It’s About Building A Community

For the past two year’s SVB members Ann and Chris Frampton have helped grow our group and continue to enjoy the process of building Sudbury’s cohousing community. Read more about why they joined Silver Birch Village.

Many of us are part of great communities. The neighbourhoods we live in, the groups we belong to and encourage others to join, are all part of our community.

Building community is not a new concept. Lots of people are building community every day whether at work or at play. We are building a community at Silver Birch Village – a Cohousing Community for older folks like ourselves. 

We never really thought about being “older folks” but now that we are in our mid 60’s we are those people. How did we get here so fast? Will the next 10 to 20 years go as quickly where we will find ourselves in our 70 and 80’s? 

Our parents ended up in nursing homes and they were not happy about it all. They also passed without their loved ones with them. The physical care that they received was adequate but the social and emotional care was just not there. 

They did not make new friends and relied on family, most of whom were sandwiched between growing children, working fulltime and caring for aging parents. We were sometimes overwhelmed and experienced feelings of doubt and guilt about not being able to provide more. We have thought a lot about our parents’ journey and we want to plan now for what our story will be and not leave it up to our children to decide for us.  

For the past two years,  we became very involved in the Silver Birch Village cohousing project. After attending a “Is Cohousing for you?”  workshop and visiting a number of cohousing complexes on the west coast where the concept is already very popular. 

Being part of growing a community starting from the ground up, has been interesting and fun. Downsizing our living space and planning for what we vision for our next stage in life has been exciting for us and provides a sense of safety and security. This project has been the right fit for us in our retirement and we are really enjoying the process. There is nothing more gratifying than working with an energetic group of likeminded people with a shared vision of moving forward and getting the job done. 

Our group is currently 13 interested households who meet regularly to plan and make decisions on a multitude of things that go into creating a cohousing community. One of the many things that we like about the community is the decision-making process our community uses. 

Consensus Decision Making is one of the many concepts that we have trained and learned about as members which works very well in getting us to where we need to be. The process encourages all voices to be heard as opposed to only the loudest ones, with lots of opportunity for discussion. It does take some work and preparation on the part of the members, but when the group is as committed to making things work as we are, it is easy.

If you are interested in learning more about an aging strategy that includes co-caring of your neighbours, that will combat loneliness, where your voice will be heard and where you will make new friends who do fun things, then check out our website at