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2023 The Year in Review

The Co-operative Principles in Action

Welcome to the CHFT 2023 Year in Review, as we present the most memorable moments and achievements in relation to the seven co-operative principles.

Co-operative Principle 1 Voluntary and Open Membership

Membership Has Its Benefits

Over 90% of co-ops in the Durham, Toronto, and York regions are CHFT members. With 180+ co-ops in our voluntary membership, we have developed a strong community of partnership, inclusion, and co-operation.

Co-op Anniversaries

CHFT recognizes co-op anniversaries in 5-year increments. In 2023, we celebrated the following 45th and 50th co-op anniversaries. The complete list of 2023 co-op anniversaries is available here.

45th Anniversaries

Dentonia Park Co-op, East Whitby Co-op, Kalmar Co-op, Silverbirch Co-op, and Spruce Court Co-op

50th Anniversaries

Don Area Co-op and John Bruce Village Co-op

Sector Diversity

CHFT promotes equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging by marking holidays, events, and dates of significance. Follow us on Facebook to see our posts.

Assortment of Facebook posts

CHFT also recognizes the diversity of its membership and achievements in inclusion through our annual Century of Co-operation awards and Co-op Awards.

Awards from 2023

Co-operative Principle 2 Democratic Member Control

Member Engagement

Members voted on concepts for the 50th Anniversary logo to mark CHFT's half-century in 2024. Here is the winner!

CHFT 50th Anniversary logo

Members also vote on our annual Garden Awards to select winners in categories such as Best Flower Garden, Best Rooftop Garden, and Best Vegetable Garden. The complete list of winners is available here.

Flower Power award

CHFT held its Annual General Meeting in May and a General Members' Meeting in November. Engaging only online since 2020, 2024 will mark our move to hybrid meetings.

2023 AGM Zoom call

During our members meetings in 2023, we welcomed Nicole Waldron and Brian Iler as CHFT Honorary Lifetime Members. Watch their acceptance videos below.

Member Celebration

CHFT celebrates outstanding member achievements with our annual Co-operative Housing Awards, including the Achievement of the Year award shown below. The complete list of winners is available here.

2023 Achievement of the Year award

Co-operative Principle 3 Member Economic Participation

Co-op Cost Cutters 25th Anniversary

In 2023, the Co-op Cost Cutters group buying program celebrated its 25th anniversary. Co-ops save time and money through the buying power and support of the program. Find out what services are available, including the newest addition, Pest Protection Plus, at

Co-op Cost Cutters 25th anniversary logo

As the flagship supplier of the Co-op Cost Cutters program and a long-time CHFT partner and supporter, Alterna Savings provides economic stability for our members. We thank them for sponsoring many 2023 member initiatives.

Alterna Savings logo

Co-operative Principle 4 Autonomy and Independence

Working With Government

CHFT Executive Director, Tom Clement, spoke to the City of Toronto's Planning and Development Committee meeting in September, advocating for more co-ops as part of the solution to the housing crisis. In October, Council approved a partnership between CHFT and the City.

In November, CHFT's members approved a resolution urging the federal government to launch their much-anticipated Co-operative Housing Development Program. Learn more about the resolution and hear Tom's empassioned speech to the CHFT members.

Tom Clement speaking at the Planning and Development Committee

Co-operative Principle 5 Education, Training, and Information

Spring and Fall Education Programs

Once again, CHFT (in partnership with Peel/Halton CHF) offered virtual educational sessions in both the Spring and Fall of 2023. The sessions are delivered by CHFT staff and other co-op sector experts.

2023 Spring Education Program banner

Along with the virtual series in the Fall, CHFT also offered our first in-person education event since 2020. This full-day event with multiple topic tracks was well-attended. We look forward to more in-person and hybrid education in 2024.

Fall Education Program banner

CHFT offered a special summer online workshop on Board legal obligations. Attendees logged on for 90-minute evening sessions in July and August. CHFT Diversity Scholarship winners attended at no charge.

Board Legal Obligations workshop banner

Stay tuned for information about the 2024 education line-up!

Portable Workshops

In 2023, CHFT delivered 35 half-day workshops and 3 full-day portable workshops (either virtual or in person).

