My Neighborhood & The People Who Make It
I live in a neighborhood that is somewhat misunderstood. Unless someone has actually experienced living here, they probably don’t really understand what it is like. You see, my area is stereotyped as an area of social deprivation which means that there is a high rate of substance abuse, increased crime and poverty is above average. If you don’t live here then it is easy to look at the statistics and at the semi derelict buildings and make a snap judgment about the people who live here, but in the majority of cases your judgment would be wrong. You see, my neighborhood wasn’t always this way. Not too long ago we were part of a bustling industry town where almost every family had someone working in the steel mill, the textiles plant or the coal mine. However, when the industry moved out of town, that is when poverty moved in. Families moved out of the neighborhood when there was no work to be found locally and no-one moved in to replace them leave entire blocks of empty apartments. No-body wanted to take responsibility for them and a combination of vandalism and neglect has left most of them uninhabitable and fit only for demolition – if only someone was willing to pay to do it! However, all of this is superficial and if you look beyond the rather shabby exterior, you will find the people of our neighborhood and they are the ones who make it!
One thing that you might not expect in our neighborhood is the diversity in our community. We have a large population of Congolese refugees who relocated her 9 years ago from The Democratic Republic of Congo who were forced to flee their homes during the civil war. They were welcomed with open arms into the neighborhood and are now an integral part of it. They have built a gospel church and they spend time putting on family events all year round including summer fetes, Easter egg hunts and barbecues making sure to invite every single family in our neighborhood. There are now a new generation of Scottish Congolese who were born here after their families settled in the area. You might not expect to see that in a so-called socially deprived area, but here everyone is accepted. We also have large numbers of Polish, Estonian and Chinese residents.
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Another thing you might not expect is that not everyone here is unemployed, a drug addict or an alcoholic. One local teenager is heading to the Olympics this summer with the hopes of bringing back a gold medal after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games. Our local high school is one of only six sports comprehensives in the country and also houses an official SFA football school. Children travel from miles around to attend the school. Again, these are things that you probably would not expect to find in what is perceived to be a rough neighborhood.
Then, of course, there are the other people living in the community. The people who volunteer to pick up litter, maintain the old cemetery which is home to several war graves, the man who organizes charity toy drives and food parcels at Christmas for less privileged people, the locals who arrange a fireworks display on bonfire night and even the lady who leaves a biscuit on our doorstep for our dog. It is all these small actions that add up to form a community spirit within the neighborhood.
In conclusion, you cannot judge a neighborhood on superficial appearances and government statistics. The people who live within a neighborhood are what makes it great so it is necessary to look a little bit deeper and see what is really going on. You might just be surprised at what you find.
My neighborhood is Richmond Hill. It has been my home for as long as I Can remember and I just love it the way it is. Talk of beauty and aesthetics and I will take you to Richmond Hill Ontario. For those who have lived in Richmond Hill like us, it is easy to appreciate the beauty of nature and man’s contribution in making landscapes beautiful. For instance, taking a walk to the Mill Pond, one will get to enjoy extreme serenity around the cool waters. The cool breeze gets to brush gently over your face bringing you the sweet scent of some flowers over somewhere close.
During fall, the landscape usually has a beautiful appearance courtesy of brightly colored leaves of red, green, and yellow. Well winter is a contrast of white-bluish snow and grey sky but that is just but for a while. Life is usually warm anyway. A visit to Richmond Hill Ontario would also reveal happy families and zoo life. Many families prefer taking their kids out on baby rides along the pavements dotted with yellow flowers and geese. It is a beautiful sight that would behold the attention of any visitor. Talking about the people in Richmond Hill, my interaction with them as revealed that they are usually very warm and helpful. This is the place where one is likely to meet social people from different diverse group. Diversity has become a new phenomenon of the 21st century and Richmond Hill is one of the places in Canada that has come to appreciate and embrace such concept…
Embracing diversity has helped me learn so much about various cultures, thanks to Richmond Hill Ontario. Talk of different languages and traditions. Well, it may require extra effort to be fluent but the basic for socialization and sending regards has been some of my qualifications. Milk Pond Park offers one an opportunity to learn about and appreciate nature and environment. Environmental conservation is a concept that one is likely to learn by default when you visit the area. The first time I engaged myself in a thought about why Richmond Hill has been very keen on making sure that the neighborhood is so friendly, a walk around the neighborhood and in the city provided me with answers. Everybody wants something good, but to achieve that, everyone has to start by making sure that protect that which they have.
In fact, the concept of tragedy of commons has no place in Richmond Hill. Everyone has come to appreciate that everything, including those that do not belong to us directly, but from which we derive utility, must be protected first by ourselves before we look at anyone else. Recreational facilities are all over. Although I may not boast of karate skills, I used to go observe training session at Budokan when I was young. Right now, I look back and I realize that such places are good for the development of mind body and soul Shaftsbury Avenue was one of the places that I used to go visit to have a walk as a form of entertaining exercise. Other facilities such as swimming pools are also available such as the Wave Pool at 5 Hopkins Street, the Pool raft Company at 561 Edward Avenue and Richvale Community Center and Pool at 160 Avenue Road. Theatre is also available at areas such as Richmond Center for Performing Arts.
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