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WindSong Marks Its 10th Anniversary

The first architecturally-designed cohousing community in Canada, WindSong Cohousing of Walnut Grove, marks its 10th anniversary on Sunday. WindSong Cohousing is situated on six acres, with a salmon stream protected on four acres of the property. These environmental aspects are some of the reasons for WindSong winning the Gold Georgie Award for Best Environmental Achievement in 1997. The anniversary will be marked with tours, starting at 3 p.m.; a tea and anniversary cake cutting from 3:30 to 4 p.m.; a speech by Mayor Kurt Alberts at 4 p.m.; an Historical Tour on Screen at 4:30 p.m. and storytelling by WindSong

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So Happy Together: A Cohousing Story

I first discovered cohousing when it was already too late. I had already bought my leaky condominium. When I responded to a cohousing advertisement in the Shared Vision magazine, I immediately connected with the stranger on the other end of the phone – Alan Carpenter from the Canadian Cohousing Network (CCN). Both his love for his own cohousing community in Langley and his inspirational spirit led me to research cohousing further. The best way to discover what it is all about, he said, is to visit a typical cohousing community. While visiting his home, the WindSong CoHousing Community, the first

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Living in Community

Several years ago, a group of people from different walks of life with no building experience formed a development company to oversee the design, financing, and construction of a five million dollar cohousing project in Burnaby. The result was Cranberry Commons, an urban village built to meet its residents’ needs, respect the Earth’s limits, and create a friendly, caring, multi-generational neighbourhood. Solar panels, in-floor radiant heating, rainwater collection, composting, recycling, reduced automobile use, and shared resources all contribute to making this a more environmentally friendly way to live. Cranberry Commons is one of five completed cohousing communities in BC, with

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Living in Harmony

There may be war in Iraq, global warming all around us, and cruel poverty that persists in the world’s most prosperous nations and yet amid it all, we have to go on living. For as long as we have been mammals, humans have lived in close, neighbourly, mammalian villages, helping and supporting each other through life’s challenges. Today, a new movement is emerging that restores this sense of closeness, while preserving the privacy we have come to cherish. Among other things, it creates child-friendly, car-free spaces, and helps us to share many resources, living in closer harmony with nature on

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Going Green In The Burbs

ALAN CARPENTER HAD BEEN A BUILDER and developer in Vancouver for more than a decade when he decided in the early 1990s to pursue “a better way to live.” The now 54-year-old native of Grande Prairie, Alta., envis-aged a community in which the residents themselves made all the important decisions, from where to locate their homes and how to build and maintain them to what type of plants they would grow in their organic gardens. A few like-minded friends, including an engineer named Howard Staples and his wife Miriam Evers, an accountant and corporate manager, located an ideal site: an

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Building The Dream

Imagine a community that’s designed by the people who live there. Where residents live in the privacy of their own homes but gather in the community’s common house to share meals and socialize several nights a week. Where all decisions are made by consensus. Where children roam freely under the watchful eye of many adults. More than fifty such communities exist in North America and dozens more are in the planning stage. Jill Eisen explores the growing movement called Co-housing. Building the Dream is two-part audio cassette series about cohousing originally produced for CBC Radio’s Ideas program. The series includes

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Communes for the middle class

On the West Coast of Canada, 100 people live together and share their cars, meals, chores, an organic vegetable garden, child care and holidays. They live on six acres of land (which they purchased together) in beautiful Langley, B.C., and have designed their own neighbourhood (which they all collaborated on). If you looked at the complex from above, their condo-style homes would form the shape of a giant “L”: two wings of condos joined at the heel by a 6,000-square-foot common house. The community isn’t gated, nor do the residents share any particular philosophical or political ideology. And they don’t

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Happy Together

To own your own home is the North American dream.  But all too often it comes with a price: isolation. Ask the average suburban homeowner about the folks next door, and frequently they won’t even know their neighbours’ first names. Now imagine a community where everyone knows not just the people next door, but everyone in their townhouse complex. Where families socialize over twice-weekly community dinners, kids and pets roam under the watchful eye of dozens of adults, people pull weeds together in a communal vegetable garden or gather in the evenings to listen to musicians that live in their

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