Communal Living

“Living Communally.”  What exactly does that mean? Is that the same as living with roommates or is it something else? How ought/do/can we live together? Experimentalists, enthusiasts and EVERYONE is invited to come out and learn, discuss and share their ideas on this unique world of thought.

Our chat will be accompanied by a warm fire in Dufferin Grove Park and a large cauldron of mulled wine. We ask for a $2+ park donation and a $3 wine contribution (for those wanting some vino). 

Mika Gang will be leading us in discussion. For more about her story, read below..

I think most of us have had radically different interactions with the notion of living communally. What does it mean? How do we do it? Where do we do it? And how much should each person ‘participate’? In a world of individualistic culture, I cant help but feel that a movement of communal living is growing around us, growing in brightness, and growing in colour!

I grew up in a Socialist Jewish Youth Movement that honoured the Kibbutz design as the process to determine what ideal community relations could look like. Experts in the field have touted “I and Thou”-ness of community, while others focus on a community’s relationship to labouring in the soil. These philosophies are central to the modern-day urban commune that I created. I lived in my loving commune for four years and while we all lived separately in various ways, our group was an impressively experimental one, which I believed widened the scope of our interactions and showed what healthy communalism might look like.

Hidden in various nooks and crannies throughout Toronto, we can find different types of communal groups, cooperative businesses, and levels of collectiveness. ‘Come As You Are’ on Queen West is a cooperatively run sex shop which participates in collective decision making for all of its business decisions. This process has made room for unique values around the presentation, design and use of sex toys. This type of process is working to inform our own interactions and slowly but surely, is shaping society.

I hope this Civic Salon will be a space where we can openly share our feelings about communal living (the various layers of it), and a place to learn about what exists in Toronto. I’m working to put together a little intimate panel of people who are currently experiencing, or have recently experienced communal living. I want to get a sense of just how varying this movement is, and what the foundation for it has been. Please bring ANY questions you have regarding communal living and we’ll see where this conversation takes us!

I’m so excited to delve into this conversation, I think we’re a unique generation in a unique time and exploring alternatives is what it’s all about!

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