Co-op Jeanneville shows how co-ops can maintain francophone culture


Co-op Jeanneville shows how co-ops can maintain francophone culture

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Although it’s just off the busy Vanier Parkway, Jeanneville Co-op feels like an oasis in the city.

With 33 townhouse-style units surrounded by lush gardens, this co-op was founded to provide quality homes for francophone families from Vanier. Its founder, Michel Riel, was also president of Co-op de LaSalle, which sits on Michel Riel Private, named after him.

The spirit of la francophonie is still alive and well at Jeanneville, whose members are proud to live in a francophone environment and to be helping French language and culture thrive in Ottawa.

Léopold Lévesque, a founding member of the co-op, speaks of the particular friendly relationship that exists among francophones. Mme. Brousseau, who has been a member for 27 years, agrees, saying, “We’re at home here.”

Joelle Bernard Cloutier, of the management company Gest-Co, manages Jeanneville. “People get involved and take care of the co-op,” she says, “It’s a family atmosphere.” She adds that members at Jeanneville see a future in their co-op and the co-op movement, and are engaged in finding long-term solutions to protect co-op housing.

The co-op has recently undertaking refinancing, and will be starting work in spring 2018 on replacing siding and insulation in its units, and doing electrical and plumbing work. It’s a logical step for a co-op where members take a clear pride in maintaining their homes and the co-op grounds.

Jeanneville received funding through CHF Canada’s Greener Co-op Microgrant program. This allowed the co-op to install rain barrels that keep its gardens looking great in a sustainable way.

Co-op members also demonstrate concern for their community. For example, co-op president Louise Joa mentioned having recently organized a linen drive for Edgewood Care Centre, a nearby residential care facility for people with mental and physical challenges.

Co-operative values animate life at Jeanneville. As Mme. Brousseau puts it, “We work well together, and take care of one another.”

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