Recently my family from Vancouver visited me in St. Albert for the first time. This is a family in love with Vancouver, but they were quickly impressed with our little city. They were impressed with the beauty of the city and how well it’s maintained. They were impressed that despite not being a big city, there were lots of things to do and see. They were impressed when I pointed out various cultural and historic buildings and talked about our long unique history, going back to the times our land was used by early Aboriginal peoples to eventually becoming a Catholic mission settlement. Most of all, they were impressed by the friendliness of St. Albertans. The fact that random people will smile and say hello as you walk by on the street or in stores was quite a fresh feeling for them. This was also something I felt immediately when I first moved here a few years ago.
I want to share this story because I often hear and read negative stories from some St. Albertans, such as how things are mismanaged here, how we spend too much, or how our city is worse off than others and can be made better. I appreciate that people care about their city, but I personally have loved living in St. Albert and everything it has to offer.
While there’s almost always room for improvement, we shouldn’t lose sight of how great things are here. Often we compare ourselves to those few above who have it better and fail to realize that there are actually many more beneath who would love to be in our position. This is where the views of outsiders come in handy, particularly from those who have lived in other countries, to remind us that we do have it pretty good here.
Coming from a person who moved to St. Albert from a big city out east, I sometimes find it hard to read all the complaints about our city when I know from my experiences elsewhere that St. Albert has so much greatness.
Vino Vipulanantharajah, St. Albert