How to Meet Your Neighbours

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A message from the Federation of Calgary Communities

Moving to a new neighbourhood can be exciting and intimidating if you don’t know anyone. Welcoming new neighbours into your community can be a great way to meet new friends and establish good relationships with neighbours. It has numerous benefits and even reduces the possibility of crime because people who know each other are more likely to look out for one another.

Do your part to transition new neighbours into your community or to meet neighbours who have been in your community for a while that you haven’t met yet. There are little things you can do that will go a long way for bringing neighbours together!

  1. Introduce yourself to your neighbours and ask them a few questions about themselves. Tell them some information about yourself too. Some good starting points could be where they moved from or how long they’ve been in the community. Also, new neighbours could use information about the community association’s programs and services, how to become a member, upcoming events, and even great local businesses or restaurants.
  2. Welcome your neighbour by making a small yet caring gesture or gift. It can be the traditional pie, a cup of coffee, some flowers, vegetables from your garden, or even an invite to dinner. Moving is hard work and a warm meal will be appreciated by your new neighbours!
  3. After introducing yourself, make the effort to wave, greet, and make small talk with your neighbours continuously. This encourages friendly discussion and makes neighbours feel continuously welcomed.

Community Association Welcoming Committees

Welcoming committees are a team of people who welcome new residents as they move to the community. Usually, they create welcome kits full of community association information on programs and services, business cards of local shops and restaurants, My Neighbour cards, emergency information and services, and maybe some small gifts like coffee cards. Upon moving into a home in the community, Welcoming Committees present these to new neighbours! Check with your community association to see if they have a welcoming committee, and if not, offer your help to develop one. One way to help distribute welcome kits is by asking local realtors, rental management companies, apartment managers, and landlords to inform the committee of new additions to the community. Then, you and your committee can deliver the packages!

Being welcoming can be very easy but it can be intimidating crossing cultural barriers. Keep in mind that good neighbours can be of all cultural backgrounds. Having an open heart and wanting to learn from new neighbours can make your community a diverse cultural hub. Be interested in getting to know your new neighbours, celebrating cultures, and sharing your family’s own traditions.