Our Neighbourhood

Badham Boulevard, Regina, Saskatchewan

Prairie Spruce Commons offers easy access to great food, green spaces, cultural, retail and recreational offerings, educational centres and places of employment. It’s one of the reasons we’re most excited about our new neighbourhood.

Our Neighbourhood Walk Score

Prairie Spruce Commons’ neighborhood has a Walk Score of 75,  Very Walkable, is reflective of the wonderful neighbourhood we are building in. Most errands can be done on foot. As the area sees further development, the Walk Score will only improve, becoming a Walker’s Paradise.

For more information on Walk Scores.

Within Our Neighbourhood

Map of Prairie Spruce Commons Neighborhood
Prairie Spruce Commons Neighborhood

Imagine yourself at the centre of ever-widening concentric circles.

First Circle,  1/2 kilometer

  • Doctors, physiotherapists, dentists and a local pharmacy
  • Restaurants, pubs and coffee shops
  • Mike’s independent Grocery
  • Tartan curling club
  • Canadian Blood Services
  • Canadian Broadcasting Centre
  • Canadian Girl Guides
  • Canadian National Institute for the Blind
  • Regina Open Door Society
  • Regina Transit bus stops
  • Two high schools: Miller Comprehensive and Balfour Collegiate
  • University of Regina, College Avenue Campus
  • Wascana Centre, one of the largest urban parks in North America covering a total area of 2,300 acres. Includes Wascana Lake, Wascana Park with a playground, walk/wheeling and ski trails, and Wascana Pool

Second Circle, 1-2 kilometers

  • Arcola Elementary School
  • Conexus Centre for the Arts
  • Cornwall Centre Mall
  • Davin Elementary School
  • Downtown Regina
  • Globe Theatre
  • Kramer IMAX Theatre
  • Regina Central Library
  • Regina City Hall
  • Regina General Hospital
  • Royal Saskatchewan Museum
  • Saskatchewan Science Centre
  • St. Agustine Elementary School

Third circle: 3-5 kilometers

  • Douglas Park Elementary School
  • First Nations University of Canada
  • MacKenzie Art Gallery
  • Regina Airport
  • Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology
  • Several preschools and day care centres
  • St. Andrew Elementary school (French Immersion), University of Regina

What an amazing neighbourhood to live in!

Inaugural Prairie Spruce Curling Blender

Grab your brooms and sweep … join us at our inaugural Prairie Spruce Commons curling season bl-Ender!

The end of the curling season is fast approaching and we wanted to take the opportunity to get together for a social in the form of a curling “Blender”. Our curling social event will occur on Saturday April 11, 2015 is being sponsored by the Tartan Curling Club located at 1464 Broadway Avenue in Regina. Come with friends or just come and make new friends. Members of the Prairie Spruce Commons community will be there to have fun and support our future neighbourhood curling rink. We would love to meet you and tell you all about our community.

You can register as individuals or as groups and get blended into teams. Games are four ends, the score doesn’t matter, rules are optional – fun is mandatory! Ten dollars per person includes ice time, live music and a free beer. You can register via our Facebook event or by sending us an email.

The place starts hopping around 6:00 p.m. and curling starts as soon as teams are assembled. Then for the brave or perverse they’re turning half the rink into a skating rink at about 9:00 p.m. Don’t bring your hockey sticks though, it’s not that kind of rink. The alternative country band “Wolf Willow” (no relation to Wolf Willow cohousing in Saskatoon) is coming to play and they will be starting about 11:00 p.m. This is definitely something you should attend. If you miss it you will question the whole meaning of your existence and you will probably start wearing shabby clothes and hanging around in bad places in the company of disreputable persons. Don’t let that happen to you. $10.00 is all it will take to save you from a life of shame.

Note: portions of this post were shamelessly plagiarized from the Tartan Curling Club website.

