Studies

City staff conduct studies to produce research on important topics. Findings are presented to the public and council for consideration.

Columbia Street East/Lexington Road

In December 2016, the City of Waterloo completed a environmental assessment (EA) study for the Columbia Street/Lexington Road corridor between Davenport Road and King Street North. View a map for more detail.

The study included extensive public engagement as required by the EA process. The final report recommended transportation planning solutions for the short and long term.

The short term planning solution was implemented in fall 2017. The Lexington Road and Davenport Road intersection is currently being studied to develop a layout that will best align with the recent changes. Other features included:

  • asphalt surface of roadway between Marsland Drive and Davenport Road
  • traffic turn lanes at Lexington Court and Dearborn Boulevard (east leg)
  • removal of a westbound traffic lane to make space for an active transportation route over the highway
  • a separated two-way cycling route on the north side of the road between Davenport Road and Holbeach Crescent

The long term planning solution will address increased traffic volumes expected from continual growth in the north-east of the city. The goal is to establish the long-term solution within the ten-year capital program. Anticipated features include:

  • wider road to accommodate on-street bicycle lanes and multi-use-trail
  • turn lanes at required intersections to reduce delay and improve safety
  • two through lanes in each direction on Columbia Street between King and Weber streets
  • turning restriction from Regina Street North to Columbia Street to right-in/right-out only movements (no left turns from Columbia to Regina)
  • two through lanes per direction plus a centre two-way left turn lane between the former Manulife west driveway and Marsland Drive
  • raised median between Marsland Drive and Dearborn Boulevard (East)
  • one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes between Davenport Road and Dearborn Boulevard (East)
Supporting documents (PDFs)

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8791, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or christopher.hodgson@waterloo.ca 

Columbia Street West

In December 2013 council approved an environmental assessment (EA) study for widening and reconstructing Columbia Street West between Erbsville and Fischer-Hallman roads. View a map for more detail. The study included extensive public engagement as required by the EA process.

The project originally planned to have a bridge crossing Clair Creek, but changed to a culvert once bids came back over budget. Further public engagement followed. See addendum information below.

As of September 2018 surface asphalt has been placed, which completes the road portion of the work. Landscaping will be ongoing along the boulevard and within the wetland area.

Supporting documents (PDF)

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8741, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or francis.reyes@waterloo.ca

Cultural Heritage Landscapes Study

Background

A Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) is an area of heritage significance that has been modified by human activities and is valued by a community. It involves groupings of heritage resources, such as buildings, structures, natural features or landforms that tell a story about where we come from and who we are. An important characteristic of CHLs is the value of their combined features is greater or distinct from the value of their component parts.

CHLs can include a wide range of landscapes, including gardens, parks, main streets, neighbourhoods, cemeteries, farmsteads, trailways and industrial complexes. In some cases, natural landforms and features are the primary focus of a CHL. In other cases, built features may play a more important role in defining the landscape.

Study process and expected outcomes

We're developing an inventory of significant CHLs. The inventory will not provide automatic protection of CHLs or their component cultural heritage resources or attributes. Rather, the inventory will identify significant CHLs that are important to the community and that should be the focus for future planning studies and initiatives. 

Future planning studies will include more detailed assessments of each CHL and recommended actions to promote, enhance or conserve each CHL. Final plans or actions would involve additional public consultation and require council approval.

Recommended actions could include enhancement of a CHL through signage and streetscaping initiatives, incentives to encourage conservation, management of change through area specific design guidelines, zoning or site plan control and protection through designation of an individual property or heritage conservation district.

Updates

In April 2019, we presented a draft list of 27 landscapes to city council. Visit Engage Waterloo to review the areas and comment on their heritage value to you.

Comment on proposed heritage landscapes

Supporting documents (PDFs)

If you would like project documentation provided in a different format, contact 519-747-6068, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941, or michelle.lee@waterloo.ca

Electric scooter pilot

The purpose of this pilot is to evaluate electric scooter use within a defined pilot area. It will run in fall 2018 and again from April 1 to September 30, 2019.

The route is confined along the Laurel Trail between Waterloo Park Promenade to the south, and extends along to the David Johnston Research + Technology Park district and Factory Square Campus.

The pilot route is shown on these two maps and is subject to change during the pilot:

Additional route signage will be posted during the pilot project to remind users to dismount at intersections. Electric scooters are not yet defined under the Provincial Highway Traffic Act and therefore only allowed on private property and limited other locations. 

