Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

  • Last updated: January 13, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: January 25, 2005

Mission Statement

We are an inclusive community focused on social action and a connection to nature.

Community Description

Pacific Gardens completed construction in September, 2009. One unit is still available for sale.

We have 4.37 acres on the Chase River in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. With a view of Mount Benson (and sunsets), the property is a delightful piece of country in the city covered with trees, a heritage orchard, seasonal pond and wildflowers.

Our 25-unit building is designed to maximize green space and provide the best opportunities for social interaction. Our common house includes a kitchen, dining room, lounge, office, children’s playroom, craft room, woodworking shop, exercise room and soundproof room for music practice, plus two guest rooms.

Each unit is self-contained with its own kitchen and individually-owned (strata-titled condominium), and includes shared ownership of the land and common amenities. They range in size from one-bedroom to three-bedroom-and-den.

We currently have one three-bedroom-and-den unit for sale at $409,000 CAD. However, we may also have other units available in the future, so please contact us to find out if we have a home that’s right for you.

Although we are located in the city, Pacific Gardens is a haven of serenity. Down by the river in the forest of fir trees, you can imagine yourself far away from civilization; yet we are within a block of the bus and are minutes by car or cycle from downtown and local shopping. An elementary school, a high school, and Vancouver Island University are within walking distance.

Pacific Gardens Cohousing is committed to using non-toxic products, is non-smoking and scent-free, and has been built to the LEEDS gold standard.

The community is multigenerational and inclusive of all people who genuinely care about living in harmony with the Earth and each other.


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 4.37 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 25
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members
  • Additional Comments:

    Our building features a glass-roofed atrium and award-winning design, as well as a host of amenities not found in other cohousing communities.


  • Adult Members: 50
  • Child Members: 8
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Contact us for a tour, stay in one of our guest rooms, or join us at a potluck.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Come on a tour, visit, come to a potluck, participate in an orientation, and commit to a community contribution.

  • Additional Comments:

    Several are Unitarians, but this is an individual choice.

    Some of our families home-school their children.


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

    Owner/investors and renters have the same rights and responsibilities.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 1
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Members and residents, including renters, are expected to give one hour of community contribution a week.

    Monthly strata fees are charged, as our legal structure is that of a condominium or strata.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Hydro-Electric
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and 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), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Potlucks open to the community and invited guests are held every Thursday at 6 pm. Others are held at least once a week. We are initiating program of regular community meals.

    We have several organic gardens and heritage apple trees which supply us with fruits and vegetables year-round.

    A number of us are vegetarian or vegan, but not all.

    This is a matter of personal choice.

    We prefer to have a non-smoking community.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Unitarian Universalist, Bahai, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Public Schooling
  • Additional Comments:

    Canada has public health care.

Additional Comments

A forested, peaceful setting within a city of 90,000 close to the ocean and mountains on beautiful Vancouver Island.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Canadian Cohousing Network


Organic gardens, cooperation, social action, inclusive