We are retired for the last number of years, and have done some travelling. We live in a small community on the shores of Lake Huron. We did the weekend workshop on Aging Successfully with a number of other KCC people. The question that had a big impact was— where are you going to be in 10 years, physically, mentally, spiritually, as you move into another decade?
This question got us serious about taking the next step. We became equity members of KCC because this community, its people, and its philosophy made sense to us as the next step in successful aging in community.
Prior to that we had gone to workshop the West Coast, and had the opportunity to attend a Is Cohousing For You workshop. During that time we were able to stay for two months in Harbourside cohousing in Sooke B.C. We were impressed with what it was like to live in a mutually supportive community.
Barbara worked as a nurse at a number of places. The various community settings were the most satisfying to her because of the challenge of working in partnerships. Alan worked as a clinical psychologist in the community, first in agencies than in private practice.
We have a son and daughter-in-law in Toronto whom we are very connected to. Being active in nature, biking, walking, kayaking feeds our soul. As a couple we enjoy reading, films, music. Alan enjoys writing short stories and relearning to play the piano.
Andrea & Dave
As long-time Peterborough residents, we love life here in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes region. Andrea is an IT professional with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Dave's a retired Electronics Technologist.
We enjoy life to the fullest, keeping busy with camping, sailing, biking, travelling, and seeking out food and drink adventures wherever we go.
We indulge our "inner introverts" too, with quieter pastimes such as reading, drawing, painting and spending time with our Golden Retriever Tilly, and our grown children and extended family. Dave loves to tinker, fixing and building just about anything, while Andrea is always up for a session of playing European-style board games such as Settlers of Catan. Dave loves fusion jazz; Andrea prefers music with words.
We find lots of ways to keep busy, and we've met a lot of people in our Kawartha Commons community who share many of our interests. We firmly believe in the long term mental and physical benefits of living in a friendly and supportive community and look forward to participating in the design of our cohousing home with our friends, new and old, at Kawartha Commons.
Rick & Suzanne
We are excited to have joined an intentional community of people who want to explore the challenge of living in ways that are materially sufficient, socially and ecologically responsible, and satisfying to the soul.
It was a shared “love of community life” that brought us together nearly twenty years ago. We are eager to participate in the Kawartha Commons Co-housing project since Peterborough is the perfect geographical centre of our family’s widespread universe (seven children and seven grandchildren).
Retired from the United Church of Canada, with our poodle Rusty, we are now avid travellers, love to bike, dance, visit, play cards, do creative things, work hard and generally have a great time with friends in community life. We have already made lifelong friends with so many lovely people at KCC.
Pam & Len
We have lived in Toronto all our lives and in the same house off the Danforth for the last 25 years. We heard about co-housing in a Globe and Mail article and were intrigued. Living in a real community, sharing resources, having a small footprint — it all sounds good to us!
We had recently helped Pam’s mom visit old age homes and found institutionalized living to be really depressing. The idea of aging in place with a caring group of people is a much better option.
Our research led us to Kawartha Commons. At our February introduction to the group, we were impressed by how well organized they were. There's a great mix of smart, funny, fun-loving people that really care about creating a social atmosphere. We look forward to moving through this adventure with them.
Mathew & Becky
We used to live in the suburbs of Toronto (with detours to Edmonton and Calgary along the way), where we raised our three lovely daughters. Recently we moved to the Buckhorn area, 40 minutes north of Peterborough, where we share a duplex with Marc and Kris, who are also some of the earliest members of Kawartha Commons Cohousing.
It was Kris’s passion for the idea of cohousing, and the close sense of community that it fosters, that got the two of us interested in it. In the year or two since KCC has been up and running, we've made many close friends with the group, and we're active on several different committees.
It's only going to get better. We're close to finding a site, and we're looking forward to sharing meals, hobbies, social activities, and other passions with everyone in the group. It won't be long until we start building our dream community.
I think I’ve been aiming for cohousing ever since moving out of residence at the University of Guelph and realizing I missed the sense of community it offered. I enjoyed sharing a common room where anyone might arrive at anytime, and halls where bumping into people I knew was a normal part of everyday living.
