Nova Scotia in a family friendly cohousing eco friendly community.

The Oak: Our largest home is ideal for family living

A home for their children to grow into. A home office. Enough room so that the grandparents can visit. Being able to step outside into nature. These are just some of the factors that drew the Parry and Bjork families to Treehouse Village’s most spacious home, the Oak. The 1,264 square feet Oak includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, and an open-concept living…

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Treehouse Village and Climate Resilience

With the extreme weather we are seeing, the resiliency of Treehouse Village is at the forefront of my thoughts. When Scott and I first decided to move to Nova Scotia, location was top of mind. We wanted to make sure that we were not on a flood plain. We also wanted to ensure that we were not too close to the ocean, so rising sea…

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Land Acknowledgment

By Katherine Harman and Kathy Horton Since July 2020, we have opened our Zoom Full Circle Gatherings and Meetings with “Treehouse Village is being built on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq peoples. We are grateful to be building on this land. We will live in peace and seek means of reconciliation.” We then requested that those not currently in Mi’kmaki type the…

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Groundbreaking Ceremony for Atlantic Canada’s First Cohousing Community

Treehouse Village Ecohousing celebrates start of construction What: Official Groundbreaking Celebration for Treehouse Village EcohousingWhen: Saturday, August 21, 10:00 a.m. ADTWhere: 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…

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The Biggest Gift I Could Give My Only Child

We already live in a society where parenting in isolation has become the norm. Our “DIY” culture has us striving for our own house, yard, and all the “things” we need to be a self-sufficient family unit. With that DIY attitude comes the mindset that we are also to be all to our children.
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Taking an Active Role in Energy Efficiency with Passive House

Are you interested in a more sustainable way of living on the planet? Have you heard of Passive House? Treehouse Village Ecohousing hosted a webinar on April 18 to share why we’re building our 30 homes to the high energy-efficient standards of Passive House. Treehouse Village is a multi-age cohousing community now in development on 15 acres of land in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. We’re dedicated…

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Tree Clearing

Last weekend, we prepared for cutting the trees in the “disturbed area,” which is the part of the land where we’ll be building our homes.
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The Cat’s Out of the Bag – We are now on MLS!

The word has been “out” for quite some time, but it’s now “out” in a different way. Treehouse Village has posted our available homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which you can see on both Realtor.ca and Viewpoint.ca, with more details at Innovative Real Estate LTD. This is very exciting, as it will greatly extend our reach.  Is selling homes really what it’s all…

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Returning to Nova Scotia

I’ve lived a lot of places in my adult life. I confess that I was born in the US, so most of the places I lived were there, but I moved to Nova Scotia in 2006 and very quickly felt more at home than I had felt in any of the five states I had lived in over a period of 20-odd years. Why? One…

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Informal Childcare Arrangements in a Cohousing Village

My name is Caitlin, and I struggle to ask for help.  As a result of this single-minded independence, I have avoided formal childcare arrangements for the entire two years I’ve been a parent. It doesn’t matter how burnt-out I am, or how many work deadlines have piled up, I’ll never call a friend and ask them to watch my son, even for a few hours. …

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Five Week Storm

The year 2020 will be memorable for many of us. My partner and I had an especially memorable event in October with the arrival of our first child. This time of distress really showed us the value of a cohousing community.
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Multigenerational Cohousing Group Seeks Young Families

The vision for Treehouse Village Ecohousing is a multigenerational community of 30 privately owned homes, together on a shared property with common amenities. In December 2018 members took the bold step of reserving half of the homes in the community for households with at least one member under the age of 40.
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What size cohousing home is right for me?

As we move closer to selecting the homes we will move into, I find myself second-guessing my preference for the size of my unit. Although many of the factors may be relevant to deciding to buy into and join a cohousing community, when it comes to considering the size of your home, there are some other things to consider.
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Our Development Agreement Is Approved!

