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

72 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.

        • judy says:

          I am interested in this concept too. I live in guelph.

      • Bill says:

        How can I contact Dorothy ..Anyone ?

      • Marylou Demers says:

        Dorothy Mazeau Contact info please.

      • Rick Metcalfe says:

        My wife and I are retired and looking at the possibility of co-housing. Are you aware and many co-housing projects in Ontario?

      • Ester Altvarg says:

        I find the cohousing in Guelph o next to Guelph a great idea for us. Better to say: a real dream!!! Since I live in Argentina, and we have our sons in Guelph, please: can you send me more informations about Senios Retirement Communities in this area?
        Do you need to buy the property? can you rent it? Let me know the options for senior residents. Thanks a lot

  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 I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you!

    With peace,

    • 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.
      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

    • Bill says:

      Hello Rebecca
      I live in Pickering ont.
      Very much like to help and get involved.
      Are you still working on senior CoLiving project?
      Please contact me to chat and discuss your ideas

      Bill Tandon
      Or 647-686-6549

  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 . Would love to learn more or potentially create it if it does not exist.

  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

    • 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:

    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?

    • 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.
      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?!

        • 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

      • 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!”.
          Shawna Shiers

    • A says:

      Do it … I did in the Annapolis valley

    • Jeanie Henschel says:

      Hello Susan,

      This concept of co housing interests me also.
      If you have found any information about forming a group
      here in N.S. , can you share it. I live rural and even forming
      a group to pursue this sounds exciting to look at alternatives and

  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:

    • Brenda Swift says:

      Hi Inka

      Hi Inka. You posted a message about starting a co housing group in Waterloo, back in 2016.
      I’d love to know how it’s doing please? I’m British but I have my daughter/family in Waterloo, and thinking of moving. I’m a well travelled, retired social worker/teacher and very active/sociable, so would like to live around others like myself sharing skills. Would love to hear from anyone setting up a similar group in this area/nearby please and the cost to live there.
      Hope to hear what’s available in/around Waterloo please?
      Brenda Swift.

  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

  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


  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

  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 Please e-mail me any information you would have on any co-housing projects. Thanks.

    April 3/17

    Gail Sitwell

  19. Alison H says:

    In the interest of seeing who is interested in the London area, I am holding a ‘Kick-off / Meet & Greet’ meeting at the Pond Mills Public Library (1166 Commissioner’s Road East, London) on Thursday, June 22nd at 7 pm. Let’s get the discussion started! More information also at “London CoHousing Initiative’ on Facebook.

    • Suzanne M. says:

      Hi Alison H: I am a young at heart, senior lady, home owner. Seriously interested in the CoHousing Initiative. This concept is so timely given the number of “boomers” retiring and looking for alternative living situations. Would love any info you could share with me!

  20. Tom Mullan says:

    I am very interested in cohousing for seniors. I am 70. I currently live in Picton but will certainly move. Let me know.


    Tom Mullan

  21. Joan Hutchins says:

    I’m wondering how a situation is handled when one of the co-owners becomes unable to continue in the ownership. Is this something that is managed in the original Agreement of Purchase and Sale?

  22. Alan Slavin says:

    We have an active cohousing group in Peterborough city, looking at a timeline of 3 to 5 years to moving in. New members serious about becoming involved are welcome. See the website at

  23. Lucie Pinault says:

    J’aimerais démarrer un groupe de cohousing au Québec.
    Je ne sais vraiment pas comment faire. Comment démarrer?
    Est-ce que je peux avoir des informations?

  24. Isabella says:

    Hi there, I’m a reporter with CBC PEI. I’m looking to do a story about the possibility of co-housing on PEI. I’m looking to speak with anyone considering it here on the Island. You can email me at

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      Hi Isabella, Please email Allan James , or Sheila Bacon . They have been involved in creating cohousing in Charlottetown

  25. William Podmore says:

    What is the cohousing situation in Quebec?

  26. Cindy Collins says:

    I’m very interested in a seniors co housing in Alberta or how we start this up for more seniors. I a 55 years working with the youth in the school system but feel obligated to our seniors.

  27. Dale Creelman says:

    March 2019


    I am interested in co-housing, interest groups, seminars or training opportunities that may exist or be in development in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia.

  28. jenn smart says:

    More cohousing is needed especially for women!

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