A Century of Co-operation: Claire “Here everyone is like family”

  26 October 2020

Claire has lived in Amicae Co-op since it first opened 35 years ago.

She remembers living in a nice two-bedroom apartment in the West End neighbourhood at the time, but her sons, age 9 and 11, were beginning to outgrow sharing a bedroom.

“It was going to be a matter of me sleeping on a couch so they could each have their own bedroom or I needed to find a new place.”

Just as she was mulling this over, a friend at work told her she’d seen a sign about a new co-op and invited her to come with her to check it out.

“I put my name down and that was that. I was very shocked and surprised when I got a call inviting me to move in.”

At the time, Claire worked as a nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital so the location was perfect.

“The co-op was a lovely pace. Lots of kinks to be ironed out in the beginning but once things got stable and everyone was nice to everyone, it was a good experience.”

Over the years Claire served on the board and membership committee and “did everything except finance and maintenance.”

“It’s been good for me. It was a good experience and I learned a few things I didn’t learn in nursing like being on a board and taking minutes and transcribing.”

Her sons are in their mid-40s now and Claire has downsized to a one-bedroom unit.

“It’s peaceful. The nice thing is if I’m in any big trouble I can go to a neighbour. Here everyone is like family. My neighbours, all of them except for one have little kids and its fun seeing them, you know.”

Claire is a 2020 winner of our Century of Co-operation Awards that celebrates long-time co-op members whose age plus their years of living in a co-op community equals 100 years or more.