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...
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.
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.
It takes a village to raise a child, they say, but they don’t actually tell new parents how to find one. It sounds wonderful, but not necessarily realistic for many. Treehouse became “our village” long before we would build our home on the land. Now, we can be that village for others, too.
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 - self-organize, collaborate, dream big, and work hard. Mike’s first reaction was, "Yes! Let's do it!"
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 community.
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 more.
I try to remind myself that, despite being uncommon in our individualistic society, tight-knit, supportive, collaborative neighbourhoods are the norm in many other places around the world. We may not have a neighbourhood yet, but we’re already neighbours.
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 Layout Common House Private Units As a community we consented to the schematic design for the Village. This design aligns with our vision and our values. Next we...