I was pleased to hear that Hamilton was finally getting its very own CoHousing meetup and rushed to find out as much as possible, both for my own interest and for my compatriots in Aging Together. The evening was the set up with six speakers and covered the basics of where the concept of cohousing began.

Jocelyn Weatherbe hosted this initial “meetup” and said afterwards that she felt encouraged by the turnout and will continue to host events with further speakers on a monthly basis. Her personal interest is in forming a cohousing core group and hopes this forum will encourage others to find each other through meetup events such as this.

Jocelyn began by reading Janice Blanchard on the Baby Boomers. She went on to describe the basic models for both the Babayaga in France and home sharing. She stressed the need to know your core group, what you have in common, what you will need to accommodate and or compromise on. She shared her story of belonging to a small cohousing group where the members dwindled down to 3 people. Ready to purchase a 6-plex and being days from purchasing, one of the 3 had to withdraw for health reasons so the purchase and project came to an immediate halt. Now she is back to her search for a new core group.

Jocelyn advises that the best way to stay informed about the group’s events is to visit their facebook page: CoHoHo – CoHousing Hamilton ON

Two speakers of note: 

Emma Cubitt

Emma talked about her experiences forming their “intentional community” on Hunter St and how uncomplicated it was. They all rent or own separately, some share with housemates, all share what they have such as washing machines and other tools. She also talked about zoning and how it has affected some of the affordable housing projects she has worked on here in Hamilton. The project on Queen Street is a Good Shepherd Women’s shelter. I forgot to note how many units, I think around 25. As I recall the original plan was for only 16 so this is exciting. She showed a concept drawing and it looks crowded in that I couldn’t see much garden / play space but there are common spaces planned.

She ended her talk by inviting everyone to come to the Hunter Street Potlucks.

Emma works at INVIZIJ Architects. Follow this link to an excellent interview with Emma about her work there. http://theinletonline.com/qa-architect-emma-cubitt-invizij-architects-inc

Tara McEwen

Tara was forced by the dissolution of her marriage into the necessity of selling her home and moving away from her children’s school and friends. She decided to try sharing her home with another single mom which turned out to be very compatible match. The first week the home seeking mom moved in she was called away at night by a family health emergency. The children were able to stay snug in their beds and Tara took on the mom role the next morning, feeding them and taking them to school. It inspired her to form her own company, Homeshare Alliance.