DOWNT KITCHEN APRIL 2016
Co-Owner DNA Screening Inc.
Jodi works closely with promotional agencies on solving problems Restaurant Renaissance................................ 1 for clients, negotiating costs with garment distributors and uses her ................................... 6 the Downtown Gets Fresh. screenprinting experience to help community organizers get 8 Fuel Up........................................................... most out of their marketing. On working in a male-dominated industry: .......................... 6 When I first started working in this industry the tension was palpable. I was much sicker more often; it was because of the stress. There was an aggression back then that I was unaccustomed to. But woig in a strictly male environment hardened me. The sales reps The Bartesian ................................................ 16 had had been part of an old boys club for years. While print shops accepted valueApollo of women screen............................. printers, it took some18 time for Live the at the Cinema the reps to comeSync around. Kitchener - DIY TV ................................ 22
AGENTS OF CHANGE SUPER AWESOME FUN STUFF
Change is happening! It can be overwhelming and challenging or it can be an opportunity and a chance to shape the future. Positive change doesn’t just happen, it happens because people make it happen. They don’t wait for the downtown to change around them. Instead, they OWN IT. Collectively, they are shaping the landscape, the vibe, the culture and the spirit that makes Downtown Kitchener so awesome. Don’t just wait for change, be the change.
Any words of wisdom for women Choose Your Tap: of theAnext generation? Modern Pub Crawl ..................................... 24 Hold your own, control what you can control, follow your instincts Hitting Record ............................................... 28 and focus on being fair. There is no shame in asking for help but if you feel confident about your business decisions don’t question yourself, because you are probably always right (wink). Maintain a senseExploring of humour.What Makes DTK
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE:
.................................. 30 a Great Home for life Tech What’s been your biggest lesson so far? I made a close female friend in this industry, she worked with me ........................................... as a screen printer then opened her own shop. We shared 34 resources and updates on inks, suppliers, names of clients that don’t pay their bills - vital information for small business owners. She died Don’t forNot Croissants”. ..................... last year of Plan breastJust cancer. only do I miss her as a dear38 friend, I miss that female confidante in this industry. From this I have The Big-Hearted Emma Dines........................ 40 learned that no matter how strong and determined you are, More Than a Store......................................... 42your health will ultimately control story. I’ve learned that44 there are .................................. Helping at Street Level.your no replacements, so enjoy it while you have it. The clichés hold true here: enjoy life to its full potential (don’t spend it all working!) and if you are fortunate to have good health, nurture it.
ART & ARCHITECTURE
OWN IT is made possible by the generous contributions and efforts of the Downtown Kitchener BIA, the businesses of Downtown, all the people who let us tell their stories and the creative talent who helped tell them. Touch base with the BIA at downtownkitchener.ca
Building Context ............................................ Open Sesame ................................................ Carving the Next Chapter .............................. Sneek Peak ...................................................
48 50 52 56
DTK INSIDER’S GUIDE ........................ 57
RESTAURANT RENAISSANCE PROFILES: Aaron Clyne is executive chef at the Cambridge Hotel’s Bruce Restaurant and B @ THEMUSEUM. He’s been in the business for over ten years and attended Toronto’s George Brown College for his culinary training. Jeff Ward attended the Stratford Chefs School. He is executive chef at The Walper Hotel and TWH Social. (He says he’s stopped counting the years he’s been in the business.) Jonathan Gushue is the chef and co-proprietor of The Berlin, which recently opened. Gushue attended Georgian College for his hospitality and culinary training and has been in the industry for about 25 years.
On a snowy day in January, food writer Andrew Coppolino sat down with three of local chefs for a cup of coffee and some good conversation about life in Downtown Kitchener, in the kitchen, and some of their favourite things.
