New Ideas About Co-Housing in the Annapolis Valley

New Ideas About Co-Housing in the Annapolis Valley

Emily Leeson


There are new ideas afoot about how to live in our valley. Two groups are holding meetings and inviting the public to discover new ways to interact with neighbours and live out what it means to be part of a community.



Co-Housing Public Meeting in Windsor


A group in the Windsor area has been meeting over the past year to discuss and learn about Co-housing. On Sunday, October 22 (1pm-3pm) the group is hosting their first Co-Housing Public Meeting at the Cedar Centre in Windsor and inviting anyone interested to stop by, enjoy the local refreshments, and see and hear what Co-Housing could mean in the Annapolis Valley.


According to the Canadian Co-Housing Network, Co-housing is a concept that came to North America in 1988 from Denmark where it emerged in the 1960s. Residents usually own their own individual homes which are clustered around a common house with shared amenities.


According to Windsor group member Ann Knowles, the group is investigating what might work best for this area. “We are open to considering various types of developments and are not yet restricted to one particular location or style, as we all have various needs and dynamics in our lives, currently.” says Knowles, “However, our common understanding is that the time is coming when the only tolerable option for us will be to live as a neighbourly community in smaller private homes, in close proximity to like minded individuals, with cooperation that allows us to share common land, talents, efforts, gardens, care giving, and child care, as well as the more practical things of life: occasional group meals, cars, laundry facilities, maintenance expenses, and garden/lawn equipment. In the meantime, we are studying, discussing, encouraging and constantly thinking of the best way to set up our future with this in mind.”

The keynote speaker for the October 22 meeting will be joining the audience via Skype. Margaret Critchlow is the co-founding director of the Canadian Senior Co-housing Society and a founding member of successful Co-Housing community in Sooke, BC called Harbourside. Harbourside now has 31 fully occupied waterfront units with housing members ranging in age from 40 to 80.


Knowles is hoping that the meeting will offer curious individuals and family members the chance to learn about co-housing. There will be local refreshments on hand and Knowles is hoping that this initiative will spark the imaginations of those present towards a future where community means more than just the occasional wave or nod. “We want to see an alternative life style that will offer more by embracing old fashioned community living ideals and social contact via co-housing.” says Knowles. She’s excited by the interest she’s seeing already, “At the moment, there are 3-4 such Nova Scotian enclaves of co-housing in the early planning stages. These are striving to educate, deal with rezoning issues, design parameters that include sustainability and green spaces, and most particularly, sustain a village-like climate for either multi generational, or senior groups. It can’t happen soon enough from our perspective.”


Event Details:

Co-Housing Public Meeting

October 22, 1-3 pm

Cedar Center (the former Hawbolt’s Furniture building), Windsor