Brenda and Jeff
Cherie and Mike
Cherie grew up in Philadelphia and Mike was born and raised in Vancouver. We are a biking family and enjoy exploring different parts of the city on our bikes with our two young children. English, Cantonese, Mandarin and a little Khmer are some of the languages we speak at home. Cherie and Mike have spent the last decade living abroad in different parts of Asia. Our experiences overseas and in North America have allowed us to be adaptable to different kinds of living spaces. We see the value in having easy access to public amenities, parks and transportation. Being connected to our community makes for an interesting and fun place to live. We are excited about the possibilities that co-housing offers.
James and Jean Marie
James: I’ve always been energized by people. I’m drawn to people with lots of varied interests, little people (I’m an inner-city school vice principal), and wise people who have a little mileage on them. A multigenerational community is important to me. My partner Jean-Marie and I have been together for 27 years and travelled the world extensively. Despite our adventures, a strong sense of home and belonging are a big part of who we are. We love opening our house to an expanding circle of friends. Some of our best times have included sharing a meal and a good glass of wine with others. For me, shared community is the major draw.
Jean Marie: I grew up in a small town in Northern Quebec, the second-last of 13 children. When I moved to Vancouver there were so many things to love – the great variety of activities, the beauty, and the weather. But, part of me still remembers the warmth of a small community and the energy of all those kids and neighbors. I’m an introvert, so I like being with others when I choose and having my own home to retreat to when I need quiet. I care how our home looks and feels, and I love being able to choose our community and neighbours before we move in.
My attraction to an urban village is probably the result of our family moving every couple of years when I was a child. I have a built-up longing for deep roots and knowing my neighbours. Location is a big deal for me. I’m a walker and an urban location means strolling to Main Street for coffee with a friend or hitting the library and community centre. I I love art, really long walks like the Camino Real and I’m a relentless reader. I like lively conversation, but also need time to myself.
When my youngest daughter told me some friends were moving to cohousing some time ago, I was instantly fascinated by her explanation of what it involved. I had lived in a small rural area for much of my adult life and realized that living within a sharing, caring, cohousing community while still having my own space – this time in an urban setting – might work for me. In OUV I have found a diverse group of people who share many of my priorities. I am already enjoying getting to know other members and working together to make our community happen.