Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • August-September 2022 • Circulation 5000

The Van Booms: Family and Community

From left: Yana, Michael, Heather, and Jonas Van Boom. Paula E. Kirman

The Van Boom family moved to McCauley two and a half years ago when husband and father Mike became the Pastor at First Christian Reformed Church on Church Street. The family is also our newest Block Carriers, delivering the paper each month with the help of their housemate Miriam.

“We have always wanted to live inner city,” says wife and mom Heather. “We moved into the neighbourhood because it was close to Mike’s work, and given the choice again, we would still choose McCauley!”

Mike and Heather have two small children: daughter Yana and son Jonas. The family enjoys meeting their neighbours, and finds that very easy to do here. “Most people park on the street and go for walks a lot,” says Mike. “That means we run into each other naturally all the time.  There are a number of young families on our block that get together for life-sharing stuff, and we find that wonderful. Our kids have friends their age across the street or alley in three different directions!”

“I also love the walkability,” adds Heather. “Work, school, grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants, and now even a pharmacy – all within walking distance. I often tell my friends who live in the ‘burbs, if we’re caught in a snow storm we have no worries because we can WALK down the street and get more milk or pick up a prescription or whatever. Caboto Park is also a huge benefit to the neighbourhood. It’s a great place to take the kids and to meet other families.  Last but not least, the people! I love the people of McCauley, their diversity and their openness to each other. It’s not like the neighbourhoods where people live within feet of the next person’s house, but they don’t want to interact with each other too much. I’ve found that most people want to be part of each other’s lives.”

Heather and Miriam do most of the newspaper deliveries. “We decided to volunteer because we figured it was a good way to meet neighbours, and we also wanted to support BMC News, because it’s such an important part of our community.”

Taking part in their community is obviously very important for this young family. Mike served for a while on the community league and is now the chair of the Crime Council, about which he writes updates for the paper. Heather is on the McCauley revitalization committee and is block captain for the Community League’s Block-to Block Initiative and is part of Mother Teresa School’s Parent Council. When they aren’t volunteering, the Van Booms enjoy hanging out at the park or with neighbours, playing card and board games, and spending time outdoors. Their children have been involved in the Community League’s Soccer and Dance programs. 

They look forward to meeting even more of their fellow McCauley-ites in the near future. If you see me in my yard or around the park, stop and introduce yourself,” says Heather. “I’d love to meet you!”

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