#ygkChallenge: Meet The Neighbours

Meet The NeighboursWelcome to Kingstonist’s weekly challenge, dare, resolution or whatever you prefer to call it. Each week we establish a new and ambitious community goal, encouraging our readers, followers, friends and families to step out of their comfort zones and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. Consider this your official and personal invitation to join us in completing a small but meaningful achievement. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston a slightly better place to live, work and play. And of course, we also hope that you will feel proud of your contribution and achievement.

This week’s challenge encourages you to:

Meet your neighbours. Isn’t it a shame that there there are people who live right across the street, beside or behind you, and you don’t even know there name? It’s high time we changed that and made our neighbourhoods more friendly. Whether you make it your goal to introduce yourself, get contact information in case of emergencies, or bring over some baked goods, each act will go a long way towards creating a more inviting neighbourhood.

Sign up and commit to completing this week’s challenge by commenting below with an “I’m in“, “challenge accepted“, “en garde” or something along those lines. Further, help us spread the word via Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag: #ygkchallenge. As you work towards completing this week’s task, please feel free to lend others a helping hand by providing tips on how you achieved success.

Thanks to opensourceway for today’s photo.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

7 thoughts on “#ygkChallenge: Meet The Neighbours

  • I'm in! My neighbour and I have an informal competition to be the first to mow our shared front lawn. We also share goodies from each other's garden and homemade yummies. By having these nice give and give relationships, when the neighbours needed help with a development issue, it was easy to rally the troops, we were already well connected. Next in our efforts, reaching further down the street to include more neighbours!

    • We've also got a neighbour who loves to trade produce. It's actually really awesome as we grow different veggies than her, so it's always a treat to get a little bit more variety. She also starts her garden quite a bit later than us, so our harvests are somewhat seperated.

  • We've *always* done this. We held a house-warming at our last house and invited the whole street. Most came and two neighbours that had been there for 5 years met for the first time in our living room. It just seems rude to not know your neighbours.

    • I totally agree that it seems rude, but it happens. As the relative new kids on the block, my wife and I were quick to meet many of our neighbours, exchange contact info in case of emgencies etc… however there are a few households who prefer to go unnoticed. We've made attempts, but it's clear that some just want to be left alone. At the very least, my goal is to learn some new names this week, which will hopefully open the door to a friendly exchange down the road.

  • Having a positive relationship with neighbours is good for other reasons too. One of those reasons is that positive relationships will foster better cooperation when it comes to challenging neighbourhood issues and more joint ownership of problems that may affect one or more homes.

    Take basement flooding for example. Many people probably don't know that some of the things they do on their own property may put their neighbours at greater risk of flooding. Downspouts that go into the ground are probably going into the sewer, or maybe they flow onto the ground as they are supposed to, but directly onto a neighbour's property. People with sump pumps in their basements that also go to the sewer. All those things are not only illegal, but may be part of the cause of sewage backups into basements in the neighbourhood at large, or the neighbourhood next door.

    Basement flooding is one issue only. There are lots of community issues that are better dealt with when neighbourhoods work together, and that is only likely to happen when there are positive relations and people actually know each other, and talk to each other. Bad sidewalks, a pesky pothole, poor drainage, speeding, noisy house… all those things are likely to get more attention and find effective solutions if there is a good neighbourhood vibe and most importantly, communication and a feeling of ownership for the well-being of the neighbourhood.

    • That's a really great point re: improving things are broken in the neighbourhood. We live on a busy corner, which has had numerous accidents in the past few years, and somehow two of the street lights went out at the same time. We casually asked our neighbours to call Utilities Kingston to request that they be fixed, which worked far better than taking this on alone. One of those "squeaky wheel get's the grease" types of situations.

  • This is a great idea. We know our neighbours names, and we say hi to each other, but it doesn't go much further than that. Sometimes I will help neighbours with snow shovelling, but there's a lot more that could be done. We have fairly new neighbours, and we will invite them over for dinner or a drink. I also love the idea of a street party, and we should do that too. There are so many benefits to being connected with your neighbours.

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