Welcome to the 27th 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
Block Connectors wanted!
Caring and compassionate neighbours improve quality of life. During the pandemic we have seen neighbours sharing and providing important support to each other. Building and maintaining connections between neighbours is the goal of the Hey Neighbour! Block Connector program that started in June.

We are looking for additional block connectors to help grow the program and reduce isolation through neighbourly outreach. Block connectors can reside in any neighbourhood block or area in Waterloo; including multi-residential housing such as apartment buildings, condos or other clustered homes. Areas can be inside and outside of existing neighbourhood and homes association boundaries.

Those interested in becoming a block connector will participate in a virtual orientation session in the new year to discuss the role and program conditions under the pandemic; and will work with staff to coordinate connection opportunities that are appropriate for their area.

Full requirements are posted on the Neighbourhoods webpage.

Email the neighbourhoods team for further information.
New trees in Autumn Willow Park!
Vista Hills Community Association recently used a neighbourhood matching fund grant to plant two new trees in Autumn Willow Park. Although their plans to host a community planting shifted due to COVID-19, neighbours are looking forward to future connections at the park and years of shade as the trees grow. Thanks to some fantastic Vista Hills volunteers for leading this project and JCA Trees and the city's forestry and horticulture team for help making this project possible. 

Interested in park improvements in your area? Start planning for 2021 neighbourhood matching fund deadlines of February 22, June 2 and October 22. 
Help improve active transportation across Waterloo Region!
Participants can be entered into a draw to win 1/10 $20 ‘downtown dollars’ certificates from Downtown Cambridge BIA, DTKitchener BIA or Uptown Waterloo BIA.
Be a good neighbour!
Although it’s the law to clear snow and ice from the sidewalk, it’s also the neighbourly thing to do. Snow or ice-covered sidewalks can be treacherous for all residents, especially those who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes or strollers; getting from Point A to Point B is even tougher when it snows.

All pedestrians need you to clear your sidewalks, but especially:
  • Seniors;
  • People using assistive devices (crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs or scooters);
  • People with baby carriages or strollers;
  • People moving heavy or bulky objects;
  • People with disabilities.

Uncleared sidewalks can result in dangerous falls for pedestrians, or force them onto the roadways where it is unsafe because of traffic.
Keeping sidewalks free of ice and snow can be very challenging for older adults and people with limited mobility. You can be a good neighbour by clearing snow on the sidewalk outside of your home and offering to do the same for those who need assistance. All you have to do is adopt a sidewalk and keep it clear when it snows. Watch for people in your neighbourhood who could use help with snow and lend them a hand.
Check out the latest Program & Activity Guide
Flip through our digital guide and see what's happening in our community this winter. Registration is online beginning December 9. Fee assistance is available.

Winter 2021 - what's inside?
  • Drop-in search tips for both desktop and mobile 
  • Child, youth and adult online courses - starting in January
  • Staying Healthy and Well series, WOW seniors and Friday Flicks 
  • March break and summer camp employment information
  • Wonders of Winter at Waterloo Park 
  • Back2basics museum exhibit
  • Winter and spring volunteering opportunities

The City of Waterloo closely monitors public health and provincial updates and will alter protocols and practices as necessary. We encourage readers to check advertiser websites for most up to date information.
Coordinated COVID-19 response newsletter
The region, area municipalities and local community partners are meeting regularly to make sure our pandemic response efforts are coordinated and aligned. This work is being done through a community pandemic control group which coordinates the efforts and actions of five other sector control groups which are described weekly in these newsletters.  

These newsletters keep local stakeholders informed about the evolving COVID-19 coordinated response. 

Upcoming events:
Multicultural Calendar:
  • December 10 ~ Human Rights Day. A day to honour the UN General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights.
  • December 10-18 ~ Hanukkah. Also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication, Hanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday in memory of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
  • December 18 ~ International Migrants Day. Declared by the UN, this is a day to honour the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrants.

Source: Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
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.

The City of Waterloo is committed to providing accessible formats and communications support for persons with disabilities. If another format would work better for you, please let us know by calling 519-747-8515 or by emailing us at communications@waterloo.ca.