Barrhaven Explorers

A Barrhaven community project, co-founded by Synapcity alumni.


27 February 2018

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Who said Barrhaven is boring?! Following our Barrhaven Civics Talks, Synapcity alumni Jessie Pierre, Natalie Appleyard, and Marissa Poisson started a new project: Barrhaven Explorers. 

How did the idea for Barrhaven Explorers come up?
It came from the Civics Talks discussions in Barrhaven. The original idea that came about from the group was to have a volunteer fair in Barrhaven, but then someone pointed out that not everyone wants to volunteer – maybe they just want somewhere to go. We built off that idea; [Marissa, Natalie] and I thought, there are a few cool places in Barrhaven, but no-one knows about them. We want to go to the Mom and Pop shops that are independently-owned, and be more inclusive.

How did you come to that?
As we were brainstorming, we came up with so many ideas, but decided to keep it low-maintenance for now – as simple as going to different types of cafe every month! Marissa or Natalie was talking about a pottery place in Barrhaven. Isn’t that cool?! I didn’t know about it! To be inclusive of people that aren’t mobile, we decided to have a carpool to whatever destination we’re going to. We decided to have a monthly activity, on a standard date: the second Wednesday of every month – and we can always change it later. We also thought of creating a Barrhaven Blog with an Eventbrite so everyone can see it. Then I sent a message to the group saying I can’t do the Eventbrite, time-wise. At the the Civics Talks, everyone says what they can give to the team – their promise and commitment. My promise was to coordinate the meetings. Any more than that, I don’t have the capacity, so again, we decided to keep it simple.

Your first meeting is on March 7th; where will you go?
PiRho, a Greek healthy restaurant in Barrhaven. It’s open invitation to everybody – the more the merrier! Even if random people are walking by and get curious, and they want to join, that’s cool too!

So why did you want to do this, Jessie?
Barrhaven gets a bad rap for being boring – myself included, I used to give it a bad rap. I actually moved, so I’m not in Barrhaven anymore, but I want to continue with Barrhaven Explorers. In the past, I always had to leave Barrhaven to do anything fun. I want to make it fun for people that are living there, make it so it’s more inclusive of people that aren’t a young family, showing that Barrhaven can be for everybody.

What advice do you have for other CityMakers who want to start their own initiative?
Start small. My original idea was, “I’ll have a festival!”, and all this kind of stuff, but it’s too overwhelming. Little, simple things to start is the way to go, and just build from that – and then things can change.

Join the Barrhaven Explorers on March 7th at PiRho. For more information, follow #BarrhavenExplorers on social media, and to join them, e-mail us at