Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/06/2021 (710 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I received inspiration for this article from a strange place, a community Facebook group.
Instead of the usual complaint about people not picking up after their dog, someone posted an old picture of a corner store that had closed down in our neighbourhood, with many lamenting the closure and reminiscing about old times.
I had to ask myself, if so many people loved the old corner store and wished for its return, why did it close in the first place? And how could we bring one back?
When I asked this question the most common response was “Somebody should…”
Somebody should re-open a corner store. Somebody should repurpose that vacant building.
Somebody should renovate that house. Somebody should plant some flowers. Somebody should start a street market. Somebody should care about this place again. The list goes on and on.
Where once our community was flush with pride of ownership, now you’re just as likely to see a vacant storefront as a thriving local business.
The sense of pride, the feeling you get when you truly belong in your place is important. If you don’t love your place you’re less likely to stay. Pride and lovability breed place attachment, whereas apathy is the community killer.
A lot of us have these feelings creeping in — the apathy that kills community cohesion. Where once you had pride when showing guests your neighbourhood, it’s just not there anymore. The love is gone, and that’s just not good enough. Our neighbourhood — every neighbourhood — should be a place worthy of the people that live there.
Oprah once said “Apathy is the attitude that disappointment is normal.”
Well, I’m sick of being disappointed. It’s not normal for our places to spiral into decline. This isn’t right.
Our inner-city neighbourhoods aren’t evolving in a healthy way and we all know no one is coming to save them.
More importantly, the best people for bringing healthy development back to the community are locals. It’s the people on the ground who know best what’s needed. If we want our neighbourhoods to be lovable again we’re going to have to do the work ourselves.
So, this is calling all somebodies.
Do you have an idea for an improvement in the neighbourhood?
Get in touch with the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association on Facebook or Twitter. Even if you don’t live in my neighbourhood, I can get you in touch with the resources to help.
Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association.
Luxton / Seven Oaks community correspondent
Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association