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Upgrades to Central Promenade

The promenade through Waterloo Park

The central promenade represents the main spine for pedestrian and cycling traffic through Waterloo Park and will operate parallel to the Region of Waterloo's Light Rail Transit (LRT) corridor.The promenade received a number of improvements including installation of uniform hard surfaces, greater trail width, organized pedestrian and cycling with dedicated trails for cyclists and a multi-use trail for pedestrians with appropriate signage and trail markings along the route within Waterloo Park. The project also saw the replacement of trail lighting and a new tree canopy lost due to construction and to address impacts of the LRT (such as aligning existing trail connections across the LRT corridor with new, automated crossings.) The central promenade was completed late summer, 2018 with a grand opening on Sept. 6, 2018. 

The Central Street entranceway and the new twinned bridge at the promenade were made possible thanks to the generosity of TD Bank, through the TD Common Ground Project. For Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, TD revitalized over 150 green community spaces across the country. In addition, the city received grant funding from the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure program.The central promenade bridge over Silver Lake was twinned to provide a safer separate route for cyclists and pedestrians and Waterloo Park's Central Street entryway is now a more welcoming pedestrian-friendly entrance to the park. There is also  a lookout over Silver Lake that provides an opportunity for small scale events and gatherings and a gathering place will be created at the Central Street entrance.

Central Promenade Location Map

Public engagement

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.

On May 16, 2017 an informal public information centre was held where residents could learn more about the changes planned for Waterloo Park and speak with the project managers involved in the above initiatives.

When: May 16, 2017 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Where: Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb St. W., Waterloo

For more information about upgrades in Waterloo Park, please e-mail

Public information centre - March 23, 2017

The city is seeking input on the preliminary design layout plans prepared to date. Work includes:

  • segregated multi-use and cycling trails that run along the east side of the LRT corridor for a significant portion of the trail through Waterloo Park;
  • potential inclusion of nodes where community-scale programming may be located:
  • twinning a second bridge across the Laurel Creek, near Silver Lake, beside the existing bridge; and
  • developing gateway features to draw visitors to the park.

An open house was held on March 23 to build upon the information provided at the previous public sessions held in 2016 (see below) and incorporate additional feedback and work completed since that time. Information provided included the proposed design, construction schedule and various project details.

Public information centre - Oct. 27, 2016

On Oct. 27, 2016, the City of Waterloo hosted a drop-in public information centre to share the design layout plan for the upcoming modifications to the Central Street entry to Waterloo Park. Due to the impacts of the LRT corridor through Waterloo Park, the one-way vehicular route between Albert Street and Seagram Drive along Central Street has closed at the LRT corridor. The interim route, which runs along the east side of the LRT corridor on the laurel/Trans Canada Trail, requires vehicles to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. The modifications to the Central Street access will separate vehicular and non-vehicular traffic and by closing the through connection, the vehicular traffic through the park will be significantly reduced. Currently, a pilot project is in place to study the ramifications of limiting access along the interior loop in Waterloo Park between Young Street and Central Street to pedestrians, cyclists and service vehicles only, removing public vehicle access.

July 18, 2016 council meeting

On July 18, 2016, council approved the functional design concept of the Central Promenade improvements through Waterloo Park. The design consultant, MBTW Group, prepared a design brief for the overall project. This design brief details the recommended concept for improvements to the Central Promenade trail area and includes preliminary visioning ideas that will be explored during the upcoming detail design phase with an exercise exploring the relation of the trail to the abutting activity areas, which may be looked at separately in the future. Additionally, recommendations were approved of the functional design of the Central Street entry to Waterloo Park and for initiation of a pilot project to close the lane in the park that routes between Young Street and Central Street to vehicular traffic.

Documents provided to council included:

Public information centre - May 3, 2016

A second public information session was held  on May 3, 2016 to gain meaningful feedback on design concepts developed since the first information centre. This information centre was also an opportunity to provide general information on the project. For residents not able to attend this information session, an online forum was available through Engage Waterloo (former Open City Hall) between Tuesday, May 3 and Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Materials presented at the information centre include:

Public information centre - March 2, 2016

On March 2, 2016, we held a drop-in public information centre where we gathered input from residents into the functional design of the central promenade. For residents not able to attend this information session, an online forum was available until March 16, 2016 through Open City Hall. Materials presented at the public information centre include:

The March 2 information centre was the first of two sessions related to this project. The purpose of the first meeting was to develop the goals and objectives of the project and to discuss opportunities and challenges for the project. This information centre was also an opportunity to provide general information on the project. Feedback received from this session will drive the concept for the design. The second information centre (date and location to be determined) will be held in order to gain input on design concept(s) developed since the first information centre.