City of waterloo council summary, June 27, 2022

Posted On Monday June 27, 2022

** The council summary provides a snapshot of the major items presented at today's council meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.**

Council supports arts and culture recovering from pandemic
The pandemic presents challenges to every part of society, including the arts and culture sector. To provide some assistance in relief efforts, Council supported awarding $150,000 through its Culture Sector COVID Recovery Grant. The grant is one way the City is supporting local not-for-profit cultural organizations as they begin to reopen and recover from the pandemic. Receiving support are:

  • Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery $20,000
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony $20,000
  • actOUT! KW Children’s Drama Workshop $6,000
  • Button Factory Arts $15,000
  • Grand River New Horizons Music $2,000
  • Green Light Arts $20,000
  • Inter Arts Matrix $ 5,000
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra $18,000
  • Numus $10,000
  • Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound $10,000
  • Royal Medieval Faire $5,000
  • The New Quarterly Literary Society $5,000
  • Waterloo Busker Carnival Inc. $2,000
  • Waterloo Concert Band $12,000

Council endorses new parkland strategy
Council has approved a new Parkland Strategy that establishes a vision for the City’s park system for the next ten to fifteen years and provides strategic recommendations needed to achieve the vision. The strategy has been developed with significant community engagement and consultations with our internal and external partners, collaborators and agencies. Our existing parkland inventory was analyzed, a thorough parkland policy review was conducted, a sociodemographic analysis was prepared and extensive research was done to look at trends and community parkland needs. Staff will now develop the implementation strategy. Projects and initiatives that are identified and recommended as a result of this study, and have a budget impact, will be subject to further Council reporting and approval as required.

Council supports two affordable housing grant requests
Supporting affordable housing initiatives is a strategic priority of the City of Waterloo and in support of this strategic priority, Council has approved two affordable grant applications. Receiving support are:

  • Parkwood Mennonite Home Inc., for 730 New Hampshire Street. The total value of the financial support is $411,572, consisting of cash, waiving fees and in-kind support.
  • Region of Waterloo, for 555 Beechwood Drive. The total value of the financial support is $618,764, consisting of cash, waiving fees and in-kind support.

Generation Park Waterloo is the new name of west side employment lands
Generation Park Waterloo is the new name for the west side employment lands. Intended to reflect the strategic position of the park and rooted in sustainability principles, the new name and associated branding will guide the vision for future marketing and will inform the type of private development that is desired within the park. The vision for Generation Park is reflected in the many years of planning work that has gone into the park, the design vision communicated by the Urban Design Guidelines and the foundational sustainability standards that will be coming forward to Council in the early fall.

The 45 hectare city-owned lands represent one of the remaining vacant greenfield employment areas within the city. The west side employment lands are intended to provide opportunities for office, industrial and light industrial including advanced manufacturing, flexible employment space for technological and creative industries, research and development, automation, assembly and processing.

Council support regional micromobility plan
Consistent with its philosophy of encouraging active and alternative transportation, Council has approved the Region’s pilot micromobility implementation plan that will permit e-scooters on all multi-use trails, municipal roads of 50 km/h or less, and all municipal roads with boulevard multi-use paths and/or reserved bike lanes. Once a shared micromobility operator is selected, city staff would enter into an agreement with the Region to formalize their roles in relation to the shared micomobility program. The City by-law amendment is consistent with the Region’s Traffic and Parking bylaw amendment.

Popular city patio program extended
Council has unanimously approved the extension of its popular temporary patio and outdoor commercial retail program until December 31, 2023. Council first launched its Support Our Local Economic Recovery (SOLER) initiative in June 2020 to support local businesses and artisans during the pandemic and to foster economic development. SOLER complements the City’s Uptown Sidewalk Patio Program. However, it is not exclusive to patios. It is a flexible tool for establishing temporary land use planning permissions and is implemented through a nimble and versatile licensing program. More specifically, SOLER enables:

  • The temporary use of off-street parking areas, loading spaces and other spaces (including on-site open space areas) on private lands for any use permitted in the zoning applicable to such lands, subject to licence approval.
  • The temporary use of municipal lands for commercial purposes or cultural use, subject to licence approval.
  • The use of municipal lands for temporary signage to market and promote local businesses and artisans, subject to obtaining a permit.

Council approves land purchase to create another civic gathering space
Council has approved the acquisition of land at 17 William Street that will allow for the creation of a new civic common area. The land is being purchased for $2.2 million from Waterloo North Hydro and supports the City’s expansion of the original town square at King and William, which always included a new “civic green” open space at 17-23 William Street East.

Council approves creation of new multi-purpose loop
In support of its long-standing commitment to active transportation, Council has unanimously approved a project that will create a new multi-purpose loop.

The Laurel Creek Conservation Area is bound by Beaver Creek Road, Conservation Drive, Westmount Road, Bearinger Road and Laurelwood Drive with the new multiuse-path (MUP) loop allowing the City to host community walking and cycling events without the need to cross a road. In addition, the infrastructure will connect to the broader area network for daily use by both commuters and recreational users. The cost of the project is $109,000.

Council also approved spending close to $92,000 to light priority areas of the City’s trail system. Another $157,000 will go towards an intersection collision review and implementation project. The City collects collision data each year and this new project is a more formal, evidence-based decision-making process for identifying which intersections and road segments require improvements. This will be part of the road safety program that aligns with the principles of Vision Zero. A data-focused program will help Council and the Waterloo community better understand the nature, causes and injury outcomes of collisions, providing context for the design of strategies and interventions that reduce crashes and their adverse consequences. This road safety management process will assist staff in selecting the most appropriate actions and tools to address collisions and safety issues.

Council approves zoning bylaw for 70 King Street North
Council has approved a zoning bylaw amendment for 70 King Street North that will allow for the construction of a 25-storey, mixed-use building containing: 1,295 square metres of non-residential space, oriented to King Street, 243 residential units (366 bedrooms), primarily located within a tower, oriented to Regina Street, a private rooftop amenity area, 172 vehicle parking spaces and 146 bike parking spaces.


Media contact:
Tony Iavarone
Director, Corporate Communications