Helping connect neighbours and communities

By District Staff on Friday, Jul 14, 2017

Between work, the grocery shopping, and rushing the kids off to soccer practice, we rarely see our neighbours. And when we do, they’re just as busy as we are. Truly connecting with the guy next door sometimes takes a little more than just a friendly wave over the garden roses. We want to help.

To strengthen relationships with our neighbours, we grant up to $500 to fund a range of community projects organized by residents, from community gardens, shore clean-ups and educational events to block parties — all to help bring people in our community together.

The importance of strong community ties

Getting to know the folks next door and down the street has many benefits. Neighbours can become a valued source of assistance and support, especially for those who are elderly, ill, or have young children.  

And who better to keep an eye out for each other’s property when you’re out of town, or come to the cake rescue with a cup of sugar when you discover too late that you’ve run out?

But most importantly, a strong community is more resilient, and able to adapt to changes, challenges, and emergencies.

But these are not the only perks of building neighbourly bonds.

Here’s what a couple of people said about the importance of these relationships after attending their own block parties: 

"The word, ‘home’ means so much more when you have a connection with those who live near you. It is easy when you are healthy, active and busy to overlook the needs of others. But when you face health challenges, become a caregiver, lost your loved ones, move away from a familiar place… a connection with your neighbours can improve your quality of life and safety so much!"

"Our neighbourhood has welcomed many new people over the years and this event [a block party] helps to introduce neighbours to each other. People learn who is a babysitter, or cuts lawns, where to find a helping hand, who needs their driveway shovelled or sometimes an egg when you run out and help."

Considering a community building grant?

Is a Community building grant a good fit for your neighbourhood? Consider applying if you want to: 

  • increase communication and engagement with your neighbours
  • improve a neighbourhood's physical surroundings, such as boulevard and community gardens, wall murals, signage
  • address local issues, such as community education events or stream or shore clean ups
  • develop and strengthen relationships within the community or neighbourhood, such as block parties

Grab your neighbour and apply. We require two residents from the same neighbourhood — but not the same address — to apply for this grant together. We also accept applications from community and neighbourhood groups. 

Sure, it’s easy enough to mind our own business when life is so hectic, but great things can happen when we come out of our bubbles and really get to know our neighbours. 

It’s not so hard with a little help.

Learn more about our community building grants and apply

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