Middle Road Community, The

Nelson, Canada

  • Last updated: February 28, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: January 22, 2005

Mission Statement

a safe and conscious environment for families, learning how to make community decisions together, beautiful setting

Community Description

The Middle Road Community is a cohousing community in southeastern British Columbia. We live on 21 hectares (52 acres) of land about 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the lovely art and ski community of Nelson (population 10,000) in the Selkirk Mountains. The land, which includes a mixture of forest, wetland and fields, is situated on an open bench along the north shore of the west arm of Kootenay Lake. The natural habitat is home to a variety of birds and wildlife. Half of the land is taken up by privately owned home sites and the other half is held in common. Title for common land is tied legally to the 11 private lots.

The common land includes forested areas, streams, a two-and-a-half acre fenced area containing organic gardens and a small orchard, horse pasture, a playing field, a chicken coop, a root cellar, and a large community fire pit. The Common House, a converted hay barn, is at the heart of the community–-consisting of a large kitchen and dining area, a games area, a quiet room, an activity room, a ping-pong room, an exercise/weight room, a guest room, and bathrooms. The wood floors, fireplaces, and magnificent views make it a cozy and welcoming place. In warm weather, the large deck extending into the garden is popular. There are hikes up into the surrounding mountains, and a public beach is just a short drive (or reasonable walk) away.

Regular meetings are held once a month, with a summer break. Community decisions are made by consensus. The community is currently at capacity. We have no formal visitor or internship program.


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Programs & Activities: WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 52 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 11
  • Housing Provided: Purchase
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    Half of the land consists of privately owned home sites and the other half is held in common. Title for the common land is tied legally to the 11 private lots (strata-title).


  • Adult Members: 21
  • Child Members: 9
  • Non-member Residents: 2
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Visitors accepted: No
  • Membership Process:

    When a home comes up for sale, the selling owner commits to a process whereby only someone who has successfully completed an intensive community orientation process becomes qualified to complete the purchase. The intention of the community orientation process is to ensure that a prospective buyer has fully understood what joining with our community entails, and that the community has the opportunity to determine whether there are serious concerns that could stand in the way of effective community membership (e.g. the prospective buyer does not intend full-time residency).


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $100.00
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    The labor expectation is in relation to things like sharing in the cleaning and maintenance of the common house, work parties on the land, and that sort of thing. There is no set hourly time requirement, and the inclusion of “1 hour” above is simply to illustrate that the time commitment is not substantial.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: Hydro-Electric, Biofuel
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, chicken coop, horse pasture
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Catholic, Sufi, Humanist
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual