If you haven't seen Part 1 of this blog yet, check it out right here!
This is an approach to making new friends that can be rewarding and worthwhile. Living in the same city is something you’ll have in common with 747, 545 people (2016 census). No matter your age or background, every citizen cares about the city in one way or another and this is a great way to relate to all types of people and to make social connections.
An obvious place to start here is with the Hamilton subreddit. This is a good place to find out about events, organize meetups, and a lot more. Speaking of meetups, there is activity in the Hamilton section of meetup.com that might want to keep an eye on.
There are many Facebook groups dedicated to Hamilton, but they can be a little hit or miss, so here are a few suggestions. BUDZ Trading Zone Hamilton is a place that's primarily for trading things but that is also useful for arranging meet ups, clothing swaps, recipe clubs and getting advice on any number of topics. An offshoot of the Trading Zone is the BUDZ Friending Zone Facebook group. As the title suggests this is a group dedicated to making friends in Hamilton. There are many other Hamilton focused Facebook groups of varying quality that you can research if you’re interested. Hamiltonians are pretty active on Twitter, too. Check out #HamOnt to join the conversation.
A great connection to the political scene in Hamilton is Raise The Hammer. This is a long-running blog that keeps people informed about City Hall developments, citizen efforts, and a lot more. This blog is a great way to stay informed and to find other like-minded people to connect with.
Community Engagement IRL
A tried and true way of making friends is through volunteering and community involvement. There are as many opportunities to volunteer, as there are interests and skill sets. Find something you're good at and like to do and then search around for a volunteer opportunity that matches that. Can't find a group? Why not create your own and start a positive movement. A good place to start is Volunteer Hamilton. If you’d prefer to stick to like minded people within the McMaster community, start with OPIRG McMaster.
Consider joining the ‘100 in a Day’ movement on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 by participating in a community based activity. Think of something powerful that you can accomplish and join a large group of motivated people in making a positive change. There is a lot of information about this here. Register and learn more here.
Another way to engage with the community, particularly in the summer, is through community gardening. There are many community gardens located across Hamilton and they are a great way to meet new people. Some gardens donate the food grown to food banks, while others are there for personal gardening. There is usually a small cost associated with this and some gardens are popular and have waiting lists for spots. If you want to spend more time out doors, learn new skills, and make friends of all ages - community gardening can't be beat. Find a list of gardens and more information at the Hamilton Community Garden Network.
Whether it is online or in real life, getting involved in the community in which you live is a positive thing. It will enrich your life in many ways and one of the benefits you may find is a growing social circle.
Stay tuned for Part Three!