Dave & Lill

Cat Like

Monty the Cat

I am a bit like a cat: I love to follow the sun, only I usually have a book with me. I imagine my book and I wandering through Prairie Spruce Commons from cozy seating area to cozy seating area, warming in the sun beside the walls of windows that exceed standard building energy requirements (actually meeting LEED Gold certifiable standards).

There is much to learn from cats. I lived with a cat for five years and loved that cat, but I developed allergies to them. I am now working with my naturopath to build my immune system so cats and I can cohabit. I expect this will also help me with my slight allergies to some dogs. I have not needed to do this particular immune strengthening until now – but I want to learn from the dogs and cats who will be my neighbours in Prairie Spruce Commons and this will be a lot easier if I am not wheezing. I already know and like their people who are working together to create both the community and the building of Prairie Spruce Commons. Prairie Spruce Commons will have 27 units and 13 of them are already reserved. This leaves 14 units – perhaps one is calling to you? If you have a cat or dog you might want to check with them as to what they are sensing is in their future.

Brenda

 

Badham Boulevard Steeped in History

Saskatchewan Legislative Building

For the residents of Prairie Spruce Commons, Badham Boulevard will be their new address.  In the spirit of community and friendly neighbours, this location is so fitting for Regina’s first cohousing complex. The area was formerly used by the Qu’Appelle Anglican Diocese property for a school and nunnery.  The diocese was established in 1883 and became a strong community of parishioners who provided ministry through major trends and events such as drought, immigration and settlement, war, and the Great Depression. In 2005 20 acres of the land was sold to Fiorante Homes and Commercial Ltd who will create a high-quality residential development that will respect the former Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle buildings’ provincial heritage designation. In a place steeped in history, Prairie Spruce Commons will make history by building Regina’s first cohousing community.

The actual street, Badham Boulevard, is named after Mike Badham.  Mike was passionate about Regina and he was committed to making Regina a better place for everyone.  He was an educator for most of his career. Later he was a city councillor. Mike died in a tragic accident in 2006. Throughout his life he was a community volunteer who served his community with pride. In respect for all he had done for Regina, a park and this street was named in Mike’s honor. Prairie Spruce Commons is all about community – I think Mike would be very pleased that it is being built on his street.

JoAnne N.

Farewell Dust Bunnies!

dust-bunny-x After August 2016 dust bunnies will be a thing of the past.  Or if not completely the past, at least they won’t show up on a daily basis! Our future holds Prairie Spruce Commons with in-floor hydronic heating and cooling!

We currently live in a house with forced air heating. We have our furnace and duct works cleaned annually, and we have one of those lifetime carbon air filters on the furnace. I clean the filter, as directed, on a regular basis, and still THEY come. Dust bunnies! I grew up in a home with hot water radiant heating. We had dust – after all there were five kids, and we tore around a lot – but we did not have daily dust bunnies.

Here are the Top 7 benefits of In-floor Hydronic Heating and cooling:

  • gives an even heat;
  • is more energy efficient;
  • contributes to healthier air;
  • reduces allergens;
  • is absolutely silent;
  • doesn’t dry the air; and best of all
  • does not produce dust bunnies! 

So don’t take it personally dust bunnies, but you and I are going to be parting company.

Brenda MacLauchlan

One is the Loneliest Number

Alone
Image Courtesy of Jon on Flickr

Did you hear the one about the young man who decided to test the quality of his personal connections with his Facebook friends? He invited them all to a party. But when the time came to party no one showed up and he was left all alone.

This anecdote isn’t intended to criticize Facebook but it speaks to the nature and quality of human relationships, an essential factor in loneliness. It ties into the “Connected-ness, Companionship and Community” theme of keynote speaker Michael Lavis at the annual “Celebration of Inclusion” hosted by the Regina and District Association for Community Living. The annual Inclusion Awards night recognizes individuals and organizations that increase opportunities for community members who have an intellectual disability to contribute in a real and meaningful way to life in our society.

