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Communal living to bring about the change we want to see in the world!
The Coop on rue Genereux is a housing collective in the heart of Montreal's Plateau. We share space, food, skills and good times. Ya dig?
We've been collectively inhabiting two loft spaces since the summer of 2003.
All kinds of stuff has happened since then. We built the walls for our bedrooms out of ferro cement, cob on wood, and found windows and bottles. We developed a way of sharing food that's healthy and cheap. Hundreds of individuals have passed through here, each with a story of their own. Right now, there are about eleven of us sharing the space.
We have loads of couchsurfers and there are loads of us living here. Up to 20 people at once, so understand that for simplicityâs sake, here are some things you need to know.
Youâre coming here for the experience of what itâs like to live with all of us for a little while. If youâre just looking for a place to sleep at night, please leave this special opportunity for somebody else!
You probably wonât get a goodnightâs rest, sorry. Youâll be sleeping a public space on a couch/mattress and we canât promise that the people around you will be going to sleep early, so expect to be up late and rise early with the sun. We recommend ear plugs/face-mask or to just accept the inevitable.
Considering how many people we have around, we ask that you do not overstay your welcome. If you wish to stay longer than originally requested, please be certain to ask at least a day in advance. Unfortunately, if you decide to take advantage of our kindness without asking or make the people living here feel uncomfortable, we reserve the right to ask you to leave.
We are a co-operative in the sense that we co-operate with each other - sharing communal space and resources with so many people makes it a vibrant place to live. Communication, compromise, and open-mindedness are but a few of the lessons we are learning. The social dynamics here are as unique as the physical spaces, and while it might not be right for everyone, we are finding some balance between our ideals and our realities.
The coop vision is constantly evolving and new coopers should feel empowered to participate in its development. The following statement was drafted in the spring of 2005, after many visioning meetings. It is still in its early stages.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
We find it incredibly important when we can share in meaningful exchanges with our guests. However, it's important to consider that this space functions more like a micro-society than a house. We have a lot of new and interesting people constantly passing through and ask that you allow space to Coop members if they seem preoccupied or withdrawn.
If you have a special skill or expertise, we'd love to support you in allowing you to give a workshop or sharing your knowledge in whatever way you see fit. Tell us in advance and we could even create an event and invite our friends! Note that all of our events are voluntary contribution. We do not support paid events in our space.
We host unofficial communal meals whenever people gather to start cooking. Feel free to start the initiative yourself and ask for help if you need it! We'll be certain to ask you to lend a hand at keeping our space (relatively) tidy and livable!
Most of us have couchsurfed and know that this is a most unusual couchsurfing experience.
Short term vision/What the coop is now:
We are a community of youth, based on cooperative principles including: open-communication, resource sharing, and challenging the present standards. All our decisions are reached collectively by consensus. We are a work in progress. We come together around our shared convictions of building a just and healthy environment.
Long-term vision/What we would like the coop to become:
- demonstrating ecological, economic, and social alternatives
- developing communication and conflict resolution skills
- being a bilingual (French-English) space that is friendly to other languages
- working to make sure this is a non-oppressive space
- serving as a community space
- participating in the cooperative movement
- acting as an accessible and affordable space
- reaching decisions by consensus and in a non-hierarchical manner
- documenting our history
- sharing skills for the sake of learning and sharing
- setting and achieving realistic goals
- ensuring reciprocity between our vision and the people who live here.
Music, Movies, and Books
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Being a communal space with an open-door policy and host projects and CSrs at an hectic pace for 8 years. No wait, 9 years now ! Wow 10 now!
Teach, Learn, Share
We often host community events:
- we participate in Food Not Bombs, where recuperated food is shared in the form of a healthy vegetarian meal with all in a community place (work in progress),
- we open the space to groups like Societe Imigrantes de Trinidade to host fundraising events in our public space,
- various workshops (non-violent communication, anti-oppression, consensus, art, poetry, music, ...),
- we screen films (mostly docs) and more broadly, any movies related to our monthly theme, every Wednesday night, (not right now)
- we sometimes host parties, concerts, and talent shows here too.
- the last Saturday of each month is an incredible open-mic Cabaret!!!
We are open to learn and share... We are students of life.