Best Co-op Website Award

As part of our annual Co-operative Housing Awards, we recognize member co-ops who provide valuable information and resources online through their website. In 2023, we presented one winner and two runner-up Best Co-op Website awards.

Best Co-op Website award - Longview Co-op

Co-operative Principle 6 Co-operation Among Co-operatives

Partnership Among the Federations

In 2023, the synergy between the 5 Ontario co-operative housing federations grew to new heights as each region advanced the co-operation and sharing of best practices.

Ontario Co-operative Housing Federations

2023 also brought new developments in co-operation among co-operatives at the national level. This new logo will be displayed on materials shared by co-ops across Canada.

Co-operative Housing Federations: Collaborating across Canada

2023 CHF Canada Annual Meeting

CHF Canada held its Annual Meeting and Conference in Ottawa from June 15-17, 2023. Two CHFT directors and six CHFT staff attended. The conference theme was Co-op Housing For All.

Photos from CHF Canada Annual Meeting
Co-op Housing for All

Riverdale Co-op Development

CHFT has a long history of helping co-ops with expansion projects and developing new co-ops. In 2023, we worked with Riverdale Co-op on a redevelopment of one of its sites; the 26 new units will be ready for occupancy early in 2024.

Riverdale Co-op redevelopment

CHFT staff are also working on several other possible co-op developments that will be candidates for funding from the national Co-operative Housing Development Program, once program details are announced.

Co-operative Principle 7 Concern for Community

Diversity Scholarship

CHFT supports the development of community and the co-op sector through its Diversity Scholarship Program. Former scholarship winners regularly sit on the CHFT Board. Four former winners have served as CHFT's president. In 2023, we awarded nearly 40 scholarships recognizing students' involvement in schools, co-ops, and community-based organizations.

2023 Diversity Scholarship recipients

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of CHFT's Diversity Scholarship Program. We will celebrate the anniversary and honour the 2024 scholarship recipients at a reception to be held in the summer.

The application form is now open for the 2024/2025 academic year. Visit to learn more and apply.

Green Awards

As part of our annual Co-operative Housing Awards, we recognize member co-ops committed to sustainability and concern for the environment. In 2023, we presented these two Green Awards.

Green Award - Level 1 - John Bruce Village Co-op
Green Award - Level 1 & 2 - Perth Avenue Co-op

2023 CHFT Year in Review Our People

CHFT Board of Directors

Pictured from top left to bottom right are Kathy Bontje (Treasurer), Labib Chowdhury (Vice-President), Marisa Edwards (Corporate Secretary), Namulinda Lester (President), Cherie Madden, William Molls, Christine Mounsteven, Skye Tulay (Vice-President), and Angela Watson.

CHFT Board of Directors

Milestone Anniversaries with CHFT!

In April 2023, Mary Ann Hannant celebrated 35 years with CHFT. Read the announcement here.

Mary Ann Hannant

Nsiande Lema reached a CHFT milestone anniversary of 5 years in May 2023. Read the announcement here.

Nsiande Lema

Welcome Celia Chandler!

In March 2023, CHFT welcomed Celia Chandler to the team as the Deputy Executive Director. Read the announcement here.

Celia Chandler

Welcome Grace Galvez!

Grace Galvez joined CHFT as the new Land Trusts Co-ordinator in August 2023. Read the announcement here.

Grace Galvez

Miriam Wohl Honoured

In May 2023, Alterna Savings and Central 1 honoured Miriam Wohl with the Gary Gillam Award recognizing people who advocate for social responsibility within the credit union system.

Miriam (pictured centre below), a 34-year veteran of CHFT, is best known to member co-ops for her tireless efforts to create and develop the Co-op Cost Cutters program. Read the announcement here.

Miriam Wohl receiving the Gary Gillam Award

CHFT Staff

CHFT staff photos

Pictured from top left to bottom right are Vaijomiy Anandarajah, Jackie Borges Briones, Celia Chandler, Naomi Cho, Tom Clement, Judith Collins, Nsiande Lema, Grace Galvez, Mary Ann Hannant, Emily Ramirez, and Miriam Wohl.

Our Services

For more information on our role in the co-op housing sector or the services we provide our members, please visit the About Us page of our website where you will find resources on Understanding Your Local Federation and a listing of CHFT Member Services.

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