When a marriage ends, many friendships and community relationships are deeply affected. For John Frederickson, that meant losing a supportive Langley community of neighbours and friends where his kids were growing up.
“Our family home was in a spectacular neighbourhood with lots of social interaction. When I moved out I was just devastated. One reason was that I thought I’d never find that kind of community again,” he says.
Frederickson moved in with his sister temporarily, but wasn’t sure what his next move should be. That’s when a friend brought up the idea of cohousing.
“I hadn’t thought about cohousing in 30 years! I went to a few of the planning meetings for Windsong when I was young, but I couldn’t afford to buy a home at the time. After my friend suggested it, I immediately Googled cohousing in Langley, found Compass, and went to an information session the following week.”
Cohousing means community, and choice
Compass Cohousing in Langley is a collection of 40 strata-titled homes where owners share generous communal spaces. The homes range from studio apartments to four-bedroom, three-level townhomes. Each home is entirely self-sufficient with full kitchens and bathrooms, but members of the community also enjoy a range of amenities including a dining hall with a gourmet kitchen, a workshop, several children’s play areas, guest rooms, work spaces and much, much more.
“I strongly believe that humans are meant to live in groups. We are social creatures; we don’t do well if we’re alone,” Frederickson says. “Compass is also vertically integrated — it’s not just young families or seniors, we have all generations present.”
There are successful examples of cohousing communities across BC and around the world, but each community contains unique characteristics designed by the people who will be living there. At Compass, residents are excited to prioritize safety and sustainability, alongside community values. The roof will be solar panel ready, 40 parking stalls will be equipped for electric vehicle charging, and all parking will be separated from living space to keep everyone, especially children, safe.
Coming in spring 2024
The building has just passed its fourth and final reading at Langley Council, and construction is expected to be complete by spring 2024. For Frederickson, the community building has already begun. He attends Compass strategy meetings every two weeks, as well as helping host information sessions for prospective new members. Social events include potlucks and beach gatherings where equity members get to know their future neighbours, and even a weekly Zoom where everyone samples the same beer.
“When I finally move into my unit, I’ll be moving in next to friends, not just neighbours. I’ll be living on the same level as the central courtyard. Life will be passing right in front of my door, and I’ll be able to step out onto the grass and join whatever’s going on. When my kids visit, they’ll be part of the community too.”
Compass Cohousing, is well over 60 per cent sold, but there are still a good variety of units on offer. It will be built near the corner of 203rd Street and 66th Avenue in a highly walkable part of Langley, close to many shops and services. To learn more, visit compasscohousing.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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