And The Winner Is...

This year’s Discover Argyle Passport program is over and the draw was held to determine who the winners of the six prizes were.

The six lucky Argyle discoverers are:

Diya Patel- iPad Mini

Issa Densky- $100 Masonville Gift Card

Lori MacDougall- $50 Birdies Nest Gift Card

Ann Marie Mayos-$50 Staples Gift Card

Hannah Ottley- 2 East Park All Day Passes

Skylar Lavoie- Libro Gift Package

Congratulations to all of our winners, it pays to go out and Discover Argyle! Thanks again to everyone who participated and made this summer so amazing!

"We Discovered Argyle" - Participants Perspective

Note from Moe: The following blog was written by Leonor DaCosta about her and her son Owen's experience this summer discovering Argyle. They participated in our Passport to Argyle program, and wanted to share their perspective on the experience. Thank you Leonor and Owen!   

We discovered Argyle this summer!

It's funny how one can live in an area for years and still discover new
spaces, places and events.  My son, Owen and I enjoyed visiting the
Human Society where we got to visit the animals.  He was thrilled with
his free cookie at Lynne's Bakery and mom was happy with the fresh bread
and pastries...yum.   We drove on Veteran's Memorial searching for words
that lead to a discussion with my young son regarding bravery and
sacrifice.  I took him to the Gore Cairn Cemetery which both intrigued
him and was "kinda of spooky". We participated in the Reforest event at
Kiwanis Park where Owen helped Meagan and Joe with weeding and mulching
around new trees and got to hold a praying mantis in his hand.  Mom got
to shop at Birdies' Nest and sample some gluten-free snacks at Ruby's
Pantry.  We both enjoyed the adventure but most of all, Owen discovered
a sense of pride in Argyle even in a simple thing as knowing he helped a
tree grow.  

Leonor and Owen 

  

Owen showing off his Passport! 

Owen showing off his Passport! 

Our Summer in Argyle

When we first embarked on our mission to bring Discover Argyle and Passport to Argyle to life, we had no idea what it would look like or how it would turn out. Based on the vision of an Argyle resident and the input of many others, including a resident steering committee, we knew we wanted to create something that brings to light the places, spaces and events that make Argyle so unique and so beautiful.

            As we went out into Argyle and began asking various businesses and organizations to participate, we were blown away with how welcoming everyone was and how eager they were to join. It wasn’t long until we had over 30 different events, places, and spaces to include in the Passport program! People from different ages and background participated in events with their passport. Argyle is definitely a very vibrant, diverse and active community.

            There was no shortage of reasons to come and spend a day in Argyle.

From some of the amazing events put on by Argyle residents like the Canada Day event or Art in the Park, to the wide variety of businesses like Lynn’s Deli, Ruby’s Pantry and Birdies Nest, there is a little something for everyone.

            Overall the Passport to Argyle was incredible experience. But there was one thing that made it -and hopefully for years to come will continue to make it so special- and it is the people of Argyle. Whether it be the business owners who know their customers by name, the people and organizations that put on so many of the events, or any of the residents who we met on the passport trail, we were always made to feel welcome. Even when we weren’t sure we were going to be able to pull it off, residents would always step up and save the day! We really got the sense that this is a community that looks after each other, they certainly looked after us!    

            Discover Argyle and the Passport to Argyle was the result of the combined effort and hard work of many people, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention six very special people:  George, Chantal, Eric, Celina, Akuku, and Murray, our six Argyle and area youth who were working hard in different events and activities. Whether they were keeping score at a lawn bowling tournament, setting up a play day at East Lions, or serving hotdogs at CES Fanshawe’s open house, they were the motor that made this whole summer run. Thanks you so much guys, without you this never would have been the success it was!

As we begin to look forward to next year, you can’t help but get excited about the prospects of this initiative continuing to grow. Considering how many stops we had this year, we can only imagine how many there will be next year! We really feel that this is something special and the thing makes this so special, and will continue to make it so special is that it is a program created by Argyle residents, for Argyle residents.

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There are so many people to say thank you too that it is beyond the scope of this blog. So for now we will just thanks to everyone who participated; all of our partners, all of the residents and anyone else who made this summer so special!

Yours in community,

            Moe

The Argyle Family Centre

The Family Centre

Walking into the Ontario Early Years Centre I felt a sense of warmth and calmness. The staff that was working with the kids were respectful and nice and have a great sense of humor. I interviewed Tosha, who currently works for the Argyle Family Centre.

If you want to learn more about The Family Centre – Argyle, check out the Q&A below!

Q: How long have you been in the Argyle Area?

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A: We have been engaging for 2 years, but the Family Centre has not yet been built.

Q: Why did you decide to set up shop in Argyle?

