Calgary

Second Calgary co-housing complex in the works

Calgary could soon be getting a second co-housing development as public interest grows in the novel way of sharing living space with the neighbours.
Several families have already signed up to be part of the Whiskeyjack co-housing community in Calgary. ((www.wjcohousing.ca))
Calgary could soon be getting a second co-housing development as public interests grows for this novel way of sharing living space with the neighbours.

A group named Whiskeyjack Cohousing is organizing to build a new, $12-million cluster of about two dozen homes with shared common spaces, similar to the Prairie Sky community in central Calgary.

Zaak Robichaud, who hopes to move his family into the Whiskeyjack complex, said many families are interested in a more community-minded way of living.

He said wants his kids to grow up knowing and spending time with their neighbours, something that doesn't happen as naturally anymore.

"It's how I grew up, surrounded by friends. It just seems the city is expanding in a way that isn't community focused. It's very individualistic and not friendly to community building," said Robichaud.

Co-housing developments are close-knit residential complexes where everyone owns their own home but share common spaces.

The developments are growing in popularity in Alberta and British Columbia.

'It just seems the city is expanding in a way that isn't community focused.'—Zaak Robichaud, Whiskeyjack organizer

The Prairie Sky co-housing community opened in 2003 with 18 condos and townhouses sharing 3,200 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a large community garden and dining room for weekly shared meals.

The Whiskeyjack development is still at least two years away, according to organizers who held a public information meeting on Sunday.

The group still need to pick a location, sign up about 10 more families, and then start construction on the homes.

Robichaud is looking forward to getting to know his future neighbours as the preparation work moves ahead.

"My parents don't live in Calgary. My wife's parents don't live in Calgary. We feel a bit isolated, and so having this — it will be a family," he said.

 

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