About Convivium

Latest news:   We have been regrouping since November 2019 and have a core group of people who are committed to creating a supportive community for older adults and active seniors in Ottawa.

Our current approach is to have 10-15 apartment units by adapting existing buildings, instead of building from scratch.  This could involve renovation of an existing apartment building, linking existing houses, or adapting  an office building or school. There will be some  common gathering spaces, parking, and other amenities depending on the site and cost.

We are recruiting new members who would like to join us.

For more information, contact Lynne Markell at lmarkell@rogers.com

Our Vision

An interdependent, participatory, and caring housing community that will support it members as they live and age autonomously.   

Our concept is a purpose-built community that will facilitate “aging in community” for older adults and seniors. 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. Residents will commit to neighbourly mutual support. We will share tools, bikes, books, and other resources. Communal meals will be held regularly.

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


Within the central core of Ottawa in a vibrant  neighbourhood.

October 2018 workshop

Building Design

Our current plan is to acquire an existing building and transform it for our use. The size of units will depend on what is possible but the aim is to have  bachelor, one, and two-bedroom apartments. The building will contain some common space such as kitchen, dining room, office, and outdoor gathering spaces and gardens. There would be some parking spaces and  bike storage.

October 2018 Workshop

Organizational Structure

We started in 2016 as a non-profit organization but are now a fully fledged equity housing co-operative.  In an equity housing  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.

The co-op will be used to organize the planning, but it is possible to change the ownership structure to a condominium or other legal structure.

Pre-meeting dinners at local restaurant

Who we are

  • Older adults and 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


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? Unit costs will be close to market value for a newly build apartment in central Ottawa. There will be no subsidies and so the group must pool its money to finance the building.

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 short term rentals by residents. There are no on-going rental apartments.  

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