Shoveling Snow

Submitted by adrian on February 21, 2013 - 4:33pm


Since my housemates and I moved into our neighbourhood less than 4 months ago, we've been grappling with the idea of how to meet our neighbours.  Typically, you might imagine crossing paths with the people on your street fairly regularly, but in my experience, winter seems to find most of us staying indoors more often.  

A couple of weeks ago when we had a big snow dump, we borrowed a couple shovels and started shoveling our way down the street.  As you can imagine, there were a bunch of people out doing the same and shoveling provided a nice commonality between us.  It was a great opportunity to help out with some of the shoveling on our street and get to know a few more people.  

But it begs the question: how do you get to know your neighbours during the winter?  When we're all supposed to be hibernating like bears, how can you connect with the people who live on your street?  Any ideas?


Hey, is that photo taken in Kitchener?? That skyline does not look right.

I think you found the perfect way to meet people. BBQing in your front yard on a mild winter day might lure a few people to stop and chat and eat a dog...

We had a backyard BBQ on Feb 6 and it was a huge success. But the campfire was essential to the good vibe and I know that campfires are dicey in both Kitchener and Waterloo.

For those of you that are tempted to try a backyard hotdog roast in winter, here is what we learned:

  • don't worry about chairs, nobody sits down
  • hot dogs done street vendor style (no plates no salads) are cheap and easy to provide
  • hot chai tea was the second most popular drink after the cold beer
  • didn't have to worry about food spoiling - but the celery sticks did freeze
  • didn't have to worry about people staying too long as they get cold and go home

It was a short and very sweet party. I highly recommend it.




Hi Nina, 

You busted me on that photo.  I just grabbed it off of the internet, but it certainly doesn't look local does it?

I am impressed that you undertook a winter BBQ!  Sounds like a fun excuse to spend some time outside mid-winter.  And I love your point about people not staying to long.  Haha.  

Thanks for the inspiration. 


Keep doin', what you're doin'

Thanks for posting, Adrian!

So true- winter can is a time for human hibernation for sure! I think shoveling is a great way to connect... this seemed to work well for you guys!

Other ideas:

- invite folks to walk over to City Hall for an afternoon of skating

- invite your neighbours in for some hot chocolate/hot cider

- make a little package (with teas, treats and other fun things) and drop off at one house with a note about trying to warm their day and you hope they'll pass it on to another neighbour and do the same! (neighborhood warm-fuzzy tag)

- Create neat snow sculptures for your neighbours to enjoy... better yet, have them join you in the creation process


Let us know how it goes! :)