Unit Pricing and Availability

Look at the features you get in your private unit PLUS more than 3000 square feet of shared common space which includes, a kitchen/dining space that can accommodate 40 people, laundry room, lounge, two guest rooms, two terraces, garden area, workshop, storage space, and covered parking.

 

Unit 201
Located at the north-east corner of the building with windows to the north, east, and south, this 861 square-foot unit has one-bedroom, one-bath, an open-concept kitchen, dining and living-room area, and den. The bedroom walk-through closet joins the ensuite bath. The L-shaped kitchen, which is designed for efficient use, has a window over the sink and a movable island. The windows in the living room and den area provide abundant natural light as well as great cross ventilation. Features like in-floor heating and cooling, HRV, Juliette balcony, and a generous foyer add to the spaciousness and comfort, as well as energy efficiency of this unit. $427,000 (does not include GST).


Unit 205
This east facing, 980 square-foot unit, has two bedrooms with walk-though-closets and adjoining ensuite baths. The location of the bedrooms at the north and south ends of the unit provides lots of privacy. The open-concept kitchen has a movable island plus a window over the sink to provide natural light from the adjoining corridor. Features like in-floor heating and cooling, HRV, and Juliette balcony add to the comfort and energy efficiency of this unit. $455,000 (does not include GST).


Unit 207
Located at the south-east corner of the building with windows to the south, east, and north, this 1161 square-foot, two-bedroom two-bathroom unit, includes an ensuite with the master bedroom. The open- concept kitchen has an attached island with double sinks and space for seating. The adjoining dining, living room, and den areas provide abundant natural light to the kitchen. This unit abuts the roof-top terrace with easy access from the corridor. Features like in-floor heating and cooling, HRV, and Juliette balcony add to the comfort and energy efficiency of this unit. $531,00 (does not include GST).

 

 


Unit 208
This unique one-bedroom, one-bath, 694 square-foot loft unit, is located at the north-west corner of the building. The living room has beautiful light from three dormer windows that face west. The L-shaped kitchen, which is designed for efficient use, has a north-facing window over the sink. There are built-in storage spaces under the eaves on the west wall of the dining-room and under the stairs that lead to the loft bedroom. The bedroom has two north-facing windows and a spacious walk-in-closet. The west side of the bedroom has a mezzanine railing and overlooks the living room below. Features like in-floor heating and cooling and HVC add to the comfort and energy efficiency of this unit. $391,000 (does not include GST).



Unit 301
Located at the north-east corner of the building with windows to the north, east, and south, this 963 square-foot unit has one-bedroom, one-bath, an open-concept kitchen, dining and living room area, and den. The bedroom has a walk-through-closet that joins the ensuite bath. The L-shaped kitchen, which is designed for efficient use, has a window over the sink and a movable island. The windows in the living room and den area provide abundant natural light as well as great cross ventilation. The foyer opens into a large room with natural light from windows that face to the east and south. Features like in-floor heating and cooling, HRV, Juliette balcony, and the generous foyer area add to the spaciousness and comfort, as well as energy efficiency of this unit. $477,000 (does not include GST).

 


Unit 303
This micro-penthouse with one-bedroom and one-bathroom has 415 square feet designed for living in a smaller space, with the bonus of more than 3000 square feet of shared common space outside your door. The L-shaped kitchen, designed for efficiency, has a movable island. The unit has east-facing windows in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Features like in-floor heating and cooling and HVC add to the comfort and energy efficiency of this unit. $254,000 (does not include GST).


Unit 305
This micro-penthouse with one-bedroom and one-bathroom has 415 square feet designed for living in a smaller space, with the bonus of more than 3000 square feet of shared common space outside your door. The L-shaped kitchen, designed for efficiency, has a movable island. The unit has east-facing windows in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Features like in-floor heating and cooling and HVC add to the comfort and energy efficiency of this unit. $254,000 (does not include GST).

 

Building Design

Part of cohousing philosophy and building design is to be more ecologically sustainable. By designing smaller private units and sharing common space and amenities we can reduce, among other things, our consumption of construction materials and energy for heating and cooling. Because cohousing is resident designed, the final product typically reflects the values of the community members. It also reflects the site on which it is located.

Over the course of several workshops with our architectural and consultant teams, we defined our values and desires for our homes and community. Our desire to maximize natural light and have access to green space is reflected in the initial schematic design.

Prairie Spruce Commons
Prairie Spruce Commons

The Building Design as Planned

The design includes 21 private units, with full kitchens, varying in size from micro-penthouse suites to 2.5 bedroom suites.

The shared common space for community activities includes a large common kitchen and dining room, workshop, children’s playroom, lounge, exercise area, common laundry, two guest rooms, plus outdoor garden space and terraces.

Our Story

 

Prairie Spruce Summer BBQ
Summer BBQ

Seeking Creative Housing Options

Our story begins in the spring of 2011 when a group of people who recognized the value of community in their own lives and its benefits to the surrounding neighbourhood started looking at creative options for housing in Regina. On the suggestion of a local community organization, they met to discuss the cohousing concept and learned about a cohousing project that was being developed in Saskatoon. Two members of Wolf Willow Cohousing in Saskatoon were invited to speak at a later meeting in Regina. Following this meeting, discussions about cohousing began. Monthly meetings were held, community representatives were consulted, a mission statement was drafted, and information about the project was circulated through the wider community.

On December 12, 2011, Sheila Coles interviewed two members on CBC’s The Morning Edition. Many people who heard the interview attended the regular meeting that took place that evening. Enthusiasm grew, and the word spread.

The January 2012 meeting was pivotal. Twenty-seven people attended, several of whom now form the core of the present group. Plans were made to invite a cohousing consultant to Regina. The group also agreed to implement a social element in the form of potluck suppers before general meetings.

Prairie Spruce: What’s in a Name?

As part of our original visioning exercise, we drew pictures of people, sketched out homes and a spruce tree. Later, the group looked back on these pictures for inspiration for a name. The spruce tree “struck a chord” with the group. Spruce trees stay green and look alive year round. Also “green” can be associated with the sustainable green building aspect. Prairie seemed appropriate to help identify the location of the cohousing development. Commons refers to the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. Thus Prairie Spruce Commons. Our story had a name.

Getting it Built

In May 2012, a weekend “Getting Your Community Built” workshop was held. Regular monthly potlucks and meetings continued through the next year. Committees were formed to build community, deal with legal and financial issues, search for land, and explore design ideas. By the end of the year, our name was registered and the incorporation process was underway.

Project managers Chris ScottHanson (author of The Cohousing Handbook) and Jasen Robillard of Connexus Cohousing Collaborative were contracted in June 2013 and given the task of finding land. We are currently working with Regina architects Pattison MGM and developer Fiorante Homes and Commercial Ltd.

A sense of rapport, spirit and hope continues to grow among project members in 2016 as we share meals and collaborate on final design details.

Cohousing is for me because I have always wanted to live in intentional community living lightly on the earth.      – Faye Huggins

Before Moving In

Prairie Spruce Commons will be built with the support of committed homebuyers.

There are two memberships available in Prairie Spruce Commons. An Associate Membership is purchased initially to learn about cohousing and to become familiar with the other members of the community.

After becoming familiar with cohousing and determining they wish to live in Prairie Spruce Commons an Associate member will then purchase their Equity membership. The Equity membership has personal and financial obligations that are listed below.

ASSOCIATE Membership ($100)

  • Become more acquainted with the concept of cohousing
  • Develop understanding of the PSC Corporation and management, including roles of project managers, roles of professionals hired by the corporation (and who they are), roles of Equity members (the Directors of Corporation); roles of PSC committees and what they do
  • Learn and practice consensus decision-making

Do this by:

  • Learning about cohousing on the web, or books from the library
  • Attending PSC General Meetings, currently 2x a month
  • Joining one of the PSC committees

EQUITY Membership (10% of unit price)

  • Attend PSC General Meetings
  • Continue committee work

Equity Member Responsibilities

  • Attend PSC General meetings
  • Attend committee and ad hoc community meetings
  • Upon move in,  participate in work to maintain PSC – administratively and/or operationally (including cleaning of hallways & bathrooms), approximately 6 hrs/ month, based on info from other cohousing locations
  • PSC Community may decide to hire outside resources to do some of this work
  • PSC community members will manage PSC
  • Social participation is an integral part of cohousing

What is Cohousing?

Prairie Spruce members and potential members in a community design meeting with an architect.
Prairie Spruce members and potential members in a community design meeting with an architect.

Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighbourhood. Residents are consciously committed to living as a community. The physical design encourages both social contact and individual space. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes but residents also share the extensive common facilities such as an outside barbeque area, a playground and a common house.

How To Know if Cohousing Is For You

  • You desire a more meaningful connection with your neighbors
  • You enjoy sharing and helping others
  • You want to live lightly on the earth
  • You want to live abundantly through sharing stuff and skills
  • You want to age in place
  • You want to raise your kids in an urban village
  • You want to live amongst people from all walks of life
  • You celebrate the diversity of people and cultures in your city

* adapted from www.vancouvercohousing.com

Get in touch to find out more about Regina’s First Cohousing Community

Construction Partners and Memberships

Prairie Spruce Commons is Regina’s first multi-generational cohousing community. We are committed to creating a beautiful, sustainable, apartment-style green building, with abundant common spaces. The building is intentionally designed to use resources wisely and to encourage cooperation as well as friendly interaction among residents and neighbours, individuals and families.

This multi-generational community is committed to inclusiveness, caring, and sharing, while respecting privacy.

Construction Partners and Memberships

Our Professional Partners

Connexus Cohousing Collaborative. Community organization and Project Management – Jasen Robillard and Chris ScottHanson

Pattison MGM Architectural Services Ltd. Local firm has designed many Regina landmarks and brings unique cohousing skills.

Beetle Green Consulting & Education. Community development and “green” buildings

Fiorante Homes and Commercial Ltd. experienced and respected Regina home builder

Associate Memberships

Associate Members are exploring the possibility of becoming equity members and living in and being a participant in the life and growth of Prairie Spruce Commons.  A community member “buddy” will be available to answer questions.  Associate members pay a $100.00 membership fee which allows active participation in design and community discussions.

Equity Memberships

Equity Members intend to live in Prairie Spruce Commons when it is built. Equity membership is 10% of the unit price and  is credited to the purchase price of their unit.

Being conscious of wanting to have a smaller ecological footprint I was instantly attracted to Prairie Spruce Commons when I heard their plans to build a cohousing complex to include sustainable features in the construction and operation of their project.  With emphasis on smaller individual space and shared common spaces and amenities, I was enthusiastic to find out more. …Suzanne

FAQ— Frequently Asked Questions

The letter QThe frequently asked questions are frequent—obviously. They are understandable and expected. Cohousing is not different from many communities and neighborhoods you have lived in. Rather than developing over decades, in cohousing a group forms with the intention of creating a community.

What is Cohousing?

Cohousing is a process by which a group of people work together to create and maintain their own intentionally-designed neighbourhood.

By collaborating with an architect and project facilitators, Prairie Spruce Commons is participating in the planning and design of their own housing development. Along the way, our group has formed bonds that will become the basis for ongoing community growth and development.

How did cohousing get started?

In the late 1960′s a group of Danish families decided to create their own resident-developed neighbourhoods as an alternative to traditional housing models. They wanted a community where they would know their neighbours and that would be safer because people would watch out for each other and strangers would easily be noticed. They wanted to reduce the stress of their daily lives by easing day-to-day burdens such as child care and cooking. They wanted to reduce their impact on the land and create communities that were environmentally sensitive and sustainable. Today, 10% of all new housing constructed in Denmark use this model.

It was introduced to North America in 1988 by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett. While studying at the University of Copenhagen they learned of bofaellesskaber (which translated means a living community). They renamed it cohousing and the phrase is now listed in the Oxford English dictionary. Since that time, over 100 cohousing communities have been completed in North America including many in Canada.

What is the difference between a co-operative, a commune, and cohousing?

In a co-operative, the development is owned by the group and the units are rented. In a commune, all property and personal resources are shared with the community. In cohousing, people own their homes as well as a share of the common space. People in cohousing often choose to share resources to live more affordably, for example, sharing a snow blower or lawn mower.

What kinds of people live in cohousing?

Cohousing is for people who want to participate in their community.

Prairie Spruce Commons is building a community which is diverse in age, background and family type. The emphasis is on quality of life for all community members. There is no social agenda beyond creating a caring neighbourhood where all residents feel accepted and comfortable.

Generally, cohousing members have a desire to have a say in what their neighbourhood will be and a belief that having more connections with their neighbours will enhance their quality of life.

What does cohousing living entail?

Members own their own homes and are free to take part in as many or as few community social gatherings as they choose.

