Welcome to the 25th 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
What is asset mapping? How can you get involved?
Neighbourhood asset mapping is a community-focused way of sharing information about local resources. Asset mapping projects typically focus on resources such as community spaces, skills and strengths of residents, or organizations in the community. Taking an inventory of community assets and displaying them on a map helps to easily identify available resources and address community needs.

The City of Waterloo neighbourhoods team is currently developing a gathering space asset map. Mapping locations will benefit residents who require access to spaces for neighbourhood meetings and events. This tool will also help enable COVID-19 community recovery by supporting the return to in-person gatherings when it is safe to do so.

Neighbours will be able to browse locations across the community, see details about the spaces (capacity, size, amenities), and access contact information to book spaces for meetings and gatherings. To give residents a better sense of each space, photos will be included where possible.

Categories of spaces will include:
  • Indoor gathering spaces within recreational facilities, religious spaces, businesses, and community buildings
  • Outdoor gathering spaces within parks and green spaces

Neighbours have several ways to share their input:
  • Through the gathering spaces asset mapping project page on Engage Waterloo until January 22
  • Reaching out directly to project coordinator Halie Gilmore, 519-514-0228 or halie.gilmore@waterloo.ca

Developing a gathering space asset map was recommended in the City of Waterloo neighbourhood strategy. The interactive map will be displayed on the city’s new online hub for all things neighbourhoods, currently under development.

The interactive gathering space asset map is planned to be available Spring 2021.
Pandemic focused mini grant funds available until November 30
The pandemic focused mini grant funds will provide support to 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

Community members, working independently or collaboratively, who are Waterloo residents may request funds between November 1-30, 2020 for project use by March 31, 2021.

  • are encouraged to contact staff to discuss ideas for their initiatives
  • can receive funding from this program even if a regular mini grant has been received in the past 12-month period. Mini grants underway may need to be completed before additional funds are rewarded. 
  • can request up to $500 cash and/or in-kind to support eligible expenses for initiatives in neighbourhoods in the City of Waterloo.

Reach out to the Neighbourhoods Team with your ideas or questions.
Have you registered?
Waterloo's Virtual Neighbourhood Summit is underway! If you haven't registered there's still time! Register on Eventbrite

The summit is a series of workshops that offer a variety of topics to engage neighbours. The workshops are free and include:

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.
Witches of Foxhunt
Neighbourhood leaders in the Foxhunt area worked together to create a safe Halloween experience in their 'hood. With many donations of candy and treats from residents and neighbours. The goodies were packed up and delivered by a squad of merry witches.
Recreation checklist
Continued use of public facilities depends on all participants and organizations following the safety protocols in place for reduced risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The standardized rules for all recreation facilities and community centres across Waterloo Region include:
  • Mandatory pre-screening prior to arrival .
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet/2 metres from others applies at all times, including outdoors while waiting for entry or when exiting, and indoors while wearing a mask. 
  • Face coverings are required at all times with the exception of sports participants during play (e.g. on ice, on a court). Face coverings are required on all walking tracks.
  • Enter the facility “dressed to participate” in your program.
  • Once participants have been screened and admitted, re-entry is not permitted.
  • Only one guardian per minor aged participant is permitted, for capacity requirements. If a guardian arrives with an additional sibling, the sibling is allowed to enter with the guardian; once the participant is ready for their activity, the guardian and sibling are required to leave.
  • Participants are expected to know and follow the rules of the specific facility they are visiting, as all rules were developed with public health guidance, and are equally important to reduce the risk of transmission in our organized sports settings.

Rules and procedures may continue to change as we work to keep facilities open

Reverse Santa Claus Parade
 What is a reverse parade? A new way to safely enjoy the annual Santa Claus Parade. CBC KW outlines that floats will stay parked as cars drive by. In Waterloo the Reverse Santa Claus Parade will take place Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Grey Silo Golf Course. 
A message from Waterloo Fire Rescue
We recently changed our clocks for the end of Daylight Savings Time. Please remember to change the batteries in your smoke & carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and make sure that they have not expired. The alarms are typically good for 10 years.
Claim your free tickets to Unmute: The Impact of a Pandemic on Gender Based Violence
Unmute is a theatre production that addresses the rise of domestic violence and gender-based assault during COVID-19. While a family’s life may seem normal from the other side of the screen, abuse is lurking behind closed doors. Immerse yourself in this important and timely piece that gives audience members the chance to rehearse scenarios for real life. Audiences will learn skills and resources for how they can make a difference.

Participate in changing the story through forum theatre.
Sidewalk snow removal service levels
Council has approved a new two-year pilot program to monitor and enforce the clearing of snow from sidewalks throughout the city, as well as continuing to provide additional support to seniors and disabled residents who need assistance with sidewalk snow clearance.

Municipal Enforcement Services (MES) staff will shift to a three zone model to support enforcement.

The city is partnered with Home Support Services (funded by the WW LHIN/Ontario Health West) for seniors over 65 and adults with disabilities who live in the City of Waterloo. Eligible clients are matched with a brokered worker who will assist the individual with snow removal throughout the duration of the winter season. All workers are self-employed, recruited, and screened by Home Support staff. The program accepts self and agency referrals.

To learn more about eligibility and further details please call 519-579-6930.
East Side Branch Library update
Construction of the East Side Branch Library is underway at RIM Park. This new addition is estimated to open in Spring 2022.

Visit the City of Waterloo website for more details about this project. Check out the East Side Branch Library design progress.
Multicultural Calendar:
  • November 11 ~ Remembrance Day. Commemorates the members of the armed forces who have sacrificed their lives during the World Wars and other military efforts in history and currently.
  • November 14 ~ Diwali. Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere).
  • November 20 ~ Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
  • November 25 ~ Day of the Covenant commemorating Bahá’u’lláh’s appointment of His son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the One to whom His followers should turn after His passing.
  • November 25 ~ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Designated by the UN, this is a day to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.

Source: Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
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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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