This pilot may be used towards local and provincial reforms to support greater use of alternate transportation means. 

Supporting documents

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact our economic development division at 519-747-8707, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941, or ecdev@waterloo.ca

Erbsville South Planning Study 

This study aims to set land use options in an area in the northwest corner of Waterloo, near the corner of Erbsville and Wideman roads. View a map for more detail. Through the study, a 'block plan' will be created. 

As background to the block plan, an environmental study was completed. It confirmed natural features and functions, identified areas to be protected and recommended development setbacks and mitigation measures. It was endorsed by council in June 2018.

Public consultation regarding the block plan will be taking place as the study continues.

Supporting documents (PDFs)
Block plan
Environmental study
Environmental study appendices

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8518, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or ric.martins@waterloo.ca 

Floodplain Mapping Study

The floodplain mapping for part of Laurel Creek and Clair Creek is being updated. A floodplain is the area near a creek or river that may be subject to flooding. Floodplains are modelled and mapped by engineers using detailed calculations, including how much water comes off the landscape (hydrology) and how water moves across the landscape (hydraulics).View a map to see the study area.

It is being conducted in partnership with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and Stantec. Floodplains are regulated by GRCA based on flood standards set by the province. For the area being updated in this project, the standard is the 1954 Hurricane Hazel storm event - a 1:500 to a 1:1000 year storm. This goes beyond the standards of the National Floodplain Mapping Framework, which recommends a 1:350 year storm as a minimum.

The floodplain was originally mapped in the 1980s and later designated as a special policy area where the province, city and GRCA have relaxed flood-proofing and technical requirements to accept a higher level of risk. Specific policies are in place that set out what development can happen.

Updating the floodplain mapping is the first phase of the project. The second phase will involve reviewing the special policy area boundary and policies. The results may impact what development can take place in the floodplain and may result in changes to the city's Official Plan and the GRCA's regulated area mapping of Ontario Regulation 150/06 made under the Conservation Authorities Act.

Supporting documents (PDFs)

If you have questions about this project or want to be notified of updates, contact the project manager at 519-741-8531, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or floodplain@waterloo.ca

Lake Louise Boulevard Traffic Study

In 2006, the City of Waterloo completed a neighbourhood traffic study for the Lake Louise Boulevard corridor between Conservation Drive and Westmount Road. The study included an extensive public engagement process consistent with similar projects at the time. The final report recommended traffic calming measures on Lake Louise Boulevard.

The planning solution included traffic circles, painted on-road bicycle lanes and adjustment to on-road parking. Budget constraints and changing priorities delayed implementing the approved planning solution.

In May 2014, a public information centre was held to advise that the plan would finally be implemented. Given concerns raised by some members of the community, bike lanes and adjustments to parking were implemented permanently, while the traffic circles were implemented on a trial basis. 

Traffic was monitored to see how effective temporary circles were. View a map of the results. Following the trials, staff recommended implementing the original plan with some additional measures. The final plan was approved by council and implemented in 2017.

Traffic monitoring was conducted in 2018 to determine what impact the calming plan had on speeds. Information to date is provided in the table below.

 

 

2015

2018

Site 

Location

Speed

Average volume

Speed*

Average volume

1 Sandbanks/Inverhuron 50.5 km/h 2500 52.4 km/h 2365
2 Sandbanks/Coldstream 57.2 km/h 1660 52.2 km/h  968
3 Coldstream/Rockpoint 59.2 km/h 1517 52.5 km/h 1118 
4 Glacier/Sandbanks 57.0 km/h 1163 52.3 km/h 1274
5 Waterton/Pinery 65.7 km/h 886 51.8 km/h 807
6 Pinery/Kelso 54.8 km/h 838 52.1 km/h 755

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8791, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or christopher.hodgson@waterloo.ca 

Maple Hill Creek Study

This study aims to rehabilitate, preserve and manage the creek through bank stabilization, removing barriers to fish passage from Clair and Laurel Creek and incorporating a more natural channel form.

In early 2018 an environmental assessment (EA) was completed for the Maple Hill Creek area. View a map for more detail. The study included extensive public engagement as required by the EA process.

Supporting documents (PDFs)
Environmental assessment
Appendices

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-725-0511, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or jessica.kellerman@waterloo.ca

Northdale Neighbourhood Study

Northdale is located between Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, in an area bounded by University Avenue West, Phillip Street, Columbia Street West and King Street North. View a map for more detail.