Why do you do this? Why cook? Why restaurants and the crazy long hours? Aaron Clyne: It’s been a dream of mine since I was eight years old. Not a lot of people are blessed in the sense that they know what they want to do. It called me. And I was dumb enough to stay in it ever since. Jeff Ward: I didn’t really have this longing to be a chef. I was in high school in my final years, and I wanted some money for Christmas. Friends of the family owned a restaurant in Cambridge – Graystones – and I started washing dishes. I was exposed to the real behind-the-scenes of the restaurant industry. It became a
passion at that point. Then a cook went on maternity leave and I was asked to take the open spot. I just fell in love with the whole idea of cooking – and cooking for people. Jonathan Gushue: I’d always worked in hotels. Much like Jeff, I started in the dish area and worked my way around the hotel. I got into hotel management and was going to Georgian College where we were being pushed by our instructors to get into The Four Seasons (Toronto), and the only job I could get was as a cook’s assistant. After a few months, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know you could enjoy work. That was like a revelation. I caught the bug, I guess.
So how does the food at your restaurants evolve from or generate out of that passion? Jeff: To me, just the name of the Walper, “TWH Social” said to me: friends and family gathering, talking and having fun. As for flavours, it’s about satisfying tastes. There are no boundaries for us when it comes to cultures or demographics. It’s whatever is fun and playful and full of good flavours. Aaron: We took a local approach. We have a lot of exceptional producers and farmers that are quite local and we just enjoy their product. There’s no real direction to our menu – except whatever we feel like playing with at the time. We might have African influences one day, Thai another. We take ingredients and play with them and have fun.
All three of these restaurants are relatively new, but The Berlin is the newest kid on the block. How does the food and menu manifest your passion for cooking and good ingredients? Jonathan: I would describe what we do as modern European. Simple food done well. I pull some influences from my time in Japan. From a flavour stand point, what I love about Japan is the very simple flavours, the crisp flavours. I spent time in England too where I really started to understand product. There’s great product and then there’s really great product.
What’s always in your fridge at home? Jonathan: Kimchi or sriracha. Some sort of salsa. It was interesting that we mentioned Africa because there’s a piri piri type sauce – I don’t know enough about the origin – in one of Marcus Samuelsson’s books with jalapeno, cilantro, basil, parsley, chives, capers, lemon. It almost becomes a salsa verde. I love making those kinds of chili sauces and things. I like making yogurt too. But now that I think about it – one thing I always have is rye starter. That causes me trouble: it takes up room in the fridge or it bubbles over.
Aaron: A good collection of beer! Definitely condiments. Sriracha. Chiligarlic sauces. I’m in the same boat with too many condiments floating around in there. Usually some left-over curry. Jeff: I always have a bottle of sambal oelek. Similar to sriracha but the chunkier version of it. Less of that roasted flavour and more fermented. My wife is half Trinidadian and family members send us pepper sauces in old orange Fanta pop bottles. That’s definitely a staple. Those are my favourite go-tos. Oh, and there’s always different types of cheese – blues, soft, firmer, washed rinds. For both my wife and I, that’s our guilty pleasure.
What impresses you about Downtown Kitchener? What are you liking? Jonathan: I really like that it’s an area in transition. It’s fun to be part of it from the beginning. I’ve always seen things like this from the outside. If there’s one thing that strikes me about Kitchener, period, is that people from Kitchener are very proud to be from Kitchener. And they really know the history. Naming it The Berlin, we wanted to be a Kitchener restaurant though and be a part of the community and have a sense of place. I’m just happy to be able to jump on board. Everyone has been very welcoming.
Jeff, you have the most experience with a downtown business. Are you seeing a change of attitude or demeanour? Jeff: Now, it’s been very apparent on the changes that have been made and that are forthcoming. The ball’s rolling and has picked up a lot of steam with transit, with more people coming downtown to open restaurants and businesses. There was a time period when you were seeing people leave and now you are seeing people come down. It’s nice to see.
Other than Kitchener, of course, and Berlin, what is your favourite city (or town or hamlet)? Aaron: Florence, Italy. From every aspect. But go down any obscure alley or corridor and you can find an amazing 10-seat restaurant. Nonna making stuff by hand in the kitchen.
Aaron: I certainly see an upward trend. Small businesses are showing up every day. As Jeff touched on, there are bakeries, produce places, the market is just around the corner, just about everything is here. It was easy for us to locate here. It’s so central.
Jonathan: That’s a hard question. London pops up because I’ve lived there. But places that stand out for me are Strasbourg and Paris. I can’t imagine a world without Paris.
Jeff: In North America, I’d say Chicago. I’ve been to Manhattan several times and I went to Chicago once: hands-down it’s Chicago. Outside North America: London.
