Westboro residents mark year of showing thanks to front-line workers

·2 min read
A child bangs a pot on Tweedsmuir Avenue in Ottawa's Westboro neighbourhood to show thanks for front-line workers. It's something the street's residents have done every day for the past year. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)
A child bangs a pot on Tweedsmuir Avenue in Ottawa's Westboro neighbourhood to show thanks for front-line workers. It's something the street's residents have done every day for the past year. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)

The residents of one Westboro street were creating quite a racket last week, though it's something they've done every day for the past year.

Every day at 7 p.m., Tweedsmuir Avenue residents have stepped out to the ends of their driveways with pots and pans, drums and other musical instruments in hand, making noise to show their support for the COVID-19 pandemic's front-line workers.

On Tuesday, families celebrated one full year of showing thanks, and weren't shy about making it known.

"The health-care workers who have been ... under the pressure, under the strain, I think that when they see things like this, they take a little bit of consolation," said resident David Chow.

People have come out to show their gratitude every day, Chow said, no matter what the conditions.

David Chow said the daily act of showing thanks to front-line workers is something that helped him when times were tough.
David Chow said the daily act of showing thanks to front-line workers is something that helped him when times were tough.(Andrew Lee/CBC)

"I think the worst day actually may have been last week, with some of the rain we had. It was damp. It was cold. It was wet," said Josette Vaillancourt, another Tweedsmuir Avenue resident.

"But people bundled up and came out just the same. It hasn't mattered what the weather was, there have been people out every night."

Vaillancourt believes the daily commitment has fostered a stronger sense of community. Tweedsmuir Avenue residents have also gathered donations for the nearby respite centre, as well as for a local family shelter.

And while the cacophony is meant to show appreciation for front-line workers, Chow said it's also raised his own spirits when times were tough.

"I'm really proud of the community effort," he said. "I think that neighbours build neighbourhoods, and neighbourhoods build communities. And I'm really proud to be part of this."