Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join?
There is no formal selection process. We encourage anyone interested to contact us. We do suggest you begin with one of our regular Information Sessions, and then attend meetings and socials. This will help you decide if Canopy is right for you. See the Membership page.
Are the buildings going to be new construction or retrofit?
New construction is more likely but we’re open to the possibility that the community might be built within an existing structure such as a heritage building.
How many units/people will the community have?
Experience in other cohousing developments suggests the optimal number of units is between 15 and 35. With fewer than 15 the community becomes too dependent upon every member’s contribution. Over 35 and it can become too impersonal since it would be difficult to get to know over 100 people. Our current plan is based on 24 units.
Are the units owned or rented?
All of the units will be owned. Some affordable housing units may be built, depending on financial feasibility.
How much will it cost?
The units will be priced at cost which we expect will be similar to market prices. The cost will depend entirely upon the size of unit you wish to buy, the decisions the group makes during the planning process, and what common features we include. Operating costs are expected to be below average due to high levels of energy and water efficiency.
Do you need a financial commitment?
All members of the community must contribute to the planning costs of the project. Initial planning costs will be supported through a combination of grants and member loans. See the Membership page.
Are you looking at other funding?
Yes, we are looking at grants and funding from housing, environmental and community organizations. We’ve just been approved for a grant for part of the costs of the Preliminary Planning Study.
What locations are you looking at?
The west end of downtown Toronto. The rough boundaries we’re currently considering are High Park to the west, east to Spadina, north to Dupont and south to the lake. But this isn’t written in stone, it’s simply our starting place.
Will there be work space in the Common House for those who work from home?
The common house can support many uses. At this point we have not decided what will be included. We know for sure that a large part of the common house will be a kitchen and dining area. The rest of this building can be used as a play space for kids, exercise/yoga/meditation space, laundry room, movie room, etc. We have been advised that the best way to organize home office space is to incorporate it into individual units.
How do you see community dinners working?
Quite well. 🙂 There are many ways to organize community dinners. Generally there is a rotation and a schedule with financial contributions for each meal. If we end up with 25 units and around 70% of the members choose to participate in community meals it’s common (according to the cohousing communities we’ve visited and researched) to find yourself cooking and washing dishes once a month. However our plan is not yet set. It’s all up to us, the members of the cohousing community, to decide what works best.
How do you make decisions?
General business meetings are held monthly where the full community manages Canopy’s affairs, with some tasks delegated to Committees that meet in between general meetings. We use a consensus decision-making process. All members participate in decision-making.