Andy Baryer - Handy Andy Media
Andy Baryer - Handy Andy Media
DIY Tech Guy

Why I love my neighbourhood

26.10.21 05:18 AM Comment(s) By Andy Baryer - DIY Tech Guy

Nextdoor Canada's #LoveYourNeighbourhood Awards


There’s an old Russian proverb that says, “Don’t buy the house, buy the neighbourhood”. It’s so true. When you think about it, much of our neighbourhood — and our neighbours —  is reflected in us. Neighbourhoods have their own energy, vibe and aura. It’s in us. 


Like many, I really came to appreciate my own neighbourhood. A recent Nextdoor survey revealed that 71% of Canadian adults report a renewed appreciation for their neighbourhood compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. I can attest.


During the social distancing lock-down, I started many gardening projects. On evening walks, my neighbours took interest in the raised garden beds I built from reclaimed wood. From a safe distance away, we would chit chat. 


It was nice to check up on each other and see how people were coping. A lot of my neighbours congratulated me for staying so productive during social distancing. Then the fire happened.

I’ll never forget that sound. It was a big explosion and my mind was trying to explain what I just heard. Then I saw the smoke coming from my neighbours house. I ran out onto the street to see the house fully inflamed. It was a traumatic experience for everyone in the neighbourhood. We didn’t know if anyone was inside, and all we could do was watch the firefighters put it out. 


Thankfully no one got hurt. It turns out, the family that was renting the house had no insurance. They lost everything but the clothes on their back. A GoFundMe was set up, eand everyone in the neighbourhood pitched in. 


Afterwards, the remnants of that burnt house was an awful reminder of the fire. It left a really bad stain and memory in the neighbourhood. I wanted to find a way to erase that. Then I remembered how much people loved the raised garden beds I was building in my yard. I decided that I would build a community vegetable garden on a city boulevard next to that house. 


The only problem was, I didn’t have any material to work with. Then inspiration hit. After the house was torn down, I noticed the rubble from the old chimney. There I found piles of intact concrete bricks. Eureka! I had reclaimed material to build with. 


During the Fall of 2020, I proceeded to build a community garden on the city boulevard. The following Spring, I transplanted vegetables that I grew in my hobby greenhouse. Within a couple of months, the community vegetables were thriving. 


Everyone in the neighbourhood loved watching it come together from the rubble of the old house. It makes for a great story and better yet — it makes free fresh food for anyone to enjoy. 


Nextdoor’s study revealed that 58 per cent are more inclined to give back to their neighbourhood. I saw it first hand. Why do I love my neighbourhood? Because after the fire, when that family needed help, everyone came together. In Sikhism and Hinduism, that’s called seva — selfless service performed without any expectation of reward for performing it. 


I hope this community vegetable garden reflects my neighbourhood's vibe of giving back. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that the little things — like my neighbourhood — that matter the most.


Nextdoor Canada is currently running the 2021 #LoveYourNeighbourhood awards. This is celebrate the neighbours and businesses who remind us why we love our neighbourhoods

In a Nextdoor post, tell them about a neighbour or local business in your neighbourhood that is making a difference in your community. You have a chance to win $1,000 towards a local charity of your choice and a Nextdoor #LoveYourNeighbour prize pack for your amazing neighbour. 


In honour of Nextdoor’s second anniversary in Canada, they will be selecting two winners from across Canada. Be sure to tag your neighbour in your post and use the hashtag #LoveYourNeighbourhood for a chance to win.

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