Meet the members of our intentional community
Wendy Pearle and Al Parrish, cofounders
Cohousing makes sense to us. It truly takes a village. We've lived in cohousing in EcoVillage@Ithaca and miss it very much. We have 4 "kids": only 1, our 15 year old son Ashton, lives at home. Jessa's in university, Alicya is married, lives in TO and has a son. Mark is married, also lives in Toronto and has 2 daughters.
Wendy: I am a life-long learner, using what life offers to learn and grow. I am a mother, partner, friend, midwife and dog owner. I love music (especially live), I play the piano, banjo and guitar in my living room - maybe 1 day in public. I love to laugh and enjoy good conversation. I try new things like music sewing, gardening, cooking, hiking and outdoor activities.
Al: I am a husband, dad, brother, grandpa, uncle, cuz, musician & broadcaster. Living in Ecovillage@Ithaca, I became a big believer in the value of community. Why am I part of this community? I believe that we really want to know our neighbours, for a closer, more intentional connection and commitment. That's
what we're creating. I look forward to the process and the goal.
I work at University of Waterloo. My volunteer activities include Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of Waterloo Region, and Girl Guides of Canada.
Gary Clark and Kathy Douglas
We are relatively new to this group and are thrilled about the prospect of living in community with the folks that have been working on this project for several years. We are both employed by the United Church of Canada. We have adult children and grandchildren who we hope will visit us and have a chance to be in relationship with the others in the co-housing project. Gary enjoys playing guitar and is a member of several service groups. Kathy is passionate about cooking and especially cooking for a group. We both care deeply about the environment and wish that to be reflected in the design of the project.
With various experiences of community behind me, such as co-op housing and intentional faith –based communities, I am delighted that I discovered this group at a perfect time: just three years ago I moved to Waterloo region, and have recently enter that “empty nest” stage of growing up: I have four adult ‘kids’ in their twenties, following their own adventures across this country. I am a social worker, focusing on community work in neighbourhoods, across cultures and identities. I am idealistic and optimistic: I persistently choose to dream of a society where (child) poverty would be a shadow of a memory. I am inspired by the tireless work of advocates for social justice. I hope I can live simply do a little good, with other change makers I meet along the journey. Alone, I fear I can’t confront the ‘isms” of our struggling world, but in community I feel empowered
Lou and Bruce Gorvett
We are excited to be part of the Waterloo Region Cohousing Project. We’re passionate about reducing our ecological footprint as well as working together with others to help to make our community a more welcoming and inclusive place. What better way to do that than to be part of a co-housing group!
Bruce is a “hands-on”, “let’s get the work done” kind of person. He presently works as a maintenance person for a long-term care home, and has also worked in maintenance at a youth group home and at a downtown Kitchener church. Bruce is also a skilled cabinetmaker. He grew up in Stratford, and moved to Kitchener in the mid-1980’s to attend the University of Waterloo. Lou is more of a “planner/thinker” kind of person. She presently works as a school librarian at an elementary school in Kitchener. She has also worked in the local and international not-for-profit sector as a community worker and a fundraiser. Lou moved to Kitchener in 1986 from an international position working with refugees. We were married in 1988 and have one son, Nathan, who lives in Kitchener.
We’re excited about being part of the WRCP, and welcome others to join the journey!
Anne Wright-Gedcke and Mark Gedcke
Mark: I am enthusiastic about singing, playing the guitar, swimming, curling with Anne, walking in the woods, being a counsellor at Shalom Counselling Services Inc. I am grateful to be part of Waterloo Co-housing because of friendships, sociocracy, the goal of living lighter and with compassion in community.
Anne: I was inspired to explore co-housing by my niece, a resident of Vancouver Cohousing, as one way to live into values of community and sustainability. I work for a local supportive housing agency, and enjoy canoeing, curling, playing squash and singing with the Inshallah choir. I also enjoy cooking Sunday dinner for my young adult children (Ruth and Richard) and other family members, and look forward to cooking in the co-housing common kitchen one day!
Dayna Barnes and Gary Lam
We joined this group a little over a year ago, and we're happy to say that we feel right at home. We want to serve our community as we age in place, surrounded by friends and families, and we think cohousing is the best way to accomplish these goals.
We have both had long careers in medical laboratory science, and Dayna now owns a sewing & crafting studio in Kitchener. Our youngest daughter lives here and is soon attending film school, and we also have 2 grown kids, 1 granddaughter, and one on the way--all in the US. We have also taken numerous other kids into the family over the years, and we love them all. We enjoy traveling and hope to do more of it someday, and we look forward to having our cohousing family to come home to.
We envision courageous, innovative communities in which people actively care for each other and the environment.
We are building a sustainable, intergenerational neighbourhood that is socially and economically inclusive, we positively engage with each other and the wider community.