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Upgrades to Central Promenade

The City of Waterloo has completed the preliminary functional design of the central promenade (the section of the Laurel/Trans Canada Trail that runs through Waterloo Park). This 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.

Update -  May, 2018 construction and trail closure 

On May 14 and 15 the new twinned bridge will be constructed and then lowered into place using giant cranes. A viewing area will be arranged for residents and their families interested in watching the bridge being put together or dropped into place on Tuesday, May 15. The central promenade is expected to be completed and ready for use early in July.

Most trail areas around the work area on May 14 and 15 will be closed so crews can set up the crane and perform the work safely. Please see the map below (which is subject to change) for trail open and closed conditions during the bridge work the week of May 7.

Detour map of the central promenade


In late July, 2017, work began to prepare the site for construction, including the pruning of vegetation and removal of some existing hydro poles along the trail.

Below is a map detailing the construction zone.

central promenade map indicating construction zone

Background - detailed design and construction

The City of Waterloo and their consultant, Stantec, are in the detailed design stage of the work needed to begin construction of the central promenade. Given the current high volume of trail use by pedestrians and cyclists and anticipation that travel along this corridor will increase once the LRT is operational, this project will provide a number of enhancements to accommodate visitor safety and comfort.

The project will also replace existing trail lighting, replace the tree canopy lost through construction and address impacts of the LRT (such as aligning existing trail connections across the LRT corridor with new, automated crossings.) The initial phase of construction of the Central Promenade will include anticipated minor modifications to the existing farmstead area (for example, relocation of fencing) to accommodate trail installation.

Thanks to the generous support from TD Bank Group, through the TD Common Ground Project, the central promenade bridge over Silver Lake will be twinned to provide a safer separate route for cyclists and pedestrians and Waterloo Park's Central Street entryway will become a more welcoming pedestrian-friendly entrance to the park. There will also be a lookout over silver lake that will provide 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.