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Waterloo Region Cohousing/Ecovillage

This newsletter is to provide updates for the Waterloo Region Cohousing Project.
If you have any questions, please email
Hello, we are looking forward to the next general meeting scheduled on:

Date: Sunday May 29, 2016
Doors Open for Social Time: 1:30pm. You are welcome to bring a snack to share. (Nut Free) Also, tea will be available. Please bring your own travel mug.
Committee check in time with eachother: 2:00pm-2:30pm (if needed, otherwise mingle)
Meeting time: 2:30pm-5:00pm
Mingle time: 5:00pm-5:30pm
Location: Grand River Unitarian Congregation at 299 Sydney St. South in Kitchener (where Sydney Street ends at Mill St.)  Please enter through the side door, on the east side, off the parking lot.  The front door will not be open.
We kindly request to be Fragrance + Nut free.
Bring:  your own mug or travel mug for tea, peanut free snack to share, thoughts on the membership proposal, your excitement and enthusiasm! ☺

  • Welcome
  • Who We are and What We’ve Done
  • Questions
  • An rough idea of cost to create community
  • Membership Proposal (view section below with the proposed levels of membership. More detail will be discussed during the meeting)
  • Technology and Communication
Membership Levels Summary Proposal 
(prepared by the membership committee)

For discussion at May 29, 2016 Meeting

The Membership Committee proposes three types of membership, with associated fees:

Just Curious
  • Want to find out more about the project, what cohousing means, and info on whether it will fit their life style and family structure.  
  • They are welcome to attend up to three meetings, and are to be encouraged to become Associate or Equity members.  
  • No fee associated with this group.
  • We propose three meetings (ie. three months) between being a Just Curious and an Associate Member. That should be enough time to decide if cohousing is for them.  
  • After three months, if the person or family has not expressed a desire to become Associate Members, we propose that we speak with them and ask kindly what is holding them back, and if there are any questions we can answer. We don’t want to lose them as prospective members, but also want them to make some kind of commitment.

Associate Members
  • Seriously exploring joining our community.  
  • After attending three meetings as above, must pay a one-time joining fee of $90 per household. This is to discourage people from joining, leaving, rejoining.  
  • If they then decide to become an Equity Member, the $90 fee will be discounted from their first year’s dues, ie. $240 less $90 = $150.  
  • If they decide that cohousing is not for them, the $90 is not refundable.
  • We propose six meetings (ie. six months) between being an Associate Member and an Equity Member. This is to get to know them better and make sure that they will fit our community, and of course, for them to get to know us better as well. At this point, they will fill out a Membership Application and Agreement form.
Equity Members
  • After six meetings, people who definitely want to live at our community, fully participate in a committee, and have invested time and money.  
  • They pay dues of $240 per year per household.  
  • Dues are to be paid once per year, at the beginning of the year; however, if someone has difficulty paying the full amount, they can pay half at the beginning of the year and the other half six months later.  
  • If they become Equity Members during the year, their fee is prorated at $20 per month.  
  • Also, if a member has to pull out for a legitimate reason, they can apply for a prorated refund, if funds are available.
Outskirts/Rural Group Information

EcoVillage Experience at Ithaca in New York Planning
Date: July 22 – 24th
Cost: $60/day, so this is $120/adult for Friday-Sunday. Children 12 and under are half-price. Kids 5 and under are free.
Arrival Day Catered Meal: We'll plan to provide one catered dinner $15/adult or $10/child (12 and under)
Other group costs:  Meals that we plan, prep, shop and cook together.  Childcare.  

Questions for Everyone:
How many are adults?  
How many children?
Do you need childcare
Dietary Restrictions: Food Allergies and Sensitivities
What type of accommodation (i.e., tent, B&B, home stay, in town)
  • Camping $25/tent/night – shared bathroom and shower a shot walk in the Common House (4-5 tents can be accommodated)
  • Common House Guest Rooms (2 available) $50/one person, $65/two people (I think that’s per night)
  • Home Stays $75/night/room in someone’s guest bedroom
  • B&B’s at Ecovillage from $75-$150/night (3 rooms available that weekend)
  •  Other area accommodations:
Can you provide a ride to other’s on the way to or from EcoVillage?  If so, how many seats available in your care
We will be doing lots together that weekend so we need: people to meal plan, shoppers for food, people to be head cook and helpers for meal prep, clean-up… we will have a sign-up sheet for this

Mark Your Calendars
  •     Friday, June 3rd at the Huether Hotel– Social Event – Name our Community
  •     Sunday, June 26th – Community Meeting
  •     Friday 22nd - Sunday, July 24th  – EcoVillage Experience Weekend
 General Meeting Minutes from May 1st:
Date: May 1, 2016
Time:  2pm – 4pm
Location:  KPL Central Library, Queen Street, Kitchener
 Draft vision:


During the April meeting, small groups met to create sample visions. Listed below is an amalgamation of all of the statements. It is not final but just a starting point.

We are a diverse, inclusive, multi-generational, sustainable neighbourhood of beauty and peace where we can grow as individuals while supporting each other, the earth, and the wider community in a net positive way. We foster a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose while sharing the fullness of ourselves and celebrating each other.

Updates from sub-committees:

Membership Committee
Decision Making Committee
Finance Committee
Legal Committee  
Social Committee
Technology Committee
Sustainability Committee
Land Search Committee 
Steering Committee 

The steering committee meetings kept coming back to the issue of LOCATION.  The later part of the meeting was focused on identifying those who, at this point, were more drawn to urban or rural projects. (However, many folks see the benefits of both and choices could evolve over time.)

Two groups were formed: RURAL/on the outskirts and URBAN

Once we made our choices in terms of rural or urban preferences, we listed our “must haves”, “wants”, and “deal breakers”.  We also signed up again for committees for each of the rural and the urban groups.  Now we need to start thinking about names and doing a cost analysis in order to have a more realistic picture of the overall financial commitment.

Both groups are meeting at the same location for the next general meeting scheduled for May 29th.

  • Primary Contact for Urban Group: David Wolkoff
  • Primary Contact for Rural/Outskirts Group: Wendy Pearle and Dorota Rams Skazinski
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Waterloo Region Cohousing Project · 302 Westforest · Kitchener, On N2N3J1 · Canada

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