Symbiosis: Intergenerational Co-housing

Senior and student co-housing for an easy, safe, and mutually beneficial relationship.

The Symbiosis Concept

It connects students in need of low-cost housing with seniors who have a spare room and who could benefit from a bit of extra support.

How it Works

Graduate students and seniors choose one of two options based on their needs:

  1. Low cost room from $200 to $400 a month  OR


  1. Free room in exchange for modest help in the house

Step 1 

Request an application form

Step 2 

Hold one-on-one interviews

Step 3 

Find the best match for you

Step 4 

Sign a customized housing agreement


Are you a student and looking for:

  • Affordable housing 
  • Companionship 
  • New experiences 
  • To broaden your network 
  • A short term stay until you graduate

Benefits for students:

  • Lower rent in a private room in an established home
  • Conversational English practice opportunities for graduate students who may be working to improve their language skills
  • Sense of shared community and reduced isolation


Do you have a spare room in your house/apartment and need:


  • Extra income
  • Companionship
  • A responsible and trustworthy tenant
  • To help a student get through school

Benefits for seniors:

  • A little extra income
  • Some help around the house
  • Sense of shared community and reduced isolation

For me, Symbiosis provided me with an opportunity to live more independently, while increasing my involvement in the community and getting me engaged with another generation.

I could not have asked for a better match, extremely happy with the new member of my ‘family’ very thankful to Symbiosis and their extremely thorough matching process.

Symbiosis was very thorough with defining the expectations by both parties, discussing them openly and honestly, to make a perfect match for me.

Who We Are:

The Symbiosis team is made up of researchers, graduate students, staff from McMaster University, as well as community members including seniors. The team also draws support from a variety of local senior’s groups and associations.

We are committed to making the best possible match to ensure a harmonious cohabitation. Cohabitation is intended to be friendly, without any subordination between the two parties.

Contact Us

For more information or to request an application, please reach out to the team using the contact form or the following:

Tel: 647.648.4421

Email: symbiosiscohousing[at]

Social: @MacSymbiosis

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