Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

An intrigued throng of 80 community members were drawn to a unique new housing development’s breaking ground ceremony, Monday Aug. 19.

Neighbours, 30 investors dubbed “Ravens,” and even a contingent from Denmark attended.

ALSO READ: Danish-style happy Hygge housing coming to Sidney

Ravens Crossing is a group of investor-owners building a complex of Danish-style “Hygge housing” units, where residents have private apartments but share public spaces and amenities, to foster a sense of community. The Scandanavian experience suggests being part of a close community makes people happier and more secure, and now Sidney is to have its very own Hygge housing.

One of the group’s co-founders, Barbara Whittington, led proceedings Monday and helped create a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The Splinters provided tunes and prominent community figures gave speeches. Pauquachin elder Curtis Henry had everyone smiling with his fun speech and he also blessed the site, before sprinkling sacred water on the attendees.

An imported improv. duo, Traven and Braven, entertained with a history of the cohousing group, and Margaret Critchlow, the project’s principal consultant from Harbourside Cohousing, painted a broader picture of the movement, worldwide.

ALSO READ: Sidney salon closes citing persistent lack of staff

Local dignitaries were seen in the audience, including Sidney mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith. MLA Adam Olsen talked about the group’s totem, the raven, and explained what it meant and how it might guide them to create the community they seek. In keeping with their respect for Indigenous culture, Ravens Crossing provided four shovels to be used to break ground, representing the four points of a traditional medicine wheel. Fittingly, ravens squawked overhead.

For Whittington, cohousing actively builds community adding to the social fabric of Sidney and the surrounding areas. But it is practical too, and she says it appeals to the environmentally conscious.

“It just saves so many resources,” says Whittington. “Just for my own interest I asked the Ravens we have right now, which is 25 households, how many wheelbarrows we all have. Well among 25 households, we’ve got 30 wheelbarrows. That’s ridiculous. That’s kind of a metaphor for what we’re hoping to do.”

ALSO READ: Three churches joining for a night through the power of music

At one point on the project, only Whittington and her friend Tracy Mills were members, and although its been a lot of hard work, they are proud of their and their fellow Ravens’ efforts.

“It’s not a dream, we’re not just saying ‘Oh I wish the world were different,’ we’re saying let’s make it different,” says Whittington.

Units are still available for purchase. Ravens Crossing hosts an information evening at McTavish Academy of Art on Aug. 24 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. They also offer virtual information sessions online. For this or more information on the apartments visit ravenscrossingcohousing.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Pink Shirt Day uplifting for West Shore RCMP

Members of the West Shore RCMP have scheduled a variety of activities with students Feb. 26

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Musical starts Friday in Dave Dunnet Theatre

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read