What we do

We formed the non-profit Canadian Senior Cohousing Society  in July, 2011 for the following purposes:


(a) To create public awareness and knowledge of senior cohousing in Canada


(b) To promote seniors cohousing at all levels of government


(c) To educate and train interested seniors in the skills necessary for development and management of senior cohousing and co-caring


(d) To encourage and facilitate communication amongst senior cohousing groups


(e) To engage with other agencies and institutions to further the aims of the society


(f) To facilitate development and management of sustainable senior cohousing communities


(f) To provide similar and related services as determined by the membership.

58 Responses to What we do

  1. rjm says:

    I was so happy to read about your organization in the Calgary Herald,, I have long been discussing this concept with like minded women in thier 50’s. Thinking about returning to co operative living as way to enjoy retirement and not have all of your income go to sustaining ones living costs. I have fond memories of living in a housing co op for 8 years when my children were young. I agree there is a need for boomers to return to this, If you have a mailing list please please add my name, I wish you every success, My goal will be to look at establishing one in Ontario I wish you every success, rjm

    • Lorna Sayed says:

      Hi RJM,
      I am interested in finding an alternative to a retirement home for when I am no longer able to manage on my own. I’ve thought about the idea of co-housing and am very interested in exploring this option with others. I am a 61 yr old single woman and I live in Toronto. Have you found any information about anything going on in Ontario? Where do you live now? Please feel free to get in contact. thanks. LS.

  2. Tina says:

    I am living in New Westminster. I am a city slicker and would not enjoy living anywhere that is isolating. While it may be nice to have neighbors — one also needs to stay connected with the outside world — at least my opinion. My question is who funds these? How much does it cost? Can this occur in the city where prices are so high? I am in my 60\s and need a cheaper lifestyle – rent is eating up all my income and it is only going to get worse.
    Do you have to invest? How much money do you have to have to be part of one of these? It seems to be the part that is missing from this website.

  3. Helene Fagan says:

    If anyone in Ottawa is interested in starting a Meetup group on CoHousing for seniors please contact me. I would be willing to discuss partnering in organizing such a group to help bring more awareness in the possibilities of such housing closer to home.

    • Gary Briggs says:

      Hi, I live in the Ottawa area and have just read ‘The Senior Cohousing Handbook’ by Charles Durrett. The idea of living within a cohousing environment interests me. I want to work on the feasibility of creating a project and participate in a study group about ageing successfully. You may e-mail me or phone me at 613-821-9133.
      Best regards,

  4. Pat says:

    Are there any senior cohousing projects in the planning stages for Vancouver, the North Shore or Squamish? If not, are there any others who might be interested in getting one going?

  5. Sue McRuer says:

    Are there any co housing communities in Nova Scotia are any being formulated?

    • Linda McLaren says:

      Hi there Sue 🙂
      My first grandbaby was born last May and lives in Dartmouth. I have just retired from teaching high school Math in Ontario, have some income and lots of freedom, and I’m looking for a way to move to/live in Nova Scotia.

      Have you heard anything about c0-housing possibilities in the province?

      I will be in Dartmouth, visiting the aforesaid grandbaby, 5-12 November. I would welcome more information. Please let me know?
      Linda McLaren

  6. Jennifer says:

    My husband and I are looking at establishing a number of Sr. Friendly houses for like minded sr.’s to share and live. We have some interesting ideas on how to meet the growing needs of cost, care and independence. Our plan is to offer housing to Sr.s with extended care assistance. i.e. helping them navigate the public sector heath care assistance when required, driving them to appointments, cooking dinner when required, groceries etc. These houses are not retirement homes they are homes where each individual would require to help maintain the home and costs but not cost an arm and a leg and meet there needs as they require them.

    I am interested in establishing a group of peoples that would be interested in participating in a series of meetings to capture what they believe would make a good place to live. Feel, amenities, short term vs long term etc.

    Please contact me if you are interested. Would like at least ten peoples both single men and women, couples of all types etc.

    Planning creates happy endings 🙂

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      Great idea, Jennifer. Where are you located?

    • Jennifer Sturgeon says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Where are you planning to develop these houses? Would they be rental or owned?. Thanks.
      Jennifer Sturgeon

    • Gord Paul says:

      Hi Jennifer. Could I be included in your planning efforts? I’ve entertained similar ideas, and have a base-camp constructed on an acre of accessible Simcoe-area land. Please get back to me.


      Gord Paul

    • Gord Paul says:

      I am located currently in Hamilton, Ont., and would be interested in joining a discussion/planning group near me focused on the theme of senior co-housing.

      Gord Paul

      • Jocelyn Weatherbe says:

        Hi Gord,
        I know that your message is a few years old but we are forming a group to explore cohousing in Hamilton, On.
        CoHoHo – CoHousing Hamilton ON.
        I am in the process of setting up a Facebook group and a MeetUp Group to get people together in this community to discuss the possibilities here.
        The FB page should be up this week so keep an eye out for it.

