Re: Options in Canada?
From: Dave and Diane (
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 09:38:53 -0800 (PST)
Hi Diane,
I checked out Kamloops BC on Google Local, and I see you have two golf courses, an exhibition grounds, at least four parks, a university, a hospital, an airport, and several sets of train tracks. (You've got the Trans-Canada Highway going through one of the parks, which is very unfortunate but perhaps you can put that to marketing purposes sometime "down the road" so to speak). The Kenna Cartwright park looks particularly lovely--very large!

The first thing you need to do is go down to the city or town hall and get a land use or "zoning" map. I don't know if you have zoning in Kamloops. This tells you what you can build and where. It's important to find this out before you start making any grand plans. Get the map and then go out driving around looking at land and mark down on the map the places that interest you.

Then you to the Registry of Deeds and find out how much houses sold for in various parts of town. This will give you an idea of where you can afford to build. I would strongly advise you to steer clear of the airport and the Trans-Canada highway even though land prices may be cheaper there. Your houses are not going to sell to the cohousing market if built in such an undesirable location.

Talk to city or town officials and find out if they have an inducements to develop in a specific part of town. You may be able to either get cheaper land or a "density bonus" for developing in an area that the city is trying to direct growth toward. If you get a density bonus you can build more houses on the same size land parcel.

Visit University officials. Find someone in architecture or urban planning who will let you give a presentation on campus about cohousing. Most of your prospects will probably come from the university although a few will come from the hospital. If there are any synagogues, health food stores, unitarian churches, schools, or health clinics put up posters about your presentation. Is there a university radio station? Get your talk listed on that as well. Later on you may need to run some announcements on public radio to find more prospects.

Put up a web site or find someone who can put up a page for you. The internet is how most cohousers find each other nowadays.

Join CohousingUS--even though it has "US" in its name it is still a valuable resource for Canadians. Example: the upcoming cohousing project management workshop Feb 4-5 2006, in Berkeley California. "There will be panel style and will address the unique challenges, issues and best practices of cohousing development. Professionals with varying styles and approaches will be presenting. Time will also be available for individual consultation." Check it out! You will learn priceless information that will save you years of aggravation and learning from the school of hard knocks.

Real estate development is very hard work. It's not for the faint of heart! But the rewards of living in cohousing are well worth it. Get going and good luck! Write often and let us know how you're doing.
Take care,

JP COHOUSING  617-522-2209

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On Thu, 22 Dec 2005 14:30:59, Diane Law <dianemlaw [at]> wrote:


  I would like to be involved in cohousing in Canada.

My place of choice is the West Coast, but those options get pretty expensive. I do love the Roberts Creek Co-Housing but it is full with a waitlist.

  More importantly than location, I seek the following

-close to a small, pedestrian-friendly village, with medical services and groceries at a minimum
  -detached homes
-$150,000 or less for all costs to and including the point of purchase -lower-impact buildings, whether that be retrofitted older homes or an eco-village of earthships
  -active movement around making music,  hosting workshops, etc

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