Kawartha Commons news:


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We’ve started a fundraising drive for anyone who is either thinking of joining the Kawartha Commons cohousing project, or merely wants to support the group because they believe in cohousing and want to see it come to life in the Peterborough area. If you fall into either one of those groups, please see our donation page.

Six of our members attended the Northeast Cohousing Summit in Amherst Massachusetts from September 21-23, 2018. They returned with lots of new ideas gathered from the conference sessions and cohousing community tours, and especially from the full and half day intensive workshops. They shared these insights at our first learning session, held on Sunday October 14th, at Activity Haven in Peterborough. You can find out more about that session, including detailed reports on each of the workshops that they attended, on this page.

Our group had a public event at The Mount in Peterborough on Tuesday, June 19 that was attended by about 70 people interested in the idea of cohousing. Scott Donovan opened with a short presentation giving an overview of the concept, then Kris Robinson Staveley talked about some of what she has learned by visiting almost a dozen cohousing communities in the US and Canada, and Elaine Rutherford described what it was like to live in the Windsong cohousing community in BC for 15 years.

Finally, Al Slavin spoke about some of the things that got him thinking about cohousing as a potential future, and then the group shared some snacks and refreshments. You can see the presentations by Al, Scott and Kris embedded on this page and you can see some photos of the event here.

An article about our group was also published in Electric City magazine on June 5th, entitled “Kawartha Cohousing Wants to Build Peterborough’s First Cohousing Community.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Organizing around the name Kawartha Cohousing, the group is hoping to design and build a living facility that will be owned and managed cooperatively, though it will include private rooms in order to balance residents’ needs for privacy as well as community. If the group is successful, it will be the first housing development of its kind in the city, and one of only a handful in Ontario.

The team has formed working groups to explore issues like bylaws, finances, development regulations, and the like. They intend to make decisions cooperatively as they develop their plans, and they’re excited to be envisioning and designing their building from scratch. “Most successful cohousing is community first, and then building second,” Al Slavin says.”

Other cohousing news:

    • Monterey Cohousing, a 15-household neighborhood community in the town of Monterey in California, is now in the process of adding four to eight more townhomes. The group purchased the building in 1992 and added seven townhomes in 1996.


    • A family talks about their life as part of the Trillium Hollow Cohousing Community near Beaverton, Oregon. The 20-year-old community has about 50 current residents in 29 individually-owned units, most of which are in a single four-storey building. There is also a common house, and community gardens.


    • Courtney Martin gave a TED talk in which she spoke about living in a cohousing community in Oakland. It has nice units and 25 residents plus a common area with a common kitchen and eating area.


    • Cheryl Gladu is a PhD candidate at Concordia University who is studying sustainable and collaborative housing development, and wrote recently about how cohousing is “an inclusive approach to smart, sustainable cities.”


    • Jessie Durrett, daughter of cohousing pioneers Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant, wrote a college entrance essay about growing up in a cohousing community, called “How Cohousing Adds to the Collective Good.”


    • Durett and McCamant recently gave an interview to David Wann of Harmony Village in Golden, Colorado about how they got involved with cohousing and what inspired them about the way that cohousing communities in Denmark worked.


    • An article in the San Francisco Chronicle looked at several seniors cohousing projects, including Phoenix Commons in Oakland, California. Unlike many other communities, Phoenix Commons was built by a developer, Christian Zimmerman, who specializes in retirement homes and nursing homes. He decided he wanted to live in a more community-focused environment so he built Phoenix Commons and now lives there. It has 42 apartment-style units in a four-story building.


  • The New York Times recently had a story about cohousing, looking at the Pioneer Valley community in Amherst, Massachusetts. It has 32 units on 23 acres of farmland. The article gives some of the background to cohousing and also talks to residents of Silver Sage in Boulder.