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Being a Cohousing Community

At Wolf Willow Cohousing, we believe in community and collaboration. Our members enjoy the benefits of condo living, while also being part of a supportive and sustainable community. We make decisions together through a collaborative decision-making process, ensuring that everyone's needs and desires are heard and respected. With shared amenities and co-responsibility for the building we call home, our residents can focus on building meaningful relationships and living a fulfilling life.



As Wolf Willow Cohousing, we are an intentional, evolving community that fosters belonging and purpose. We support each other and our broader community as friends, neighbours, helpers, and citizens. We encourage positive connections while honouring personal need for privacy. 


We strive for environmental, social, and economic sustainability for ourselves and our community.

Core Values

  • We celebrate our community life by working and playing together.

  • We use resources wisely to care for the earth through our commitment to environmentally conscious and energy-conserving principles.

  • We govern ourselves according to respectful, democratic, non-hierarchical and consensus-oriented principles.

  • We honour each other’s gifts and differences in the spirit of seeking equality and opposing discrimination.

  • We take responsibility for our actions by communicating clearly, openly, and honestly in all matters affecting our community.

First Coffee row on second floor deck_edited.jpg

Collaborative Decision-Making & Shared Responsibility

Cohousing communities enable relationships and shared decision-making among neighbours. Decisions are made using the consensus model and are a result of open and inclusive discussions; the building and grounds are maintained, and the community is sustained through the work of our members. All cohousing owners are expected to share in the duties of decision-making, attendance at meetings when possible, and contributing to administration and/or maintenance and upkeep of the building and grounds. Members make decisions about common concerns at regular community meetings that draw on decision-making models—often consensus— reflecting a collaborative approach to living in community. The responsibility for decisions and actions is shared by all community members. The division of labour is based on what each member feels she or he can contribute. Prior to moving in, our members discussed and created policies on such diverse topics as smoking, pets, renting, and building maintenance. This policy-making continues as policies and manuals are renewed. No one person has more power than another, and decisions are made by the full community. We typically meet on the fourth Saturday of each month for 10 months of the year. Across committees, maintenance, gardening, cleaning teams, nightly security checks and more, we actively contribute to the safety, beauty and upkeep of our property and building, and the joy and well-being of our community. As a member noted, “it takes a village” to look after each other in the sense of collectively creating an environment that is safe, mutually supportive, stimulating, and that facilitates creative citizenship.

Cohousing: Private Ownership & Shared Common Areas

Wolf Willow Cohousing is based on private ownership of one of the 21 self-contained condos (in 1+den, 2 or 3 bedrooms layouts) with their own kitchen and living areas. Each condo also owns a portion of the over 5,000 sq ft of shared common space, including amenities like a sauna, workshop and exercise room. The dining/kitchen area of our common house is the heart of the community where residents enjoy events and activities such as monthly potlucks after each council meeting, house concerts, daily coffee row and more. Due to the incredible shared amenities and quality of life in addition to private unit space, cohousing units generally are slightly more expensive than a unit of comparable square footage on the market. Condo fees are set each year and vary according to the size of the unit.

Balance of Privacy & Connection

We value privacy as well as social connection with a design that provides personal privacy as well as opportunities to interact with each other in the common house and walkways. Members are social beings who reflect the full continuum of introversion and extroversion. Members are free to take part in as many (or as few) community gatherings as we choose. Some people, of course, are very private individuals and may connect most strongly with only a few people, whereas others will form friendships with everyone in the community. Individuals curate their own social experiences within and outside Wolf Willow Cohousing. People who have lived in condos and now live in Wolf Willow Cohousing have commented on how much they really get to know their neighbours. It is like being on a friendly city block, or a small town feeling within the convenience of the city.

The thing I like most about co-housing is that it will take me half an hour to pick up my mail because I can stop to talk to my neighbours. The key disadvantage is that it might take me 30 minutes to pick up my mail because I stop to talk with my neighbours.” (member)

Inclusive Building and Community

Wolf Willow Cohousing is an intentionally age-friendly building with architectural considerations such as accessible spaces, widened hallways and doorways. There are many features that encourage aging actively in community. Smudging is recognized in our policies, and Wolf Willow was built by allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. See also Accessibility & Active Aging Built into the Design.


What does each unit own in a cohousing building?

Cohousing developments in Canada have a condominium ownership model. Each unit is owned by the occupants, who also own a share of everything in the common areas. Although the names are similar, cohousing is not the same as co-operative housing. In co-operative housing, shareholders own shares in the building(s) and have the right to rent one of the units.

How Wolf Willow Cohousing units are purchased and sold?

Wolf Willow Cohousing condo units are sold via private sale or listed on the housing market (MLS) by the owner of the unit. Owners are encouraged to draw on the promotions committee to list on the website and highlight on mailing list. Ask to be added to the mailing list via Contact Us.

What kinds of people live in cohousing?

They tend to be people who have thought about this idea of creating a community long before they heard the term cohousing. People who live in cohousing come from a variety of backgrounds, income levels, family types and beliefs. What they do have in common is a desire to have a say about the decisions in their community and a belief that having more connection with their neighbours will enhance their quality of life.

Cohousing has been around for 60 years! Where did it originate?

The cohousing concept originated in Denmark about 60 years ago and is becoming popular in many countries. It was introduced to North America by two architects in 1988 and since that time over 23 cohousing communities have been completed in Canada, with numerous others in various stages of development. See the history provided by the Canadian Cohousing Network:

Where can I learn more about Cohousing?

Wolf Willow Cohousing is part of the Canadian Cohousing Network ( In the video Building Community with Cohousing (​​, film makers Dany Gagnon and Regan Payne interview cohousing residents from WindSong Cohousing Community (completed 1996), Cranberry Commons Cohousing (completed 2001) and Roberts Creek Cohousing (completed 2005). This video is entertaining, informative, heart-warming and inspiring. It provides a general overview of the concept and can be used to help educate the general public, developers, planners, and people interested in joining a completed or forming cohousing community. The video was produced by the Canadian Cohousing Network, funded by the membership of cohousing communities in Canada. For more information about cohousing, visit the Canadian Cohousing Network (

What is the optimum size of Cohousing?

The Wolf Willow Cohousing community consists of 21 condos. The optimum size for seniors-focused cohousing is between 15 and 25 households. Anything smaller puts too much pressure on the individual to participate in community activities. Anything larger does not support a close-knit community.

How Cohousing differs from Cooperative or Conventional Condominiums?

This PDF table outlines the difference between cohousing, co-op, and conventional condominiums.

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