Projects: Increasing Community Resilience

Strong social networks in communities have multiple benefits, including improved resident well-being and greater climate change resilience

By prioritizing the nurturing of local champions and building capacity, SNAP has helped to develop stronger social networks and increased community resilience in the County Court neighbourhood.

County Court SNAP residents participate in community event

Community Resilience and the County Court Neighbourhood Association

Early in the SNAP action planning process, residents expressed a strong interest in participating in local events, meeting their neighbours, and building a stronger sense of connection to the neighbourhood.

This common interest in “creating a sense of community” guided the overall Action Plan direction and became the central theme for the County Court SNAP and all of its projects.

Facilitating deep community engagement and creating opportunities for neighbours to work together and take on leadership roles have been key aspects of this SNAP.

In the beginning, monthly coffee nights were set up based on residents’ interests. Topics ranged from emergency preparedness tips to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.

Group numbers grew steadily month to month. In 2017, with SNAP’s help, this interested group of residents formed a registered neighbourhood association: the County Court Neighbourhood Association (CCNA).

The members of CCNA have become influential community representatives and advocates, supporting a strong and ever-growing social network within the community.

County Court SNAP Neighbourhood Association members participate in event to promote community resilience
County Court SNAP Neighbourhood Association members participate in event to promote community resilience

CCNA’s many programs and initiatives include:

  • Hosting tree planting and gardening events
  • Hosting park clean-ups
  • Organizing the annual neighbourhood festival
  • Organizing Movie Night in the Park with the City
  • Bringing an outdoor skating rink to neighbourhood during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Hosting resident meetings with City councilors
  • Participating in City planning initiatives
the many County Court Neighbourhood Association initiatives include hosting an annual community festival
The many County Court Neighbourhood Association initiatives include hosting an annual community festival.

You can hear CCNA representatives speak to our shared initiatives in this 2019 SNAP video:

Other Community Resilience Initiatives

Community resilience has also been supported through Climate Ready County Court, the Neighbourhood Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan created in 2019.

Local residents and stakeholders were engaged in creative activities to imagine possible future climate scenarios, identify local actions to reduce those impacts, and work together to strengthen local capacity.

In addition to strategies for built and natural infrastructure, the Climate Ready County Court initiative supports emergency preparedness through stronger local networks, local awareness of climate-related issues, and education.

Local resident skills-building and sharing also supports community resilience, and enhances the ability to help one another.

As part of the SNAP, volunteer residents hosted HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team) parties, at which experts or skilled residents demonstrated do-it-yourself home energy retrofits, enabling neighbours to undertake these actions at their own homes.

County Court SNAP residents watch a demonstration of a do-it-yourself home energy retrofit
County Court SNAP neighbourhood residents observe a home energy retrofit demonstration at a HEET party.

To learn more about Community Resilience in County Court, please contact:
Courtney den Elzen, Coordinator
(416) 669-2329 | courtney.denelzen@trca.ca