    • Jane Keeler says:

      Hi Jennifer– I never saw your response about location. Where are you?

  7. Gord Paul says:

    Is there a way I could share communication with RGM, who posted an inquiry last year and whose note I just read here? Thanks, Gord.

  8. Gord Paul says:

    I’m engaged in a similar quest as is discussed here. I’m hoping I’m not left out due to any missing info.

    Gord Paul

  9. Cornelia Laven says:

    I have a wee apartment in Toronto which is very affordable; however, cohousing looks like a friendlier long-term option. Still, it would be nice to know ahead of time an approximation of the cost?
    Please send me this information if it is available in any form.

  10. Samantha Baird says:

    I am a fifty eight year old single woman who moved to the Maritime provinces in Canada in a career transition two years ago. I am seeking a way of life and interconnection with people intergenerationally. I have no grandchildren and no family except from two cousins. I find Canadian and North American life evolves around the nuclear and extended family, even when family members are miles away, people still hold onto this notion.
    It is very difficult to make connections whereby I can have normal, daily or weekly contact like sharing a meal with someone, having a cup of tea at their place or mine, getting groceries together or going for a walk. I find that I have to join and volunteer at community organizations and events which are based on a common interest and where there is a mass of people. I am happy to volunteer where I can, but I always have to get out there and sometimes all I want is a little company!
    I am starting to plan for the time in my life when I have declining physical function and trying to find ways to accommodate this while I am still active and well. I also am trying to be pro-active for my mental health such that I can be with and have more reliable human contact without having to prove myself or getting out and contributing in the larger city or greater community in some way.
    Are there co-housing communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI or Newfoundland? I have a friend in the UK as well as Sweden and I am wondering about there as well. If I thought there were affordable options outside of Canada I would consider these as well. Do you know of any affordable co housing in the UK or Sweden? I have been a single woman for most of my life and raised two children so I have modest means. I do not need to be in a brand new co-housing condo development. Thank you.

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      Samantha, please visit the page on our site for Gagetown, NB cohousing and connect with Tony Ratliffe

    • Linda McCausland says:

      Hi Samanth,
      I’m a 62 year old single woman, very interested in senior co-housing. I’m finding this website a bit difficult. Everyone sems to be asking questions, but I can’t see the answers. Did you ever get any answers about Senior co-housing in Atlantic Canada?
      I agree and have experienced many of the thoughts you have posted. Hope you will reply if you’ve gathered info. thanks, Linda

    • Ann Knowles says:

      We are trying to get a group going in the Annapolis Vslley if Eastern NS … we are on Facebook under Cohousing in NS 2016 . Join in on the conversation … we need like minded folks. Ann Knowles

      • Ann Knowles says:

        Sorry about typos… too late at night ???!

        • Margaret Critchlow says:

          Hi Ann, Would your community like to have a tab under our Communities page to give some infor about your project and link to your Facebook page? This is something we offer to all senior cohousing communities as a free service.

          • Ann Knowles says:

            Yes, that would be helpful. Right now we are just into our 5th meeting on March 26th in Windsor, NS. We are not so likely to be strictly a seniors’ Cohousing development but more likely multi generational… is this possible within your framework?

          • Margaret Critchlow says:

            Yes, Ann, many cohousing communities are multigenerational. Neither of the completed senior cohousing communities in Canada is age restricted. People of all ages can thrive in cohousing!

    • Ann Kniwles says:

      We have just started meeting to get a Cohousing development started in the Annapolis Valley area. Our next meeting is March 26th at 12:30 in Windsor NS. We are all in a bit of a dilemma re: growing older and finding a good place to do so … join our meetings if you’d like. We are fledglings but willing to give it a go !
      aknowles111@gmail.com Or look us up on Facebook at” Cohousing in NS 2016 “

      • Ann Knowles says:

        Oops … I should learn how to spell my own name … Ann Knowles. Our group is currently known as Cohousing in NS 2016. The name will be updated soon. Thank you.

    • Ann Knowles says:

      We are posting everything we find interesting about the huge variety of Cohousing. I hear your dilemma and am relieved that you are being proactive. Aging without family support is a frightening endeavour. There is a small group in Tatamagouche, NS ( a small village) just in the process of looking for land to set up a Cohousing community. We are also interested in doing the same here in the Annapolis Valley of NS ( See our group site on Facebook: Cohousing in NS NS).The Tatamagouche group is headed by a very knowledgeable lady, Joan MacKeigan. If you go to our Facebook page I can give you her contact details. All the best to you . Ann K.

