We’ve landed in centre of the Fernwood / South Oaklands / Jubilee & North Rockland neighbourhoods of Victoria BC – with our first intentional community house, Belmont House, purchased by a few of us in May 2014.
Belmont House is located at the intersection of Grant, Begbie and Belmont (1702 Belmont) – and, along with three apartments for community members, it houses our Chapel and common areas (eventually a library, a kitchen for shared meals, organic gardens, etc.).
Right outside the house is the currently inactive Kale Corner – and we hope to work with other like-minded folk to revitalize this exciting grassroots community gardening initiative in the years to come. We also hope to build a free book box and do other stuff that encourages trade, barter, creativity, Do-It-Yourself ethos and other forms of self-sufficiency and simplicity.
We think our neighbourhoods are great!
If our philosophy is to “come alongside what the Spirit is already doing in the ‘hood'” – there is already lots of great stuff to come alongside around here. There are numerous intentional community houses, lots of parks, a great Neighbourhood Resource Group, a couple of Community Centres, several community gardens – including several permaculture garden commons’, a house concert hub, many small locally-based business (cafes, pubs, general stores, bakeries, and even a record store), arts and cultural groups, including a Theatre (housed in the former Baptist church) – and a compost education centre – to name just a few of the great things that are here.
There is a thriving anglo-Catholic church right across the street from Belmont House – and a few other small Christian groups that meet throughout the ‘hood – as well as a presence from other spiritual and faith traditions.
Fernwood / Oaklands /Jubilee & Rockland holds a fair bit of economic and social diversity – from people who live in large single-family homes, to those in social housing, co-ops and other forms of subsidized housing, to both longer and shorter-term renters – to folks who are homeless or underhoused.
Our hope is that people who eventually covenant to be part of Emmaus Community will – if not already living here – seek various forms of housing (individually and shared) in this area so that we can be we can live within walking distance from each other in order to share life together in various ways. We will also have associate members who pray and work alongside us who may live in other parts of the city.
In the meantime, we’ll seek spaces in this shared neighbourhood and experiment with various things to listen and see what kind of partnerships we might organically build.
Finally, please do check out this great video (from the Fernwood NRG) for an example of the community spirit that exists in these neighbourhoods – which we in Emmaus Community hope to listen to, come alongside and partner with for the common good of all and for the earth upon which we walk!
These neighbourhoods exist on the traditional lands of the Songhees or Songish people, also known as the Lekwungen or Lekungen, who are an indigenous Coast Salish peoples.