A: Argyle is 1 of 4 neighbourhoods that are establishing Family Centres and there is a list of criteria for every neighbouhood, including EDI (Early Development Instrument) scores, school space availability and the number of children, youth and families living in the area.

Q: Why did you decide to take part in the Passport Program?

A: To support residents in showcasing the amazing places and things in the Argyle Area.

Q: What does Argyle mean to you?

A: A great place to live, work, play and shop for all families.

Q: Can you tell me about the Family Centre?

A: The Family Centre is your connection to:

  • Parenting and early learning
  • Public Wellness
  • Early childhood education
  • Recreation, sports and leisure
  • Referral resources, information and awareness

Q: What's your mission?

A: Our mission is to create a Family centered service system, which means families are at the center of everything, we use a community development approach to achieve this.

Q: Where will The Family Centre Argyle be located?

A: The proposed location is attached to Lord Nelson Public School and construction should happen sometime next year!

Q: What do you think the outcome will be once it is finally built?

A: Families will be excited for a single door approach where they can go to one place to access all of the services, supports and opportunities for their childhood and youth.

Q: What's the most exciting thing that has happened?

A: Working with all the amazing community members in Argyle.

Be sure to watch out for the new Famliy Centre attached to Lord Nelson Public School coming in 2014!! 

Chantal Collins  

The East London Library

Library space is community place

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Walking into East London library, I felt that familiar welcoming feeling. It was clear that everyone is welcome there. There is definitely a strong sense of community at East London library. I interviewed Heather, supervisor for the East London Library and Donovan, Children's librarian for East London library. This is what they had to say about the library and the Argyle community.

Q: How long have you been in the Argyle area?

A: Heather- 6 years

A: Donovan- More than 10 years

Q: Why did you decide to set up shop in Argyle?

A: Heather- I was looking for an interesting neighbourhood to work in

A: Donovan- I started working here part time and loved it

Q: Why did you decide to take part in the Passport to Argyle program?

A: We are an important part of the community and currently have our own passport program going on.

Q: What does Argyle mean to you?

A: Heather- It's a home away from home. The people are like family

A: Donovan- Hardworking, decent people

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about East London library?

A: The library opened in 2005, it relocated from the plaza across the street. The building that is now the library used to be a white rose building. The YMCA is a joining partner with the library.

Q: What is your mission here at East London library?

A: To be a big part of the community and to develop and maintain literacy in the community.

Q: Do you hold any special events at the library?

A: Yes, regularly. August 14th is our next event. It'll be a carnival for our summer reading program.

Q: Do you find the Argyle community members engaged in the library?

A: Yes, the library is a very central place in the community. With all the programs we have at the library we see many members of the community.

Q: Do you stock books that are of particular interest to the Argyle community? (Ex: history of Argyle)

A: We stock local history books but, there is a group who meets here called Argyle memories and they are working on creating a history of Argyle book.

Q: Do you find the youth of the community use the library?

A; Yes, we see many youth here at the library.

To find out more about what the East london Public Library has to offer visit their website at  http://www.londonpubliclibrary.ca/locations/eastlondon#page=page-1 

 

Celina Lamont  

Marconi opportunities day

A Day of Information and Fun!  

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On July 24th, we helped out with the neighbourhood Opportunities Day in Marconi at the Talisman Centre. It was an absolutely beautiful day. We had a big turn out and everywhere you looked, everyone was having fun. Everyone was very happy and enjoying basketball and playing with the water toys. There was also a great playlist playing so that people could dance and just enjoy the music. There was a fantastic BBQ to boot! The Dynamic Dozen, who are a twelve person flash mob group, were there and they showed off their amazing dance moves. At the end of the event there was also  a fantastic Latin Dance demonstration. The environment itself was very laid back and relaxed. Overall, the event went awesome and it was a great time for everyone.

This is what the Events Crew has to say about their experiences:  

"It was a fun experience. I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to more events working with the Discover Argyle events crew!"  (Akuluel)

"Working with other communities  such as London Inter Community Center, Grounds play and Dynamic Dozen, was great encounter, I got to meet new people and learn about different neighborhoods around London." (George)

"It was a great time to play with the kids and show them some really neat stuff in their community. They had all their friends and family out and we had a great outcome, with all the water,  the kids were so excited to get everyone soaked. I would do it again in a heart beat." (Chantal)

" The event was a resounding success! The food was great, there were traditional Mexican dancers, The kids had a great time soaking each other and us poor events crew. I was more than happy to be involved in such an event and hope that the rest of Discover Argyle's events go this way!" (Murray)

"The kids were really energetic and had a lot of fun which rubbed off on everyone. It was a good day! The hot dogs were a great addition too!" (Eric) 

Thanks to the residents of Marconi for such an awesome afternoon. 

