Based on the results from the Strong Neighbourhood survey, residents indicated that they had a desire to get to know their neighbours.
The Good Neighbour Toolkit will help inspire you with ideas on how to reach out and build relationships with your neighbours.
Whether you want to meet your neighbours for the first time or get to know them better, we’ve got some tips for you!
Handshake a week pledge
Keep it short and sweet! Set aside just 15 minutes a week to introduce yourself to one of your neighbours.
TIP: Keep the conversation short by staying outside or on the doorstep.
Take a stroll...
Hesitant to knock on your neighbour’s door? Walk through your neighbourhood, smile and say hello to the neighbours you see.
TIP: The more you practice this, the more ‘strangers’ become ‘neighbours’
Find common ground
Looking for common ground? Start a conversation about your neighbourhood!
TIP: Have you seen your neighbours out jogging, gardening, or out with kids or dogs? Start a chat about that.
Plan a get together
Invite a group of neighbours to a picnic in the park or morning coffee on your front lawn.
TIP: Provide name tags for people to use—make it easy to remember people’s names.
Connecting without conversation
More of an introvert? Drop off a treat and introduce yourself with a short note. Get creative and have some fun!
IDEAS: A packet of microwave popcorn with an attached note that says: "Just popping by!" or a jar of jam with the note: "If you’re ever in a jam…"
Why is being neighbourly so important?
Because there are huge payoffs for getting to know your neighbours!
When you know your neighbours…
- your physical and mental wellness are bolstered
- your personal safety and neighbourhood security are enhanced
- you can save money and time
- opportunities to be even more environmentally friendly become possible
- there are more opportunities to be social, make a difference locally and have fun!
…and all this exists just outside your front door! Let’s take a closer look…
Safety & Security
Getting to know your neighbours can significantly increase safety and security in your neighbourhood.
When you know your neighbours, it is:
- easier to spot out of the ordinary activity in your neighbourhood;
- more likely that your neighbours will tell you about something unusual happening around your home.
In an emergency situation, your neighbours:
- might be the ones to pass on important information;
- are likely to look out for you and your unique needs.
Knowing your neighbours can be beneficial for daily tasks as well. Need to climb up a ladder to wash your windows? Ask a neighbour to hold the ladder and increase your personal safety.
Go meet your neighbour, it can improve—and even save—your life.
Physical & Mental Wellness
Did you know...
- a common reason for not getting to know one’s neighbours is that we think we have nothing in common with them?
- according to a recent survey, most people in Kelowna enjoy outdoor, physical activity?
- knowing your neighbours is associated with a reduced risk of having a heart attack and an overall increase in physical wellness?
Invite your neighbour to join you for that walk, hike, or bike ride. Even if they don’t join you this time, you might learn how they like to be active which opens up another level of conversation. If they do join you, you might discover that they are the exercise buddy you’ve been looking for.
Mental wellness is supported when we get to know our neighbours. How?
- while you’re out being physically active, you’re boosting those feel-good endorphins;
- if you make a point to stop and talk to your neighbours along the way, you will get to know your neighbours;
- these face-to-face interactions are the building blocks to neighbourhood belonging!
Positive relationships with our neighbours help create a rich social fabric. This helps to protect us from feelings of isolation and loneliness that are often linked to depression and anxiety.
Save Money & Get Green(er)
Get to know your neighbours & save money!
When you get to know your neighbours, you get to know what they are good at and what they need help with. Discover how you can share or pool your resources.
- you mow their lawn, they help you harvest your vegetable garden
- share tools rather than buy new tools you will rarely use
- carpool to work
- bulk buy groceries
- swap clothes or children’s toys
- create a baby/pet/house-sitting co-op
These ideas can save money, decrease waste and reduce your carbon foot-print. Want to do more for the environment? Working with your neighbours to plant trees, start a neighbourhood gardening group, or clean-up initiative is a great place to start.
Did you Know?
- 19% of people would interact with neighbours if there were more opportunities to be involved.*
- A recent study showed a 67% reduced risk of heart attack in people who had a high level of neighbourhood social cohesion.**
- 21% of people feel like they don’t have enough time or money to be more involved in their neighbourhood.*
- Nearly 10% of people don’t get to know their neighbours because they think they have nothing in common.*
- Of people who are not satisfied with their neighbourhood interactions:
- 27% say it is due to a lack of neighbourliness
- 22% say it is due to a lack of opportunities to interact with their neighbourhoods.*
- Lacking social connections is as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.***
*2014 Community Engagement Survey
**Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
In honour of Canada's 150th birthday, we've compiled a list of 150 ways to be neighbourly!
1. Organize a clothing/toy/game/book exchange
2. Start a hiking club to discover local trails
3. Include your neighbours in your holiday celebrations
4. Organize a block activity: soccer/basketball/volleyball/bocce game
5. Give out flowers/fruit/vegetables from your garden
6. Clean snow/gravel from neighbours driveway/sidewalk or cut their grass
7. Host a holiday gift exchange
8. Organize a building hallway event in your apartment/condo
9. Plan a New Year's gathering so everyone is close to home
10. Host a garage clean out and mini garage sale to your block
Check out the full list of 150 ways to be neighbourly here!
Help clear the way this winter!
Be a Snow Angel
It’s the "neighbourly" thing to do - lend a helping hand by clearing snow from a neighbour’s driveway or sidewalk.
Pledge to keep your sidewalk clear
Share your shovel adventures with the City using #KelownaSnowAngel on Twitter or Instagram.
Don't know your neighbour?
Break the ice and show your neighbourliness by shovelling their sidewalk or driveway. They’re sure to appreciate your help!
You can help
From the first snow fall, many Kelowna residents find it a challenge to keep their sidewalks free of snow and ice, particularly seniors or those with mobility challenges.
