Take a look at this handy and helpful list of LGBTQ+ resources from OK2BME. Start the year off right by creating inclusive classrooms with some of these great resources! #365ofgoodWR
One of my favourite things about late summer is the delicious local corn we have in our region. The number of cobs I can eat in one meal is rather astonishing actually ;) If you're like me, you may find yourself in good company Sept 7th (tomorrow!) at the Community Cornfest. At cornfest you'll be able to take in "live music by Menno Valley Sound, locally sourced food such as sweet corn, sausage on a bun and halal burgers, family friendly activities, and representatives from several Cambridge community services providing an overview of their programs and services." Admission is a donation of funds or canned food in support of the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank. Find out a little more about this great community event that's been running for 30 years in this Kitchener Post article. #365ofgoodWR
An upcoming initiative by Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) and Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation (CNDCF) has piqued my interest with its offer of food, conversation, and community! It's called On the Table and it encourages folks to "bring together your friends, colleagues or strangers over some food to talk about what matters most to you. This is an event that’s happening across Waterloo Region, where you’re in charge. Whether it’s a meal, snack or coffee break, On the Table encourages individuals or organizations to take the time and connect with one-another face-to-face."
The event is to happen between Sept. 27-29th and hosts (that could be you!) select the venue, arrange for the food and drink, as well as the topic(s) to discuss. Maybe it will be some of the larger issues our region is facing such as affordable housing or active transportation. Or perhaps it will be more specific to your neighbourhood such as how to welcome new neighbours to the area. The topics are completely up to you. Topics will then be collected by On the Table folks and shared to give us a better understanding of the issues important in Waterloo Region currently. If you can't host your own event, you may want to instead join one of the many public events happening. Find out all the details, including how to become a host (with resources!), on KWCF's website. #365ofgoodWR
The University of Waterloo's Indigenous Speakers Series is hosting author Jesse Thistle on Sept. 18th, 2019. Thistle's work "is focused on intergenerational and historic trauma of the Métis people, and also reflects on his own past struggles with addiction and homelessness. Jesse is widely recognized in the scholarly community and beyond -- especially with the recent publication of his memoir From the Ashes (Simon and Schuster Canada)." Learn more about Thistle's work on his website. #365ofgoodWR
This free event is open to the public and a book signing will follow the talk.
"The Indigenous Speakers Series is co-presented by the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, the Faculty of Arts, the Department of History, and the Department of Communication Arts. The Series highlights the voices of Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and leaders from across Turtle Island, offering UWaterloo students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn from, understand, and engage with Indigenous issues."
Date: Sept. 18th, 4-5:30pm
Location: ML - Modern Languages, Theatre of the Arts
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
For those who follow along regularly, you'll know that I'm passionate about creating a more accessible and walkable city. For me, that involves building a strong network of complete streets. 'Complete streets' considers the needs of all street users (and often prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable users first). The City of Kitchener has been busy developing their own Complete Streets policy and the draft document is now available online. I'm pretty darn excited about the possibilities laid out in this proposal. But don't take my word, for it - take a look for yourself (in the attached file). And once you have done that, take a few moments to share your thoughts in the Complete Streets survey (which closes Sept. 17th). You can also attend a drop-in session on Sept. 12th at Breithaupt Centre from 5-8pm. #365ofgoodWR
Here's a little more detail about what Kitchener's Complete Streets are all about:
"People-friendly transportation options are a major priority for the city. Calmer streets and a balance between the needs of pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and transit users is vitally important as we work towards making our transportation networks safe, convenient, comfortable and connected.
One of the best ways to achieve these goals is by rethinking the way we design our roads. By applying cutting-edge research and best practices from other Canadian municipalities, the city developed a set of principles that will allow us to build “complete streets” that ensure that every mode of transportation has a place."
It's back to school tomorrow which is a busy time for many families in our region - so who am I to take any more of your precious time in preparing for that?! So here's a short and sweet post. I'm spending some time today writing some more blog posts, as well as trying to organize this week's lunch plans. If you need a quick break from all of your back to school tasks, here's a great video from Kid President. Good luck to all those returning to school tomorrow: students, teachers, school bus drivers, custodial staff, and the many others who help make our education system run smoothly :) #365ofgoodWR
Cambridge is hosting Newcomer Day on Sept 17th, 2019 from 2-8pm at Cambridge City Hall. "Newcomer Days are special events that recognize and celebrate newcomers, immigrants, and refugees. These events also strengthen our community by bringing neighbours of all backgrounds from across the city together." Other Ontario cities also celebrate Newcomer Days and this is the first time Cambridge will do so.