Michael Lavis, the Executive Director of Creative Options Regina (COR) spoke on the topic of loneliness because some members of our society may have more difficulty than others in establishing close relationships with other people, people other than family members, with whom they are personally and emotionally connected. His presentation drew on research that suggests loneliness is on the rise. All demographics are affected and today 40% report feeling lonely, which is up from 20% in the 80’s. Among the causes and risk factors are segregation and having few or non-existent meaningful relationships.

Michael went on say loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health. To combat it we need to increase our understanding of the value of positive supports and relationships in health and recovery. We need to look for signs of loneliness, make quality relationships a top priority, and create an environment conducive to such relationships.

Prairie Spruce Commons is just such an environment. It is a community that is intentionally designed to facilitate positive interactions amongst its members and which operates on the principles of being respectful, caring and sharing. We foster a sense of belonging. Have you found that sense of belonging?

Dave

Walk~Wheeling the Lines of our Common House

Prairie-Spruce-Level-1-Common-House--400x284“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

I keep my eyes wide open all the time

I keep the ends out for the tie that binds

Because you’re mine, I walk the line.”

I Walk the Line, by Johnny Cash


That old song has been singing to me since our community walk~wheeled** the tape on the floor outlining some of the common spaces of Prairie Spruce Commons.

And what the heck does the third line of that song mean anyhow?  No clue here!

Lil and WarrenWarren and the Design Committee spent hours on their knees at the Prairie Arctic Trades Training Centre where we were lucky to be guests for the day.  The massive indoor arena with a smooth cement floor was perfect for marking out, with masking tape, the more than 2000 square feet of main floor common space.  Common kitchen and dining room, lounge, kids space, entrance (front and back), elevator, guest room, accessible bathroom, common laundry, office, workshop, storage closet, powder-room and yes hallways.

Prior to the much anticipated walk~wheel, the plan was that all 15 of us, or so,  would follow Warren into the ‘taped-on-the-floor Common House,’ and listen attentively while he oriented us to what was what. Are you kidding!?  Right off the mark we were like a herd of cats with all our curiosity, questions, and excitement.

Once we settled a little and even figured out which way was north we found that walk~wheeling a space adds new dimension to pouring over architectural drawings.  Like feeling a space and experiencing it and rubbing shoulders with the neighbours too. 

Current research in organizational theory says that the most successful and resilient organizations are those that solicit, welcome and integrate feedback. It’s called the feedback loop.  Walk~wheeling the lines gave us opportunity to experience the feedback loop. Some things in the design seem perfect while others need some minor adjustments.

‘because you’re mine I (we) walk~wheel the line.”

Hope you knees will be okay in a couple of days Design Committee.

Ruth

** My preferred language so as to acknowledge those among us who get around by wheeling in strollers or wheelchairs.

Our Site Sign is Up!

We heard a rumour last week: our sign was going to be up on the lot soon.

To say there was anticipation would be an understatement. We checked the site daily, sometimes more than once a day. Then the posts were up and finally a group email was sent to let us know that the sign had been spotted on Friday, November 14, 2014.Prairie-Spruce-Site-Sign-400x284

Anticipation has transformed to excitement. The sign on the lot on Badham Boulevard is announcing this to be the site of “Regina’s First Cohousing Community”. We see the sign as an invitation to take action.

Why should you do this? Why should you check out this new form of housing that is coming to Regina?

  • You should do this because this is an exciting development in housing that in just 40 years has spread to many countries and proved successful.
  • You should do this if you are single, a single parent with children, married, married with children or retired.
  • You should do this if you want to own your own unit or may be interested in renting a unit.
  • You should do this if you think when people share everyday chores that it makes less work and you laugh a lot while doing them.
  • You should do this if you see yourself living in a building that functions as a community. A place where when you come home everyone knows your name.
  • You should do this if you want to live a more sustainably happy lifestyle.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. We’d love to chat with you over coffee and tell you about our amazing community.

Murray

 

 

What's In Your Toilet?