On November 9th 2020, the Bridgewater Town Council unanimously approved the development agreement (DA) with Treehouse Village Ecohousing. Fifty-four Pearl Street will be the future home of a sustainable 30-unit collective residential development.
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“Yes! Let’s do it!” – Building a cohousing community in Bridgewater

My first introduction to Treehouse Village came when friends reached out to share their big dream of building a cohousing community that would become the greenest neighbourhood in Nova Scotia. I wanted to help them make it happen. In order to build this custom neighbourhood, future neighbours would have to join as early as possible to finance the project and act as the developer -…
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Treehouse Village Myths about cohousing

Common Cohousing Myths and Misconceptions

I’ve been with Treehouse Village since the get-go, and there aren’t many questions about it that surprise me anymore. “Is it for introverts?”, “Is it a cult?”, “Do you share bathrooms?”. I don’t mind answering even the strangest questions, as I appreciate curiosity. While cohousing has been successful in other parts of the world, including North America, the idea is new to Atlantic Canada. Many…

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The Pull of the Little City

I think I’ve finally found the solution to my rural versus urban quandary in Treehouse Village Ecohousing. Bridgewater offers the amenities which I usually associate with urban living in addition to the benefits of a more rural lifestyle, and when you add cohousing into the mix, it covers all bases!
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Brigus the Labrador Retriever

I really like helping with chores and love to carry laundry and lunch boxes and groceries in from the car. The only time I got carried away was when Shelley asked me to carry in three blocks of cheese, one at a time.
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My Accidental Swim

I am a 16 year old cat, long, lanky, and orange, with the beginnings of grey showing around my ears and whiskers. I have lived in many places in my long life, all (except for the very first bit, which I don’t remember very well) with my family of humans. The story I’m going to tell you is from my time on the boat.
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Why I Traded my Tiny House for Cohousing

If you’d told me in 2016, while I was building my Tiny House, that in 2020 I’d have put down my life savings on a deposit for a home in a town I’d only been to twice, that was projected to cost more money than I’d earned in my entire life, I’d have laughed, then asked you what you were smoking. What changed? For starters,…
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Buzzing with Possibilities: What Cohousing Could Offer My Family

My mind was buzzing with possibilities as I walked home from the info session. I was playing out my daily routine in my house and comparing it to life at Treehouse Village. It was clear we could do a lot more with less. The move would involve downsizing to a home with considerably less square footage but grant us more shared space, amenities, and community…
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Treehouse Village’s Cohousing Colour Challenge #cohocolourchallenge

While we all are isolating at home, the pandemic hasn’t stopped Treehouse Villagers from strengthening our community. When Cate emailed with the invitation to take on the colour challenge, I was thrilled to see her family’s pink pose, but reluctant to join in. It was only after the “reply alls” filled my inbox from members stepping up to the challenge that I was nudged to…
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Finding Treehouse Village

“I’ve found a cohousing project on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  It looks interesting and they have an information session on YouTube.  Do you want to listen to it while we drive?”
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We are one step closer to building our community

Last month, we gathered virtually and consented to the design for Treehouse Village. This is one big step closer to building Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing neighbourhood! Consenting to the design was a big decision. Although we are excited to reveal the details of the physical common kids room, the unit floor plans, and the many gardens, the biggest development is the resiliency of this social…
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A Grand Adventure in Bridgewater

In late February, Erin McQueen, sister to Treehouse Village Ecohousing member Caitlin Stonham, joined her family on a weekend in Bridgewater while they attended Treehouse Village meetings. Here, Erin shares some of the highlights of the town, from a visitor’s perspective.
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Birds of a feather flock together – Online fun during Covid-19

Last Friday, rather than having fun with just the adults at Treehouse Village, we decided to try and have some online fun that involved some of our community kids. Our event planning team put on their thinking caps and came up with a community craft night, where we would all sit together over video conferencing and do a craft together. This then became our Friday…

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5 Ways to Show Community Resilience in a Pandemic

Not only have our members found that working on our development is an excellent distraction from the boredom of social isolation, we’ve also been able to draw emotional support from each other in these trying times.  But how exactly have we been able to keep the “social” in “social distancing”? Our success rests on the strong foundation that we’ve built together over the past year or…
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Why does cohousing make sense for our families?

Treehouse Village parents weigh in When I decided to write a blog post to share my family’s thought process on moving to a cohousing community, I thought it would be interesting to hear from other families who are part of this project. I asked some TVE members with kids, “What was the clincher for you in deciding TVE was where you wanted to raise your…

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A Newcomer’s Guide to Treehouse Meetings

Meetings are run a bit differently here. You’ll find some impressive things (like a group being completely civilized and focused on reaching an agreement quickly) and other things that make you wonder what’s going on (like the process of checking in at the beginning and out at the end). Here’s a quick overview of what to expect and why we run our meetings this way….
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First 3D Rendering

✓ Design workshop series completed. We are now in the Design Development stage, where those designs will be refined and costed. ✓ Early 3D rendering of the design received (see above). ✓ Project Manager hired. ✓ Geotechnical survey completed. ✓ Town of Bridgewater held a Public Participation Meeting as part of our Development Agreement process. ✓ 18 members signed up for Intro to Sociocracy training…

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Workshop #4 and Approval of Schematic Design

On December 7-8 we did our final design workshop. At the workshop we approved the schematic design, the architects will shift into the design development phase, where we will refine the plans add more detail. Construction drawings will follow and we’ll be building before you know it! Treehouse Village is already a hive of activity. Our members are busy hiring a project manager, researching construction…

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Design Development – Here we come!

