Campus Cooperative Residences Incorporated

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Last updated: January 21, 2019 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: February 12, 2018

Mission Statement

We are a student housing cooperative focused on providing Toronto area students with affordable, democratically controlled, socially just,and environmentally responsible housing.

Community Description

Campus Cooperative Residence Incorporated (CCRI) is a student housing cooperative consisting of 24 houses with 7-15 members each. The houses are beautiful historic Victorian era homes located in pleasant residential neighborhoods near the heart of downtown Toronto. All are within easy walking or bicycle distance from the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, OCAD University, and George Brown College. CCRI members work to sustain a non-profit organization that upholds values of community, responsibility, and awareness while providing them with affordable and environmentally sustainable housing. Members are expected to contribute their labor to both their houses (cleaning, cooking, other house chores) and to the organization as a whole (service on committees, social and educational events) through a co-op hours system. Members are also expected to participate in the democratic self-governance of the cooperative. CCRI has four venues of democratic governance. A general membership meeting consisting of the entire membership is held once every semester. There is an elected Board of Directors and committees dealing with varied special topics. Members can join committees devoted to special topics such as member recruitment, environmental sustainability, and formulating new policies. Individual houses hold regular house meetings and elect house officers. We are currently striving to establish more vibrant democratic communities at the level of individual houses.

Our co-op began in 1935, when four University of Toronto theology students ventured south to Indianapolis, Indiana, in the United States, during the Christmas holidays. They attended the biannual conference of the Student Christian Movement, a left-wing Christian group that promoted cooperative development as an alternative to both capitalist exploitation and Marxist revolution during the Great Depression. There they heard a speech by Christian minister and labor activist Toyohiko Kagawa. Kagawa is famed for his tireless advocacy of cooperatives, both in his native Japan and in North America. His speeches in more than 150 cities in the United States and Canada were an important inspiration of the North American student housing cooperative movement. Inspired by the Kagawa speech, the students founded a twelve man housing cooperative in 1936, named Rochdale after the English founders of the cooperative movement. Another early house was named for Kagawa. By 1942, the co-op had grown to 101 members and had added its first women’s houses. The co-op continued its growth throughout the 1950’s and the tumultuous 1960’s. In the ‘60’s it was noted for its social conscience and its connections to the era’s vibrant counterculture. Although the co-op suffered from declining interest in cooperative living from the 70’s and onward, it is now entering a period of renewal. We seek to attract members with a strong cooperative spirit; something that is just as necessary to the challenges of our new century as it was to those of the 1930’s.

About

  • Type(s): Student Housing or Student Co-Op
  • Location: Urban

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 24
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    Campus Cooperative Residence Inc. is a non-profit corporation which represents our members and holds ownership of our houses.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 250
  • Child Members: 0
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    During the summer months, we open our doors to short and long-term visitors who need not be students. Prospective members should contact our member office at [email protected] or 416-979-2161

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Currently, membership applications are reviewed by our membership coordinator. We are in the process of changing our procedures to give individual houses more input into the membership process.

Government

  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    CCRI has four main venues of democratic governance. Once a semester, a General Membership Meeting is held, consisting of all the members of CCRI. On an ongoing basis, CCRI is governed by an elected board of directors composed of members and alumni, which meets on a monthly basis. A system of committees, which meet regularly, allows members to address special issues of concern to them, such as member recruitment, policy, and sustainability. Each house holds regular house meetings and elects house officers. The board and the general membership are assisted by a professional staff. We are currently in the process of improving house level democracy and autonomy.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $600
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Monthly member charges range from 650 to 850 Canadian dollars. Meal plans involve additional charges.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Large Scale Kitchen, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    CCRI’s North division supports a large cafeteria where lunches and dinners are served during the school year to participating members. The meals provide a vegetarian option. Some houses currently buy food collectively and serve group meals and we hope to increase the prevalence of shared cooking within CCRI houses.

  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    CCRI is a student housing cooperative with no particular shared religious or spiritual orientation.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), North American Students of Cooperation

Keywords

Student housing, member controlled, environmentally responsible, educational