Kids Column – Our Neighbourhood, Our Community
By Abby, Aly, Eileen, Jack and Patrick

Submitted by Sheri Selway

What makes a neighbourhood a great place to live? That is the question we pondered and discussed. The first item to be listed was FRIENDS! I was totally IMPRESSED! So True! We all want to live in a place with a sense of community. A place where we stop and chat, pat dogs, help carry groceries, help shovel walks, and so much more; a walkable, friendly, accepting community.

Our list of what makes our community a great place was long; from parks and coffee shops to bike lanes and food banks. We do have a great neighbourhood! We also brainstormed some ways to improve our neighbourhood.

A Walkable Neighbourhood. I’m going to write about the places you can walk to, in and from the North End. From the North End we can walk to a grocery store, rec centre, corner stores, parks, a donut shop, ice cream shop and a health centre. This makes the North End a great place if don’t want to use your car as much! From the North End we can walk to The Farmers Market, Hamilton Public Library, Jackson Square, Chocolate On James, First Ontario Centre, a movie theatre and Bayfront. Aly

Hello North Enders! We all know our neighbourhood is the best, so today we are going to be talking about our neighbourhood! There are a LOT of good things about our neighbourhood, like how we have a few schools, grocery stores, and hospitals in walking distance. Additionally, we have parks, recreational centres, and libraries nearby. Jackson Square Mall is really close and Bayfront Park is right beside us. Our neighbourhood feels very safe. But…there are a lot of things that need to be improved/changed so here we have listed just some of the things we could do, such as making our neighbourhood more accessible for seniors, parents with strollers, and people with disabilities. Secondly, the city could add more safe injection sites around the North End because when I walked around, I saw a startling number of needles just laying around on the ground, (especially around parks) which is very unsafe. Thirdly, there is a lot of littering so the city could put more trash cans in public places. The city should have more maintenance in public spaces like the parks. For example, when I went to the Jackie Washington Park, the stationary bike was broken, and it stayed like that for several weeks before it was fixed, and there was a lot of broken glass around. Also, I think there should be more affordable housing and more jobs for people because there are a lot of people who work on minimum wage and can barely get by, much less afford a lot of the housing. There are a surprisingly amount of people who have no jobs which then can lead to them being homeless. (I have seen a lot of homeless people around, especially at Jackson Square.) Oh, and one small thing, some public spaces don’t have benches. Benches would be nice so people can rest when they are walking places (especially seniors with walking problems). Last but not least, I think not only in our neighbourhood, there should be more nature (trees, plants, flowers) around and more environmentally-friendly things around. I’ll let Abby explain why. But that’s it’s for today, that’s what I think we could improve about our neighbourhood.
-Eileen W.

Today I am going to be talking about greenspaces in the North End. There are currently no “green spaces” that are registered in Hamilton, but I think that we should have at least one that is tended to and kept clean. A green space is a part of a city, neighborhood, or town that has lots of natural flora and fauna with many different types of nature. Green spaces are important because they can bring a more natural space and feeling to a very cement and metal part of town. These natural places can be very beneficial for the human population, for pets, and for mental health. Being in a natural environment for even only a little bit of time every day can be so beneficial for the human mind as it is grounding, relaxing, and it is a very easy break from all of the noise of everyday life. One of the infrastructural benefits of the green spaces in the north end, is the fact that if there is heavy rainfall, there is a place for the water to drain into instead of the rain water just pooling in the streets and overflowing the sewers, possibly causing damaging flooding. I personally think that we could bring some aspects of green spaces into a place like Bayfront Park. Bayfront is already quite eco-friendly, but we could still work on keeping the water and the public spaces clean, as it can harm the wildlife that lives there, as well as affect the benefits of the natural space. If we put in more “split” garbage and recycling stations, we could easily have a cleaner green space for the public to use. To sum everything up, we should take care of the green spaces we have and work on incorporating them more into our neighbourhood and city.
-Abby B.