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Columbia Street East/Lexington Road

The City of Waterloo initiated a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Study, Schedule "C" in 2010 for the Columbia Street/Lexington Road corridor. The study limits for the project are from King Street North to Davenport Road (as indicated in red on the diagram below). The study is intended to identify alternatives to address transportation needs within the corridor. This project looks at short, medium and long-term alternatives for improved traffic movement and improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

Map showing the Columbia Street and Lexington Road corridor

Construction update - September, 2017

With completion of the Class Environmental Assessment, the city has initiated construction of a short-term plan, which will see a dedicated two-way cycling route across the Highway 85 bridge. This route will connect cyclists east of the expressway to the off-road Forwell Creek Trail system, a major City of Waterloo active transportation route. This short-term plan is required until the city can budget for a long-term plan which requires road widening, on-street bicycle lanes and upgrades to the underground infrastructure such as storm and sanitary pipes.

Residents are being circulated the attached notice. This short term plan is being co-ordinated with other construction works on the east side of the city and should take about three weeks to complete weather depending. Some important resurfacing work was undertaken recently.

The short-term plan includes the following:

  • 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; and
  • a separated two-way cycling route on the north side of the road between Davenport Road and Holbeach Crescent.

Plans are being developed to improve Davenport/Lexington Road intersection. 

Public engagement

Environmental study report completed and filed

The Environmental Study Report (ESR) was completed and filed with the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change and a notice of completion was circulated to affected residents and key stakeholders. The final ESR and associated appendices can be viewed below. There was a mandatory 30-day review period required under the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process. During this final public review period, if concerns regarding the project cannot be resolved in discussion with the City of Waterloo, a person or party may request that the Minister of the Environment make an order for the project to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act (referred to as a Part II Order), which addresses individual environmental assessments. Requests for a Part II Order were to be received by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change 77 Wellesley Street West Toronto, ON M7A 2T5, at the address below no later than May 2, 2017.

Draft environmental study report to city council

Since the third public information centre, the project team were working toward completion of this Municipal Class Environmental Assessment to finalize solutions and recommendations and to address the transportation needs along this strategically important east-west corridor.

On Dec. 12, 2016, the draft Environmental Study Report (ESR), with preferred roadway design was presented to council, making recommendations for the Columbia Street/Lexington Road corridor. A notice was circulated about this meeting.

Staff's goal is to implement the short-term solution in the spring/summer of 2017 and to establish the long-term solution within the ten-year capital program.

The draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) documents are provided below. The City of Waterloo has received a request for additional information from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport. The report information below should be considered draft until any potential concerns are addressed with the Ministry. 

Please note: The City of Waterloo strives to make all of its services accessible to all, including this website. The following appendices and other 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 Phil Hewitson, Manager, Active Transportation & LRT, by telephone at 519-747-8660.

Public information centre #3

On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, a public information centre was held at the Mennonite Brethren Church, 245 Lexington Road, in order to share technically preferred alternatives for the Columbia Street/Lexington Road corridor and to seek comments from the public. At this drop-in session, the following were presented:

Public information centre #2

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, a second public information centre was held at the Waterloo Service Centre, 265 Lexington Court, to solicit public input and comments on the alternative design concepts, as well as the evaluation of the alternative design concepts. The preferred preliminary design was also shared with the community.

Information report to council

  • May 29, 2012 Report to Council - based on information received and results from the public information centres, staff completed a report that was presented to council. At this council meeting, council requested further technical information prior to proceeding with the project.

Public information centre #1

A notice of the study's commencement was published in the Waterloo Chronicle on April 20, 2011 and April 27, 2011. This notice was also mailed to all addresses (residents and businesses) within the study area. On Thursday, April 28, 2011, a public information centre was held at the Waterloo Service Centre, 265 Lexington Court, in order to provide background information on the study, including the alternative solutions being considered.

For more information

Any parties who wish to comment or would like more information about this class environmental assessment should contact either:

Mr. Chris Hodgson, P. Eng.
Senior Project Engineer, City of Waterloo
100 Regina Street South, P.O. Box 337
Waterloo, Ontario  N2J 4A8


Tara Erwin, P.Eng., M.A. Sc.
Project manager, HDR Inc.
100 York Boulevard, Suite 300
Richmond Hill, Ontario  L4B 1J8