In most Canadian cities we could drink out of our toilets. Doesn’t sound too appealing, but we could if the toilet bowl had been thoroughly sanitized.  The same water that comes out of our taps is used to flush our toilets. In a world of increasingly scarce fresh water does this make even an ounce of sense?

I remember the first time I was told there is no new water. All the water on Earth is the same water that was here since the earth was formed about 4.6 billion years ago. This seemed impossible to believe. Water is always shape shifting: ice bergs, snow, hail, rain, rivers, lakes, oceans, glaciers, fog, mist, frost, ground water, tap water. But it is always the same water!  The same water has been cycling for 4.6 billion years.  But it is not in the same condition it was even fifty years ago. In Canada at any given time, there are usually 1000 boil water advisories in effect. Safe drinking water is essential to life and we are using it to flush our toilets!

There is an alternative. It is called grey water recycling. Grey water is defined as wastewater generated from sinks, showers and baths, which can be recycled on-site for uses such as toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. Grey water often includes discharge from laundry, dishwashers and kitchen sinks.  In July 2012, Bruce Nagy wrote the following in Plumbing and HVAC, The Voice of Canada’s Mechanical Industry.

It is probably wise to be skeptical about the next big thing. But sometimes it is just common sense; like the coming move toward more grey water recycling, especially in cities……… Whichever systems are used, there should be plenty of commercial and residential grey water and rainwater business available to contractors in the coming years. One could even say it’s the next big thing!

The Research and Innovation Centre at the University of Regina uses a grey water recycling system that is part of the research work of Dr. Stephanie Young. With the guidance of Dr. Young, the  design for Prairie Spruce Commons includes plumbing infrastructure for grey water recycling.  We plan to work with the City of Regina to seek approval to be a multi-residence grey water research site.

Our Prairie Spruce Commons Community is excited and eager to be a leader in environmental innovation in Regina. Are you the type of person that is passionate about sustainability issues and wants to be part of the solution? If so, we’re looking for more early adopters to join us on the quest to Green Regina.

Brenda

8 Benefits of Joining our Friends List

I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff. – Jon Katz

The Prairie Spruce Lawn Bowling Team
The Prairie Spruce Lawn Bowling Team

Are you interested in cohousing but not at a point in your life where you are ready to live at Prairie Spruce?

Cohousing groups create social and cultural opportunities that individuals themselves may not have. As we’ve done regularly over the last year, Prairie Spruce can host speakers, musicians, artists and special events. We can also engage in initiatives and lobbying for better, more sustainable communities. While our common community voice and presence is stronger than that of any one individual, our voice would certainly benefit from your additional participation and involvement. Having more “Friends” makes our voice stronger. Plus, social events are more fun with more people!

8 Benefits of Joining

We expect many of our “Friends of Prairie Spruce” may not be prospective owners at Prairie Spruce but that shouldn’t prevent you from being part of the broader Prairie Spruce community and experience. For now, being a Friend would give you access to participate in:

  1. Workshops on group facilitation, active listening, & conflict resolution
  2. Organized group classes (yoga, beer making, cooking, etc,)
  3. Concerts, art shows and film screenings
  4. Lobbying for better community
  5. Special community potlucks
  6. Special early access “Friends Only” tours of our new homes
  7. Random acts of generosity, kindness and support (aka, friendship).

Plus, you’d get to meet and become friends with some of the best people I know in Regina!

Consider this your invitation to join our Friends of Prairie Spruce group. We’d love it if we could welcome you in person by joining as at our free screening of the Happy Movie this Sunday at the Cathedral Community Centre. If Sunday doesn’t work for you, please send us an email at prairiesprucecommons@gmail.com with the subject “Friends” and include your name, email address and phone number. We will create a special email list of our Friends and should you ever decide you want to be removed, you can easily unsubscribe. There will be no fee for becoming a Friend of Prairie Spruce (although there may be cost recovery fees for specific events).

Join us on our journey to the heart of community!

Henning