1 November 2014

Radical Resthomes continues to grow and gain momentum across the country.  New alternative housing projects for seniors are popping up across the country.  People are talking, creating ideas, and a new movement is underway.

To keep abreast of the news and what’s going on, please sign in to the KEEP ME IN TOUCH page.  And we will.

We’re building our future.  Let’s do it together.



Regional Connections Update

For all of you (and me) who have been having trouble connecting on the Regional Connections, my IT guru has fixed things and you can now post your interest, city, and anything else in the proper region.  If you posted interest and place somewhere else, just add the same note as a “reply” under the province where you want to find others.

Good luck.  Janet


August, 2013

CBC Sunday Morning  just re-ran the Baba Yaga story and my editorial on Radical Resthomes, so welcome to everyone who ends up here for the first time.

I’m a new blogger, so patience is needed by all who visit.  This is a blog, it’s a conversation, it’s a match-making site.  And I’m a novice at everything but the conversation part,

Some advice: Move all over the site.  I have tried to organize it so you can find discussions or locations easily, but often people don’t get my brand of organizing and end up somewhere else.  So move around and add comments to those who say something you like.

I will get comments posted quickly – delay of 24 hours, 48 hours tops, if family’s in from out of town.

If you are looking to hook up with similar minded people in your area, add your email address to your comment.  It’s not a phone call and you can just not reply if you feel uneasy.  But we need to find each other, so make yourself available if you are serious about creating a new living situation.

I will post articles and my own comments from time to time.

Let’s get this thing going… again!  Janet


June 30th, 2013

We have people trying to “find each other” in REGIONAL CONNECTIONS and I have posted some media coverage links in GENERAL DISCUSSION.

As well, there’s an amazing recent article from the New Yorker about a new way of dealing with dementia (HOT TOPICS, When We’re Not Well).  At some point we will have to re-consider our approach to this and to alzheimers.  I am personally dealing with someone in my family with dementia, and feel completely out of my depth.  Hopefully we will have new tools if any of us have to go down that road.


April, 2013

Well, it looks like we have a little movement on our hands…

This Blog is a follow up to the discussion started as a result of the Sunday Edition presentation about the Baba Yaga House in Paris, broadcast on March 17th, 2013. It will hopefully create a new way of living out our aging lives with some grace and excitement.  Yes, I said “Excitement”.  We can slow down, be more concerned about our health, quit those stressful jobs we carried on our backs for so long…. but that doesn’t mean life can’t be exciting.

I encourage everyone to speak their mind here.  We will have a General Discussion for any and all ideas.  And we will have Regional Connections, where like-minded people can find each other and maybe put their own Radical Resthome together.

As the chief bottle washer of the site, I will try and bring out good ideas to everyone and point us all in the direction of interesting endeavors and new resources.  I’m new at this, so if I’m missing something or you have an idea to make the site work better, please contact me at janet@torgeahead.com.

Let’s see where it all leads us!

153 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi, please keep me up to date on what’s happening with this project. I heard the Baba Yaga story when it came out a while ago and have been very interested in further discussions since then but not connected with other interested parties yet. I’m in Toronto.

    • I heard the program on the CBC and found it interesting. I am Canadian artist living in Mexico for the last 30 odd years. In this time among other things a site with three houses and four individual rooms was built within sustainable guidelines. (solar energy, grey water and solid waste recycling etc). The site has a great view of a lake and the buildings are unique architecturally since I am a sculptor. Would there be interest in creating some kind of imaginative use of these facilities at least for the winter.

      • Victor;
        This idea may be of interest to my friend who is heading to Mexico tomorrow as part of being a Snowbird. I am facilitating a sharing option in Ottawa Canada to reduce her housing expense so she will be able to remain a snowbird. If she can set up a sharing option in Mexico as well, I think it would be perfect. Are you thinking that they will share by buying a property or can a sharing situation be a rental situation? One or two of the residents can be year round residents so they benefit from the reduced expense and be able to keep the place livable etc. Everyone involved can pay for their room for the year or monthly when there and in advance when not. Of course everyone has to be legally bound. What do you think?

