Ainsley Thurgood/Photo Assistant

Remember that you aren’t the only ones who live here though

By: Derek Elliott, Contributor

Every September, the areas of Ainslie Wood and Westdale welcome a new group of McMaster University students who are eager to participate in university life and enjoy living in the area. Truth be told, there really is a lot to enjoy. You will find as you settle into the area that it is a great place to live. It’s very walkable and very convenient, close to Cootes Paradise, with parks and playgrounds, miles of cycling trails nearby, the recently renovated Westdale Theatre, lots of bars and restaurants and of course all the facilities that the university has to offer. You can even hop on a quick bus or train to Toronto, but Westdale has everything one would need.

For those of us who live in this area, the presence of McMaster students adds a spark of life that it otherwise just wouldn’t have. We really do hope you enjoy the few years that you will be living among us.

As a long-time Westdale resident myself, there are a few things I’d ask you to keep in mind.

Please be aware of those around you. Westdale and Ainslie Wood houses not just students, but many families and elderly folks live in the area. Some folks have very young children and some are commuters who have to get up early to travel for work. 

Have a good time and enjoy yourself but remember that you need to keep the noise down, especially after 11:00 p.m. Unfortunately the mix of large numbers of young, energetic people, alcohol and/or other stimulants can result in otherwise decent responsible people acting in irresponsible ways. This can make things challenging for the more “permanent” residents of the areas surrounding campus.

In the age of cell phones and social media, a small gathering of friends can quickly get out of control. It happens at least once a year around here.  If you’re renting a house and it happens to you, don’t be afraid to call the police for help. If you don’t, be assured that somebody else will and you’ll get the blame for the loud party.

Along the same lines, residents take pride in keeping our yards clean and tidy. It’s part of what makes the neighbourhood a pleasant one to live in. If you’re renting, please keep your yard in a reasonable state — free from garbage and overgrown weeds. When it snows, the sooner you shovel your sidewalk, the easier it is to do. You may be lucky enough to live next door to someone who has a snow blower. Many of us who do just keep going down the sidewalk when we’ve finished our own. In Hamilton the temperature fluctuations cause freezing and thawing which can lead to really dangerous conditions on sidewalks. If someone is injured, the signatory in your house could be held legally liable.

Consider this — if your parents or guardians were living in this neighbourhood, how would you behave? I know you’re here for a good time, but please respect those of us who are here for a long time.

Welcome to the neighbourhood and by following these suggestions, we can all live together safely, comfortably and happily.

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