Members of the Pacific Gardens community are a diverse and eclectic bunch, with a wide variety of interests. Here are some of them:
Dan Parker and Myriam Verzat
Our four-year-old son loves Pacific Gardens! He gets to enjoy playing outside in the huge backyard with a trampoline, sandbox and shared toys. We often go for adventures in the forest next to our property. Indoors he loves to use the playroom, the art room, the music room and the atrium with his friends. He has a dozen other children as neighbours, some of whom are like siblings and cousins for him.
He’s quite fussy when it comes to babysitters, but we have several seasoned grandparents who step in to take care of him when we want to go out or take a break from parenting. His favourite weekly activity is definitely the potluck, where he gets to try all sorts of food – and desserts (if he eats his veggies). Since we firmly believe that it takes a village to raise a child, we’re so grateful to live in this cohousing community. Parenting seems so much easier with so much support and so many activities… we can’t imagine doing it on our own anymore!
Living at Pacific Gardens has addressed all the shortcomings I felt as a single, retired homeowner. I enjoy daily interactions with friends and neighbours, whether saying hello in passing, chatting in the gardens, or reading books to the little ones. I can enjoy gardening as I can always call on someone to help with the heavy lifting. I can stretch my mind by working on different committees and looking for ways to contribute to the harmonious functioning of this community. And I can spend time sharing food and lots of good laughs at the varied social gatherings. This four-acre property is truly incredible with all the natural offerings of vegetation, animal life and the river – all right within the city. Easy access to services and surrounded by natural beauty!
Jen and Jamie
We are thrilled to be part of this community. We have enjoyed making connections with everyone, and being part of an active and supportive neighbourhood. Our family is interested in all kinds of things, particularly things we don’t know much about.
We like travelling and have taken many road trips, and have hosted 12 international students in order to bring the world home. Three of our children are in French immersion, and one is homeschooling high school. Our family values are openness, discussion, and involvement. We moved here to build community and connection, and have a wider number of voices in our lives. Coming to Pacific Gardens was an abrupt adjustment in simplification, going from a 2700 square-foot house to a 1500-square foot townhouse!
Dave, Josie & Colbie
As an active, adventurous family we have found the hub city deserves its name. Nanaimo is central to so much of what the island has to offer and Pacific Gardens is the ideal homebase. The close proximity to downtown has nurtured our already deep connections to the city’s thriving art scene, yet it still feels like you’ve escaped to your serene countryside estate when you come home and hear the frogs croaking in the pond at night. Cohousing creates a special sense of community lost to most modern living arrangements while still allowing for privacy and your own space when your social battery is running low. We especially love the rich social environment for the kids with real play always only a quick door knock away, something we really value in an increasingly online yet isolated world.
Jean-Marie Russell and James Chamberlain
We’ve transitioned easily to life in Nanaimo after working for decades in Vancouver. As recent retirees, we enjoy the laid back atmosphere of this town and the generosity of our new neighbours. Random acts of kindness often happen here… homemade cookies outside our door; sharing of recipes or that missing ingredient when making a meal for neighbours. Our main reason for moving to cohousing was to live in a multigenerational community and be connected to the joyfulness of children’s lives. We couldn’t be more pleased with our choice! As newcomers to the island, we are spending our newfound leisure time: gardening, biking, snowboarding, scuba diving, exploring the island and learning Spanish. Jean-Marie grew up in a small town in Northern Québec and James was raised on a farm. Living here on 4 acres feels like “returning to our small town roots” while still enjoying all the amenities of a modern city that is just a quick hop away from the mainland.
Ron and Frances
When Ron and I decided to move from Ottawa to the West Coast to be closer to family, we knew we would be downsizing to a community where we could live in place as we got older.
We love Pacific Gardens for many reasons. It is multigenerational, so we get to enjoy and connect with young families and children. It is a beautiful building on a wonderful property where people have a commitment to promoting the natural world.
Ron never runs out of ideas for projects and things to do. We love the idea of helping to build a community that shares our values. The private spaces give us all the room we need, and the public spaces offer daily one-on-one interactions and great fun activities for all of us to join in.
We love our neighbours and feel so lucky to be here!