Over the past 25 years, the area has seen permanent residents replaced by a student population and rental housing.

The goal of the Northdale study is to revitalize the area into a vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood. The city's study was completed in 2012 and later received a grant to participate in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge.

The city and IBM studies created the need for further work, including a streetscape master plan and environmental assessment. There is also a tax increment grant program that encourages green and sustainable development in the area.

Supporting documents (PDFs)

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-886-1550 x 78248, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or mike.lupsa@waterloo.ca

Recreation Facility Development Study

This study began in 2016 and has two parts: one considering the addition to the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex (WMRC) and another considering a new older adult centre at WMRC to replace the Adult Recreation Centre (ARC) and Wing 404 Adult Centre.

The study has awarded consulting services to the Parkin Architects Limited. Following an initial round of public consultation the design concept includes three key components:

  • a new 'civic front'

  • a central fitness area in the repurposed Hauser Haus

  • a two-floor community pavilion (new older adult centre)

There will be further public consultation once the project moves to its next stage. Staff will return to council in 2019 for approval to move ahead with construction. This is estimated to take about 24 months, which would allow the expansion to open in the spring or summer of 2021.

Sale of ARC

The ARC was sold in June 2018 to Perimeter Development Corporation for $4.285 million. Terms of the sale include a relocation of the seniors services programs to the new older adults recreations centre. Proceeds of the sales will help fund the WMRC expansion. Wing 404 is not currently for sale. A disposition process for this property will take place at a later time.

Supporting documents (PDFs)

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-886-2310 x 30225, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or kevin.vanooteghem@waterloo.ca

Silver Lake and Laurel Creek Rehabilitation

In 2018 a study was completed in Waterloo Park on Silver Lake (east study area) and Laurel Creek (west study area) to determine a preferred rehabilitation option. View a map for more detail.

It looked at flood control, water quality, maintenance, aquatic habitat, public input, safety, heritage, cultural and recreational uses.

The preferred option is to dredge and reconfigure the lake to improve circulation and water quality. This may include changing the shoreline and depth of the lake, applying sediment management and water quality improvements through a forebay. Laurel Creek may also see spot repairs.

Work on a detailed design and construction plan is now taking place with construction anticipated to take place in 2019 and 2020.

Engagement

We are currently collecting feedback on the proposed water play area that will replace Lions Lagoon splashpad

Visit Engage Waterloo topic

Supporting documents (PDFs)

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-725-0511, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or jessica.kellerman@waterloo.ca

University Avenue Gateway Study

The City of Waterloo in partnership with the Region of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, and Conestoga College is undertaking a study to develop a vision and design plan for University Avenue.

University Avenue is the primary gateway and access to the city's and region's learning, innovation, discovery and entrepreneurial centre. The goal of the study is to create a design plan for public areas that can be implemented over time to create a unique streetscape for University Avenue from Highway 85 to Westmount Road. View a map for more detail on the study area.

There is ongoing public consultation on the university gateway website.

If you have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8518, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or ric.martins@waterloo.ca 

Uptown West Neighbourhood Transportation Study

Completed in 2014 following extensive public consultation, the purpose of this study was to preserve neighbourhood streets against potential traffic infiltration and safety issues due to growth, while recognizing the city’s strategic plans and approved policies on transportation.

Supporting documents (PDFs)
Study
Appendices

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8791, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or christopher.hodgson@waterloo.ca 

Water and Sanitary Sewer Rate Review

A review of the water and sanitary sewer rate structure was completed in 2016. The study developed a long-term financial plan for the water and wastewater system and reviewed rate options. Council approved the staff recommendation of maintaining the current rate structure and directed staff to submit the financial plan to the province in support of the city's drinking water licence.

Supporting documents (PDF)

West Waterloo Transportation Study

This project, known as an 'integrated multi-modal transportation study' (IMMTS) evaluates the effects of increased development on transportation in the west end of Waterloo. View a map for more detail on the study area, which may extend into the City of Kitchener and Township of Wilmot.

The study provides recommendations on:

  • transportation network improvements to respond to growth

  • how to expand and connect active transportation and transit in the study area

Public engagement

The city hosted an open house in March 2015, and public information centres in April 2017 and June 2018.

Supporting documents

If you require documents in an alternate format or have questions about this project, contact the project manager at 519-747-8660, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or philip.hewitson@waterloo.ca