This weekend we held the fourth and final design workshop with our architects. They presented us with a set of schematic drawings for our village including: Site LayoutCommon HousePrivate Units As a community we consented to the schematic design for the Village. This design aligns with our vision and our values. Next we move into the design development phase where engineering consultants are brought on,…

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We have land!

We’re so happy to share that we have secured the land for our future community. It’s an incredible 15 acre parcel of forested land including many old growth trees, bordered by the Centennial Trail (a multi-use active transportation trail) and centrally located in town. The land has an excellent walkability score and is zoned “comprehensive residential” permitting cohousing design by entering into a development agreement.

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Design Workshop #3 – Private Homes

The weekend began with a great reveal of the initial design of our common house based upon the input provided at the previous design workshop. In this workshop, we spent the weekend talking through the various features of our private homes.

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Design Workshop #2

Our Sept 14-15 workshop was all about designing the common house. In cohousing, the common house is the heart of the community, and an extension of each family’s home. It is a place where you can practice your hobbies, share food and fun, and be yourself around trusted neighbours.

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First Workshop Success!

We had so much fun letting our creative juices flow at our first Design Workshop! On day #1 we spent time envisioning and prioritizing the kinds of elements we want to include on the site… woodworking shop, gardens, children’s play spaces, and so on. We then took our ideas and walked the site, imagining what could be where.  On day #2, we were given scale…

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Meet Our Architects (Caddis Collaborative & RHAD)

Today we welcome on board our architecture team: two firms that combine specializations in cohousing, green building, as well as knowledge of the local industry and vernacular. RHAD and Caddis Collaborative are now tasked with designing our community, bringing our dreams closer to reality. The first step of the design phase will begin this fall. As a community we will participate in four design workshops,…

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Design Workshop #1: Site Plan

The first design workshop us all about the Site Plan: identifying what kinds of activities we want to do on the site, and mapping out where they will go. The common house, the homes, the gardens, the play spaces, parking, the treehouse, and so on. 

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Welcome to the team, Caddis!

We are delighted to announce that Caddis Collaborative will be the cohousing architectural firm for Treehouse Village!  We were humbled to receive proposals from several of the top cohousing architects in North America, and after a rigorous selection process, Bryan Bowen and his team at Caddis ended up being the right fit for TVE’s vision. Bryan will lead a design team which will include cohousing architects, local architects,…

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An Offer on Land

We are so excited to announce that we have an accepted offer on an incredible parcel of land, located at 54 Pearl St in Bridgewater. We have agreed to meet conditions by October 1st, which gives us time to do a feasibility study on this land, to confirm that the visions we have for Treehouse Village can indeed happen on this site. During that time, we…

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Associate Membership Opens

The first level of membership (“Associate Membership”) will open immediately following the December 9th meeting to those who attended the Group-Forming Series. The fee for associate membership is $150 for 3 months, and is non-renewable and non-refundable. One household = one membership.  At the conclusion of our Group-Forming Series we welcomed the first cohort of Associate Members to Bridgewater Cohousing! We appreciate the early interest and dedication…

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First Member’s Meeting & Group-Forming Series

What a great group came out for our first members’ meeting on Oct 21st! We broke the ice, asked and answered lots of questions, and enjoyed some delectable eats (a sign of good things to come!). We look forward to welcoming more of you at our next meeting. Group-Forming Series  The first step in building a housing development together is to come together as a…

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Bridgewater Cohousing Launches

By the response to our first Info Session, it’s clear to us that Bridgewater Cohousing has now launched! But it’s far from too late to join us. We’ve got several more info sessions planned for this fall. Scroll on for the details. It was a FULL HOUSE! Over 80 people took in the first Info Session, and many of those have a high level of interest. 

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Studying Cohousing Communities

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…

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