Mike Fortin and Vicki Beard have been working to develop a cohousing community in Guelph for many years. Mike is an environmental economist who has worked on environmental and social projects in Canada and abroad for over 30 years. Vicki, now retired, ran her own pet grooming business in Guelph for 25 years, served as Councillor for the City of Guelph, is a Master Gardener and artist and helped establish two non-profits in the City.
Through this cohousing development, Vicki and Mike are creating for themselves and others high quality housing that has a minimal environmental and carbon footprint and a very real sense of community; a community made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, identities and life experiences.
Their cohousing journey started in 2012 with a group called the Sustainable Intentional Living Community (SILC). Over that period, Mike and Vicki assembled land for the development. Preliminary designs have been developed by their architect, J. David McAuley, and a rezoning application, steered by our planner, Nancy Shoemaker with BSR&D, is in its final stages.
The next stage in the City’s planning and approval process is called Site Plan Approval. This stage and the subsequent stage of detailed design and tendering will determine what this cohousing development will be. Our process has always been an open one and a few others have joined us along the way, but, moving forward, we want the development to be guided, and financed, by future residents of the development. To be successful, the build must transition from “Mike and Vicki’s project’ to a community project. If cohousing interests you, this is your opportunity to get involved in the design and construction of your next home.
That's us immediately below, people who come on board will be added to this page.
Vicki on the right at a plant sale
Mike with folks visiting the gardens