      • YO Victor- I to am a sculptor and would probably keep going until I break both arms! I love your Mexico enclave. For now I have a home in Costa RIca where I know I will have to move out of, 6 acres of jungle pool etc is too much for one person,but for now, it’s still my paradise in the winter. I’d love to meet other artists who are also interested in the warm climate to create. Keep me posted or write to me if you wish
        colette@toucanstudio.ca- web site http://www.toucanstudio.ca in case others are interested in such a project.

      • I may have replied to wrong person. I also am an artist sculptor and most interested in staying creating in the warm climate until I can’t fly anymore or until I break both my arms, Tell me more about your community.

  2. It is so good to see all the growing interest in intentional communities or co-housing. We are 10 people (3 couples and 4 singles) in an intentional community project in Kamloops BC- 8 of us now share a new 6000 sq.ft. home on the edge of the city center that we completed in February after 3 years of work as the RareBirds Housing Co-operative. Our website is http://www.rarebirdshousing.ca and we value sharing our story and learning from others, as we have benefited from other projects along the way. It is a rich network of folks who are choosing to live in a more sustainable and supportive way. Feel free to contact us for any information on what we are continuing to learn as we get more months into our living together. Warmly, Dan for the RareBirds

    • Congratulations, Rarebirds! Yours in the first model of an equity coop of that size that I’ve heard about. I look forward to hearing updates and appreciate the intention to document your process. I’d love to hear more.

      • Hi Pat, thanks for the thoughtful comment on our brief post on what we are learning and about what our project has been about. We value sharing experiences and what others are revealing about the gifts and tensions of these co-housing models… we fall in love with one another more richly as the weeks go on and with some resistance and shadow uncovered too! Let me know by our email on our website if you have any focused questions… http://www.rarebirdshousing.ca

  3. So glad for people like you, Janet, who get the ball rolling. I live in Calgary, have been retired 4 years and am staying delightfully busy, but one never knows what tomorrow may bring. I would like to know more and take whatever action I can for myself while I am able. I am very interested in the different possibilities for housing, ways of financing these housing situations and how to include care for ailing seniors. I will keep watching for your information here… thanx so much!

  4. Hi
    I am part of a group of friends in Ottawa that has been exploring co housing and as well, all I have read and heard confirms that it is how I would like to live once it can be set up. Our problem is getting it beyond the idea and discussion stage to concrete reality. Most of us are already retired but still living in our own individual homes. Another interesting observation is that the women are very keen to do this but our make partners are much more reluctant, which definitely slows the process. Any comments out there? There are one or 2 groups in the city who we have met with but we probably would have to create a space of our own .

    • Hello; I am a fan and enthused about this idea of bringing to life, and living in, a self-managed community. Currently, I’m on my own living in the north Okanagan. It is my observation that a certain amount of reluctance is found whenever life change is considered or encountered. There are many positive aspects to this movement and, if the initial operational and cultural statement is well planned,well implemented and abided by, few negative results. A good plan allows for positive reaction to many negative occurrences. Women, generally, are more accepting, I think, of the many life affirming aspects of group interaction. Men also benefit from collaboration and these benefits can be identified and emphasized. Get the guys together, explain the possibilities, inform about the economic benefits. Don’t give up. This is the buddy system on a grand scale. Best of luck. Gerry

    • Hi Judy, I read a great book called “The View from #410: When Home is Cohousing” by a woman who was one of the founders of Cambridge Cohousing (MA), one of the first cohousing complexes in North America. Her husband was reluctant. It is the best up close and personal disclosure of the whole process. They were in their 60s when the process started and she still lives in teh cohousing complex in her mid 80s. http://www.amazon.ca/The-View-410-When-Cohousing-ebook/dp/B008AD1878 Good luck!

      • Pat;

        I know what you mean about being stuck with a great idea. We (my partner and a friend have had a few. lol) I will get a copy of the view from #410. It may help.