First I tried moving friends into my grad-student slum apartment building in Toronto. That worked pretty well, but common space was restricted to the fire escape. Later, in Nicaragua, I was happy to live in a neighbourhood that had a lot of outdoor common space.
When I lived in Atlanta I was in a house, and visited friends’ houses. We gathered by appointment, as people seem to do these days, and although I liked the gatherings, I missed living with the likelihood of seeing friends as a normal part of walking from one place to another. I became even more committed to finding some sort of community.
Now I’ve returned to Canada and I live in a house in Ptbo, where my friends and I again gather by appointment -- but this time it’s to create KCC. I look forward to living in community, where I’ll bump into people I know as a normal part of everyday living. On one hand, the effort it takes to create community in this era seems a little sad; on the other, I have great appreciation for the effort my cohousing buddies and I are making.
Al & Linda
Partners for 52 years, we have lived in an 1860's farmhouse near Peterborough for 46 years where we raised two children. When we asked local cohousing champion Scott Donovan about cohousing, he replied "Let's hold a potluck." That December 2017 meal launched Kawartha Commons. We look forward to walking most places, sharing food and laughter with like-minded people, and good jam sessions. We are members of the climate activist groups For Our Grandchildren () and the Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action.
Linda is retired from community organizing (social entrepreneurship, gender rights, anti-racism/colonialism, food security, anti poverty, environment and reconciliation) as well as international development through Trent, working 7 years in Mexico and Ecuador. She is a founding member of Sustainable Peterborough and sits on its Coordinating Committee and Food and Farming Working Group. She is a founder of the local Raging Grannies and ran for elected government office 5 times.
Alan retired from Trent University after teaching physics for 37 years and doing research on solid surfaces, with about 60 peer-reviewed papers. Another passion was "peer-instruction" teaching which employs teacher-guided student-student interaction, much superior to lecturing for student performance. Al enjoys badminton, cross-country skiing, reading, and playing harmonica.
Linda & Jay
We were introduced to Kawartha Commons Cohousing (KCC) in February and quickly decided to become full members of this most attractive and dynamic community. Not only are we making wonderful new friends, but we are learning so many interesting new things.
For us, KCC answers the main questions that we are asking ourselves in deciding to downsize and simplify our living:
WHAT? We aren’t ready to move into an apartment, so this opportunity to still own our home and live in a community of friends is perfect.
WHERE? We have lots of friends and connections in our home town, but KCC offers us the answer to the problem of finding a suitable community to live in, with new friends and connections.
WHEN? The timing is perfect for us. We'll have enough time to sell our home, and we plan on renting until our cohousing unit is ready.
HOW? This community of friends is working together to make so many important decisions that we would find very difficult to do on our own.
WHY COHOUSING? Linda is a very private, introverted person, while I am very busy and extroverted. A cohousing neighbourhood is ideal for both of us. We have our privacy when we need it, and we can socialize and be busy when we want to. Kawartha Cohousing will satisfy both of our needs.
Regularly I tell myself how grateful I am to live in the beautiful city of Peterborough, where I can be out in nature everyday, speak with my neighbours as I work in my garden and easily be in touch with my family and friends.
I’m enjoying my retirement attending theatre and movies; going to yoga and my book club; walking dogs and volunteering at the Peterborough Theatre Guild in backstage roles. It was sweet to receive a lifetime membership for my years of service there.
The thirty-three years I enjoyed as a primary school teacher of young children was incredibly rewarding. My teaching was focused on my students becoming skilled academically; being involved in all the arts; learning to live in harmony with their environment and learning how to be positive with others and themselves. I worked on many committees during my lifetime to support local endeavours such as: setting up for theatre festivals, award banquets, brunch and auction fundraisers (especially for Jamaican Self Help).
I am currently on the organizing committee that fundraises for Ovarian Cancer. I love being a favourite Aunt to my nieces and nephews and I feel fortunate to have many deep and long-lasting friendships with family members, colleagues, neighbours and volunteer associates.
Lyn & Bruce
We learned about KCC from some close Ontario friends who were already in KCC. The friends informed us about the aims of KCC in living more lightly on the earth with a group of like-minded folks. The opportunity to participate in building this community and living with them in the resulting project looked like a very appropriate downsizing solution for us. While we are enrolled in sociocracy training for KCC we seek to help the aims of the project as members of the social circle.