Nominate your neighbourhood Snow Angel
Have an awesome neighbour who helps you out with snow removal? Nominate them online at kelowna.ca/transportation and they’ll be entered into a prize draw.
For more information, visit kelowna.ca/snowangels.
- Hold a birthday party, family get together or neighbourhood meet & greet
- Create a treasure hunt
- Play on the playground
- Toss a Frisbee around with your friends
- Play catch
- Have an acoustic jam session
- Sketch, paint or just take in the scenery
- Have a picnic
- Watch a meteor shower
- Take family photos
- De-stress with neighbours and have an adult colouring party
- Have a neighbourhood snow sculpture competition
- Build a snow fort
One way to be a good neighbour is by paying attention to where and how you park your vehicle (s).
- Leave at least 3m or 10' between your vehicle's bumper and the edge of your neighbour's driveway so they can come and go with ease
- Share the space in front of your house; it is public property and for everyone to use.
- Beware of leaving your RV's, boats, and other important possessions on the street for too long...after 24 hours, they could get hitched to a tow-truck.
- Park uninsured vehicles on your property rather than the road and save yourself the potential ticket!
- Park on the right hand side of the road; it's the side we drive on, it's predictable and helps keep everyone safe.
- Avoid idling your fuel away, reduce green house gas emissions and lessen noise pollution by minimizing idling times. Idling = Parked so be aware of where you are temporarily parking!
More information about parking guidelines, view the Parking Regulation in Kelowna's traffic bylaw.
Emergency vs. Non - Emergency
A serious crime has just occurred or is about to occur
|Reporting a crime after it has occurred|
|Getting help for someone who is seriously injured or requires immediate medical attention||Reporting stolen, lost or found property|
|A fire, car accident or any other major incident or medical emergency||Reporting suspicious or illegal activities in your neighbourhood after the fact|
|If you feel in danger||Contacting the police officer who attended to a prior complaint|
|When someone else is in danger, or their property is in danger||Obtaining general information from the RCMP|
|Call 9-1-1||Call the non-emergency line: 250-762-3300|
Bylaw Enforcement deals with the following issues:
- Excessive noise
- Parking infractions
- Abandoned vehicles
- Illegal Camping
- Infraction of Parks Bylaws
- (i.e. smoking, littering,not picking up after your dog)
- Illegal postering, graffiti
- Unsightly premises
City of Kelowna Bylaw
(Monday to Friday, 8 am – 4 pm)
After hours Bylaw
RCMP Crime Prevention Unit:
The RCMP embraces the principles of Community Policing which acknowledges the unique needs and problems specific to our community. Addressing public safety concerns is truly an interactive process between the police and community. The RCMP’s Crime Prevention Unit specializes in working with residents and businesses to address these concerns.
When the public is involved they become a potent force for dealing with issues affecting the safety and well-being of their community. The Crime Prevention Unit will help increase neighbourhood engagement and establish the path towards becoming more crime resistant.
Contact your Crime Prevention Unit for information related to:
- Nuisance Properties
- Neighbourhood Crime
- Home & Personal Safety
- Senior Safety
- Frauds & Scams
- Robbery Prevention
- Block Watch
- Volunteer Opportunities
For non emergency situations, you may contact the following:
250-762-3300 (24 hours)
Community Policing Offices:
250-470-0600 (K.L.O Road)
911 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is required - someone's health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.
Remember, 9-1-1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.
Bylaw Offences Include:
Infractions of Parks Bylaws i.e. smoking, littering,not picking up after your dog
For non-emergency situations, you may contact the following:
250-762-3300 (24 hours)
City of Kelowna Bylaw
Monday to Friday, 8 am – 4 pm
After hours Bylaw
City Service Request System
Creating and maintaining a strong neighbourhood presence is an effective way to boost safety and security in your neighbourhood.
How do you maintain a strong neighbourhood presence?
- Visit your neighbourhood park regularly
- Spend time in your front yard...being visible in your neighbourhood can be a crime deterrent.
- Get to know your neighbours
- Socialize and have fun in your neighbourhood
- Go for walks in small groups, gather for coffee, potluck picnics, neighbourhood frisbee or bocce games.
Don't worry! Everyone gets nervous when meeting new neighbours!
- Where is your favourite place to eat out in this neighbourhood?
- What skill or ability do you have that you are most proud of?
- If you aren't from this neighbourhood originally, what made you decide to move here?
- What skill or ability do you have that you are most proud of?
- What hidden gems have you found in your neighbourhood?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Where is your favourite spot in our neighbourhood?
- What skills do you have that you would be willing to share with a neighbour?
- What is the best thing that happened to you this week?
- What are your passionate about seeing happen in our neighbourhood?
- What is the most interesting job/volunteer experience that you've had?
- What is the furthest you have travelled?
- What is your favourite (local) sports teams?
Did you know? Being neighbourly can add years to your life.
So you want to plan a block party
A few helpful things to consider when planning your block party.
Project planning tips
If you've never organized a neighbourhood project or event, this will help walk you through the basic steps of doing so.
Outdoor events planning
For events over 350 people or that disrupts traffic, the Outdoor Events Office can help you navigate the permit and application processes.
Strong Neighbourhoods Event Road Usage Permit Application
Application to be completed if you are hosting a small block party or other event that requires barricading the road. Please note, you are required to maintain a six foot emergency lane throughout the event.
Neighbourhood/Residents Associations Contact List
A contact list for Kelowna's neighbourhood and resident associations. Associations are responsible for ensuring the list is up to date.
Learn more about the City's Block Watch program and other community policing initiatives.
The NeighbourWoods Program is a residential planting initiative to encourage you to help grow healthy neighbourhoods and preserve our urban forest.