Treehouse Village Ecohousing was launched in the Fall of 2018. Six years later, we are excited to bring the first cohousing community to Atlantic Canada! Our community includes members from Bridgewater and across the world, thanks to the scenic beauty and relaxed lifestyle of Nova Scotia’s spectacular South Shore.
Cohousing is a unique kind of housing – planned and financed by the future residents. Privacy is balanced with community involvement as households keep their independence, living in homes that are entirely their own, but have access to valuable indoor and outdoor amenities.
Typical Cohousing Characteristics
- A number of fully-equipped, privately owned homes designed using a participatory process with the future homeowners
- A site planned and arranged in a way that encourages interaction and community-oriented living, with gardens, walkways and play areas
- Shared amenities, usually in a Common House, such as a large kitchen, a dining room, gym or multi-purpose room, library or guest suites
Treehouse is proud to offer all this and more, in beautiful Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Our community was designed with passion, based on research around best practices in other cohousing communities.
At Treehouse Village Ecohousing, our commitment to our planet goes far beyond building energy efficiency into our homes. We believe in protecting our planet, and are building every aspect of our community around that belief. Building a sustainable community is part of our core vision, and one of a handful of important key drivers of the decisions we make as community members.
Here’s what you can expect from Treehouse Village:
Low Impact Development
We are committed to low impact development at every stage, from land development to lifestyle.
- Passive House design standard for all of our private homes, and a highly efficient building envelope with minimal energy needs
- Solar photovoltaic panels on all roofs, along with several electric vehicle charging stations
- A reduced physical footprint, disturbing only a fraction of our property to preserving the old growth forest
- Multiple units per building, with stacked units and shared walls to reduce building materials and heating demand
- Low-impact stormwater management through use of bioswales and water-retaining landscape features
- Careful consideration into building materials with a focus on low toxicity, a low carbon footprint, and low embodied carbon
- Wherever possible, the sourcing of local building materials and local contractors to reduce transportation distance
- Intentional project management with consideration around reducing construction waste and the volume of earth trucked off our site
- Building shared community amenities such as office space, guestrooms and a fitness centre to reduce the size of our private units
Environmentally Friendly Practices
Research shows that living in an intentional community and having good relationships with your neighbours significantly benefits your mental health. Our design supports and encourages residents to engage in environmentally friendly practices in some of the following ways:
- Shared tools, appliances, yard and gardening equipment, outdoor and recreation equipment help community members cut down on the costs and space to keep their own and drastically reduces eventual landfill waste.
- While each household can have their own washer and dryer, shared laundry facilities give members the option to save the space in their home – and the cost of purchasing and maintaining their own.
- We are incorporating space for gardening and food forests into the landscape design, increasing our access to healthy food with a low carbon footprint.
- With our property located in the heart of the Town of Bridgewater and bordering the Centennial Trail, residents are able to walk, cycle or bus to complete many of their errands.
- By working together to grow some of our own food, and buying food in bulk, we reduce food waste and packaging.
- With the bonus of a large kitchen and dining room in the common house, members have opportunities to prepare and share meals together as they wish.
- With a workshop on site and a community of skilled residents, there’s bound to be someone to help you fix that wobbly chair or broken toaster.
- We have implemented an electic vehicle car sharing service.
- Our community promotes healthy lifestyles through on-site access to both outdoor and indoor leisure opportunities.
- Our buildings were designed with health in mind, prioritizing good indoor air quality and use of construction materials with low toxicity.
Recognition of Our Past, Commitment to Our Future
Treehouse Village is built on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq peoples. In 1726 Mi’kmaq and Maliseet villages at Annapolis Royal ratified the first of several Peace and Friendship Treaties with the British Crown. We are grateful to be building on this land. We will live in peace and seek means of reconciliation.
Part of our commitment as stewards of this land is engaging in a process of continual learning and self reflection as we explore how to live out our values of being kind to ourselves, our neighbours and our planet.
Sin So’sepe’katik is the traditional Mi’kmaq name for Bridgewater and Pijinuiskaq is the name for the LaHave River, meaning “river of long joints/river branches.” (Source: Pjila’si Mi’kma’ki: Mi’kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas.)
Treehouse Village Ecohousing Timeline
Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community is generating a lot of interest in the media, both regionally and nationally. In recent months, Treehouse Village Ecohousing has been featured in Maclean’s Magazine, on CBC Television and Radio, the Halifax Examiner, and even the Weather Network website. The media outlets have been interested…
Pictures of welcome: Treehouse Villagers are moving in At Treehouse Village, we’re fortunate to have a professional photographer in the community. Shirley Robb has been busy capturing a visual record of our welcome parades and other fun festivities, as more households begin to move into our 30-unit, multi-age, eco-friendly cohousing…
Solar panels are on the rooftops of all our buildings at Treehouse Village. Our eco-friendly homes are almost ready! Photo by Treehouse Villager Emma Savage. Drone photo courtesy of Vince Casey. By Allyson Rowley, Community Reporter Have you heard of Treehouse Village Ecohousing? We’re the eco-friendly, multi-age housing development located…
Treehouse Village Ecohousing, Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community, has its first residents. The first family to move in was that of Clara Lovatt and Kathy Horton in late July. They were joined later the same day by the Stonhams – Caitlin, David, and their son Alfie. A few days later,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…