City of Waterloo council summary April 22, 2024

Posted On Monday April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

** The council summary below provides a snapshot of the major items presented at Monday’s council meeting. The council meeting webcast is available on the City of Waterloo YouTube page. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

City of Waterloo has a strong foundation to target net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

As the first municipality in Waterloo Region to set a corporate target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, City of Waterloo staff shared some of the transformational changes and day-to-day successes on the way to achieving that goal.

The estimated corporate GHG emissions from the City of Waterloo for 2022 are 5,078 tCO2. This is a decrease of 5.8 per cent from 2021 and represents a 40 per cent decrease from the 2010 baseline. This is significant progress towards the corporate goal of 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and creates a strong foundation to pursue the goal to reach net-zero corporate emissions — the point at which the amount of greenhouse gas emitted is equal to the amount that is removed from the atmosphere — by 2050.

Read about some of the ways the City of Waterloo has successfully adjusted day-to-day operations to reduce our overall GHG emissions in our earlier news release.

Council approved updates to the City's Green Building Policy, a framework to build, retrofit, maintain and operate low-carbon City-owned buildings to align with Council's net-zero by 2050 target passed last fall. The policy follows low-carbon design principles and strategies aligning with the Canadian Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building standards and the Toronto Green Standard. Net-zero emission levels require high performance building enclosures, energy recovery, optimized operation, low carbon fuel sources (electricity) and renewable energy to offset facility energy and fuel use. The revised policy implements the GHG emission reduction targets, along with several other changes to support the targets and overall policy implementation.

Staff will develop and return to Council at a later date with a Corporate Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Strategy for City-owned buildings and properties, identifying suitable locations (rooftop and carport) for solar PV. Sites would be identified or made suitable aligning with capital renewal projects of existing assets, such as roofing projects for rooftop solar or parking lot re-paving for carport solar.  

Council approves application for new residential building including 14 affordable rental units

As part of the City’s commitment to advance housing, Council approved the application for a new residential building at 6 to 14 Dietz Avenue North. The plan is for a 12-storey building containing 135 units (with 220 bedrooms: 72 one-bedroom, 40 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom units). Fourteen of the units will be affordable rental units (as per the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation definition).

The development will also include 109 parking spaces and 82 bike parking spaces. This approval aligns with the City’s Complete Community strategic priority, advancing community vibrancy through strategic density and the provincial Housing Pledge commitment to plan for 16,000 new residential units by 2031.

Council approves minor housing and post-secondary amendments

City of Waterloo Council approved minor amendments to the City's Official Plan and Zoning by-law to streamline development approvals for new housing and post-secondary institutions. The amendments will permit:

  • Construction of 24 stacked townhouse units on Avondale Avenue North;
  • Increased height permission to facilitate upgrades by Wilfrid Laurier University to Laurier Stadium; and
  • The temporary use of the former Inn of Waterloo building for residence and academic purposes by Conestoga College.

Permitting the stacked townhomes on Avondale Avenue North will allow new housing to be constructed faster. This aligns with the City's housing pledge and will also allow for active transportation and public realm improvements along Avondale Avenue.

Allowing the height permission for new bleachers, scoreboard, safety netting and seasonal dome as part of the Laurier Stadium upgrade supports the replacement of the existing structures. These permissions will allow for seasonal use of the air-supported structure (air dome), which means the field can be used throughout the year.    

The interim use of the existing hotel building is an opportunity to efficiently use the former Inn of Waterloo lands until they are required for redevelopment while increasing the supply of housing for post-secondary students.


Media contact:

Cari Van Niekerk
Director, Corporate Communications