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Hiroki's Story: “This is a place for everyone”

When Hiroki and his family moved from Japan two years ago, navigating their new life in Canada was tough. They spent the first month looking for a place to live, and Hiroki searched for a job. 

They found their first home on Primrose Street, in Dartmouth North. Living only a block away, it wasn’t long before they found The North Grove.  

Hiroki’s first connection to community hub was through Child Development Coordinator, Maryann.  

"We were playing on the playground at The North Grove on the way home from school when we met Maryann,” he said. 

“She talked to us about the centre and all of the programs here, and she invited our daughter, Haru to participate in The North Grove’s summer camp.” 

Hiroki, his wife, Miku, and his daughter, Haru.

Hiroki and his wife Miku began attending the monthly Arts Night Out program for adults, and Haru, then age 6, attended The North Grove Art Club for kids.  

Attending programs offered them a space to meet people, and to practice speaking English. 

“They provided us with a place to communicate with other members of the community, and to just be ourselves in our neighbourhood.” 

Hiroki is grateful for the way that The North Grove welcomed his family and helped them integrate into the community. “As newcomers, we needed a place like this.” 

Last summer, Hiroki and his family decided to get more involved. 

“We were helped by The North Grove and the people in this community. My wife and I talked about how we could give something back, and we could do that by volunteering.”  

Together, the family took on the task of caring for the chickens on the community farm. 

The family was regularly onsite feeding, cleaning, changing water, and spending quality time with the chickens.  

“In return, we got lots and lots of eggs!” 

“I think it a was good first-hand experience for my daughter in which she learned about the food that we eat - which comes from farms." 

Hiroki and his family also use a garden plot and frequently meet other community members while watering and tending to their plants.  “We are able to connect with lots of people - people from a wide range of places,” said Hiroki.


“This place is really a place for everyone.” 

In October Hiroki joined The North Grove’s meal-prep volunteer team. He also works as a cook at Jukai Japanese and Thai and feels that working in the kitchen here is a nice complement to his work.  

“The volunteer program has definitely had a positive impact on my life as a whole.” 


Volunteers are the heart of The North Grove. Volunteers help to enhance and strengthen the programs we offer. Our volunteer program also helps individuals build their skills and confidence, as well as develop social connections and a sense of belonging in our community.


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