How has community changed?

Submitted by Heritage House on March 7, 2013 - 10:17am
Seniors reflecting on community in Guelph

We started the conversation by reflecting back the old days regarding communities.  One woman was a new immigrant from Austria. A major way she has adjusted to this new country is through the soccer teams as her husband coached.  He did a lot of work developing the game in Canada. Through sport there were a lot of new connections, as they traveled often and met  new people, making new friends.

The Guelph community has changed a lot over the years, with a lot of growth, almost tripling the size it used to be both in terms of population and geographical size. Many new immigrants came as Linamar causing the Agricultural Sector and University to grow; creating new jobs and opportunities.

With that growth people became more alienated from each other.  Neighbourhoods are quickly changing and developing at the speed of light.  No one seems to have the time to get to know each other or even care to get to know each other at a deeper level other then, "Hi, how are you?" ... if that.

The aging population's growth is evident by the newly developed retirement homes popping up all over the city.

Family and friends are still the closest community after church groups and all different activities for the seniors.

Technology today is way out of this population's understanding.  At the same time, this new technology seems so distractive and harmful that, the question form them is: why would anyone want that?  Private space is invaded all the time. Private thoughts and information are publicised on open networks and identities are deformed to the avatar level.  Boundaries no longer exist.


Listening and hearing the values through the seniors' stories; the patience of wives waiting years to their husbands to return from war, raising many kids alone, and deeply depending on each is almost unbelievable to our fast-paced, information-packed, "right now" societal attitude. This past time of simpler living is long gone, but they are still holding on to the values that the younger generation have so much to learn from.

You are all welcome to come and visit us, get to know our seniors, play some games and listen to their stories. You will likely find this an enriching experience.




Wisdom of Years


Thanks so much for reflecting on the community conversation that took place with seniors. This is wonderful!

There is such insight that seniors have to offer- if only we created more space to listen and enter into these discussions. If this were a societal value, it would likely happen more often.

Thanks for bringing this to light- I would love to visit some time!