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Facts about Cohousing

  • Started 40+ years ago in Denmark and the Netherlands.

  • More than 200 completed cohousing communities exist in Canada & the USA with hundreds more in planning or development stages.

  • Within cohousing communities, only 20% of the population is comprised of “traditional families” (mom, dad, kids), so housing needs are continually changing.

  • Ottawa has two completed cohousing communities. One is  25 years old and the other is celebrating their first year together in December 2023!

  • Ottawa Cohousing is the first cohousing specific development business to exclusively serve Eastern Ontario.

seniors in cohousing ottawa community living

“In Denmark, people frustrated by the available housing options developed cohousing: a housing type that redefined the concept of neighbourhood to fit contemporary lifestyles. Tired of the isolation and the impracticalities of traditional single-family houses and apartment units, they built housing that combines the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of community living.” 

Charles Durrett, "The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living"

  • Cohousing is an increasingly desirable housing strategy for aging adults.  Seen as a viable way to  independently Age in Place that also allows for a lively and supportive social life.

  • For young families, a secure community allows for in house child care and assistance from caring and knowledgable neighbours. 

  • The big draw for singles, are the multiple opportunities for low stress social encounters.

STORIES ABOUT COHOUSING and other Intentional Communities


Case Study on Quayside Village, lessons learned  developing one of the first Urban Cohousing communities in Canada. .

"Housing has to meet demands in the market, the three major components of Sustainability: social, economic, and environment, are never all met simultaneously." 

- Ellen Enns | Ronaye Matthew 



May 2022, article in Globe and Mail featuring Little Mountain Cohousing as an example of how multigenerational living can make a come back, in a cohousing adjusted format.

"Seniors, fearful of long-term care homes and COVID-19, seek new ways to live together"  - Zosia Bielski




“You either love or you hate cohousing.” 

- Jan Chadwick, resident of Marmalade Lane, 42-house intergenerational cohouse in Cambridge, England. 



"It's just lonely being by yourself all the time, and it just seems like a much richer way to live is in community sharing experiences and support and chores."

- Frances Woolison · Prairie Rivers Co-living Co-operative, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jan 03, 2022



Millennials — are increasingly finding themselves shut out of the rental market in the major global cities where so many want to work and live

- The Sunday Magazine, CBC Radio, June 09, 2019


Tiny Home Communities a balm to those in desperate need of affordable housing, these small homes are also excellent demonstrations of how smaller square footage can 'be enough'.

- Emerald Village: a Dream of an Affordable Tiny House Community shows how this type of intentional community can be done creatively and really well with positive outcomes for both the residents and the community at large.

"Communities are the answer." Dr. Catherine Donnelly

Dr. Catherine Donnelly and Christine McMillan are featured on the CBC's the Current on May 11, 2021, to discuss the concept of naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) and how they can be leveraged to better serve aging communities.


Study of the unusually healthy aspects of a seemingly average blue collar town in Pennsylvania, where the collective community spirit is what made the difference.

“The magic of Roseto was the total avoidance of isolated individuals crushed by problems of everyday life. Rosetans didn't feel isolated or crushed, rather they avoided the internalization of stress. Stability and predictability was life soothing, hence life lengthening.” 

-  Dr. Rock Positano, Huffpost article The Mystery of the Rosetan People, November 2011




November, 2021 Globe and Mail article showcasing how it pays to think flexibly and out of the box when looking to get into housing during these times of hot housing markets



2014 Globe and Mail article about first Vancouver Cohousing project being under construction. READ ARTICLE

Global News feature story of an elementary school in a long-term care home in Saskatchewan. WATCH FEATURE

ottawa cohousing multiunit community


For up to date information on existing and currently forming cohouses across Canada

Canadian Cohousing Network

US based organization, excellent source of learning and skill development resources for successful community 

Foundation for Intentional Community

Sociocracy Practica, for those looking to explore this form of consent based community organization 

Sociocracy for All

Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant

Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living. (The Handbook, second edition)

by Charles Durrett

Aging in Place (Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation)

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