Cohousing links

— Listen to CBC radio show about Harbourside, Sooke BC: BC seniors build a new way to age in place  or the PBS program about places in Denmark and the US:

— Harbourside’s website: This website has videos, floorplans, and lots of detail about the process. Harbourside required a $20k deposit, and all prospective residents must attend a weekend course.  Planning meetings were 1 weekend/month for three years.  You didn’t have to attend meetings, but decisions would be made for you if you skip.They decided on 5 sizes of unit, from small 1 bed to 2bed+den, average price 374k.

— Ronaye Matthew is a cohousing consultant who worked with Harbourside and most of the other cohousing projects in Canada; her website:

— Cohousing consultants in Canada also include:  Durrett sells THE DEFINITIVE SENIOR COHOUSING POWERPOINT PRESENTATION for $99.95USD:

— has a list of intentional communities, with details on each:

— The founders of the US cohousing movement have information here:

— Elderspirit is one of the first senior cohousing communities:

— Bryan Bowen is a Boulder architect who specializes in cohousing:

— look at

— Canadian Senior Cohousing site

— AARP backgrounder

— There are courses, and holds annual conferences (May 2017 – Nashville) to help people get started., and most existing communities are happy to show you around and answer questions.

— gives answers to some typical questions.  Their bylaws are online at:

— One Toronto cohousing project in the planning stages lists their consultant as:

— There is a group trying to start up in Toronto:

— Solterra has a model for a smaller group ( page) which doesn’t require rezoning, because it is a single kitchen home with multiple owners (as tenants in common); ownership portion can be freely sold.  They renovate existing homes to their model and provide nursing care to various need levels: They offer courses, a turnkey franchise option, and details about their various projects, which are designed for small, rural Ontario communities.

— Similarly, , Caledon, or Durham – small complexes with private single (tiny) or double (larger) suites, with communal areas, and these aren’t owned, but are rented (from $1800/month).  Both of these are in communities of about 2500 people, which is the same size as Lakefield.  They are intriguing because their model is of a smaller group of people (10-14) who have lower costs because they have very limited private facilities (no kitchen, dining or personal outdoor seating area), but because of the small size, the communal facilities can be used by the residents as if they were their own.

They see themselves as a self-selected family, which is essentially what we want.  They turn two singles into a double by just opening a door and turning one sleeping area into a living area for two; they keep two bathrooms.  We might want to do something similar, but with an option to turn the second bathroom into a kitchenette for the double units.  Both singles and couples can choose whether they want the cheaper single unit or the larger double unit, and these can be reworked for future tenants needs. Personally, even if I was on my own, I think I would want my own private living space and at least a kitchenette.

— has a free open source set of programs to run a cohousing website

— The people who run this blog have visited a bunch of different communities, including the Nyland one that Kris visited — they have photos as well:

— They also visited River Rock Commons in Colorado, which consists of 34 homes near a park in Fort Collins:

— This is a good NYT piece on what it’s like living at Silver Sage:

— This community in Peterborough, New Hampshire is very different from most — the houses are huge: (it actually appears that the buildings are duplexes or quads, so the actual homes range from about 1000-2000sq ft)

— Duwamish is a community of 23 condo-style units in West Seattle:

— The Duwamish Facebook page has some more photos that give an idea of what it looks like:

— Touchstone is a community in Ann Arbor, with multiple apartment-style buildings set on 35 acres of land, with two ponds and a small forest. This listing for one their units has some photos that give an idea of how it is set up:

— This group describes initial and ongoing membership costs: and the basic function of the committees:

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