1. Nature is Necessary (and all around us).
When you’re in a lockdown, and it’s strongly suggested that everyone just stay home, you tend to get cabin fever very quickly. With offices, malls, libraries and community centres all closed, we were left with few options for escaping home.
Burlington has no shortage of trees, trails and terrain to explore. We discovered a multitude of trails/paths/parks that we’d never visited before.
Favourite new spots are: Beachway Park (including the path that leads to the skyway and beyond), Sioux Lookout and the Arboretum. In addition, we discovered the possibilities for kayaking/canoeing, are huge in Burlington (and surrounding areas). Princess Point, Bayfront Park, Christie Lake, Laking Gardens area of RBG are some of the newly discovered spots.
2. We Have Some Amazing Local Businesses.
Small business owners, as explored by Kim via Best of Burlington, abound. Everything from Beekeepers to Children’s Toy Stores to Artists to Restauranturs. Burlington is truly filled with entrepreneurs who embody the personal drive, commitment to their community and uniqueness that makes our city so special. We learned what Mead is from Backed By Bees (one word: yum!) and all about the importance of carefully using our shopping power when buying “Local“. Building on the concept of local, Koby Hicks‘ Refillery Market journey taught us that Burlington is a place for new businesses to thrive when an entrepreneur has a keen eye for something that missing in the marketplace. Lisa Evans, Chickadee Kids Company, demonstrates how resilient Burlington businesses are in the complete pivot of her business model (from Play Cafe to Children’s Toy Store) during Covid. And BeeBop the Clown & Friends‘ Laura Martin shared many great ideas of how to keep Burlington businesses going. Bobbi Cosby (Cosby Creative Gallery) shared new ways we could still pursue (or discover) our passions even during a pandemic. For those who just want to enjoy handmade creations, Dandi Ideas and Green Garden Succulents fit that bill as well. And Naomi Maharaj of Studebaker Pub & Diner helped us really discover what the restaurants in Burlington are doing every day to keep their doors open. There isn’t a story that hasn’t touched our hearts and inspired us to do a little better, one day at a time.
3. We Have Quite a Food Scene. (Our Restaurants Add So Much To Our Lives)
When forced to go without, we realized how much we used to enjoy going out to eat. Whether with friends or family, a special meal out is an event unto itself. We missed that rare occurrence SO much that we were willing to freeze our butts off on a patio at any opportunity in recent weeks. Burlington’s food options are vast, and we will continue to try all the undiscovered places, large and small. (Some of the new spots we discovered include: Familia Fine Foods, Rose Garden, Rendezvous Subs, JC’s Hot Bagels)
4. The Kindness of Community.
In tough times, Burlington really knows how to pull together. From facebook groups like ‘Burlington Together‘ and ‘ONRestaurants+ Burlington‘ or neighbourhood groups like Our Orchard Community, the Burlington community pulls together to help out. It can be as small as paying for a strangers’ coffee in the drive thru line up to larger moments like the commitment of parent volunteers in our schools or the numerous stories we’ve heard of acts of charity, this year has reminded us what a compassionate community we belong to. Kim’s interview with Keri-Lyn Smith highlights the great lengths members of this community will go to in order to support neighbours experiencing childhood cancer and other challenges. There is no shortage of goodwill and good deeds happening in Burlington all the time. 2020 has taught us to be on the lookout for those small moments (and to savour them) just like we do with the larger efforts. Every little bit of kindness helps and in 2020, we soaked up every drop.
5. Real Estate is Resilient.
From our perspective, things got scary in March and April, when no one was quite sure what to expect globally, much less in our own backyards. But this year has shown us that the value of a home (both literally and metaphorically) is ever increasing. Home improvement projects have been at an all-time high, upsizers solidified and followed through with their plans, downsizers moved forward. Torontonians who no longer had to go to the office everyday moved to Burlington.
Home has become a major focus, in a variety of different ways.
We hope to look back on 2020 as not only the year of the dumpster fire, but also as the year of “Home”.
We also must add a huge thank you to all the front line workers who sacrificed so much of themselves this year to keep us all safe. We see you. We value you. We support you.