  11. David McAuley says:

    Margaret, I’m a founding member of a fledgling co-housing (mostly seniors) group in Guelph Ontario and attended the CMHC webinar. Most of what you said rings familiar as we proceed to acquire land and begini the development process. I’m going to be passing nearby Sooke in July and would like to visit the site (and construction) of the Harbourside Co-Housing project in Sooke after 3:00 PM Sunday July 9. Would it be possible to tour through with you or another person then? Thanks, David

    • Joe Regan says:

      My wife and I, in our mid-60’s, listened to the Sunday Morning program on the Harbourside Co-Housing project in Sooke, B.C. with interest this morning. We are further interested to hear that you have been in the process of establishing a cohousing community in Guelph, and would like to learn more. If you are aquiring property it sounds like your community is likely well-formed and probably at capacity, but we would like to explore such a possibility for ourselves, at least theoretically at this point. We currently live in Toronto, but have considered Guelph for our future since our daughter and her husband are planning to establish themselves there in the near future. We would appreciate an information you might have about such groups either in Toronto or Guelph. Thanks, Joe Regan and Peggy O’Leary

    • Liz Schieck says:

      David I know your post is older but I live in Guelph and would like to know more about how your co-housing project for senior living is progressing. could you send me some information ..thanks in advance..Liz

      • Bonnie Mullen says:

        Hi Liz
        Just noticed your post from March last year. I am working on a co-living project for women in Rockwood, just east of Guelph. Renovations have been completed and we shall be marketing it to senior women within the next few weeks. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please send me an email with your contact information.

  12. louise dufresne says:

    I live in Sudbury where rents here too are climbing way too high. Anyone have any knowledge of senior co-housing being considered for this area? Txs.

    • Brigitte Marceau says:

      Salut Louise Dufresne de Sudbury. I am also from Sudbury. I just read your letter about having “Cohousing” in Sudbury….Where are you in your research of such a great project on February 18th 2017????? I know you because we were both teachers at Heritage School.
      I would like to hear from you.

      Brigitte Marceau.

  13. Sioux Thibodeau says:

    I am very interested in starting a co-housing for seniors. but not a regular community of homes. What I see a need for in our area is that there be a large home with private bedrooms and washrooms that are rented to the seniors with large common areas for eating, cooking, television rooms, music room, outdoor gardens, chicken coops etc. Giving the independence and feel of belonging and being needed and yet always have someone around you for security and medical assistance when needed to call for help etc. Is there any ifnormation on any homes like this. i know there was an article from a lady in Toronto I believe doing the same but in a city, mine would be in the country with land, gardens etc.

  14. Amie Ilva Tatem says:

    I have enjoyed reading the many interesting comments on this site. I am a New Yorker who has been considering relocating to Ottawa, where I have relatives and have visited several times. I ‘ve read Charles Durrett’s wonderful books on co-housing. I like senior co-housing. There is none in New York. The ones that exist are in the western USA. I am a retired teacher, artist and poet and the New York housing prices have soared tremendously. I would be interested in knowing if any groups have been formed. as the last posts here are from 2015. I especially like downtown Ottawa, near the National Gallery and Cathedral. But I would consider other areas of your beautiful country. Thanks. Amie

    • Keith Shackleton says:

      Hello Amie,

      Browsing on cohousing, I just took a look at this site for the first time. My wife and I live at Terra Firma cohousing (see cohousing.ca website) but we are also in contact with several groups who want to establish seniors cohousing. One is central, Convivium. One is in Perth, about an hour west, and one is in Wakefield area, about 1/2 hour north, in Quebec province. I would be happy to talk with you, show you our place which has been going for almost twenty years. etc.

      • Linda Hess says:

        Would like to visit the cohousing project in Perth Ontario, if possible. Is there a contact number / name? I am approaching retirement, ideally in Ottawa area.

        Thank you,


      • Margret Frederick says:

        Hello Keith,
        I’m in Quebec near the Ontario border and for others to set up a small co-housing project close to the border about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal. I’d really like to visit your place if you are still available.

  15. Bryan Dunne says:

    Hi…looking for info on whether anyone has contacted you with the idea of doing seniors cohousing in Newfoundland…thanks

    PS – we are at the very preliminary stage of investigating this concept for 55-65 y/o folks in Eastern NL

  16. Sherry says:

    Looking for information for co-housing for seniors in Ottawa, Ontario. Thank you! Sherry

  17. Sandra says:

    Looking for information for seniors co housing in the niagara area. What a wonderful idea. Thank you sandra

  18. Neil S says:

    Is your ecohousing community still active

  19. Pauline Pasierowski says:

    My husband and I live in Sudbury Ontario, very interested, is there be an inforation session in the near future

  20. Hi, are you still running information sessions? Are you active in Toronto area?

    • Margaret Critchlow says:

      Yes, we run info sessions and courses on Vancouver Island, BC. No, we are not currently active in the Toronto area.

  21. Ylva Van Buuren says:

    Hello Margaret, I am reaching out to connect with you regarding I am writing for Renaissance, a magazine for retired teachers of Ontario (who lives everywhere in Canada). The story is about Seniors Co-Housing and Co-Habitation and I am wondering if I could speak to you for my story? It is Tuesday afternoon, May 5, and I am doing my research over the next few days. Would you be available for a 15 or 20 minute chat on the phone? Hoping to hear from you, Sincerely, Ylva Van Buuren

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