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Connecting Beaconsfield: Building climate resilience through social connection 

SOCIAL CONNECTION MEANS HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND RESILIENT COMMUNITIES

If there was a power outage, heat wave, shortage of water, or flood in your neighbourhood, do you know who might need help or who you could turn to if you needed help? Social connection plays an important role in responding to and recovering from these types of events. The Connecting Beaconsfield project aims to increase feelings of closeness and a sense of belonging in the community, thereby also increasing resilience.  

About Connecting Beaconsfield

What is the Connecting Beaconsfield project?

The Connecting Beaconsfield project aims to increase the sense of belonging in the community to develop resilience against potentially dangerous climate events.  

To achieve this, the City is providing many resources that will increase social connectivity. Do you remember the April 2023 ice storm? For a socially connected community, an important power outage needs neighbours... 

  • Checking on those most at risk 

  • Sharing resources 

  • Helping coordinate relief efforts with the City.  

Together, we can weather any storm.

Project information sheet

Why is this project relevant to Beaconsfield?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By building social connections, this project supports at risk people who are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. In Beaconsfield, the impacts of climate change are seen in several ways, such as: 

  • heat waves 

  • ice storms 

  • intense rain 

  • more frequent thunderstorms

Social connections are important at all times, but especially during emergencies. Communities that are connected, caring, and strong have a better quality of life and thrive in the face of climate change. Connecting with neighbours helps us bounce back from extreme weather events. 

Did you know this about Beaconsfield?

  • Based on a survey conducted by Connecting Beaconsfield in 2023, about half of Beaconsfield residents know the names of 6 to 20 of their immediate neighbours.

  • According to Statistics Canada, in 2021, nearly 1/5 (or more than 3,500) residents over the age of 15 had a disability.

  • According to Statistics Canada, in 2021, 1,105 people lived alone in Beaconsfield.

  • According to Statistics Canada, in 2021, nearly 530 residents spoke neither English nor French.

Source

FAQ

What are the negative impacts of climate change? 

The impacts of climate change are felt at every scale. Climate change means more extreme weather events like heat waves, ice storms, intense rain, and more frequent thunderstorms. These types of events can cause power outages, damage properties, and prevent people from safely leaving their homes. The Connecting Beaconsfield project aims to fortify communities against these weather events. 

Why should I care about climate impacts? 

Climate change impacts everyone, and at risk individuals are even more vulnerable. We must adopt an “all hands on deck” approach to address climate change impacts as a community. Together, we can create greater change than on an individual scale. 

What does climate change have to do with social connection? 

In a community with a sense of belonging, trust and reciprocity can flourish. Both of these components are key to building solidarity networks that are essential in times of extreme weather events. For example, if a socially connected community experiences a power outage, people will check on those most at risk, share scarce resources like generators, and help coordinate relief efforts with the City. 

Do I have to be friends with my neighbours? 

The City of Beaconsfield is not asking anyone to become friends, but simply helping neighbours meet neighbours. Many people are eager to introduce themselves to others in their neighbourhood but don’t know where to start. The purpose of this project is to help people meet each other and exchange.

Project partners

The “Connecting Beaconsfield” project was initiated by the City of Beaconsfield and involves numerous partners. The City of Beaconsfield, ICLEI Canada, and the following local community groups and organizations are all working together to design, manage, and deliver the project. Since partners are key to the success of the project, additional partners are likely to join the initiative and support the implementation of actions. 

  1. Beacon Hill Community Association
  2. Beaconsfield 55+ Club
  3. City of Beaconsfield’s Age-Friendly Advisory Committee
  4. Espace MUNI
  5. Friends for Mental Health
  6. Les Amis du Village Beaurepaire
  7. NOVA West Island
  8. SPVM — Service de police de la Ville de Montréal
  9. Table de Quartier Sud de l’Ouest-de-l’Île
  10. Villa Beaurepaire
  11. Volunteer West Island
  12. West Island Citizen Advocacy

Support for the Project

This project was carried out thanks to financial support from the Fonds d’initiative et de rayonnement de la métropole (FIRM), of the government of Quebec. Note that the FIRM has since been replaced by the Fonds signature métropole (FSM).

