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Path to Neighbourhood Connection

Looking for that small town feel? Build it in your own neighbourhood.  The Path to Neighbourhood Connection is a tool to help neighbours connect with one another by providing tips and ideas.  No matter where you are on the path to neighbourhood connection, you will find suggestions to get you started and keep you on track. Knowing your neighbours is vital to creating a safe connected community and the key to that small town feel. Select the route you are most comfortable with and start making plans today!

This resource was created by the St.Albert Neighbourhood Network.  For more information or to join the Neighbourhood Network, contact Angie Dedrick, Neighbourhood Development Coordinator, at adedrick@stalbert.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t know my neighbours. How do I get started?

Introduce Yourself!

  • If you are new in the neighbourhood, knock on your neighbour's door and introduce  yourself and your family.
  • Welcome new neighbours with a quick visit and small homemade gift or information about the neighbourhood.
  • Even if you have lived in your neighbourhood for years, it is never too late to meet your neighbours!

 

Make it a priority to know your neighbours

  • Be friendly and approachable.
  • Smile and say hello!
  • Stop and talk from time to time.
  • Meet and get to know the children and teenagers in your neighbourhood.
I know some of my neighbours. How can I meet more?

Be present in your neighbourhood

  • Spend time in your front yard instead of the back yard so you can interact with passing neighbours.
  • Walk the block and chat with neighbours, including children and youth.
  • Walking with your children or pets can be great conversation starters.

Engage with your neighbours in a variety of social activities

  • Organize a block party.  The City  has lots of great resources to help!
  • Consider hosting a neighbourhood Garage Sale.
  • Host impromptu front yard gatherings after a spring or fall yard work.
  • Encourage children and teenagers in your neighbourhood to be involved by helping with neighbourhood activities.

 

I know my neighbours. How can we connect more often?

create more opportunities to gather with your neighbours

  • Make your Block Party a yearly event.
  • Consider adding other neighbourhood gatherings throughout the year.
  • Try holiday themed activities such as a Halloween Party, an Easter Egg Hunt or a Christmas Light-up event.

try some spontaneous fun

  • Play neighbourhood street hockey, basketball or other games and include all ages.
  • Initiate play dates with other families on your street.
  • Invite the neighbours to attend a community presentation or performance together.
  • Tour one another's gardens to get new ideas and share gardening tips.

help neighbours when they need assistance

  • When life circumstances are difficult for a neighbour, small gestures such as delivering a prepared meal or offering to babysit, go a long way to help.
  • Shovel or snow-blow a neighbour's sidewalk and driveway.
  • Work together to clean the neighbourhood.
  • Offer to bring a neighbour's mail in and watch their house while they are away.
  • Share child care informally or form a babysitting co-op.

Work together to create a safe neighbourhood

  • Make and get permission from neighbours to circulate a neighbourhood phone and e-mail list.
  • Be familiar with your neighbourhood including who lives there, what vehicles they drive and who regularly visits.
  • Let your neighbours know if you have an extended guest staying with  you.
  • Turn your exterior lights on in the evenings and consider installing motion sensors.
  • Let trusted neighbours know when you plan to be away and who will be watching your home.

 

Our neighbourhood is connected and we are ready to grow a network of caring neighbours. Where do we start?

have fun together often!

  • Host improptu front yard gatherings.
  • Try dinner parties such as "Murder Mystery Dinners" or "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" with surprise guests.
  • Take turns planning monthly events such as Soup Nights, musical jam sessions, or porch nights.

form neighbourhood Interest groups

  • Form knitting or sewing groups
  • Start a book club
  • Schedule times to meet with other dog walkers
  • Form a running or walking group
  • Start a Babysitting Co-op
  • Join neighbours for wine tasting
  • Organize a weekend coffee group at rotating homes or your local coffee shop

work together to benefit the whole neighbourhood

  • Host a community garage sale
  • Coordinate a community clean-up.
  • Take advantage of City serivces such as "Spruce up St. Albert" or the "Large Item Events"
  • Swap perennial plants
  • Help one another with yard work
  • Organize a big batch cooking day to prepare meals in advance for those busy nights.
  • Share favourite cookie recipes through a holiday cookie exchange

Take care of one another

  • Take note of neighbours who are experiencing a family crisis or illness and offer support
  • Ask for your neighbour's assistance when you need it.  It feels good to be able to help others.
  • Shovel someone's sidewalk and be open to having the favour returned.
  • Take care of your neighbour's home when they are away and get your trusted neighbours to watch your home when you are away.
  • Organize neighbours to help a neighbour who is experiencing a prolonged illness or an emergency.

stay in touch throughout the year

  • Exchange phone numbers and/or  e-mails to make it easier to be in touch or coordinate in-person gatherings.
  • Create a Facebook page for your street.
  • Be mindful of neighbours who do not use e-mail or social media and keep them informed by phone or paper.

Be proactive about crime prevention and safety

  • Use the City's Crime Map to be aware of crimes in your area.
  • Contact neighbours to alert them to local safety concerns.
  • Consider forming a Neighbourhood Watch group or joining Citizen's Patrol.
  • Connect with local RCMP members if you have questions or concerns.

Last edited: October 16, 2016

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