After a cross-Canada move, this Edmonton resident finally found where she belongs

Oct 1 2021, 6:00 pm

Living through a pandemic has led Canadians nationwide to realize the impact that our homes and surrounding communities can have on our lives.

In 2019, when Edmonton resident Maddy Mann moved to the city from Fredericton, New Brunswick, it was what she describes as an “extremely new and intimidating” experience. However, when she began working full-time at the Chappelle Gardens Residents Association, she says, “I instantly felt like I belonged.”

Over the past two years in her role as program and event coordinator for the association, she tells Daily Hive she has made many friends in her new community. “I am so thankful for the relationship I have made with residents and for the feeling of being a part of an amazing community.”

Mann’s favourite part of working at the Chappelle Gardens Residents Association and interacting with residents is “getting to know everyone so well.”

Of this past year, in particular, she speaks to the reopening of the Social House facility operated by the association, which was closed for a period during the pandemic. “My favourite memory of this past year was when we reopened. We made it through a tough time, but we got through it as a community.”

Chapelle Gardens won the Best Growing Community in Canada Award during the 2021 Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) National Awards for Housing Excellence competition. And, already this year, Mann says 15,000 residents and guests have come through the Social House doors, with the highest-number months being May and July. “Our numbers this year are double what they were in 2020 for the same months.”

Since the Social House reopened, Mann notes that her team has received great feedback from residents. “Our residents are extremely thankful that the Social House is a clean and safe space for them to spend time with family and friends. They appreciate our hourly sanitizing rounds.”

Mann tells us she has noticed a change in how residents and their guests use the facility since the pandemic hit. “Our residents use our outdoor amenities a lot more than our indoor. A lot of our programming has been held outdoors as well,” she says. “Upon arrival, we give them [residents and their guests] the option to come into the building or go through our outdoor gate.”

Residents still had the opportunity to develop meaningful social connections with their neighbours when the Social House was closed. “We continued to have online clubs, programs, and events,” says Mann.

“The whole time we were shut down, we had such great support from our community, which made things feel like they were going to be okay. The fact that we were a place of security for people’s families during these hard times is a great feeling,” she adds.

Recently, Chappelle Gardens Residents Association added a basketball program to its offerings as many of the children in the community “love playing basketball.” Mann notes, “It has been great, and we have heard great feedback.” And to switch things up as fall approaches, they have launched a GirlLife program and a guitar/singing lessons program.

“We are extremely excited for GirlLife as it is a program to empower young girls and help them find their voice,” Mann explains. “We are always open to suggestions on different programs we can bring into the RA [Residents Association].”

Chappelle Gardens Residents Association has the ability to provide programs like this because it’s part of a community brought to life by Brookfield Residential. The developer invests in community infrastructure to give residents dedicated spaces where they can feel inspired to lead healthier lives through being active, connecting with others, and gaining a sense of pride in their community.

Before Brookfield Residential starts building a new community, the developer’s team of architects, engineers, and planners work together to consider the factors that contribute to a better quality of life for future residents.

Seven key principles are adhered to by the developer when designing a healthy community: active living, energized shared spaces, access to healthy foods, all ages and abilities, unique character and public art, preserving significant environmental features, and residents associations.

When Brookfield Residential carried out livability research, personal well-being emerged as one of the highest-ranked indicators in terms of overall satisfaction. As such, a designated residents association can inspire homeowners and bring people together, engaging the community to heighten the quality of life for those who call the area home.

During our conversation, Mann describes how Chappelle Gardens Residents Association has helped maintain a sense of community during these times. “Our residents have definitely made the pandemic so much more bearable,” she shares. “They bring a sense of normal in a time of restrictions and everything being so up in the air.”

It’s also worth noting that Chappelle Gardens continues to grow as a community, which means there are plenty of new stages and lots to build your dream home upon.

To learn more about Brookfield Residential’s communities in Edmonton, including Chappelle Gardens, The Orchards, Edgemont, and Paisley, visit ThisIsBrookfield.ca.  

Daily Hive

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