About Convivium

The next meeting of Convivium Co-op members will be on 22 January 2019, 464 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, [CCOC space] at 6:30 p.m.   Observers are always welcome.

Our Vision

Our concept is a purpose-built community that will facilitate “aging in community” for approximately 35 people. This cohousing community will be self-managed by residents who will know each other before they move in. We will participate in governance, volunteer work, and community living. Some support services will be available and residents will commit to neighbourly mutual support. We will share tools, bikes, books, and other resources. Communal meals will be held about once a week.

The following principles will guide the planning:

  • Individual private apartments with advantages of shared resources and community living
  • Aging in community – supporting each other in a neighbourly manner
  • Ecological sustainability in design and operations
  • Self-management by residents
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities

Location

Within the central core of Ottawa in a vibrant neighbourhood such as Centretown, the Glebe, Old Ottawa South, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa East, Lowertown, New Edinburgh, Hintonburg, Wellington West or Westboro. The site must have good access to public transit and local amenities and services.

October 2018 workshop

Building Design

Our current plan is to build a 3-4 storey apartment building with 20-25 units consisting of bachelor, one, and two-bedroom apartments. The building will contain a common space with kitchen, dining room, office, multi-use activity rooms and outdoor gathering spaces and gardens. The individual units will be modest with some common sitting spaces on each floor. There would be some parking spaces, with space for a shared car service, workshop, and bike storage.

There is a strong preference for accessible design, as well as “flex-design” of the individual units which would allow them to be easily modified over time to meet changing needs. Environmental sustainability is a priority and could be achieved through passive or active solar energy, environmental building techniques, and low water use.

October 2018 Workshop

 

Organizational Structure

Cohousing communities in Canada use and adapt a variety of housing structures depending on the province and members’ circumstances. We started in 2016 as a non-profit organization but are now a fully fledged equity co-operative.  Current members own shares in the co-op and will gradually buy more shares to finance the development of the building in which they will live.  Once the building is finished, the members will own it collectively, with exclusive rights to occupy their own unit.  As a senior-oriented group, we see this structure as encouraging autonomy, solidarity and mutual aid.

Pre-meeting dinners at local restaurant

Convivium Members

  • Active seniors who live independently
  • With a commitment to the cohousing lifestyle being actively engaged in self- governance, open to helping others and being helped
  • Working together to design our building and make financial contributions to development costs before moving in
  • With the financial capacity to buy shares in the co-operative, based on local market costs of an average new condo apartment and to pay monthly co-op charges (for operating expenses, taxes and a reserve fund)

If you are interested in becoming a member, please add yourself to our waiting list (on contact page).

                                                     Initial Co-op members

Planning

From an original group that started a non-profit organization in 2016, we became an equity co-operative in 2018.  Co-op members participate in planning and financing the building’s development.  All units will be purchased and owned by the co-op, and each member household will have a firm occupancy agreement with the co-op for the use of their own unit.  When a member moves out of their unit, the co-op will sell it to a new member at market value and that value (less transfer costs) will be returned to the former member or their estate.

In November 2018, we signed a memorandum of understanding with Cahdco (Centretown affordable housing development corp.), an experienced, non-profit developer, to look for land and design an apartment building to suit our needs.  We are also open to renovating an existing building or sharing a bigger building.