Access to city services
Cohabitat Québec is located in the Saint-Sacrement neighbourhood of Québec City, a prime location offering quick access to services: close to schools, Cégeps (vocational colleges) and Laval University, as well as local stores and recreation centres. In addition, the proximity of public transport and cycle paths, on-site charging stations for electric vehicles, and the on-site Communauto service all reflect CQ’s commitment to sustainable development.
A healthy and inspiring environment
The location and size of the site made it possible to create an urban microcosm that can appeal to its different generations: sunny and secluded green spaces, with a vegetable garden in summer, and various play areas for children, including an ice rink in winter. The grounds are populated with native and edible plants, culinary herbs, and fruit trees and bushes.
CQ members with a talent for DIY have made numerous improvements to the site, including outdoor play equipment and raised garden beds. The terrace with its communal BBQs, and the fireplace lounge area inside the communal house provide a space for get-togethers between neighbours. A professional kitchen allows for meal preparation for a large number of people, including our weekly communal dinners, and spontaneous and informal shared meals between neighbours.
Lowered ecological footprint
Cohabitat Québec is an excellent example of how, as citizens, we can address our ecological footprint, and we are proud of our environmental achievements. From the planning stage of the project, we adhered to the highest construction standards, earning LEED platinum certification for our buildings. Very few buildings have acquired this level of certification in Québec. We managed to preserve more than 90% of the lot's permeability and limited our use of sod (14%) in favour of drought-resistant plants on the vast majority (93%) of the land. We achieved an exceptional energy performance rating (Energuide-HERS ˃ 80), notably through excellent insulation, optimal building orientation, LED lighting fixtures and a compact hot water distribution system. In addition, the buildings were constructed with low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials.
At Cohabitat Québec, we encourage communication, sharing and mutual support among members, and make the most of the collective intelligence and knowledge of our multi-generational community. It is a true laboratory, where we share our resources, talents and time. Thus, adults interact with children who, in turn, bring joy to gatherings, meals and parties. Interest groups are formed around crafts, music or sports. Exchanges are enriched by the different backgrounds of our members. Special activities such as cooking contests, petanque tournaments or improvised ultimate frisbee games bring members of all ages together. We aim to encourage diversity and exchanges between all age-groups, while also trying to achieve the right balance between private and community life.ultimate freezbee improvisées permettent la rencontre des cohabitants au travers des âges. Nous souhaitons un groupe diversifié favorisant les échanges entre tous, petits et grands.
Sociocracy and non-violent communication
In order to achieve our ambitions and live in harmony, we have adopted certain operating methods. As in any society, conflicts arise regularly, but open communication and respect are at the heart of our approach to resolving problems quickly when they arise. Cohabitat Québec has adopted sociocracy s a mode of governance, while members are also trained in non-violent, or conscious, communication (NVC)ociocracy allows for decentralized decision-making by building on the strengths, aspirations and values of each member of the organization. The sociocratic process relies on collective intelligence and helps us to reach common goals with the consent of each member; no one is ignored. All our members must have followed a training in sociocracy and NVC.
Using the sociocratic approach, committees called ‘circles’ look after the running of the different spaces and aspects of the community: buildings, grounds, communication (internal and external), management (finances), community life and community development. Members’ individual strengths help to create balanced and efficient circles. The success of Cohabitat Québec depends on the investment of the members in their respective circles and elsewhere.
In addition to the areas of work that fall under the responsibility of the circles, weekly tasks are assumed by teams that take turns sharing the housekeeping of the common spaces and the preparation of meals. The division of tasks allows for different members’ abilities and strengths. Sociocracy and NVC, along with periodic discussion workshops, help to reduce conflict and address the challenges of cohabitation, as they provide a way to take into account the needs and limits of each person.
A collective and personal adventure
The community is inevitably constantly evolving and maturing, in line with collective and individual changes.
CQ is a stimulating environment, inviting people to get to know each other better and to surpass themselves. Growing, letting go, listening, setting limits and asserting oneself while respecting others are all part of life here, and those who fully embrace it get so much out of this beautiful adventure.