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My Saskatoon Blog

Bringing the Front Porch Back

posted by David    |   May 22, 2014 10:01

It felt like we were in Narnia these last few months - always winter, but never Christmas. As May has, for the most part, brought the warm weather our way, I have begun to experience once again my favourite aspects of Saskatoon. For much of the winter, I huddled up in my house, drank chai lattes, and rotated between reading a good book and following my latest favourite TV show on Shaw on Demand (right now its Fringe). But the moment it got warmer outside, everything changed. Saskatoon came to life. Barbecues began flaring up, people got together, and true community started to happen. 

That is what I love most about Saskatoon - a big city with a community feel. There is so much to look forward to over the summer months. Some of my favourites are the tried and true Saskatoon classics, including Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Taste of Saskatchewan, and Folkfest. Each of these events promote our city's community feel, through sharing music, good food, and cultural experiences. 

                                                                                                         Photo Credit: Tourism Saskatoon

My wife and I have been living in our home in one of the newest Saskatoon neighbourhoods, Evergreen. It is an exciting neighbourhood to be a part of, as it is surrounded by a combination of parks, open fields, and nature in general. The houses are aligned so that the majority of residents receive the full benefits of the sun, and a walking path is in the works to enable us to navigate throughout the entire neighbourhood on foot. These were all major draws for us, but the icing on the cake was that our house, along with the majority of other houses in Evergreen, had a front porch. 

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the American front porch had come to represent the ideal of "community". Since the front porch existed in between the private home and the community outside, it was seen as an area where community interaction could take place. Families would retire after supper to their front porches and would greet each passing neighbour walking down the street that evening. The porch brought the community together as it encouraged interactions with, and awareness of others. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

My wife and I are bringing the front porch back. We went to Home Depot last summer, which is a story in itself, to buy patio furniture and a barbecue to fill the space. Right away, we noticed increased interaction with our neighbours and community. A simple act like a smile, a wave hello, or briefly sharing commentary on the weather made us feel even more at home in our new home. We love how this is happening again this summer, as the warm weather drives people in our neighbourhood out onto their porches.  Even if our neighbours don't talk to us, we still get to watch them, which may sound creepy, but who hasn't done a little people watching? We have also enjoyed the new connection we feel with nature as we sit outside watching the sun set. Yes, we are bringing the front porch back, developing community in our neighbourhood, and in turn developing feelings of community in our city. 

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