by Keith Thompson

On August 28th the neighbourhood participated in its first-ever Walk the Block event. This was an opportunity for North Enders to park the car, get out onto the sidewalks and connect with our community. As the person somehow responsible for this event, I woke up that Sunday pretty stressed. Did we have enough food for the barbecue? Did I put up enough posters? Deliver enough postcards? Would anyone come? Did anyone care? I’d soon come to find that my stress was unwarranted.

I fussed with setting up a box of free posters on the yard to relax. With half an hour left before kick-off, I began to notice activity on the street. There they were! The neighbours! Soon our sidewalk was busy with families, neighbours, and friends making their way through the streets for the free barbecue at the Welcome Inn. There was plenty to see as neighbours participated from the comfort of their front porches, driveways, and yards.

On Catharine Street, we were treated to a porch concert featuring acoustic covers of Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and (if I remember correctly) some Peter, Paul and Mary. At McNab and Wood Street, thirsty neighbours could stop for lemonade and home-baked cookies. Of course, there was a fee; a chalk drawing of your favourite fruit to add some colour to the sidewalk. After a quick stop at Grandad’s Donuts, you could head over to see JC and Chrissy of Murphy’s Treats fame. By all measures, this was one of our dog’s favourite stops, a close tie with the beautiful “stick library” set up on Picton Street East. Of course, the barbecue was the main attraction; who doesn’t love a free lunch? It was a great opportunity to meet new neighbours, participate in lovely conversations, engage with different perspectives and most importantly, participate in the community.

And that’s really what this was all about. So, to all of you who participated in thought or action, thank you. If you came to the barbecue to break bread with your neighbours, thank you. If you participated by setting up something in your yard, thank you. If you participated from the cottage with good vibes and positive thoughts; thank you. If you were one of the volunteers who made this day possible, thank you. I learned a lot organizing this event, and I’m thankful for everyone who provided feedback. I hope to make this an annual event and look forward to improving it and growing it over the years. Thank you all for making Walk the Block 2022 such a success!

If you’ve got any feedback or want to be involved in Walk the Block 2023, email me at