Welcome to the 23rd edition of Neighbours helping Neighbours, a bi-weekly newsletter from the neighbourhoods team, with a focus on good news stories, important community updates and an ever growing list of support resources.

If you have ideas for resources to share or shareable stories of kindness, please send them to: neighbourhoods@waterloo.ca

PS ~ We'd like to grow the audience for this newsletter! Our request: Will you forward this issue to at least one other person who shares our love of all things neighbourhoods, then suggest that they subscribe through the link at the bottom or waterloo.ca/subscribe
Spotted in Vista Hills: fall sidewalk chalk creations 
Even with cooler weather, messages of hope and cheer keep popping up around neighbourhoods. These continue to bring happiness to people who pass by.
Neighbourhood Summit 2020
From October 29 to November 24, the City of Waterloo will host the 2nd annual Neighbourhood Summit through a series of virtual sessions. The summit will bring together neighbours from across the city to share information and network.

The 2020 Neighbourhood Summit aims to:
  • encourage neighbours to come together to share experiences and learn about topics related to neighbourhoods;
  • provide networking opportunities;
  • share updates on neighbourhood strategy initiatives; and
  • recognize volunteers

Staff have developed the summit as a series of workshops that offer a variety of topics to engage neighbours. The workshops are free and they include include:

Watercolour workshop social - October 29 at 7pm
Button Factory Arts will lead the session through the talents of local artist Carly Leyburne.

Asset map for community spaces - November 10 at 7pm
Help us build an asset map for community spaces. We will be asking participants to share their favourite places to gather in their neighbourhoods and what they want to know about other available spaces nearby.

Virtual Trivia Night social - November 13 at 7:30pm
Connect with others for some friendly competition at our virtual movie-themed trivia night with Trivial Soup.

Understanding neighbour conflict ~ November 17 at 7pm
Community Justice Initiatives will discuss neighbour conflict, how to notice, what to do when it arises, and other helpful information for conflict situations.

Block connector meet up ~ November 21 at 10:30am
The first ever City of Waterloo block connectors will meet up to discuss how things are going, what they have learned from their experiences, and how they will continue to connect with neighbours.

Neighbourhood round up: Connections during COVID-19 - November 24 at 7pm
Hear from neighbourhood leaders about how they are using creative ideas to keep their community strong and connected during the pandemic. Speakers will share their story and also be available for questions.

Pandemic focused mini grant available November 1-30
A short-term pandemic focused mini grant will be available for requests received between November 1 - 30 to support initiatives in neighbourhoods that:
  • respond to emergent needs and opportunities at the neighbourhood level;
  • contribute to community building;
  • encourage neighbourhood interactions;
  • empower neighbours to lead; and
  • are in compliance with all COVID-19 public health directives.

Full details will be distributed in our next e-newsletter.
Traffic calming on Dunvegan Drive, Margaret Avenue and Woolwich Street
Following a request from area residents, City of Waterloo Council approved a traffic calming study for:
  • Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive;
  • Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East; and
  • Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail.

There will be consultation with affected residents, the general community and involved parties including city and region departments. It is anticipated that the study will commence in the winter of 2020 and approved recommendations implemented in the summer of 2021.
Greening our community together
Each fall, the City of Waterloo works with neighbourhood groups to host community planting events in city parks. Planting native trees provides healthy habitat for pollinators and expands our urban forest, creating shade and improving water and air quality. 

In 2020, our community planting program focuses on enhancing the urban forest by planting large shade trees around playgrounds, trails and passive park areas within neighbourhood parks: Roselea Park, McCrae Park and Stonehaven Park. 

Our thanks go out to the following neighbourhood groups for respecting provincial and regional public health guidelines and participating in this important environmental initiative throughout the month of October:
  • Lincoln Heights neighbourhood group
  • Beechwood West 1 Homes Association

Unfortunately, due to increased COVID-19 restrictions, Glasgow Heights II Homes Association was unable to proceed with initiatives in Stonehaven Park.
The City of Waterloo gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Community Environmental Fund administered by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo

For more information about community planting events in Waterloo, visit waterloo.ca/communityplanting  
2020 leaf collection program
The City of Waterloo is preparing for this year’s leaf collection program. The purpose of this program is to prevent leaves that have fallen from boulevard/street trees from clogging up sewers and clogging up the stormwater system. This year’s leaf collection program begins Monday, Nov. 2 and ends Saturday, Nov. 28.
Later this month, we will post signs in neighbourhoods across Waterloo with the estimated leaf collection date. Please visit waterloo.ca/leafcollection for up to date information on our leaf collection map.

Most importantly, please note the following:
  • On the first day, or a day or two before your estimated collection date, rake leaves from the tree(s) on your boulevard only to the curb by 7:00 a.m.
  • Do not rake leaves into bike lanes. If you have a bike lane in front of your property, rake the leaves to the edge of your property before it hits the bike lane. This will help keep bike lanes clear to ensure our cyclists can travel safely throughout the city.
  • If you do not have a bike lane in front of your property, rake the leaves onto the road as close to the curb as possible.
  • Leaf collection crews will visit each zone only once – we cannot accommodate repeat visits.
  • Once all leaves are collected or there is consistently snow or freezing weather conditions, the program will end.
  • The City of Waterloo collects fallen leaves from trees on boulevards only – do not rake leaves from other trees located in front or back yards.

If you miss your leaf collection date, you have three options:
  1. You can bag your leaves and set them out for regional yard waste collection. Please note this program ends Friday, Nov. 27.
  2. If you miss the regional yard waste collection, you can deliver your leaves to the landfill during their hours of operation.
  3. Consider using the leaves as mulch or compost on your property. Waterloo is a recognized Bee City and bees use natural mulch as habitat.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we collect leaves throughout our neighbourhoods.
Public health guidelines for Halloween
As residents begin making plans for Halloween, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health guidelines recommend low-risk activities.
Low-risk activities for celebrating Halloween safely with members of your immediate household include: 
  • pumpkin carving and house decorating
  • virtual costume party
  • halloween movie night
  • sharing spooky stories
  • outdoor trick-or-treat scavenger hunt in the backyard

Virtual gatherings are the safest way to celebrate with people outside your household. Physical distancing and wearing a face covering continue to be important safety measures, even when outdoors and under the 25 person outdoor limit. The following guidelines will help to limit contact for those that may choose to participate in trick or treating:
  • only go out with members of your immediate household
  • physically distance and wear a face covering with anyone outside of your immediate household
  • both trick-or-treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering, not a costume mask
  • a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe
  • do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab
  • use tongs, or other similar tools, to hand out treats
  • do not congregate or linger at doorsteps - line up two metres apart if waiting

These guidelines may change between now and the end of the month - recommendations may be revised, or new guidelines added.
Uptown Waterloo Mural Walk, various locations
Uptown Waterloo is a vibrant and colourful place! Come on up to check out the great collection of murals in uptown during Culture Days throughout October.

There are murals along the Hughes Lane Art Walk, in Waterloo Public Square, along the Willis Way side of the Uptown Waterloo Parking garage, and at the Waterloo Visitor and Heritage Information Centre.

New murals with the theme of Community Healing will be added during the month of October.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Waterloo Neighbourhoods.
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Waterloo Neighbourhoods is published throughout the year to keep residents informed about the good things happening in neighbourhoods across Waterloo. If you have any questions or comments, please call 519-747-8515 or email communications@waterloo.ca. If you’re reading Waterloo Neighbourhoods as a non-subscriber, visit our subscription page to sign up for future editions.

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