Project Neighbourhood

While St. John’s is very much a vibrant community, it is not an easy one in which to integrate for new arrivals. Part of this has to do with the city’s lack of neighbourhood-level capacity. In particular, there are very few active neighbourhood associations, which are often the gateway into getting engaged with civic affairs. There is a robust set of programs focused on integrating immigrants and refugees into the community, but there is little equivalent focused effort for intra-Canadian migrants arriving in the city for their education, for a job, or in search of the city’s quality of life. There is a deeply ingrained narrative in Newfoundland about it being a place that people look to leave, and the civic culture in the city still hasn’t entirely caught up to the idea that people – particularly younger ones – might move there by choice. These new arrivals, whether born in the city or entirely new to it, are often the driving force behind new community initiatives, but this has largely been a matter of luck – there is little in the way of coordinated effort to engage them.  The result of all this has been a distinct lack of diversity within the city’s political and civic conversation – it is very rare, for example, to see a candidate for municipal office who grew up outside the city. 

Within that context, this project has several overlapping goals:

  • To diversify the range of people engaged with municipal affairs 
  • To open a broader public conversation in the city around attraction and retention
  • To broaden the understanding of what it means to be engaged in municipal affairs beyond electoral politics by exposing people to different organizations and opportunities for community action
  • To help lay the groundwork for a more developed infrastructure of neighbourhood organizations that can serve as conduits into civic affairs for residents in the future
  • To gather data on the views and experiences of people new to St. John’s. 

A successful project would mean a broader range of voices and experiences contributing to the many important conversations happening in the city right now around density, transportation, and how to build a city that can survive the economic and demographic challenges of the future. 

This project will involve two major elements:

  • A series of neighbourhood sessions co-hosted by Happy City our project partners through Fulbright Canada over the course of Winter and Spring 2019, focused on bringing neighbours together and introducing them to the basics of neighbourhood organizing and municipal affairs.
  • Producing an online toolkit that new arrivals to the city can use to find ways to contribute to civic life and municipal affairs (including relevant volunteer opportunities, channels for engaging with political officials and in the political decision-making process, training and personal/professional development opportunities, etc.).

To gain some insight into the current status of newcomers in St John’s, we hope you’ll fill out the survey at the bottom of this post. Your responses will help us with developing content for our neighbourhood forums. We hope that you’ll attend the forum in your neighbourhood, the dates and times of which will be announced soon.

Work with Happy City this summer as our Events Coordinator!

Happy City is excited to hire a summer events coordinator! From city parks to city streets, from community centres to Council Chambers, this position will have you working alongside enthusiastic Happy City members and partners to help make our city a better place. Apply now to get involved!

The events coordinator position is funded by the Government of Canada as part of the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Continue reading “Work with Happy City this summer as our Events Coordinator!”

Jane’s Walks 2019 – Route Maps

A Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that get people out on the streets to discover unseen, under celebrated and unique stories about their city.

The free walking tours are held on the first weekend of May each year all around the world, and are led by locals who want to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. The walks will take place this weekend.

Below are the route maps for the walks and a schedule of the walks can be found below. Click on the walk title for a route map and description.

WalkDate | TimeDescription
Botanical 
Garden
Walk
1:30PM
Friday, May 3
Length: 1.5 hrs
Start: 
Visitor Services Desk, 
Field Centre, 306 Mt. Scio 
Road
Downtown 
Development 
and Heritage
9:30AM 
Saturday, May 4
Length: 2 hrs
Start: Heritage NL Headquarters, 
1 Springdale St
Bidgood Park, 
Goulds
10:00AM
Saturday, May 4
Length: 1 hr
Start: Bidgood Park Parking lot 
on Back Line
A Tale of 2
Streams,
Reimagining
Kelly’s Brook
11:00AM
Saturday, May 4
Length: 1 hr
Start: 95 Bonaventure Ave.
Saving the 
Character & 
Integrity of our 
Unique 
Laneways
1:00PM
Saturday, May 4
Length: 2 hrs
Start: Blue on Water
Pleasantville 
Neighbourhood 
Walk
2:00PM
Saturday, May 4
Length: 2 hrs
Start: Branch 56 Legion 
on The Boulevard
Jane’s Run8:30AM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1.5 hrs
Start: Aquarena Complex
Rabbittown10:00am
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1.5 hr
Start: Coleman’s Grocery on 
Merrymeeting Road
Kelly’s Brook 
History 
Walk
10:00AM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1.5 hrs
Start: Corner of Empire Ave 
and Stamp’s Lane
Rennie’s Mill 
Trail Urban
Botanical Walk


10:00AM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1.5 hrs
Start: Riverdale Tennis Club
Churchill Park10:30AM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1.5 hrs
Start: In front of Terrace in the 
Square
From our First 
Suburbs
to the Harbour
1:00PM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 2 hrs
Start: Georestown Café
Vacant Spaces2:30PM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1.5 hrs
Start: Corner of Pleasant St. and
Lemarchant Rd.
(Old Grace Hospital site)
In Search of 
Gold 
Mountain – 
The Journey of 
One Family
3:00PM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1 hr
Location: 
The Landing (UC 3018), 
University Center, MUN 

Jane’s Walks 2019
Wrap Up Reception
4:00PM
Sunday, May 5
Length: 1 hr
Location:
The Landing (UC 3018), 
University Center, MUN