By James Matthews
A band of newcomers to Haliburton County has found a way to make a luxury resort and marina soften some of the financial pressure in these difficult economic times.
Communal living isn’t really a new concept. Coliving is much like that, but with a little privacy to boot.
According to the website, Oakview Coliving promotes personal and environmental health, affordability and sustainability, while offering a chance to live in community. It’s expected to open in June.
It’s at the site for the former Oakview Lodge and Marina, which began in 1943 on Little Hawk Lake in Algonquin Highlands.
Large rooms are outfitted with ensuite bathrooms, and there’s 4,000 square feet of common space. A central room has a large wood fire place. There’s another brace of multi-purpose rooms, one of which is being equipped to be an exercise room.
“It really is a very large, roomy, comfortable complex that happens to have some private spaces within it,” said Doug Tindal, one of the original seven people who started the venture.
Food is shared and meals are prepared and eaten together. With the Bank of Canada pushing homeowner mortgages closer to unaffordability and inflation upwards of eight per cent at its peak, the more wallets supporting a cause eases some of the pressure.
Some of the group have been working at the coliving since 2016 when they first tried to make a go of it in Toronto, but it couldn’t be done.
“The costs were too steep,” Tindal said.
Barriers like zoning bylaws were bothersome and too difficult to get around.
“We couldn’t gather a large enough group with enough financial commitment to make it happen,” he said.
So they gave up on their idea.
“It was a good try, but we’re not going to be the ones to make this happen,” Tindal said of the group’s resigning to defeat. But then a trip to Haliburton County and a chance meeting with another couple resurrected the idea.
Tindal and his wife have a son and daughter-in-law who live in Haliburton County. They’ve recently taken to spending a lot of time out of the city, Tindal said.
“We spent some time in Haliburton County and we very quickly came to love it,” he said. So they started the search for a property to buy.
The search brought them to another couple interested in the idea. After a conversation that felt much like speaking with old friends, the core group of seven people that would start Oakview came together.
Those seven have committed to buying four of seven shares in the coliving property.
“That was enough, we determined, for us to go forward,” Tindal said. “We still have three shares available and we’re still looking for others who might want to be part of it, but we’re going ahead regardless and creating Oakview Coliving.”
For more information, visit www.oakviewcoliving.com.