“I was born in Berlin, Germany, so you have another German to feature. It was a very cool place to grow up. I came to Canada in 2009. My husband is an academic and he got a great offer from the University of Ottawa. At the time our children were two and four. I played a lot of Trivial Pursuit so I knew Ottawa was the capital of Canada, and that was all I knew. We decided to give it a try for a year, and then we stayed and we liked it! At that stage of our life, this was a great city to be in, to raise a family in and we landed where we are still today, right here in Westboro.
“Westboro is far enough from downtown and it’s close enough to downtown. It is very walkable, and that is something coming from Berlin, that is something I really value a lot. We live close enough to Richmond Road that we can do our grocery shopping by foot. We really fell in love with the schools here. This was a fantastic community to start with. The greatest thing about Westboro, and Ottawa as well, is it’s an amazing city because of its people. There are a lot of immigrants here. We found a lot of kinship in people who have also arrived, some of them a long time ago, some more recent. We quickly felt really at home and we have fantastic friends and neighbours. And that’s where we started growing that community.
“In February, when it’s really, horribly cold, and everything is grey, you need something to look forward to in the summer. So I thought, I’d really like to do a community event, that is beyond the five or 10 neighbours we already know well; something where we can get people together that we have seen on the streets over the years, but really are only there to say hi. I’d like to do it a little more formally, so that it’s not a big potluck, but more like an actual sit down dinner. So I pitched it to my friends and neighbours.
“We picked ‘W’ because of the names of our three streets. Let’s share a meal with people who live so close. In my wildest dream I imagined maybe 50 people showing up, and in the end we had 127 (82 adults and 45 kids).
“I feel the difference now when I walk my dog down the street. And I never knew all these great people lived here. I feel more connected to my neighbours. We are going to do this as an annual event the second weekend of September. Check out my pop up dance party and we have a Facebook page at Le Club Pop Up.”
Collected by Ellen Bond
* This feature is sponsored in part by Gus’s Kitchen & Bath
Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our collection of humans right here.