WRITTEN BY ANDREW COPPOLINO PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEAN LANDRY
DOWNTOWN GETS FRESH
A stray vine curling through the doorframe of a King Street storefront. A hint of rosemary meet-
ing your nose and fleeting just as quickly as you walk down the strip. Leafy greens bouncing from the top of a brown bag held by an after-work customer. There is something growing in Downtown Kitchener and it’s all thanks to Legacy Greens owner Jordan Dolson, who saw a community need that matched her personal passion. Legacy Greens, Downtown Kitchener’s green grocer has renewed its lease for another year of sales in the core and the neighbourhood couldn’t be happier. The unique shop is echoed by the space itself. Seemingly non-descript from the exterior, Legacy Greens is jam-packed with fresh, local produce and products overflowing from wooden crates and woven baskets. Some of which, Jordan is growing herself. Much of the kale, chard, and herbs – the namesake for the store – comes from Jordan’s crop. “Jordan is a grower herself. This means she’s got a unique understanding of what the farmer she’s dealing with needs – their minimum orders, when they need to get paid, what’s in season,” says Leah Martin, employee at Legacy Greens.
The ability to vend veggies all week long is a major selling point for downtown dwellers without a regular grocery store in sight; Legacy Greens has diversified its stock. Lunch break customers can find a fast, affordable grab-n-go lunch in the cooler of fresh veggies and hummus. Shoppers seeking something special can find locallysourced gift baskets tailored to the season. Products by BRFC Designs, Buck Naked Soap and Hugo & Nate Confections to name a few, are amongst the foliage at Legacy Greens. In coming months, Legacy Greens plans to round out their offerings to host eggs and Eby Manor milk. “We’re meeting a need that wasn’t fulfilled downtown as one of the only places to buy groceries during the week,” says Leah. “When we can have produce on the streets, people are so surprised to see us here, to see fresh fruit downtown.” A secret garden of sorts, Legacy Greens is growing far more than kale and selling something much bigger than a gift basket. Push aside the vine tendrils and blow away a bit of the soil dusting the tiny shop in the core; a more holistic downtown might be budding.
WRITTEN BY ALLISON LEONARD PHOTOGRAPHY BY SYLVIA POND
DTK’S GOT FOOD FOR ALL
Darlise Café GUILT FREE BENEDICT 33 Queen St. S. Ingredients 2 eggs 2 slices brie cheese 1 tomato 2 slices gluten free ¼ tsp Greek spice bread Pistou sauce ¼ cup veg. oil ¼ cup parsley 1¼ cup kosher salt ½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil 2 cups basil 1 large garlic clove (puree) ½ tsp lemon juice
Directions To make the pistou sauce, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a puree and set aside. The leftover sauce can be kept refrigerated or frozen until needed again. Poach two eggs to your liking. Melt two slices of brie cheese on the bread. Sprinkle Greek seasoning on your tomatoes and sautee to warm. Place the tomatoes on top of the brie and toast, add the poached eggs to the tomatoes. Add 2 tbsp. pistou sauce and serve. Serve with fresh fruit salad.
Yeti Café HAPPY BURGER 14 Eby St. N. Ingredients 2 cups 1 cup besam flour cooked quinoa 2 cups cooked 1 tbsp veg oil chick peas ¼ cup pumpkin 1 tsp ground Cumin seeds 1 large beet (peeled 1 tsp ground coriander and grated) 1 clove garlic 2 kale leaves (chopped ½ onion, diced pretty fine) Salt & pepper ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
Directions Mix all ingredients together well. Mash up with potato masher. Form into patties (Add more besam flour if they are not holding together well). Then, Bake or fry at medium temp for 20 minutes. Makes 4-6 burgers We use Kaiser buns from Nova Era. The happy burger is all about the pickles! Slice up a kosher dill and layer it on top. Mix up some hellman’s mayo with a bit of sriracha for sauce. Greens, slaw & tomatoes on top are the finishing touch.
