Canadian Cohousing Research Project



Image along the path in Creekside Commons, Courtney BC.
Image along the path in Creekside Commons, Courtney BC.

After years of thinking and working on sustainable and collaborative design I’ve finally been able to carve out real time to visit with completed Canadian cohousing communities and interview members about their lived experience in these innovative development projects. I’m particularly interested in the process of co-design – not just of the physical places and spaces, but of the systems and process that help govern these communities.

So far I have had the opportunity to talk with members of Harbourside Cohousing, a senior cohousing community in Sooke, B.C., Pacific Gardens, in Nanaimo B.C.,  Denman Island Cohousing, on Denman Island B.C. and Creekside Commons, in Courtney B.C.. The experience of talking with members of these communities has been enlightening and inspiring and I feel a deep sense of privilege for having been welcomed so openly into these communities. These projects share some commonalities and many differences in design, process, and experience. The prospect of reviewing the conversations I have already had, as well as the ones yet to come is both daunting and exciting. I feel that I’ve found a topic that will provide me with years of meaningful reflection and work and this is a wonderful feeling. I also feel that I can play a role in helping these communities document and share their experiences in a way that might facilitate future developments and this is also very motivating.

My journey continues in the coming weeks (and months) with visits to Heddlestone Village, Quayside Village, Vancouver Cohousing, Windsong, Belterra, Robert’s Creek, and Terra Firma.

I have very recently been welcomed into a few other communities, and will likely have to make another trip out to the West Coast in order to continue with this work. If you do not see your community’s name on this page, please drop me a line. I would like very much to have the opportunity to meet with other communities, so that I can get the most thorough view of the current situation around cohousing in Canada.

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Category: Research

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