Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood
Don't be shy, just say hi! Let your neighbours know you are new to the community and say "hi" when you meet. If you are living with a group of people, you may even choose a house representative that handles any issues that may arise with your neighbours. Remember your neighbours can be your allies and might even be a future employer. Neighours just want quiet, clean friendly neigbhours next door and isn't that what you want to?
Be conscious of your noise levels. If you are coming home late, avoid yelling and loud laughter in the streets for a neighbour who is elderly or who has small children, your fun could be perceived as threatening and scary. Also avoid slamming car and taxi doors. If you like listening to loud music, try to keep the noise contained to your place, or check with the neighbours what times are okay to play. To make a complaint of your own or for more information on the consequences of noise complaints, see the Quality of Life brochure.
A party can be a great time; however it can also lead to issues between you and your neighbours if not handled appropriately. You share a neighbourhood and so have a responsibilty to treat the neighbours with the same respect you want to be shown. When hosting a party at your place, a little planning can go a long way to forming good neighbourhood relations.
Here is a list of steps to help you on your way:
- Let your neighbours know - hand out notices to surrounding neighbours with the date and time of the party as well as contact information for the host(s). They will be less likely to call the Police and complain if they can just call you.
- Keep it clean - have plenty of paper towels, garbage and recycling bags handy for quick clean-ups but remember to put the garbage out only on the day of pick up. Most neighbours find it annoying to have garbage cans/green cart out for days on end. Remember you have a responsiblity to keep your place tidy which helps in making the whole neighbourhood look great.
- Know the risks - Be aware of city by-laws and common fines; make sure to keep the noise level, and your guests, under control.
- Have information on taxis, bus schedules, and designated drivers for when the party's over.
Respect your Space
Keep your property free of litter and clutter. Know the garbage and recycling pick up days, and clean up after any pets. A word on pets.....an animal is a long term commitment. Pets can't just be dumped at the end of the semester. Pets require time, food (money), vet visits (more money) and love. Many neighours would love you volunteering to walk their dog or take care of their cat which keeps you free to travel and study. For more information on responsible pet ownership contact the local spca.
Whether on a city board or agency, volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and looks great on a resume. Saint Mary's holds an annual volunteer fair in late September every year. For more information call the Career Development Centre at 496-8743.
Take care when you are travelling home late at night to walk in areas that are well lit. Taking a cab with a friend is betting than risking a walk home. If you do walk, go with friends, but remember to keep noise to a minimum as neighours have children who go to bed early.