As a homeowner, members are expected to share decision-making, attend meetings, and contribute to the administration, maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds (thereby keeping their monthly fees as low as possible).

Some people describe the cohousing community as an intentional neighbourhood. The goal of cohousing members is simply the desire to have a more defined sense of community with their neighbours, some of whom might be quite different from themselves.
Most people who are attracted to cohousing are actively seeking diversity in their community. They want to live with others who will expand their horizons.

Individual Homes

Will I own my own home?

Yes. Each unit will have a condominium title ownership under which each household owns its own home and a share of common facilities.

Can I bring my pet?

Yes–probably. Prairie Spruce Commons will welcome most pets. Please ask further about the pet policy.

Will I have privacy?

Yes. In cohousing, members participate in a process to create a community that reflects their values. Most people in our culture value privacy so the community will be designed to provide a balance of privacy and community.

The building design will afford all the personal space and individual privacy a person desires.

If I live in cohousing, will I have my own kitchen?

Yes. This is a frequently asked question.

In addition to a kitchen in each unit, every cohousing community does have a common kitchen/dining area. The community will make a decision on how often community meals are available. Participation in the eating of these meals is voluntary, but everyone takes turns in making the meals.

A report of the Toronto-based Creative Communities and Collaborative Housing Society entitled Planning Cohousing (Ottawa: Energy Pathways, 1997) states that “[t]he idea of shared kitchen and dining facilities does not stem from a notion that meals should be communal but a recognition that sometimes communal meals are desirable and benefit everyone.”

What will be expected of me after the development is completed?

There will be monthly maintenance fees that each household will pay.

There will continue to be periodic meetings to make decisions about the operation of the community.

Members will be expected to contribute to the administration, maintenance, and upkeep of the building and grounds (to keep monthly fees as low as possible.)

Common Facilities

What is a common house?

All residences are completely self-contained with full kitchens but also share extensive common facilities that are designed for daily use. The common house includes such things as a large kitchen and dining room for meals and social gatherings, guest rooms, children’s play area, laundry facilities (supplementary to optional in-home laundry) and workshop.

Do members share meals together?

The common facilities, and particularly shared meals, are an important aspect of community life for both social and practical reasons. However, shared activities are always optional. People always have the option of cooking and eating in their own homes. Typically about 60% of the residents participate in shared meals on a regular basis.

In existing communities, shared meals can be available from a few nights a month to as many as seven nights per week.

The meals are generally prepared by 2 – 4 people for however many diners sign up in advance for that particular meal. As noted above, eating community meals is always voluntary. Typically each adult is expected to be involved in meal prep and/or clean-up once every 4 – 5 weeks. Members only pay for the meals they eat.

What about safety and security?

Because cohousing members know all their neighbours, they have an excellent neighbourhood watch system built into their communities. Someone who is not a member of the community is very easily recognized. Members of the community also watch out for the property of an absent resident.

How many homes will there be in the project?

Prairie Spruce Commons will have 21 privately owned units. This is within the optimal range for cohousing communities, which has been pegged at 15 to 36 households.

How are decisions made?

Decision-making is shared by all members. Decisions are made using the consensus model. This puts everyone on an equal footing, avoids power struggles, encourages everyone to participate by communicating openly and provides an opportunity for people to see a variety of points of view.

Financial Matters

What will it cost?

Unit prices are a reflection of total costs incurred in building Prairie Spruce Commons on Badham Boulevard.

Prairie Spruce Commons is purchasing the land and building from Fiorante Homes & Commercial. We have designed the building and the developer has figured out the cost of getting it built. We have summed these two costs and divided the total cost into the number of units. Note, that there is no profit added to the costs before determining unit prices; the prices are set in order to fully cover the building of each unit.

Our current prices are listed here. For more information on cohousing unit pricing & value, please read this blog post.

Are there condo fees and how are they set?

Condo fees are set by the cohousing group with representatives from each condo being on the board making the decisions. The fees will vary according to the size of the unit. A professional with a background in building fee assessment often assists the group through this process.

What if I have to or want to move out of the community and must sell my unit?

When it comes to resales, experience has shown that homes in cohousing hold their value

Find Out More

Where Can I Learn More About Cohousing?

Click on the links below to learn more about cohousing

Canadian Cohousing Network
US Cohousing Association