"In the afternoon, a special community citizenship ceremony will take place and the public is welcome to join for the formal proceedings. The celebration continues into the early evening with a community festival featuring an information fair, recreation exhibition, local performers, food vendors, and fun activities for the whole family. Everyone is welcome to join us, no matter when you decided to call Cambridge home."
2:00pm Community Citizenship Ceremony (Centre for the Arts)
3:30pm Ceremony Reception and Festival Opening (Civic Square)
4:30pm Welcoming Remarks (Civic Square)
8:00pm Festival Closes
It's the Labour Day long weekend and who doesn't love a long weekend?! With your extra time off this weekend though, you may want to spend a few minutes learning a bit of the history of the Labour movement and how this day came into effect. There's a lovely synopsis on the Canada's History website, where it starts off stating, "What evolved into just another summer holiday began as a working class struggle and massive demonstration of solidarity in the streets of Toronto."
Once you've brushed up on your Labour Day history, head over to Waterloo Park this Monday to celebrate the continued work of Labour organizations. The Waterloo Region Labour Council is hosting its annual Labour Day Picnic from noon to 4pm. There will be free food, face painting, games, and more! #365ofgoodWR
I have highlighted the work of Reep Green Solutions previously but do want to mention them again as they have several interesting workshops coming up as well as an exciting event called the Fresh Air Feast.
The Fresh Air Feast takes place in Waterloo Park on Sept. 14th from 11am-2pm. In celebration of 20 years of empowering people to live more sustainably and address climate change, Reep will be hosting this near zero waste community celebration. There will be live music, games, eco-swag, and a vegetarian feast. All for just $5! Register here if you'd like to attend.
There are also a number of workshops that caught my eye. The first is entitled "Finding a Perfect Match: Right Tree for the Right Place" and is on Sept. 25th. Trees can be a costly (but worthwhile!) investment so it makes sense to plant the tree that will do best in your yard. Reep is here to help you with that!
The other workshop that interests me is a tree identification workshop, called "What Kind of Tree is That?". It is offered on the morning of Oct 5th. If you're like me, you very much enjoy walks in treed areas of our region but struggle to identify many of those trees. I've got maple, oak, and walnut trees figured out but I'd love to know many more. This workshop will be followed with a walk around the neighbourhood to put your learning to the test! Registration is required for each of these classes. #365ofgoodWR
City Resolution #23 from Brent Toderian is an enjoyable one, though if you're like me, a challenging one to set time aside for. It encourages us to "start reading (or read more of) the many great books on smart city making and community building out there, not as a professional, but as an engaged citizen. See my hashtag #UrbanismBookClub."
There really are so many great books on community building and creating equitable, liveable cities. Your local library will be able to get you started. You can also head over to your favourite bookstore (such as Wordsworth Books) to pick this one up: House Divided: How the missing middle can solve Toronto's affordability crisis, by Coach House Books.
The Waterloo Region Yes in my Backyard group will be hosting a book club night on that book and would love to have you join in the discussion. If you don't have time to read it, but would still love to discuss housing options in our city, please join us. The date and location will be decided upon shortly. You can follow along here for more details. I'm excited to read this one (just picked it up at Wordsworth this week) as it's recent and it's in the Canadian context. Here's a synopsis of the book:
A citizen's guide to making the big city a place where we can afford to live. Housing is increasingly unattainable in successful global cities, and Toronto is no exception - in part because of zoning that protects "stable" residential neighborhoods with high property values. House Divided is a citizen's guide for changing the way housing can work in big cities. Using Toronto as a case study, this anthology unpacks the affordability crisis and offers innovative ideas for creating housing for all ages and demographic groups. With charts, maps, data, and policy prescriptions, House Divided poses tough questions about the issue that will make or break the global city of the future. #365ofgoodWR