        My idea is the need to share to reduce housing expenses. There are many ways this can be done. My simplest description is Cooperative housing on a smaller scale.

        In Ottawa there are many places that can be shared, it just matters what can be afforded. Most of my prospective clients are or will be on low fixed income because they didn’t have or able to keep their job long enough to have an RRSP etc. Hense we will have to share in rental accommodations (which will work as well.)

        I would love to share my idea with you and your friends. Send me your email and I can forward my idea.


    • Hi Judy;
      I have another idea that could work for you and others who are considering sharing as an altrnative for affordable housing I would be pleased to share with you and your friends, I am in Ottawa as well.


    • Judy;
      I think I replied to you before but not sure so here I go. I have started a new social enterprise in Ottawa to help facilitate sharing options to reduce housing expenses for those who can not or will not be able to afford Market rent or afford to buy on their own. I just read about an idea for sharing in Mexico and don’t see why it can’t work here.
      Are you and your friends looking to buy and share or rent? I would love to meet and talk with you and your friends to learn more. Maybe I can share some interesting ideas too. lol


  5. Hi Radical Resthomes,
    I signed up to stay in touch a couple of days ago and am wondering how to remain on your list for any new blog entries but to ‘un-notify’ myself from the “new comments” section. I appreciate that the blog is a work in progress and am interested in supporting the initiative in any way i can, however there were over 20 emails just yesterday. Please advise.

    • Tina and Linda,
      I think if you just post on “Keep in Touch” and un-subscribe, you will be OK. That way I will send people on that page, new ideas, goings on and interesting articles. I’ll also ask my IT guy why subscribers get everything that’s posted instead of just what comes from me as manager of the website. Sorry about that. “Work in progress” indeed. Janet

  6. I’ve started a discussion group in my area- Grey Highlands,Ontario, Flesherton, Markdale, and surrounding municipalities in the country. IT’s really exciting to be part of this movement and know that we are in the process of creating better, affordable, radical new rest homes for our times. Through discussions, some of us will simply BEGIN to form what we want, others will wait to follow later once they feel secure. So be a leader , gather people and ideas and inspire those in your community. Anyone interested in joining our little group in our area, simply email me. ferraricolette@icloud.com

    • Excellent Colette. I run discussion groups here in Montreal and they are really inspiring every time to see people discover what they do want. You’re right: some go after it immediately; others just know what they might do when the time comes.

      Glad to hear about your efforts, Janet

  7. Please keep us up to date. We have an 80 acre organic farm which would be perfect for the “off-the-grid hermitage”>

  8. Hello Janet:
    Very impressed in what you are doing and thought perhaps our Community situation may be of interest and some help.
    Eleven years ago, a few of our members in our Church had noticed folks leaving our Village of Bayfield . Further investigation led us to the fact that these same folks that were leaving, really did not want to leave. They were leaving because there was no alternative housing; their current home was too big, perhaps two floors too much property and buildings to take care of. A group of interested folks kept meeting inviting anyone who would listen to this situation.
    In short, we contacted a organizing called Life Lease. Through this contact we were guided to first hold public meetings and get feed back. Next we had a Survey completed by a pack House of interested people, this being held at a local church hall. We had a 80% return on this Survey which clearly indicated that our Community needed Alternative Housing, which would comprise of TownHomes and Activity Centre. This was for folks that were 55+ that wanted to down size have Independent Living yet not be responsible for any Outside Maintenance, such as grass cutting, snow removal, Flower Beds, and on the inside not to worry about their Heating or Air Conditioning System.
    This group , realizing this was a much larger Project, reached out to the other three churches and recruited some of their members. All these folks where and are volunteers .
    In 2014 we engaged a Consultant who had done a number of Projects and formed a NOT FOR PROFIT Corporation with No Share Value. We in fact sell our Homes at Cost. There is no big Developer involved taking their share. We have six different size homes which range, have various prices to suit ones budget. What is nice about this , is that typically one can sell their existing home and buy in and have funds left over to do as they wish. Keeping their Equity in tact and offer a reasonable investment that is safe.
    We realize that our Community is not for everyone due to financial restrictions, however it does work for a certain segment of our Retirees.
    WE have been privately funded by people who have cared about having this kind of Caring Community. We do have any operating restraints by any Government Body; we have a Board that continues to run the Project and an Association that takes care of all the Social events.
    The homes are built all on one floor (No Stairs) extra large hallways for the future need of wheel chairs.
    Folks here look after one another, and medical services are available should the need arise.
    We try and present to prospects that it is important to think about downsizing sooner rather later, when someone else may have to make decisions for you. WE encourage those prospects to engage talking with our Residents, which will gladly open their homes to view, and opening talk to them.
    One of your comments about the children is always a concern. Most kids do not know the needs of their parents and we have lost a number of folks that should have moved in, but were talked out it . (For a number of reasons).
    Although we started with a plan, we have noticed that changes are taking place and we are flexible to move with the changes or in fact lead a change.
    WE will have an Activity Centre for everyone to enjoy, and that will be constructed in our 2nd Phase . We are 27 homes now, with another 12 homes to be completed in the 1st Phase (16 homes to be constructed in the 2nd Phase)

