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Uptown Public Realm Strategy

Waterloo public square

Reinventing our public spaces in uptown Waterloo

The City has initiated a study to develop an uptown public realm strategy and we'd love for you to be involved!  Working with Stantec's Urban Places group, the city will be looking at the spaces between the buildings in uptown - streets, parks and other areas - to consider how we can find opportunities for new spaces or to improve existing spaces. We want to make sure that as uptown evolves, we have a clear strategy for the spaces between the buildings, so that people who are working, living, learning and playing in uptown will have great places to walk, ride, play, meet and rest.

What are the key steps in this study process?

Phase 1 (complete): Prepare existing conditions and opportunities report and vision statement (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Overview: This phase of the study examined uptown's existing public realm, including City-owned parks and spaces, connections such as streets and trails and privately-owned spaces that are publicly accessible. We looked at opportunities and challenges with the current system and how they affect usage of the spaces. The process incorporated a number of opportunities to follow along or to become involved, including stakeholder workshops, stakeholder charette and a public forum. For more information, including a video of evening's forum visit the Stantec website.

Phase 1 Outcome: On April 9 2018, council received a background report prepared by Stantec's Urban Places Group entitled Uptown Public Realm Strategy Background Document: Assets, Opportunities and Vision Statement. This background document is to be used to inform the preparation of the uptown public realm strategy (Phase 2 of the study) and includes:

  • Parts 1 - 5 (Introduction, Engage, Vision, Urban Form, Heritage) and
  • Parts 6 - 9 (Connectivity, Parks and Open Spaces, Arts and Culture, Next Steps)

Phase 2 (Underway): Prepare the Uptown Public Realm Strategy (Spring 2018 - Early 2019)

Building on the background document completed in Phase 1, the new Uptown Public Realm Strategy will include plans, strategies and area-specific initiatives to guide the transformation of uptown's public spaces. When completed, the document will set the framework and provide direction for achieving an improved public realm that leverages both private and public investment.

September 24, 2018 - A draft Uptown Public Realm Strategy was presented to City of Waterloo Council to initiate the consultation process with stakeholders and the community. Staff report IPPW2018-060 provides an overview summary of the draft Strategy and also includes a draft guideline related POPS (Privately Owned Publicly Accessible Spaces) for review and consideration as a key implementation item going forward.

Please note: The City of Waterloo strives to make all of its services accessible to all, including this website. Some of the documents on this page were prepared by a third-party consultant and may be inaccessible in their current format. If you would like any of these documents in an alternate format, please contact Janice Mitchell at (519) 747-8546.

We would appreciate your feedback

Please consider submitting written comments to the contact below. 

Contact Us

For more information or if you wish to be placed on a mailing list for future updates, please contact or call 519 747-8546.