Cohousing Movement

Senior cohousing grows out of the broader cohousing movement. The Danes invented these “living communities” in the 1960s. There are hundreds in Denmark and across northern Europe. These are places that encourage cooperation with one’s neighbours, where common facilities are creatively shared yet where each household its their home and members control how involved they want to be with the community

Cohousing combines the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared common spaces and amenities.

Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett brought cohousing to the US with the 1988 publication of their book  “Cohousing: a Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves.”

The Cohousing book offered solutions to North Americans adapted from the Danish experience. The third edition, “Creating Cohousing,” came out in 2011.  McCamant and Durrett  have developed many of the approximately 120 cohousing communities in the US.  (There are 10 in Canada, mostly in BC, with about 8 more in development).

Cohousing creates neighbourhoods based on:

•      Participatory process

•       Privately-owned homes

•       Extensive common facilities

•       Design that facilitates community & ensures privacy

•       Resident management with consensus  orientation

•       Sustainability – environmental, social, economic, & cultural

49 Responses to Cohousing Movement

  1. Kathy Borisenko says:

    I live in Ontario and find the co-housing concept to be great. Are there any planned/existing in Ontario?

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      For information about cohousing in Ontario please contact Dorothy Mazeau . She is the Eastern Canadian Representative of the Canadian Cohousing Network.

      • Karen Blackwell says:

        I am interested in contacting the representative for Eastern Canada but the email addresses on the web page are not valid. Is there another email for contact?

      • Paula Forget says:

        I am interested in learning about co-housing in Ontario.

      • Cynthia Bragg says:

        I am a senior residing in Ontario and would like to connect with other seniors here interested in cohousing. How does one contact Dorothy Mazeau? I would love to hear from other seniors in Ontario. I live in Guelph.

        • Russ Chamberlayne says:

          Cynthia, I live in Guelph, too, and would like info on local cohousing. Left my e-address at SILC (Transition Guelph) a year ago, but haven’t received a reply. If you have any leads, my number’s in the book, so please call.

        • Anne Bradley says:

          There is a group in Rockwood. You can reach them through their Facebook page, Rockwood Co-living Interest Group.

  2. I live in a suburb of Vancouver and am interested in becoming part of a co-housing community. However, I am not interested in moving to Vancouver Island. Are there any groups forming in the lower mainland to start planning a development here?

  3. Rebekah C. says:

    Hello Ontarians!

    I am a Bachelor of Social Work student at Renison University College (with University of Waterloo) with incredible ideas and vision for a seniors housing initiative. I live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and I am building resources to begin my entrepreneurial social enterprise.

    I am excited and encouraged to find more and more people seeking this nature of housing in later years of life. I would love to chat over coffee to talk about what individuals need and are interested in.

    My email address is rebekah.churchyard@gmail.com. I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you!

    With peace,
    -Rebekah

    • Ewa Rewkowska says:

      Hello Rebekah,
      I would be interested very much in cohousing for seniors. Are you still in this field?
      I live in Wellesley, Ontario (Region of Waterloo).
      I would be delighted to hear from you as well.
      Regards,
      Ewa Rewkowska

    • Paul Hannigan says:

      Hello ,
      I am a senior student of Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph. I would be interested in meeting like minded people interested in forming a co housing community based on healthy eating, walking, cross country skiing

      • Aeriol says:

        I am interested in Co housing and would love to talk to some other woman or men about getting this happening in the west side of Toronto area to the kitchener waterloo area including Guelph of course. Best Aeriol

        • Caroline says:

          Hello Aeriol,
          I’m interested and can invest. For husand and me.
          Is there a group getting together about this?

  4. Elizabeth Pollock says:

    I am interested in co-housing in the Duncan area…. I wonder if you know of anyone in this area who is thinking of starting a co housing group?

  5. Hemalatha says:

    I am interested in looking for co-housing specifically geared to the needs of seniors in the Nepean, Ottawa areas. Would appreciate hearing about anything that is available.

  6. Wendy says:

    Hello, we are from Nova Scotia and very interested in the co-housing concept. Is there any in the Atlantic provinces ? What would be the closest area?

    • A says:

      We’ve started a group in the Annapolis Valley …, very early days

      • Shawna says:

        I am also seeking discussions and possible co -housing options in N.S. /Annapolis Valley or Prince Edward Island. I am helping my mom -65 year old independent, artistic and passionate about life to find living options over the next while with other like minded and health oriented individuals . My email is sueandshawna@gmail.com . Would love to learn more or potentially create it if it does not exist.
        Shawna

  7. kathy neidinger says:

    I am currently looking for senior co-housing oppertunities in Eastern Canada. Are there any renting, apprenticeship oppertunities available? Please let me know. I am 55 years old. I will be closing for now but will eagerly be waiting for your reply. Thank you.

    Sincerely Miss Kathy Neidinger

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      Hi Kathy,
      There is a cohousing group forming in Beaconsfield near Montreal. I know that’s not really “East.” If you want to sample cohousing you there are sometimes rental opportunities in Cohousing communities posted on the Canadian Cohousing Network:

    • Diane savoie says:

      Hello I am in NB and would love to to hear about you
      Dianetsavoie@icloud.com

    • Doug Reberg says:

      Did you receive useful information about co-housing in Ontario? If you’re a CBC radio fan, check out the story broadcast on SUNDAY EDITION this morning (Nov 8, 2015) about a co-housing project in BC. Very interesting. Even inspiring!