    I recall talking with my brother a short time ago who lives in the Laurentians, who says there isn’t anything likes this in Quebec; and he would have moved in here in a snap, if it wasn’t so far away from his own Family.

    What I found from your comments is that there is so much that we are doing and learning at the same time; if we can be of any help to your endeavours I would be pleased to chat with you.

    Keep up your good work and Blessings.

    You can look us up on our website http://www.bayfieldmews.ca

    John Elmslie
    Bayfield Mews
    Bayfield , Ontario N0M 1G0


    • Your story is very enlightening. when I start to visit some of the “Radical Resthomes” projects, your place will be on my list. So glad to hear you’re out there. Janet

      • Hello Kate:
        Happy to hear from you. This site seems to be receiving a lot of interest, which should tell all of us there is a real need out there. One of the interesting comments we receive from Visitors who come to the Mews is they are surprised that it operates all by volunteers.

        It is one way that these same volunteers have an opportunity to give back to the greater community.



      • Very true and not only that, being a volunteer is good for your blood pressure! I just read about a study from Carnegie Mellon University indicating that volunteering for 200 hours a year lowers blood pressure by 40%.

  9. Please keep me posted on everything …put me on your mailing list…very exciting…been looking for something to engage into for years…!!!!

  10. Is any one interested in shared ownership of a Radical Resthome in a balmier climate?
    We’d love to build a ‘radical resthome” for Canadians who want to run away from harsh winters. It could be in Panama ( the #1 holiday destination, according to the New York Times ) or somewhere in Cabo San Lucas Mexico ( which would involved 3-4 hour long flights – much shorter than Panama ), or any other warmish spot.

    We envision each investor owning their own personal unit ( condo? apartment ? ), but the common areas would be owned jointly by all investors ) There would be year round staff: a gardener, a cook, a cleaning lady. Think of it…. no more WORK !!

    If and when seniors felt the need for company, they could spend time in the common area. Should they not feel the need, they can opt out by staying “home” to watch TV , read, whatever.

    When seniors felt the urge to travel, their “home” would be secure.

    There’d be a long list of “druthers” to work out, it could be done by discussion

    We owned a “timeshare motorhome” in Europe for SIXTEEN years. It was permanently stationed in Germany. Each of the four couples involved take their turn every year to pick up the motorhome, travel anywhere and everywhere they wanted to go. It was a RADICAL idea, but it worked well, and it was WONDERFUL. We have great memories of Europe.

  11. I’m a 54 year old artist, co-running a project in East Africa with my husband of 30 years.
    This is an idea i’ve also been percolating for years and have kicked around many a dinner party. Power to you for giving it voice. “That is not for me!” seems to ring true for a global generation, and is re-defining EVERYTHING about aging and now dying, as evidenced by, among other things, the increasing right to choose when to die movement sweeping country after country.
    Keep me posted and I’ll stay tuned.

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