Seniors co-housing development pitched for Port Williams


Published on March 31, 2017

Bruce McLeod is hoping to develop a sustainable retirement community in Port Williams that would see 10 to 20 homes built around a common house that allows for resource sharing, socialization and group meals.

©Ashley Thompson

PORT WILLIAMS - Bruce McLeod is constantly reminded of the importance of having a plan for aging.

A doctor at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville, McLeod often learns of patients who are unable to return home following an incident or illness due to issues relating to mobility, transportation or seclusion.

“I work in the emergency room and I see all of these people that make no plans for aging,” said McLeod.

McLeod hopes to be able to change this, even if only for a small group of people. He's in the process of raising awareness of a plan he has for a sustainable retirement community that would be designed around a co-housing concept.

“This community would help everyone look after one another,” he said, noting that the residents can decide if they want to share things like lawnmowers, snowblowers or even vehicles.

McLeod envisions the development including 10 to 20 homes that will be constructed around a common house that contains shared resources, a dining room, a large kitchen and a lounge for watching TV.

“You build a common house and around that common house you build these homes,” said McLeod.

The common house would become the site of evening meals that bring everyone together to socialize.

“It is clear that, as you age, your people contact goes down and this is associated with increased mortality and illness,” McLeod explained, noting that the co-housing concept also alleviates some of the stress associated with trying to maintain a large home or property in the retirement years.

“These homes are going to be designed for aging and the whole community will be designed for aging.”

The project is still in the preliminary stages, with McLeod searching for interested parties to collaborate and decide what the community will entail and how it will all come together. The development could potentially be located on 25 acres of land McLeod is interested in off of Collins Road in Port Williams.

“If we had ten houses that would be enough to start it,” he said.

McLeod is hosting a public discussion regarding the proposed co-housing development at the Port Bistro at 6:30 p.m. April 3. He's willing to host more meetings for interested parties as needed.

“I'll do this talk as many times as it takes to explain the concept.”

To learn more, e-mail McLeod at bmcleod@eastlink.ca.