Grassroots effort breaks ground

Co-housing project in Sooke gets ready to start building

  • Sep. 10, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Ground Breaking for Harbourside Cohousing in Sooke

Friday, September 19 at 11 a.m.

6669 Horne Road, Sooke

 

Harbourside Cohousing in Sooke will be holding a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of their 31-unit Cohousing community on the waterfront in downtown Sooke at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 19, 2014.

Members and friends will be joined by invited guests to break ground on this unique project, which is the first senior cohousing community in B.C. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the common house on the site.

The members of Harbourside Senior Cohousing are working with expert consultants, some of whom will attend the ground breaking ceremony. Yet Harbourside is very much a grass-roots effort started by ordinary citizens three and a half years ago. The cohousing members provide the equity to get the project underway, and they retain control over all aspects of the project.

Harbourside is not a cooperative. It will be an owner-developed strata that combines private dwellings with a community in which neighbours know and care about each other.

Cohousing originated in Denmark about 50 years ago and has now spread to the U.S.A. and Canada. It is a neighbourhood design that combines compact, private homes with extensive, shared common facilities. There are seven family-oriented cohousing communities in B.C. but Harbourside is the first with a focus on aging well in community. Harbourside will be home to three generations; member’s ages range from “shy of 50 to better than 85.”

Sixteen of Harbourside’s 27 member households call Sooke home. Others have come from Germany, Hawaii, northern B.C., and Alberta. Four units are still available for new members.

Campbell Construction is the general contractor for the project. Completion of all 31 units is scheduled for January, 2016.

The Canadian Senior Cohousing Society, a non-profit that gave rise to Harbourside, is committed to exploring how this project can be a model for the development of more senior cohousing projects which can offer a different kind of living arrangement that reduces the load on government funded services for seniors, reduces the risks of social isolation, and reframes aging as an opportunity to flourish in connection with neighbours.

For more information, please visit www.harbourside.ca.

www.cohousing.ca and www.canadianseniorcohousing.ca