Getting to know your neighbours helps make community better

NANAIMO – Friendlier city within reach with just a few simple ideas.

By Tammy Toor

I just had a fantastic opportunity to spend a day with some inspiring individuals talking about and brainstorming ideas on how to make our community a better place to live.

I’m really proud to be a resident of Nanaimo. I love all of the amenities available, the beauty that surrounds us and the people that make Nanaimo, in my opinion, one of the greatest places to reside.

This workshop got me questioning about what I, as an individual, can do to contribute to making a difference in my community.

Here are some ideas I came up with:

Be a greeter

I am an avid walker and user of our parks and trails. I am amazed in my travels how we don’t tend to acknowledge one another as we pass or share parks space. I try to say “Hi” and smile to those I come in contact with, but I am going to work harder at this.

Let’s start introducing ourselves and conversing so that strangers become acquaintances. To me, a strong community is a friendly community.

Get to know the people in your neighbourhood

A friend asked me the other day if I knew my neighbours. I do know my wonderful neighbours as a result of both simple introductions and through a couple of block parties.

Let’s make a concerted effort to get to know the people who live near us.

To me, a strong community is one made up of people who know and care about each other and it starts in our own neighbourhoods with the people who reside closest to us.


Nanaimo is made up of citizens who possess amazing talents, skills and knowledge. Sharing that experience with others only unifies our community.

I live in a neighbourhood where the residents are sharing both their skills and time to rid the area of invasive plants.

They plan work parties where they donate their time and labour for the betterment of the entire city.

To me, a strong community is made up of citizens who share both their time and talents for the greater good of the community.

Even the smallest contribution can have a big impact.

There are so many ways to improve our community, and I am challenging myself to contribute to doing just that.

I hope you say “Hi” back to me next time I walk past you and smile and greet you.

Tammy Toor is a communications specialist with City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment.