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Silver Lake

A man and child walking by a lake

Update - environmental assessment addendum for Silver Lake


A Silver Lake and Laurel Creek environmental assessment (EA) addendum is currently underway and expected to be complete by late fall 2018. The scope of the EA is to determine a preferred rehabilitation option for Silver Lake and Laurel Creek within Waterloo Park taking into account flood control, hydraulic capacity, operations, maintenance, water quality, aquatic habitat, aesthetics, public input, safety, social, heritage, cultural and recreational uses. Currently, surface water discharge creates poor water quality and sediment conditions in Silver Lake and contributes to the instability of Laurel Creek. Stream restoration is required to improve water conveyance in the park, while maintaining attention to the flooding limits, natural aesthetics of the park, cultural landscape elements, and the short and long-term implementation concepts. The study will identify and evaluate alternatives for enhancing and protecting the ecological function and natural features within the park, ensuring that Silver Lake and Laurel Creek continue to be key attractions in the city. Once the EA is complete, work will begin on a detailed design and construction plan. Construction is anticipated to take place in 2019/2020.

Join us for the public information centre #3

Public information centre #3 is being held to present the results of the detail evaluation process and the identified recommended solution. Alternative solutions to rehabilitate Silver Lake and Laurel Creek and the evaluation process were presented at public information centre #2 in December, 2017. Members of the public are invited to learn more about the recommended solution, ask questions and provide input prior to confirming the final solution. City staff and members of the consultants' teams from Stantec and CH2M HILL will be available to answer questions and to receive input and comments from interested members of the community. Details of the information centre are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, Room 200 (Lion's Room), 101 Father David Bauer Dr., Waterloo  

Map of Silver Lake and Laurel Creek rehabilitation study area.

Past public engagement

Public information session - December 12, 2017 

On Dec. 12, 2017 a second public information centre was held to present:

  • information on the existing conditions of Silver Lake and Laurel Creek,
  • a list of potential alternative solutions, and
  • the process that will be used to evaluate the alternatives in order to determine the preferred solution.

The following presentation materials were available at this public information centre:

Please note: The above documents are not accessible in their current format. If you require this document in an alternative format please contact the project manager indicated at the top of this page.

For interested individuals not able to attend this public information centre, feedback was welcomed through the city's online forum engageWaterloo before Dec. 22, 2017.

Please note: The results of the evaluation process and the recommended solutions will be presented at public information session #3, planned for the Spring of 2018.

Public information centre - June 22, 2017

In order to provide further information on the Class EA process, background information on the assignment and to receive input from the community, the city held a public information centre on June 22. The following documents and presentation materials were available at this centre: 

The above documents are not accessible in their current format. If you require these documents in an alternative format please contact the project manager indicated on this page or call TTY 1-866-786-3941.

Public information centre - May 16, 2017

A number of initiatives are taking place in Waterloo Park including:

  • upgrades to the Central Street entranceway to the park;
  • trail improvements to the central promenade (Laurel/Trans Canada Trail) that runs through the park and will operate parallel to the Region of Waterloo's light rail transit (LRT) corridor;
  • the transfer of programming from two existing ball diamonds (1 and 2) in Waterloo Park in order to  provide space for a proposed festival area in the heart of the park;
  • the beginning of an environmental assessment addendum to address issues with Silver Lake and Laurel Creek within the park; and
  • the beginning of a park strategy to develop a vision for our park systems throughout Waterloo.

An informal public information centre was held where residents were invited to drop in to learn more about the changes planned for Waterloo Park and speak with the project managers involved in the above initiatives.

Share your feedback

Public and agency consultation is a key component of the Class EA process. If you wish to be placed on the mailing list to receive notices and information, or if you wish to provide comments at any time during the Class EA process, you can do so, by contacting:

Steve Brown, MBA, P.Eng.

Project manager


100-300 Hagey Boulevard

Waterloo, ON  N2L 0A4

Jessica Kellerman, P.Eng.

Project manager, water resources

Engineering Services, Design and Construction

City of Waterloo

100 Regina St. S.

Waterloo, ON  N2J 4A8

519-886-1550, ext. 78243

For more information about Waterloo Park and improvements taking place, please e-mail

Please note that comments will be maintained for reference throughout the project and will become part of the public record. Under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Environmental Assessment Act, any personal information such as name, address and telephone number included in a submission will become part of the public record unless the comments specifically request that such personal details not be included in the public record.

More information about Silver Lake

Silver Lake provides a scenic urban-lake setting in the core of the City of Waterloo. It has been environmentally rehabilitated and enhanced with recreational opportunities.

Take a calming walk on the boardwalk or enjoy watching waterfowl and a variety of aquatic plants from the gazebos. Please do not feed the ducks, swans and geese - it leads to a number of issues, including sickness and disease, overpopulation and pollution, among others.

Abraham Erb - Waterloo's first settler - built Silver Lake as a water source for his grist mill. The original mill, which was built in 1816, was an important economic and social centre, and encouraged settlement in the area.

In the late 1800s, Silver Lake was used to harvest ice for refrigeration, with 8,000 to 10,000 tons of ice blocks cut in an average year. The ice storehouse was on the south side of the lake where the Perimeter Institute stands today. A replica of the original grist mill is nearby, and is now a popular location for weddings and events.