Tired of rattling around in a big house? Considering a change in lifestyle? Discover the benefits of cohousing!

By Toni Johnston

Are you like me? Aging, living alone and rattling around inside a house that is entirely too large for one or two people?

If you can answer yes to these questions then perhaps you, like me, may be interested in the cohousing concept.

The cohousing movement began in 1960 in Denmark. It has gained momentum since it was introduced to Canada in the early 1990s. I became acquainted with cohousing when I met people who lived at Windsong in Vancouver. My research showed more than 15 cohousing communities in British Columbian. Cohousing is a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities.

The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents who also share activities that may include cooking, dining, childcare, gardening, and governance of the community. Common facilities may include kitchen, dining room, laundry, childcare facilities, offices, Internet access, guest rooms, and recreational features. Private living quarters coupled with shared common space, allows for diverse living opportunities.

Cohousing facilitates interaction among neighbors for social, practical, economic and environmental benefits. As we age and family structure changes, so do our housing needs. Some of us are living alone in large empty nest homes that we think are too big, too expensive and too isolating.

Because of my own keen interest in a life style change and serendipitously meeting Marc and Maria-Lynn, I wanted to take the opportunity to present cohousing to others in Revelstoke.

So, on Wednesday January 8 at 7:30 pm or on Sunday January 12 at 2 pm there will be a slide show presentation followed by discussion at the Community Centre. The presenters, Marc Paradis and Maria-Lynn Johnson, have lived for the last 10 years in Prairie Sky cohousing in Calgary. As well they have been involved in cohousing development since l993.