This fall, we set out to celebrate the neighbours from across Canada who remind us why we love our neighbourhoods. In doing so we heard incredible stories of neighbours who go above and beyond for the people in their communities. After reviewing each and every post, we are proud to introduce this year’s #LoveYourNeighbourhood Award winners.
Brenda and Evan, Cambridge, Ontario
Brenda shared the story of how Evan and his wife Janette, brought their block together with a neighbourhood cookbook.
At the height of Ontario’s Covid-19 lockdowns, neighbours in Cambridge’s Dickson Hill neighbourhood felt their once active neighbourhood growing distant and isolated. While people used to regularly gather together for community barbeques and local events, as the pandemic intensified, neighbours were losing the close-knit sense of community they loved.
To rebuild the community connection that made Dickson Hill so unique, Evan and his wife Janette invited neighbours on their street to contribute a recipe to a neighbourhood cookbook. According to Brenda, “not only did the Neighbourhood Cookbook reignite their street’s neighbourly connection, but it gave neighbours an opportunity to learn more about the cultures, personalities and experiences of the people living nearby.”
This exciting initiative led to many more Covid-safe get togethers on this iconic Cambridge street.
Subroto and Fo, Brampton, Ontario
On a cold March night in 2020, Subroto dropped his wife off at the airport to board a flight to visit her family in India. Upon returning home to an empty house in the late evening, he worked out and decided to put the garbage out for tomorrow’s pick up. Still in his workout clothes, he thought he would just be a second… that was until he slipped on a patch of fresh ice on the driveway and was unable to get up. It was after midnight, dark, quiet and getting colder by the minute. No one was outside. No cars were driving along Subroto’s residential street. He was stuck.
Realizing that if he didn’t do something quickly, things could get much worse, Subroto shouted for help in the hopes that someone might hear him. He shouted for almost an hour until he saw a light turn on at his neighbour’s house. It was 1:15 a.m. when Subroto saw his neighbour Fo and her daughter, both of whom he had only ever waved to from a distance, came running across the street. Fo’s dogs had heard him shouting and came to wake Fo up.
Fo quickly came to Subroto’s rescue. She called 911. She physically held him up until the police and ambulance arrived. But then, as Subroto was being carried into the ambulance, Fo took her support one step further. She went into Subroto’s house to get his cell phone, charger, keys and health card. She turned off his lights and locked his door. This was smart thinking, because without his cell phone and charger, Subroto would not have been able to keep his wife and son– both of whom were out of the city at that time– in the loop on his condition.
Today, Subroto is 99.9% healed from this injury and eternally grateful for his incredible neighbour who–thankfully– came out in the middle of the night to see what all the shouting was about.
Fo recently shared that “helping Subroto was really not a big deal, I hope there are more people out there in this chaotic world that are willing and able to help each other because to me it is common decency and I was raised to always try to help others.”