Moving to a new place involves lots of changes, and it can take time to get used to your new surroundings, including new people, shops, parks and more. But living somewhere new is also an opportunity to explore and build community with your neighbours and in local spaces. Here are some tips to discover your area:
1. Check out local events.
While indoor events may be on pause or restricted on and off during the pandemic, communities are still trying to keep outdoor and online events running and accessible. So, join a local online crafting event or virtual trivia games night. Head to an open-air farmers’ market or even go to your local outdoor skating rink to get a feel for your neighbourhood. Your public library’s website is a good place to find upcoming events.
2. Spend more time outside.
If you’re trying to meet people, it can be hard finding the right way to start a conversation. But if you take a long walk through your neighbourhood or take your pup to a nearby dog park, casual chats are more likely to happen naturally. You might compliment someone’s outdoor entry arrangement or speak about the weather to a passerby.
3. Take a stroll along main street.
A great way to get to know your new community is by connecting with small businesses serving the area. Pick up some flowers or plants from your local florist, grab some takeout from the neighbourhood pub and buy some books from your local bookshop. Chat with the folks who work there to get recommendations and build connections.
4. Get active in public spaces.
Whether it’s a community garden, your local library or a neighbourhood park, find something that interests you and get involved. You can volunteer for a park cleanup, join a virtual book club or begin to plan out your own veggie patch in a community garden while learning about your area.
5. Get to know your community through census data.
The 2021 Canadian census data are being released all throughout this year, and it’s a great way to find out more about your city, town, or neighbourhood. Use them to discover what languages are commonly spoken in your area, how many families have kids of similar ages as your own and more. By being more informed about your area, you can help drive informed decisions by leveraging your community leaders to consider whether a new school or retirement home is a valuable addition to your neighbourhood.
Find more information at statcan.gc.ca/census.