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Waterloo Region Cohousing

 
This newsletter is to provide updates for the Waterloo Region Cohousing Project.
We are in the preliminary stages of planning and welcome those who wish to build a sustainable cohousing community in Waterloo Region.
If you have any questions, please email waterlooregioncohousing@gmail.com
The Photo above is of Conover Commons, Washington

Hello,

It was a pleasure meeting on Saturday March 5th for our second cohousing meeting. We enjoyed learning why people are interested in cohousing, values, and where people are interested in living.

Please save the date for the upcoming meetings:

Sunday, April 3rd 2-4pm, Location to be determined
RSVP:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1585307891791948/

Sunday, May 1st 2-4pm, Location to be determined
Sunday, May 29th  2-4pm, Location to be determined
Sunday, June 26th  2-4pm, Location to be determined
Sunday, July 24th 2-4pm, Location to be determined
Sunday, August 21st  2-4pm, Location to be determined

Topics for Next Meeting
  • What do you vision for cohousing including:                      
  • What do you want to share?
  • What amenities do you see there?
  • What do you see in the common house?
  • What vision for the buildings including:                             
  • Types of construction
  • Size of building
  • Style of buildings
  • Individual or group designer, builder, architect
For those who were unable to join the last meeting, listed below are Meeting Minutes:
 
Date: March 5 2016
Time:  2pm – 4pm
Location:  KPL Central Library Queen Street Kitchener
 
Welcome                                                                                                                                    
  • Welcome to the 2nd meeting of our group
  • This should be a very participatory meeting, we want to hear from everyone
  • If there is something brought up, a good idea, a thought, something to discuss at a future meeting, we’ll put it in the “Garden” (some people have seen this as a parking lot) for future discussion
  • This is really a meeting to get to know each other better and see what people are thinking about cohousing and what they would desire.
  • This meeting is to build the foundation for our community.
 
Meeting Principals and Guidelines                                                                                   
  • Let’s go over some of the principals and guidelines for our meetings.  These are principals that other communities use and we’ve used in EcoVillage
    • Be present – mentally, physically and emotionally
    • Pay attention – listen to what other’s say focus on understanding the ideas
    • Speak your truth – share your thoughts and opinions openly and honestly, your opinion is valid as any one else’s
    • Be open to outcomes – try not to prejudge what is happening, you may limit your ability to perceive other insights and ideas
    • Create a safe environment – be aware and sensitive to the impact of what you say and do.  Create a level of safety for others to allow them to feel comfortable.  Point out any issues or concerns that may affect this safe environment.
  • As a group we need to make sure we are using all these principals and if we are not, kindly point them out to each other so that we can adjust behaviors and move forward.
 
Sprinklers (Games)                                                                                                                
 
Adjective Name Game
Objective: A quick icebreaker for learning everyone’s name, this is one of the most popular and frequently used large group getting-to-know-you-icebreakers.
 
Group Juggle
Objective: A high-energy game for large groups, this large group icebreaker helps people learn names and works well with people who do not know each other well.
 
What we’ve done to date and where we’re going
  • Spreading the word about us via website, newsletter, facebook, through Canadian Cohousing Network, email lists
  • Becoming a member of the Canadian Cohousing Network
  • We’ve already received several referrals from them for people moving into the area and are interested
  • Reaching out and creating Partnerships
  • Several of us met with Sarah Marsh (City Counselor) to discuss our big vision and how she can help us and guide us through the city
  • We’ve connected to the Guelph Group (SILC – sustainable intentional living community), David McAuley
  • We’re attending a Symposium in Guelph for people to come together who are working on similar local projects in some way
 
You are invited to:
Symposium dedicated to “Intentional Communities and Co-Housing in Guelph”
Date: Thursday March 17, 2016
Time: 7:00pm-9:30pm
Location: Guelph community health center
 
  • We’ve contacted two organizations that help develop Cohousing.
  • Gary Morrison who is from Living Well Cohousing Organizing Group in BC.  His group helps other cohousing groups from start to move-in
  • Cohousing Solutions who is a company out of the States who also get cohousing groups going.
  • We have both Gary’s and Cohousing Solutions proposals for our group including their fees.
  • We’ve reached out to RARE located in Cambridge who is a reserve network of natural landscape who show leadership in model system to demonstrate the link between ecological integrity and economic sustainability. They do conservation, research and education.  We’ve contacted them to see if an EcoVillage project is something they’d like to partner on.
  • We’ve contacted the Wilmot Township who are part of the David Suzuki blue dot foundation
  • We’ve started creating list of all the other organizations that we could partner with and reach out too including:  University of Waterloo Architectural school, REEP, Car Share, University of Guelph – Arboretum and Agriculture, Bee Keepers Association, Community Renewable Energy Waterloo to name a few…
  • We’re also discussing becoming an EcoVillage, not just cohousing
 Introductions
 
Why Cohousing:
Isolation X1
Community X 8
Sustainable X3
Close to facilities
Build stuff
Multi-generational X3
Familiarity X2
Sanity
Sharing
Affordable
Informality
Green
Connection
Re-connect
Safety
Contact
Social aspect
Mutual support
Aging
Connection
Relationship-structure
History
CSA Community Supported Agriculture
Apiary
History
Kids
Mental Health
Co-Care
Values
Values:
Environment X5
Caring X2
Helping
Collaboration X1
Progressive
Friendly
Cooperation X1
Personal contact
Family X1
Friends X1
Multi-culturalism
Social justice
Flexibility
Small footprint X1
Sharing X 3
Compromise
Kindness
Inclusiveness
Pragmatism
Compromise
Commitment
Dedication
Peaceful
Positivity
Like Mindedness
Open mindedness
Physical Accessibility
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
Gardening X3
Bookclub X2
Membership
Build Staff
Weaving
Detail oriented
Organized
Design
Event planning
Outdoorsy
Snow shoveling
Software developer
Bike repair
Healthcare
Cooking X 4
Research
Building Green X2
Committee work
Mindful technology
Organizer X1
Leadership
Conflict resolution
Administration
Memory
Mechanic
Literacy
Writing X1
Editing
Learner
Accessibility
Listening
Yoga
Babysitting
Architect
Handy
Location
There was a divide between urban vs. rural. However, it is clear that we need to be close to the city to access amenities yet have access to nature.
Other ideas:
·         Land on site
·         Schneider’s factory
·         Greenspace in urban environment
·         New government is subsidizing/promoting sustainability
·         Brownfield into Greenfield
 
Fun group activities for next time (3 people)
o   1 person for a get to know each other activity
o   2 people for a working together to perform a task activity
 
Volunteers:
Susan
Michele

Sue

 

Resources:

Just released today March 14: CBC Radio, The Current: Are millennials hacking housing with community homes?
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-march-14-2016-1.3490072/are-millennials-hacking-housing-with-community-homes-1.3490100

If you have any questions about cohousing, please browse the Frequently Asked Questions on the Canadian Cohousing Network website:
http://cohousing.ca/faq/

Recommended Video: Building Community with Cohousing
Video showed during inaugural meeting.
Waterloo Region Cohousing- Inaugural Meeting. February 2016
Follow on Facebook
Waterloo Region Cohousing website
Our mailing address is:
waterlooregioncohousing@gmail.com

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