 

- Celina Lamont

A little Birdie told me about a great store in Argyle

My Experience In Birdie's Nest

When I walked into Birdie’s Nest the first thing I noticed was the welcoming atmosphere.  The store is so nice and the clerks are such great people that you can’t help but love the store. Not only is the staff great, but the selection of products is amazing, they have everything! From exotic jewelry to hand made furniture, they seriously do have everything.

Check out the Q&A below if you want to know more about Birdie’s Nest.

I interviewed Cindy, the manager of Birdie’s Nest, to see what she had to say about Birdie’s Nest and Discover Argyle.

Q: For people who don’t know what sort of products does your store carry?

A: We sell globally inspired gifts as well as home and garden décor, jewelry, and so much more!

Q: Is Birdies Nest directed at a certain audience? Or is it for everyone?

A: Birdies Nest is for everyone. All ages fit every style.

Q: Do your products make good gifts? Are they affordable?

A: They make great gifts as Birdie's Nest has won runner up in the giftware section of the London Free Press reader’s poll. That just shows what people already think about how good gifts are from Birdie’s Nest. They are affordable because all products come straight from the artisans; there is no middleman.

Q: Do you have any uplifting experiences in argyle?

A: The all around feel of Argyle is uplifting. It’s welcoming and has been so great to Birdie's Nest. Not only Argyle, but the entire city has welcomed Birdie's Nest’s a part of it. Residents and businesses are very encouraging and this has made Birdie's Nest feel very welcome in the community.

Q: How long have you been in the Argyle area?  

A: We opened here in London in November of 2008. This coming November will be our 5th Anniversary...and we WILL celebrate!

Q: Why did you decide to set up shop in Argyle?

A: We picked this area specifically for ease of access to the highway for our treasures to arrive and also to make it easy for our customers to get here from other locations in the city and out of town since we are a destination store! We liked the feel of the area and found a great plaza with over 7000 square feet of space for us to transform into our gorgeous store.

Q: Why did you decide to take part in the Passport to Argyle program?

A: We thought that the passport itself suited our store perfectly! I thought that it was a very creative way for our customers to get to know us and the area in which we love. 

Q: What does Argyle mean to you?        

A: Argyle is a great area full of community spirit and pride. The people that live here are loyal, passionate and caring. The business' here are resilient, adaptable and have a great outlook towards the future. 

Q: Can you tell us a little about Birdie's Nest?

A: Birdie's Nest originated in and is still a major highlight in Chatham. The items we sell are unique to us.  We have personally sourced them direct from hundreds of expert craftsmen from around the world, traveling to the mountains of Thailand, the rain forests of Indonesia and the family owned workshops of Mexico and beyond. 

Q: What is your mission here at Birdie's Nest?

A: Straight out of our manual.... we pride ourselves to be recognized for our superb customer service and strive to create an atmosphere filled with global inspirations to awaken all your senses. 

If this has made you interested about Birdie’s Nest try visiting it in Person! You won’t be disappointed.

Eric Best

Discovering Argyle

Almost everyone has a place that they consider their “spot”. It’s a place that makes you feel comfortable, engaged, and motivated. Sometimes it is a place that everyone knows about, other times it is a place you think everyone should know about. 

Our neighbourhoods are full of “spots”. While working with individuals and groups throughout the Argyle neighbourhood, it became apparent that there are many places that are important and special  to people in the community. It was clear to everyone that Argyle is a place that has a lot to offer. Now we want to get all Londoners out to experience this awesome neighbourhood in our City.  The resident group held numerous meetings, shared countless emails, groups have brainstormed and collaborated, and businesses have come up with great deals – all in an effort to create something to get people out to see the neighbourhood. Community efforts such as these are what make Argyle such a great place to be. 

Discover Argyle and the Passport to Argyle initiative are created through community input on what people should see and discover in the Argyle area. Our categories – Events, Places, and Spaces – show the different ways that you can get out and involved in the Argyle neighbourhood. Relax with the family on a Thursday night for Movies in Kiwanis Park, go to Lynn’s Deli and Bakery to get sandwiches and sweets for a picnic in any of the green spaces around the neighbourhood, or take a drive down Veteran’s Memorial Parkway to see how Londoners are paying tribute to our soldiers and beautifying our roads. Our hope is that by participating in Passport to Argyle and checking out "Discover Argyle",  you will consider the neighbourhood as one of your new spots in the city to visit. Many things on the Passport can be done in an afternoon or a weekend with friends and family, and you can win prizes by going out and having fun! 

Throughout the summer you can stay connected with what’s going on in many ways. Keep checking out this blog, check the events calendar for things to do each week, follow our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Looking forward to seeing you around Argyle!