No matter where you live in St. Catharines or throughout Niagara, neighbours are a part of life.

Condo, townhouse, apartment, duplex, single family dwelling – the only situation where you may not have neighbours close by is in rural areas. You’ll still have them though, you may just not be able to see them!

Our McGarr Realty team of experts knows that finding a good neighbourhood for your family is extremely important. We put a lot of effort into locating the perfect home that meets your needs, whether it’s a townhome, condo, or single-dwelling home… rest assured, we’re looking at the best prospects.

We want to make sure your family and your new neighbourhood are a good “fit.”

Our McGarr Realty team knows that as the new kids on the block, it may be difficult to find your fit. Everybody wants good neighbours; the easiest way to get them, we figure, is to BE one.

Our team members have a few suggestions for breaking the ice, and fitting into your new home’s surroundings. Some of these are little things, and some take a little more effort. All, however, can help you and your family settle into your new home comfortably:

  • Be approachable on moving day. Encourage contact with your neighbours, who are likely curious about who purchased the home. It’s a busy day, but make time to stop and chat.
  • Take a walk outside every day, and just say hello to the folks you meet. If you have children with you, exchange names and greetings. If there are dogs, ask if it’s possible to pet them, and try to remember their names for next time you meet.
  • Do you have your own dog? Walking your pet every day makes it very easy to meet others. Showing neighbours your pet has good manners, and that you carry pet waste bags, will help you fall easily into the “good neighbour” category.
  • Got bad weather and elderly neighbours? Offer to take out and bring in their garbage bins. If they put them out, just bring them in as a nice surprise.
  • When that freebie paper gets delivered with all those flyers, bring your neighbour’s up to their door, so it doesn’t get buried in snow (or wet, or blow away, etc.).
  • For your neighbours who don’t have snowblowers, a pass down the bottom of their driveway to clear the blockage the snowplow left behind is always welcome, as is clearing the sidewalks in front of their home. If you have teenagers, asking them to shovel snow for elderly neighbours may generate grumbling, but the elderly neighbours will sure appreciate the help!
  • Do you bake on a regular basis? For neighbours who don’t bake, sometimes a small tin of home-baked cookies is a welcome surprise.
  • During the summer, weeding the fence line on your side can keep weeds from spreading into a neighbour’s yard. It’s a little thing, but is always appreciated.
  • If you have a large tree in your yard that sheds leaves and debris, keeping it raked away so it doesn’t blow into your neighbour’s garden can also be much appreciated.
  • In extreme weather such as heat or cold, make it a point to check on neighbours regularly, especially if they are elderly. Sometimes, a quick chat over a cup of tea can do a neighbour a world of good, particularly if the weather is keeping them inside.
  • If you are having an open house after moving in, inviting the neighbours is a sure sign of your friendliness. They may just stop in because they are curious about you, but that’s your opportunity to make a new friend.
  • If you’ve moved into a townhome or a condo, where neighbours are literally just a wall away, keeping the noise level down, especially if you have children, will be appreciated by your neighbours. It tells them you are considerate of others peace and quiet.

Fostering good relationships with your neighbours isn’t always easy. Sometimes, if they are very private people, there won’t be much you can do, except say “hello” from time to time. That’s OK! It lets people know you are approachable and friendly.

For more tips on living side-by-side with strangers in a condo or townhome situation, check out the good neighbour tips on Apartment Guide

The Washington Post also recently ran an article with tips on “neighbour etiquette.” Read it HERE.

Canada’s very own, where you can access multiple listings both nationally and locally, has a section with blogs and informative articles covering diverse topics, many devoted to living in unique neighbourhoods. Check them out, HERE.

Being a good neighbour can be as simple as minding your own business, but being friendly and accessible – and helpful – as the need arises is important, too. Participating in neighbourhood events, like seasonal decorating or Canada Day barbecue and fireworks, lets others know you are a family that fits in.

It all starts with breaking the ice, by just saying “hello!”

Then, you’re well on your way to becoming the good neighbour you always wanted to have.


Are you thinking about jumping into the upcoming frenzy of the spring real estate market in St. Catharines and Niagara? Our McGarr Realty team of experts is happy to answer any questions you might have. Give our office a call at 905-468-9229 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, or 905-687-9229 in St. Catharines. Alternatively, send us a message via the contact page on our website, HERE.

The Latest