Canada's Condominium Magazine

Condo Community Alliance: building a network to keep your family and neighbours happy and safe

If you have any experience living in condos and apartments, then you know that living in such close proximity to your neighbours means getting to know them on a really personal level, whether you like it or not. You see and hear far more than you anticipated, from rambunctious children and barking dogs to midnight arguments and everything in between. It can lead to awkward encounters and even resentment between neighbours, but it does not have to be that way.

 

Getting to know your neighbours on your floor is the best way to pre-emptively build a supportive and friendly community on your floor of your condominium. It’s easy to be angry with an anonymous neighbour, not so easy when you’re on a first-name basis.

 

Being proactive in communicating with your neighbours can go a long way in building trust and having a more peaceful and happy life in your condo community.

Be honest about any difficulties you are facing and any noise level they should anticipate. Offer to make agreements that benefit you both. If you have a child who is prone to night terrors or a toddler who has just reached her terrible two’s and developed a habit of stomping through your home whenever she does not get her way, then let them know.

Perhaps you can offer to walk their dogs, babysit for them on occasion, or tutor their child in a subject in which they struggle. They may reciprocate the favour and offer you help in return for being accepting of their little quirks.

Build a neighbourhood watch

Building a foundation of trust is important, and so is maintaining the safety and well-being of your family and community. Set up a neighbourhood watch if one does not exist and you do not have security guards on duty. Reach out to the elderly and disabled so that they know they can come to you if they ever need anything. Compile a list of names and contact information, then hand them out to all your neighbours so that they can reach someone in case of emergency.

 

Getting to know everyone on the floor, welcoming the new residents, and creating a “buddy system” — a floor neighbourhood watch — can help make everyone feel happy and secure.

 

Set up a buddy system so that all neighbours have accountability partners who will ensure their health and safety during fires, natural disasters, etc.  These emergencies are terrifying enough as it is, and it is even more frightening for someone who is alone or somehow unable to get themselves out of danger. Look out for one another and make sure that everyone is aware of those who may need a little extra help during those situations.

Create a system of community volunteers who work together and offer their time and skills to help one another. If one of your neighbours is handy with electronics, then he could offer his assistance setting up entertainment centres or fixing computer problems for neighbours so that they do not have to pay to have it done. Then if he is wants to take his wife out for date night sans children, he can call his neighbour whose teenage daughter is offering free babysitting. If he needs help with holiday shopping, he can call on his neighbour who is a gift-giving phenom.

 

Letting your neighbours know you have young kids or pets can go a long way to prevent misunderstanding. Instead of complaining, they might leave you a note saying, “Patches sounded unhappy today”, instead of “can’t you shut your dog up?” You can offer to share dog walking, or go for communal walks.

 

Perhaps you or someone in your family could offer trash valet if it is not already available. Make weekly rounds collecting trash and recycling from your neighbours so that they do not have to take it out themselves. You could also offer to wash vehicles or clean your neighbours’ condos. These types of services are especially helpful for those who are unable to get out and do these tasks themselves. If you have a specific skill that could be useful, then utilize that and offer them something that only you could provide.

 

Sometimes you make mistakes. Pre-emptive apologies and flowers can prevent eruptions of anger between neighbours for things such as loud kids or a party.

 

Another option could be to simply ask your neighbours what type of assistance they would find most beneficial. The point is to get involved and build a network of people who are supportive and reliable. If everyone contributes and gets involved in the community, then they will never have to worry about being alone or going without something necessary. Having that support system is really important. It builds character. It builds trust.

 

A sense of community can be fostered in a condominium, reminiscent of the old “neighbourhood block parties.” Here is a family event at Avani Metrogate from Tridel.

 

In addition to working together and supporting one another, neighbours should also be able to have fun together and enjoy one another’s company. Conduct monthly events in order to encourage community involvement amongst your fellow tenants. They can be holiday themed or entirely random. Getting the community together in a way that allows them to mingle and have fun will go a long way in boosting morale and making condo living that much more enjoyable.

Other Popular Stories

Living comfortably in 500 square feet or less; modular convertible multi-purpose furniture makes the difference

Living comfortably in 500 square feet or less; modular convertible multi-purpose furniture makes the difference

Size is relative. An object that is small to you may be quite large to another person, and vice versa. The same holds true for nearly everything. A relatively small space that leaves one person feeling claustrophobic can — with a little planning and some modular furniture (see videos below) —  be considered spacious and…

More Ontario rules: modest help for seniors and refugees and immigrating nominees

More Ontario rules: modest help for seniors and refugees and immigrating nominees

Ontario has recently introduced legislation geared toward homebuyers and seniors. If the legislation passes, it should make housing much more affordable — although the intended result isn’t always the same as the final outcome in a real market.     Aside from the 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax (previously reported>>) for non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents, and non-Canadian…

The Greater Golden Horseshoe could become greater, golder, and greener: Ontario updates land use plans

The Greater Golden Horseshoe could become greater, golder, and greener: Ontario updates land use plans

In an effort to improve livability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, while protecting the environment, Ontario has passed updated land use plans intended to encourage sustainable communities. The plans were released on May 18, 2017 after two years of review.     These include updates to the Greenbelt Plan, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden…

SHARE WITH US

Subscribe to condo.ca

@ 2017 condo.ca  |  Designed by Persona Corp