CDC masthead.
  Creekside Commons welcome sign.

Creekside Commons

Project Description:

The 9.8-acre site is located less than 2 km from downtown Courtenay, and minutes walk from services at Rosewall Crescent. A salmon-bearing creek runs through an adjacent 4-acre park. Protection of this aquatic habitat was an important consideration in the design of the storm water management system. Thus, there is minimal use of culverts, (stormwater is directed across the surface into a wetland) and non-permeable surfaces.

Landscape site plan for Creekside.

The original zoning permitted 63 individual lots, which would have covered the entire site with roads and buildings. The cohousing development has reduced the density, clustered the 36 duplex style homes and delegated parking and cars to the edge of the site, thus preserving green space. Habitat was created through wetland development at the low end of the site, close to the park. The compact floor plans and duplex design are energy efficient, use less material, and have a smaller overall footprint than a conventional development.


 Mom with tot in hand-cart. />

	<td colspan=

The plan includes pedestrian friendly walkways, children and adult friendly common outdoor areas, and shared gardens. The yards are designed to allow for privacy and individualization. Five home plans, all with 2 bedrooms on the main level, were created to meet the diverse needs of singles, couples and families with children.


Members and a contract excavator
	working on the stream enhancements.

The group paid for the services of a professional biologist and supplied materials and volunteer labour to improve the fish habitat in the adjacent creek. This was not a requirement, however enhancing fish habitat and the environment is part of the groups values and vision and this project was the first concrete action towards achieving those goals.

The architecture incorporates steep sloped roofs and wide overhangs, which are ideal for the west-coast climate. A combination of cement-fibre hardi-board siding, in a variety of natural colours, complement the decorative cedar timber post and beam framing.

Picture of the front of two
	Creekside units showing details of the porches./>

	<td colspan=

Generous covered porches in front and back enhance opportunities for connection with neighbours and the outdoors. Solid fir exterior doors, cedar shingles and wood trim on windows further enhance the west-coast architecture.

These are some of the features that were incorporated into the design and construction:

  • All homes are on heated crawl space.
  • High performance energy efficient windows.
  • Numerous skylights to allow greater access to direct natural light.
  • Plumbed for future solar hot water heating.
  • Heating systems utilized HRV or optional air to air heat pumps.
  • Compact florescent lighting throughout.
  • Marmoleum flooring (a non-toxic hard surface material) was standard in kit, DR, LR and bathrooms, with wool carpet in bedrooms and on stairs.
  • Cork and locally produced sustainable red alder flooring were available as upgrade options.
  • Low flow toilets, showerheads, and a rain barrel at each dwelling reduce water use.


Picture of the front of the 
	Creekside commonhouse.

Although each family has their own private home, a unique aspect of cohousing is sharing common facilities and activities such as maintenance, meal preparation and child-care. The common house, which is owned by all residents, is approximately 3500 square feet and includes a kitchen and dining area, two guest suites, a good sized meeting/yoga room, lounge, children’s playroom and laundry.

Picture of the Creekside workshop showing its green roof.

A workshop for woodworking and other crafts was still under construction when this photo was taken. It was built with volunteer labour from recycled materials to save costs and reduce the impact on the environment.

Services Provided

CDC provided cohousing development & community building services from the initial start-up meeting in December 2004 to completion in October 2007.

For more info about Creekside Commons, visit