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

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

COVID-19: Managing your mental health from isolation

Ministry of Mental Health, Addictions recommends numerous strategies for self-care during pandemic

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read