We live in the sprawling suburbs of
Surrey Cloverdale Clayton Heights. Sprawling because everywhere you look, more homes and commercial buildings are sprouting up. When we first moved into our home in 2003, we knew that there were going to be three more phases. Many phases later, we are still here but were very tentative about the busy ‘bee hive’ (what we nicknamed our neighbourhood) and wondered if we would truly stay here.
Now that our children our 7 and 5, I love our neighbourhood.
Here are my 10 reasons why I love our neighbourhood.
1. There are CHILDREN in our neighbourhood and they are around the same age as our kids. There are many kids around the same age, so if one child is playing in the back alley a whole gaggle of them will be drawn to the outside and they all play together, so nicely.
2. There are two grocery stores, two drugstores, a Starbucks, four banks,three nail studios, one 4 Cats art studio, two sushi restaurants, a Tim Hortons, an great pub called Dublin’s crossing and many more convenient stores in our neighbourhood and they are all in walking distance. They are not only there, they are thriving. Let’s face it, density does matter for the neighbourhood to survive.
3. Our school is walking distance from our home. You would think that a school with over 800 students would be insane but we have an amazing Principal, Mr. Hurt, who actually pulled off the most efficient Sport’s Day I have witnessed. It may be a busy school but Mr. Hurt has made it work, even with the growing numbers.
4. There are many green space parks that are within blocks of our home. We can all go for a safe familywalk or bike ride throughout our neighbourhood without worrying about feeling unsafe or running into some unsavoury characters. Not to mention we have quite the mass of police officers living in our vicinity. If police officers want to move here then they must believe it is a safe neighbourhood.
5. Half of Jackson’s hockey team live in our neighbourhood. This has opened up a whole new avenue of what a playdate is- Jackson is constantly “going to ride his bike outside” and suddenly I get a text from the neighbour mom telling me Jackson’s at her house playing Skylanders. Oh Jackson, my social butterfly.
6. This brings up another reason I love my neighbourhood, I love my neighbours. Everybody looks out for each other’s kids and respects their parenting, even if it is different. Our neighbours are respectful of each other. We ask if they can have certain treats or snacks, we try and plan dinner at the same time so we don’t disrupt the VIP playtime in the alley. Parents also ask the surprise playdate attendees
Jackson ”Does your mother know where you are?” and will still call or text or walk over to check. They are so awesome that they will let a fish named Rainbow, sleep over, while their owner Easty is away at the cabin. It’s pretty awesome when you can make family playdates to the movies and all the kids can sit together, while us adults get to watch in relative peace.
7. Living in our neighbourhood, you have the opportunity to be more connected. I love that our neighbours share- they share what is happening in the neighbourhood and what is happening with their kids. For example: what the kids are up to in activities; in school; and are a great sounding board for concerns about out neighbourhood because GUESS WHAT, they have the same concerns.
8. I love my neighbourhood because we are a community. We all live in the same neighbourhood and we all seem to have the same social values, give or take a few differences, but we all want to see our community thrive and work together. We all care about our homes and our neighbourhood. It matters to us that our neighbourhood is maintained.
9. Our neighbourhood may be busy but it’s sustainable and that is really what attracted us to living in Clayton Heights. All the homes were built in 2003 or earlier, with a focus on energy efficiency and energy saving, in order to “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Our boulevards have trees, only 10 years old but still we have trees thriving in our neighbourhood. I can still hear crickets chirping at night and it kind-of-gets-me-all-fuzzy-feeling inside. I also enjoy that our streets are numbered. It seems like a simple idea to make streets easier to find sequentially but I really like that it’s easy to give directions to our house.
10. The most important reason I love our neighbourhood is because it is OUR neighbourhood. I think the kids would agree.
What do you love about your neighbourhood? What is important when you are looking for a new home?