History of the Swansea Village Co-op

Swansea Village Co-op took its name from the village in which it was built. (See page on the history of Swansea, Ontario, Canada). Coe Hill Drive was named for Mark Coe, an English soldier who later became a pioneer farmer. Coe fathered many children and one grandchild still lives in the village today.

Catfish PondPrior to 1950, there was a blind street beginning at Queen Street called Runnymede Gardens. At the north end of this street was Centre Pond and a piece of land that stretched to the west side of Rennie Ravine that was used for land fill. Coe Hill Drive was put through in the fifties when low-rise apartments were constructed on the filled land. The Swansea Village Co-op buildings were built in 1957, 1958 and 1959 and are numbered 85, 77 and 73 respectively.

By 1980, these apartments were in very poor condition and the owner was forced to sell the property because of outstanding city work orders. At that time, the federal government with the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was offering a plan called 56.1 to groups who wished to establish a Co-op. Two-thirds of the residents agreed and with the assistance of Lantana Non-Profit Homes Co-operative ("Lantana Corporation"), the first representative board was formed and Swansea Village Co-op was incorporated on February 26, 1980.

Coe Hill DriveThe Lantana Corporation assisted the board, committees and members in the renovation of the buildings. It acted as a resource group to supervise various construction trades and in the education of the new members. The renovations were very extensive then and by 1982, everyone was settled in their newly renovated units.

The Co-op was offically opened by Jesse Flis, MP. The new co-op mmbers held many enjoyable social gatherings as well as fundraising initiatives to build a worthwhile reserve fund. Member volunteers continue to save the Co-op untold expense and as a result, housing costs have remained extremely reasonable in an attractive area of Toronto.