Building A Happy City May Be Easier Than You Think

Do you live in a city? Do you reflect on how it makes you feel? I do. I’m actually doing my PhD in cognitive neuroscience examining that exact topic. I chose to spend 5 years in grad school exploring this issue because of my frontline work as a mental health occupational therapist. Occupational therapists look … Continue reading Building A Happy City May Be Easier Than You Think

Moving Meditation: How Riding A Bike Can Keep You Grounded

I’ve been trying to meditate more. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a necessity. I think too much. Partly because my PhD requires it. But, a lot of my “thinking” is actually just worrying. Often about things I can do nothing about. It’s always been this way for me. I’ve learned to “cope” with … Continue reading Moving Meditation: How Riding A Bike Can Keep You Grounded

Aiming for Bare Minimum: Why Cycletrack Networks Are the Only Way Forward

This past January, I finished my first year on the City of Kitchener's Cycling and Trails Advisory Committee. And I was considering quitting. Like many volunteers on city committees everywhere, I had a full plate of other responsibilities and commitments. Time was a precious commodity, and I was unsure as to whether my presence on … Continue reading Aiming for Bare Minimum: Why Cycletrack Networks Are the Only Way Forward

Put Yourself In Our Shoes: Using Empathy to Build Walkable Cities

About a year ago, I wrote a post about how urban design can impact a person's sense of dignity. The issue has been on my mind regularly since. I think about it every day, actually. My research involves understanding how people perceive urban environments. A study I wrapped up this semester examined how being in the presence … Continue reading Put Yourself In Our Shoes: Using Empathy to Build Walkable Cities

On Multiculturalism in Canada: It’s Time To Practice What We Preach

So, yesterday was pretty much a write off for me, as I suspect it was for many. Our neighbours to the south voted in a fascist for president, and the reality of what that truly meant was quickly setting in. I reflected about what this victory meant for women, people of colour, people with disabilities, Muslims, the LGBTQ … Continue reading On Multiculturalism in Canada: It’s Time To Practice What We Preach

OT and HNPP: Some Thoughts on the Value of Occupational Therapy

It's occupational therapy month and I've been trying to figure out what I should write my annual OT blog post about. I got the idea for the post this morning on my bus ride home from the grocery store. It came to me as I contemplated punting a cantaloupe that escaped a grocery bag while I tried exiting the bus … Continue reading OT and HNPP: Some Thoughts on the Value of Occupational Therapy

Learning from Burning Man: Lessons in cultivating community and building happy cities

I recently returned from the trip journey of a lifetime. I crossed off a bucket list item and went to Burning Man. It’s been a few days since my return and the dust has settled enough (both figuratively and literally) for me to gather my thoughts on what it was that I experienced on that … Continue reading Learning from Burning Man: Lessons in cultivating community and building happy cities

A personal account of mental health and the importance of place

  Almost exactly two years ago I launched #lightbrightyeg . The project was simple: using a $1000 microgrant from the Edmonton Awesome Foundation, I purchased 3 light therapy lamps to be placed in the Stanley Milner Public Library in downtown Edmonton. The idea came to me when I was looking at purchasing a light therapy lamp for myself. … Continue reading A personal account of mental health and the importance of place