      Doug Reberg, Stratford ON

  8. Susan Murwin says:

    Hello
    I am also from Halifax NS and I am very interested in the concept of senior co-housing. I haven’t been able to find a senior co-housing project here yet.
    Perhaps, it’s time to call a meeting to gauge interest?
    Susan

    • Louis Lemoine says:

      Hi Susan,
      My wife and also live in Halifax and we are interested in gauging the interest for a project. We would love to get a group started and and try to get a project going on the peninsula. Perhaps we could chat about next steps. I know there are others out there who would get pretty excited about this. Please feel free to send me an email.
      Cheers,
      Louis Lemoine

      • Roberta says:

        Hi, I am also in Halifax and would love to meet to explore getting something off the ground here. I’m not sure how old these posts are…. It’s August 2016 as I write. How can we connect?!
        Roberta

        • Kathlyn Hunter says:

          I have read this thread and it seems the Maritimes is due for a project to be explored. I have just visited the Harbourside CoHousing project in Sooke, BC and it is everything I expected from the articles and interviews I have heard. That said, I borrowed Charles Durrett’s book from the Vancouver library (I’ve transplanted from NB for a year) and believe that for the right group there is lots of assistance.
          Time to start meeting and chatting!

    • Ann Knowles says:

      I have just read this old message. I have an interest in this too and so a group of people are planning to meet in Windsor on the 27th of Nov. 2016 , to discuss Cohousing. Let me know if you are still curious. AK

      • Maria says:

        Hi Ann,
        What time and where in Windsor?

      • Linda Pearse says:

        could you please post the location for your meeting
        Linda Pearse-London

      • Linda Pearse says:

        where and when in Windsor
        Linda

      • Therese Reynolds says:

        Hi Ann. Was the meeting held?

        • Shawna Shiers says:

          Was there a meeting? I am definitely interested as I am looking into shared living for my independent , passion and musical and artistic, She ants to move back to her home town of Windsor and would love to be on the board of ideas for this.
          Can someone email me at sueandshawna@gmailcom if something does exist. A huge demand is happening and I d love to help be part of the process to create this for independent seniors who “just want to have fun!”.
          Thanks
          Shawna Shiers

    • A says:

      Do it … I did in the Annapolis valley

  9. Paulette Anctil says:

    I am interested in this concept and would like to know if any of these exist in Edmonton Alberta .

    Thanks Paulette Anctil

  10. Mareile Aassenmacher says:

    I would be very interested in any cohousing project in Ontario

  11. Mareile Assenmacher says:

    I would be interested if there are any cohousing projects in Ontario

  12. Donna Chevrier says:

    I’m interested in knowing if cohousing exists or is planned in the Milton, Guelph or Georgetown areas.

  13. Inka Glick says:

    I live in Waterloo, Ont., and am part of a group that’s establishing a cohousing community in Waterloo Region. If you’re interested check out: wrcp.ca

  14. Nan Smith says:

    I live in Hamilton and am very interested in the concept of senior cohousing. I would be willing to do some of the organizing work but would like to see if there are any interested people in the area willing to join me in the project. You can contact me at wirednan13@hotmail.com

  15. Janet Swackhamer says:

    Hello Fellow Alternative Housing Enthusiasts !
    The co-housing idea is becoming a timely issue. The rising house and rental prices are rapidly eliminating any hope that a lower income, single person, can afford decent housing.
    I am a healthy younger, single, senior who would like to connect with like minded
    people and discuss ideas for purchasing and sharing housing with others.I am in the south central part of Ontario. There seems to be a government grant option opening up
    for home owners to convert their house into affordable senior “granny flats/ garden suites”. Let’s get together and see what several people can make happen? Janet

    • Marlene Parker says:

      Hi Janet:
      We have a cottage in the Peterborough area, and when we move back to Canada we will be selling the cottage and looking in this area for housing, preferably in a development like “co housing”.

      We were hoping to hear of a development either in process or in planning for this area. Any news?

    • Jocelyn Weatherbe says:

      Hi Janet
      I’d be interested in learning more about the government grant option you mention. You can contact through our new Facebook Page
      CoHoHo – CoHousing Hamilton ON

      Thanks
      Jocelyn

  16. Beth Weaver says:

    Are there current co-housing opportunities for seniors in the London, Ontario area? We would love to hear about them if there are, or talk with others who are interested… Thanks. Beth

    • Alison H says:

      Hi Beth – I’m in London, ON too. Not a senior for a few more years yet, but I’m starting to think about all that prospect entails and I’m interested in co-housing possibilities. If you’d like to talk (or anyone else in the London area too), please drop me a line at ‘inbalance at bell dot net”.

  17. Fred Johnston says:

    Is there a list of Seniors Cohousing groups posted anywhere?

    I’m looking at all possibilities around Orillia, Barrie, London, Stratford, Goderich, Sarnia, etc. (SW Ontario).

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      Check out the Communities Forming tab on this website and visit the Canadian Cohousing Network cohousing.ca

  18. Gail Sitwell says:

    I am looking for a co-housing program in Regina, Sk. or nearby. My second choice would be Victoria, where I lived for 39 years. I believe there is one in Sooke and also one coming up in Cowichan Lake area near Duncan BC. Also, I would be interested in areas up island such as around Naniamo. My phone number in Davidson, Sk. is 1 306 567-4303 and in Regina is 1306 586-59973. I am Gail Sitwell and my e-mail is gsitwell@myaccess.ca. Please e-mail me any information you would have on any co-housing projects. Thanks.

    April 3/17

    Sincerely,
    Gail Sitwell

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      I suggest you contact Prairie Spruce Cohousing which is about to begin construction in Regina.

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