We would also like to acknowledge all the groups, organizations, and individuals involved in this project.

Your turn to connect

Neighbour connectors

What is a Neighbour Connector?

A Neighbour Connector is a citizen who is interested in building a strong sense of community within their neighbourhood through various small actions such as chatting with their neighbours and occasionally lending them a hand. By getting to know the people on their street, they are increasing social activity in their neighbourhood and creating a long-lasting impact on their community that will be key during extreme climate events. 

Who can be a neighbour connector?

There is no typical Neighbour Connector - it's up to YOU to decide what you want to do to improve neighbourhood life on your street, one small gesture at a time. Each neighbourhood, and even each street, has its own challenges and realities which can vary greatly. 

 Here are a few examples of simple actions that can make all the difference. 

  • Saying hi to your neighbours as you pass them 
  • Clearing snow from a neighbour's driveway after a heavy storm  
  • Inviting a neighbour over for coffee  
  • Offering help to a neighbour whose basement has flooded  
  • Taking the time to listen to the anecdotes of your next-door neighbours  
  • Wanting to improve life on your street (that's the common denominator) 

Do you want to get involved?

Contact us at connectons-connecting@beaconsfield.ca  ofill out this form.

Organize a block party

Block parties are a great way to get to know your neighbours! These events are organized by residents, for residents. While block parties are meant to be informal and fun, they do require some planning. The City of Beaconsfield's block party template, guidelines and planning tools make this process as easy and straightforward as possible for residents. 

You would like to organize a block party on your street, but you’re not sure how to go about it? Good news: our Connecting Beaconsfield team is here to share tips and guide you!  

New this year:  

  • An organizer's guide 
  • Loan of themed games and accessories  
  • Gift card for grocery store purchases 

Learn more

Urban garden

Why did we install an urban garden in Beaconsfield?

An area for sharing and mutual aid, Beaconsfield's urban garden, planted near the Herb Linder Annex at City Hall, will provide healthy meals to those in need.

A variety of fresh fruit and vegetables will grow over the summer until the garden closes later in the fall.

Residents will help bring this space to life by investing their time in watering, helping maintain the garden and by sharing gardening tips and best practices with others.

Children and the whole community will be involved in various activities. Kids participating in summer day camps and in the Summer Reading Club will help water the garden and learn about gardening.

The planting, opening and closing of the vegetable garden is being carried out in collaboration with an external organization, Urban Seedling, which specializes in creating organic vegetable gardens in urban areas.

 Who will get all the produce?

Harvests will be donated to Meals on Wheels, a volunteer-driven program that provides hot nutritious meals to homebound or isolated seniors and to those with reduced autonomy.

Want to help out?

Volunteer form

Or contact us at connectons-connecting@beaconsfield.ca to learn more.

Let’s grow together!

In collaboration with the Beaconsfield Gardening Club

Most Beautiful Garden Contest

Do you think you have the most beautiful garden in Beaconsfield? Put your garden oasis to the test and submit it to be a part of our Most Beautiful Garden Contest, hosted in collaboration with the Beaconsfield Gardening Club, and run the chance of winning a gift card to a local nursery!

  • One prize will be awarded for each of the following categories:
  • The most eco-friendly garden
  • The garden with the most beautiful flowers
  • The most beautiful landscaping
  • The most fruitful vegetable garden
  • The young gardener award (under 18 years old)

To be eligible to enter, you must be a Beaconsfield resident. Only one prize will be awared per entrant.

Deadline: July 31

Submit your garden for consideration

Organized with the Beacon Hill Community Association and other local partners

Sports challenge

Saturday, September 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. (in case of rain: Sunday, September 29)  

 A team will be formed for each district.

Resigter now