How well do you know your own home town?

(NC) You might think you know your town like the back of your hand. But if you go for a walk or a drive in your neighbourhood, you might be stunned by a new shop or a landmark that you didn’t notice before. Whether you’re planning a staycation or just need a new family activity, there’s no better time to learn more about where you live.

Here are some fun ways to explore your hometown on a new level:

Create a photo scavenger hunt
Perfect for a family get together. Write out a list of things to photograph around town and then hit the streets and get snapping. Items can be as specific as local landmarks and as general as squirrels or colours. The first to find everything on the list wins a prize. Try printing the best photos or creating your own social media hashtag to share your discoveries and have an easy way to look back on the day.

Visit local shops
Another great way to play a tourist in your own backyard is to discover new finds while supporting local businesses. Try every local restaurant in your town or in a specific neighbourhood over a period of several months. Or, decide to only buy from local stores during a specific time frame. Cross off local shops from ‘best of’ lists to make your own definitive list and share with family and friends. When you support local, it’s a great way to discover character, hidden gems and the people of your home town.

Explore local history
From haunted alleyways to sacred monuments, every town has its own unique story to tell. You can reach out to your local library or search online to gain some historical insights. To get the most out of what you learn, discuss it with family, friends or online. Free resources like census data can also give a unique portrait of your community’s population, and how it has evolved over time. Check out the latest data visualization tools for this information, including easy to understand maps, graphs and trends for your area. What do your family and friends think about it? If your town began full of young families but is now primarily retirees, what drove the change? You might be surprised by what you uncover.

Find more information and start your search at statcan.gc.ca/census.

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