For the first time since 2019, the Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA) hosted a “Party in the Park” at Dalhousie South Park on Saturday, August 13. Residents were enthusiastic to pick up where we last left off – people came out, many with families and friends, to share food and drinks and to get to know their neighbours. We saw some familiar faces, met some new ones and got to know some canine family members. After years of meeting over Zoom, some GACA board members actually met each other for the first time in person.
In a summer marked by heat, humidity and a number of storms, we were very fortunate with the weather – it was sunny and warm but not humid or sweltering. It was also the weekend when the 417 was closed for the replacement of the Booth Street bridge, so other than music and conversation, the day was unusually quiet in the Glebe Annex, without the normal background hum of highway traffic. We could not have asked for a better day.
GACA’s secretary Joanne was the driving force behind the event – picking the date, booking the park, planning the menu, obtaining many generous donations from local grocery stores and ensuring we had items on hand to keep children occupied and interested. Gabrielle, former vice president and current board member at large, was also integral to the event. Gabrielle and her husband Neil treated partygoers to freshly made lemon crepes, bringing a little bit of fancy to the event! She also designed the artwork and promotional materials, took photos and was the DJ for the day. Her enthusiasm was infectious! It was truly a community occasion, with help from board members, their spouses, community members and local businesses in everything from providing food, power and barbecuing to ensuring everyone was having a good time and was well stocked-up on ice cream and other snacks.
We took the opportunity to ask residents what they loved most about living in the Glebe Annex. Not surprisingly, the top mention was appreciation of one our corner stores, Abbas. The store has always been a centre of our community and the family has always generously supported local events. This party was no exception – they provided treats and bubble wands which proved to be great fun! In addition to Abbas, people were grateful for a whole host of things in our neighbourhood – its people and animals, park space and the proximity to the Arboretum, walkability and sense of community. It was a day that truly made us all feel appreciative to be part of such a warm and vibrant neighbourhood.
Not surprisingly, the first question on everyone’s mind was when are we going to do this again? Buoyed by the success of this event, we’re already scheming our next one – stay tuned for an upcoming event as we make up for lost time and help our community get re-acquainted after spending most of the last two years in some form of isolation.
Sue Stefko is president of the Glebe Annex Community Association.