About Convivium

Latest news:  We had a potential site but that didn’t work out.  We are taking a short break to regroup but we are still working on our goal of a senior cohousing project.  If you would like more information, fill out the form on our “contact” page and someone will be in touch.

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

We currently have an option on a property in Lindenlea, at 20 Champlain Ave., off Beechwood Ave. (New Edinburgh area).  The plan is to tear down the current structure and build a  3-4 storey new one, with about 20 units.  In November 2018 we signed a memorandum of understanding with Cahdco, a non-profit housing development corporation, to work with us on site selection and building design.  Cahdco helped us locate this site and is working with us on creating a building design by the end of June 2019.

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

We started in 2016 as a non-profit organization but are now a fully fledged equity co-operative.  In an equity co-op, members agree to participate in planning their building and financing it through buying shares. Once built, the building and all its apartments will be owned by the co-operative 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 his/her estate.

Current members have paid an initial deposit of $1500 toward development costs that will be converted to shares towards the cost of their apartment.  At various steps in the development process, they will buy more shares until they have paid an amount equivalent to the value of the apartment in which they will live.

Pre-meeting dinners at local restaurant

Who we are

  • 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 see our contact page.

                                                     Initial Co-op members

FAQs

Will I own my own home? You will own shares in the co-operative and exclusive occupancy rights to your individual unit.

What will it cost? Cost will be close to market value for a newly build apartment in central Ottawa. We expect unit costs to start at $400,000.

How long will it take? We hope to see building start in spring 2020 and be complete in the fall of 2021.

In such a small community would I have privacy? Of course. Each member has a private apartment.

How often will there be meetings and do I have to attend? Members’ meetings would probably be monthly. Attendance would ensure your ability to influence decisions.

Can I rent my apartment? Yes. There is an established policy for rentals.

Can I smoke? This will be a smoke-free building.