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

Ninja groups could be setting children up for identity theft, online safety expert says

‘When I started seeing entry codes into secure buildings, I’m thinking oh my God, what are we doing?’

Federal government tenders remediation of Sidney’s Reay Creek pond

With tendering deadline of June 12, Transport Canada admits project is behind schedule

Close call has North Saanich councillor appealing for traffic safety

Coun. Jack McClintock is using an incident involving his daughter to highlight traffic safety

Saanich Peninsula steps into post-pandemic phase

Pending partial re-opening of local schools signals new start

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read