I have lived in Dartmouth for about 30 of my 37 years on this planet, and my roots here are deep and multi-generational. My Grandparent’s house was in Woodlawn, and my Mom went to Prince Andrew as a teenager. I grew up in Cole Harbour and when it was time to settle down with my family, it had to be on this side of the harbour. D-Side has always been home.
I’ve had the great fortune of experiencing many Dartmouth communities as a resident and community member. North Dartmouth, where my kids were babies, Eastern Passage, where I owned a second-hand book and toy store with my ex-husband, Lawrencetown where I spent two magical summers by the ocean, and Downtown Dartmouth, where I once owned another (weekend) bookstore, and, almost accidentally, got involved with the music scene.
My connection and love for the neighborhood led me to create the Downtown Dartmouth Facebook Page in 2011, for the purposes of promoting all the amazing things happening within the local business, arts and grassroots organizing communities. The page was set up to be participatory, with multiple administrators from different ages and backgrounds to ensure the page represented the incredible diversity that exists in the community. Since 2011, the number of page followers has grown to 982 (as of May 27, 2015), and has become an active bulletin board for local events and happenings, as well as a place to discuss community issues and development.
Over the past decade, I have witnessed this neighborhood grow and prosper through development, entrepreneurialism and creativity. Where other communities are struggling with the gentrifying effects that can come with revitalization, Dartmouth South is thriving and inclusively adapting to the changes it has seen. For the most part, these changes have been organic and community directed. The shopping district is a testament to local business collaboration; public consultations get high levels of engagement; local music, theatre, arts and crafts events are well promoted and attended; we have a community oven in a big and beautiful commons, a histioric canal, a harbourside park and walking trail, and geese who know how to use the crosswalk!
How can I not be proud to call Dartmouth my home?