Our Urban Village, a Vancouver Cohousing Community

TOMO House Discussed on the CBC (kinda!)

By Alistair Stewart

We are thrilled that our future home, TOMO House, was discussed during a recent piece on CBC’s “Spark”, a show that explores technology innovation and design in our daily lives. The host, Nora Young, was leading a discussion of what “home” will look like in 50 years alongside Sonia Solicari from the UK’s Museum of the Home, and Jennifer Keesmaat who spent five years as Toronto’s Chief City Planner.

It was great fun to hear TOMO House being discussed as a futuristic concept where people collectively buy land and share common space. This concept is, of course, cohousing and has been around in Denmark since the early 1960’s and came across the Atlantic in the late 1980’s. I’d like to think there was a radio show in 1971 discussing cohousing as a novel concept for what home might look like in 50 years!

There were a couple of other things discussed on the show where it might be worth clearing up a little bit of confusion about our project:

  • Rumours of our demise in the Court of Planning Opinion have been greatly exaggerated. Construction of our building is well underway so what might sound like fanciful concepts on “Spark” are actually a reality for us. All of our rezoning and permits for construction are in place and shovels are in the ground.
  • We’re not TOO novel. While it may still seem futuristic, there are already several other cohousing communities living together in Vancouver and BC’s Lower Mainland. We look forward to being the next one on the list.
  • But we are a bit novel. For TOMO house, it was actually our developer TOMO who owned the land, not the future residents. This is a departure from the traditional cohousing model where residents need to finance the purchase of land and construction, hire the architect, the specialists, etc. etc. (etc. etc.). As far as we know, we are the first ‘Cohousing Lite’ community in the world. TOMO have been great partners throughout the process, right from the get go.

All that being said, we are always happy for cohousing projects to be featured in the media especially when we are still recruiting new members to our community. So if this creates its own “spark” of interest (groan!), then please get in touch.