Originally from near Barrie we have lived in rural Ontario near Peterborough for the past 45 years. Bruce retired from engineering over a decade ago. Lyn also retired from her home care business.
As parents of three and grandparents of seven we are seeking to play an active part in their lives. Bruce enjoys a home wood shop (a place to introduce grandchildren to woodworking tools and practices) and is learning to carve wood with an interest in writing and choral singing. Lyn is a skilled home maker and cook and is learning to play ukulele to enjoy with singalong friends as well as in jam sessions with those grand kids. We are seeking to do some travel including places of family origins like Ireland. As we age, we are interested in being nearer to city services and amenities as well as making new friends.
I was born in Tees-side, in northeast England. With my parents and two younger sisters, I moved to the Soo when I was nine. I swam in Lake Superior every summer, and generally grew to feel that the North is my home. We moved to Southern Ontario when I was in high school; I went to McMaster and U of T, collecting a degree in Industrial Engineering and a teaching certificate.
After about 10 "lost years", I met Mary, a U.S. American living in Toronto. We married and moved to Rhode Island, where she taught at the RI School of Design, and I taught high school math for 24 years. Our son, Brian, went to McGill and now works in Hartford CT. Mary and I are now divorced; she still lives in Barrington RI and teaches at RISD.
In 2010 I retired and moved back to Ontario to spend summers at the family cottage in Buckhorn and winters in Toronto. I joined the Unitarian Fellowship and found many kindred spirits there. One of them was Margeree Edwards, who has been a close friend now for seven years. I’ve been living in Peterborough County since 2017.
Co-housing feels like a new adventure for me. I am enjoying getting to know the members of KCC and look forward to living in community together in what feels like 'extended family'.
Born in Estonia, spending early childhood in Sweden, and immigrating to Canada in 1950,I learned three languages, passably well, by the age of 8. Enjoyment of languages and different cultures seeded a life-long passion for travel and curiosity about how people with diverse cultures and viewpoints can live together. As an adult, I have lived in Toronto, Vancouver, New Orleans and now Peterborough, which feels very much like home to me.
Reading has been a life-long passion for me, ever since, with the help of my Grade I teacher, I got my first library card at the Toronto Kew Beach library. Even though I was just learning to speak English, I became a weekly borrower.
I love being in nature - hiking, canoeing and gardening. I have also been part of a Sacred Circle Dancing community for over 20 years, have recently taken up duplicate bridge again and am a Hospice volunteer.
My family - my daughter, son-in-law and two teenaged grandsons - live in Port Moody, B.C.and they have just added a new member to their family; a pure white short-haired rescue cat named Gwyn. They live within a three-minute walk to forest trails through gigantic pines; a special added pleasure when I visit.
I went to the first KCC meeting at the home of my good friends Al and Linda Slavin. Although my beloved daughter and family live within two blocks of my present small house, I look forward to moving into our intentional community with the gracious people I have come to know through KCC. Caring and sharing makes perfect sense to me in this day and age; I already share my lawnmower with three other neighbours, so I'm on track for downsizing! I'm greatly impressed with the dedication and skills of the younger generations in our cohousing group, myself being one of the elders. KCC values and interests seem to align with my own.
I was born and raised till adolescence in Dublin Ireland. I spent the next ten years in England before emigrating to Canada in 1966. I have lived in Peterborough for almost 50 years and love this community! I've traveled extensively in Canada, Europe and briefly visited many other countries, but definitely see Peterborough as home. I'm a retired school-teacher, twice married, with two children, three fantastic grand-children and lots of step-relatives.
I've always been interested in the state of the world, fascinated and energized by the diversity of people, worldviews and historical challenges. I've been a volunteer with national organizations like KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, and Project Ploughshares. Now I focus my energy on local social justice movements such as the Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action, the Abraham Festival and solidarity groups working with First Nations. I love reading, theatre and socializing, but also greatly value my quiet space!
