Meet the Neighbour: Brooke

This blog post first appeared on the Element Urban Village blog.

The community at Element Urban Village continues to grow! For the third instalment of "Meet the Neighbours," we want to introduce you to Brooke, a young lawyer who is working hard and playing harder. Welcome Brooke!

Where are you from originally, what do you do, and what brings you to Saskatoon and Riversdale in particular?

I grew up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, near the US border. I moved to Saskatoon after high school to continue my education at the University of Saskatchewan. Although I have obtained two degrees and am working full time, I continue to stay involved at the University by coaching a moot team at the College of Law and enrolling in a class here and there.

It is difficult to pinpoint one specific quality, amenity, or characteristic that has drawn me to Riversdale; it is the sum of its parts that generate its vibrancy and elicit such a profound response from within myself. Aside from the impeccable views, proximity to my favourite shops and restaurants, and the beautiful walk along River Landing which takes me right into downtown, Riversdale has a unique and valuable vibe that can’t be replicated by strategic urban planning or the implementation of trendy businesses because the foundation of Riversdale is its people, their hearts, and their varied backgrounds.

Virtually every aspect of Riversdale worked in concert to draw me in like an industrial strength magnet.

What drew you to Element Urban Village as your new home?

The location and design quite honestly cannot be beat.

My front yard is Saskatoon’s nicest park, bordered by the river. I am walking distance from the majority of my favourite shops and restaurants. My drive to work is only long enough for one and a half Taylor Swift songs.  Further, being that my home is in the heart of the city, it is surrounded by people who are often on their way to do something fun whether that be going for a run in the park, getting ice cream from Fable, swimming at the Riversdale pool, heading to the skate park, or on their way to meet family or friends for dinner on 20th. The location of my home allows for an incredibly positive and infectious energy that is truly tangible.

As for design, my home is both aesthetically on point and functionally sound. I love the divergence from the interiors we have grown accustomed to in Canada with the removal of unnecessary design elements (say it with me: “crown moulding”). Minimalism is consistently evident in the design of my home and it creates a freeing and relaxing atmosphere that I crave by the end of the work day. The materials used throughout my home work in conjunction to produce a raw feel that is complimented and softened by the abundance of sunlight that pours in through the oversized windows. Importantly, the pleasing aesthetic is underpinned by a layout that is practical and efficient at every level.

The understated beauty and quality of my home cannot be overstated.

What are your favourite things about the new urban lifestyle you’ve adopted in Riversdale? What are some of your favourite things to do in the neighbourhood?

The time I have reclaimed by not having to drive so far to get to work, the University, or my favourite places for recreation, has meaningfully increased my standard of living. Prior to living in Riversdale, I spent as much time in the neighbourhood as I could to be where I wanted to be and do the things I wanted to do. However, the 20 minute drive and paid parking sometimes acted as a deterrent to spending my time the way I wanted. Now that I live where what used to be my destination, I spend far more of my time doing the things that make me feel refreshed and joyful.

I love walking through the neighbourhood whether it is down at River Landing, up on 20th, or anywhere in between. I believe that we are strongly influenced by our surroundings so it has always been important to me to place myself where I can learn, grow, and cultivate positive characteristics. Riversdale has an air of bravery, creativity, progressive vision, and togetherness wafting through it that I strive to absorb by being out in the neighbourhood as much as possible.

How important is the connection to Victoria Park/River Landing/the river, and the rest of the city to you?

Being so close to the river and the park has been the biggest blessing. I eat my breakfast every morning in my kitchen while taking in the view of the river.  Being surrounded by nature is my daily reminder that I, and the challenges I encounter, am just a small part of something much bigger.

Being able to eat the above mentioned humble pie and be so conveniently close to downtown is undeniably amazing. I get the best of all worlds.

What about the special people in your life? Any family/friends/partners/pets that you’re excited to share your new home with or have over to visit?

I love being surrounded by friends and family and providing a place for those people to visit, stay, chat, cry, laugh, or do whatever they may need. I try to make my home a hub where everyone feels welcome and I have encouraged my friends and family to come and enjoy my home any chance they have. As such, I more often than not have a house guest (or two or three) which in turn absolutely fills my heart.

The love of my life also shares my love for my home. While he doesn’t live here now, it is certainly where we see ourselves in the future. Judging by the amount of his clothes in the closet along with the television subscriptions to Sportsnet and TSN, it appears as though he has slowly begun the move in process already. In addition, he and I are really excited to diversify our little family this spring when we bring home a puppy (who may already have a name and a very cute collar).

Thanks for your excellently written responses, Brooke! We're happy to have you at the Village.