I've been interested in cohousing for many years. Don't remember when I first became aware of it, but it was at least 15 years ago. I actually tried to start a cohousing community in Hamilton, but couldn't find enough people who were interested enough to work on it with me. After moving to Peterborough, I found out that there was a small incubator group here that was exploring cohousing. Eventually KCC was started with more and more people joining. I'm so happy to have found both a wonderful city to live in and my cohousing dream.
I lived in and around Hamilton Ontario for most of my life and I spent a fair bit of that time teaching at Mohawk College - first in Job Readiness programs and later in the Social Service Worker program. When I retired I decided to move to Peterborough. My one son had been living in Peterborough for some time already and now I have two grandchildren here as well. I have two other grown children - one in Hamilton and one in Toronto.
Although I'm retired, I'm always busy. I’m a certified trainer in Nonviolent Communication and do the occasional workshop as well as running a practice group. I volunteer for the Human Awareness Institute (HAI), assisting at weekend workshops as well as many other tasks. I’m an active member of the Unitarian Fellowship in Peterborough and have been a Unitarian for many years. And currently I own an old house that I'm busy renovating.
I've been aware of cohousing for a while without really knowing exactly what it was. I knew there were communities forming around this idea, I have a good friend involved in the Sooke, BC. property. I only learned of KCC recently.
I've been living in Toronto and for all that is good about that, after I retired, I felt that I was no longer as engaged in community as when I was working. I thought there could be a better way in cohousing. A little research led me to KCC and to Peterborough which is a natural choice for me as I have family there.
I am very enthusiastic about all that the group has achieved to this point and hope to get involved in the next exciting steps.
Neil & Mona
We first discovered cohousing in 2016. It immediately captured our imagination, and were delighted when we heard about Kawartha Commons in 2019. We were hooked once we attended our first business meeting. We’ve made some great friends in KCC, and have become involved in its many activities; Mona with her extensive governance background and Neil his writing experience.
Mona spent her career with large corporations, owning and managing businesses, and running not-for-profits; Neil also worked in the non-profit sector, and helped small businesses manage their communications. When we retired in 2019, we moved from Toronto to our cottage on beautiful Sandy Lake, close to Peterborough.
We are both active in Buckhorn, and have made many new friends. Mona continues to volunteer with various organizations that support newcomers, and currently assists refugees with English/Arabic interpretation. Neil sings bass with the Peterborough Singers, which is a big part of his life, and also volunteers in the community. We also spend much of our time thinking up reasons for our granddaughter Amelia to come up from Toronto to stay with us.
We love life at the cottage and being closer to nature. Snowshoeing, X-country skiing, and skating in the winter; canoeing and hiking in the summer; and bird-watching and stargazing year-round: there is no shortage of ways to stay active. When we’re not at the cottage or in Peterborough, we get down to Toronto when we can, especially during the Toronto International Film Festival.
We can’t wait to get our cohousing home built and to move in with the rest of our community.
Kris & Marc
Marc and Kris live just north of Peterborough on an acreage that is about halfway between Buckhorn and Burleigh Falls, with a view of Lower Buckhorn Lake and some lovely woods and meadows with hiking trails, all of which are named after former pets. They are already sort of practicing cohousing, in a small way, because they share a large duplex with Mathew and Becky, who now live next door where Kris’s mother and father used to live.
Kris also grew up with a different form of cohousing. The property that she and Marc live on now was briefly a commune, complete with a geodesic dome (which has since been torn down, unfortunately).
Kris and Marc love to travel, and have spent many of their vacations researching cohousing developments all over the USA and Canada.
They love their dogs, travel, winter and summer sports and relaxing with a well earned glass of wine on the deck at the end of the day!
I was born and raised in Toronto and moved to the country outside Bobcaygeon to raise my children. I moved to Peterborough in 2014 and have felt at home ever since living in a very well-connected neighbourhood with a community garden a block away.
Peterborough has so much to offer, home to Trent University and an excellent Indigenous studies program. I have met many wonderful people through my involvement with the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network, For our Grandchildren, Council of Canadians and Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action.
All my favourite people are members of KCC so I feel fortunate to be able to venture forth with them. The KCC community is filled with committed , resourceful, creative and caring people. I am assured of staying younger as I grow older and wiser in this community which shares, cares and celebrates living.