Bread Heads THE BREADHEADIGAN 16 Duke St. E. Ingredients
1 pizza dough ball from Bread Heads 1 jar of storebought or homemade pesto sauce cherry tomatoes (cut in half) 1 package of goat cheese parmesan cheese (grated) balsamic vinegar
Stretch your room temperature dough ball into 12” circle (ish). Top with, your favourite pesto. Add fresh cherry tomatoes, goat cheese. Bake in your home oven at 550 (or as hot as your oven will go) on a pre heated pizza stone. Bake until edges are golden. Remove from oven and top with fresh grated parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
Ellison’s Bistro JERK CHICKEN SALAD 14 Chales St. W. Ingredients
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce (chopped) 8 lg red leaf lettuce 8 leaf radicchio 8 slices of cucumber 1 roma tomato 2 x 4 oz chicken breast 1 medium avocado 1/2 tsp of Ellison’s Jerk Seasoning 1 tbsp olive oil 4 tbsp Ellison’s Lime Dressing
Toss the chicken with jerk seasoning, cover and marinate 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook chicken in baking dish for about 20 minutes then broil for 3 minutes. Let chicken cool and slice. Wash, chop, and plate. * Dressing and seasoning available at Ellison’s Bistro
AGENTS OF CHANGE It’s unfortunately rare to dedicate 6 pages in print solely to woman. And that lack of lady-dominated space in popular media is even more unfortunately reflected in the employment sector and in roles of leadership. But, Kitchener is bursting with wonderfully strong women that simply can’t go unnoticed. Woman working in the Kitchener economy play host to a load of shared experiences – an incredible drive for mindfulness, a growing focus on health and wellbeing and struggle in largely male-dominated fields. But the discussion with the woman interviewed breached that of solely gender identity; intersectionality is at the heart of employment experience in Kitchener as culture, skin colour, sexuality, background, lifestyle, health and income meet woman at work.
WRITTEN BY HILARY ABEL GROUP PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN LIMOYO INDIVIDUALS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTINE REID
this to our children from a young age. You live on a horsefarm! I grew up on a farm and competing in show jumping and have passed my hobby onto my children who both ride horses and compete now. We keep our horses at home on the farm along with our chickens and other animals. It takes up all of my free time but I love it. It keeps me active and outside and keeps my kids out of the malls because they have so much responsibility to help out. The best part is being with the horses – no matter how stressful your day is, they ground you and always keep you present when you are with them.
Divisional Commander, Central Patrol Division, Waterloo Regional Police Divisional Commander of the Central Patrol Division in Kitchener, Inspector Morris is responsible for 150 uniformed patrol officers and civilians at this division. Her job is to make sure they have all the tools they need to do the best job they can. She handles staffing and HR issues regularly and works with the Chief and her peers to make strategic decisions for the organization. “I also work with all of the community partners, mostly downtown, to share information and work together to make sure Kitchener is the safest and strongest neighbourhood it can be,” says Shaena. What aspect of your job interests you most? My biggest passion in my job is protecting children. They are the most vulnerable members of our society and I would do anything to make sure they are kept safe and free from harm, physical and emotional.
Policing is a very male-dominated sector, can you tell me a bit about being a woman in your role? Right now I am the only female uniformed officer in our senior management team, but I share this with other civilian females in the role. This is only temporary because we have some really talented women poised to join me very soon, which I am very excited about. Women think very differently than men, which is important in balancing out decisions being made on behalf of all of our members. That was challenging for me personally at first and rocked my confidence but experience over time has changed that. I work with an extremely supportive male peer group who make me forget that there is even a gender difference. I always feel part of the team. What else are you passionate about? Gardening, chickens, yoga – all of these are about mindfulness and keeping me present. I really think the world needs to work harder at this, especially in light of all the mental health issues our society faces now. Mindfulness is a great tool for reducing stress and for keeping us from being so judgemental. Your biggest life lesson so far? Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn. There are no mistakes and as women, we need to stop beating ourselves up when we feel we have made a mistake and teach.
Sameera Banduk Marketing Director Thalmic Labs
Sameera is the Marketing Director at Thalmic Labs, a fast-growing startup in Downtown Kitchener that invented the Myo gesture control armband. Her job involves doing everything and anything that drives awareness and growth of the business. On being a woman in hardware tech: To me, one of the most important parts of being a woman in a male-dominated sector is to not spend time thinking about being a woman in a male-dominated sector. Instead, focus on how you can challenge yourself and grow your skill set to become the best at what you do. What else interests you? I’ve become a bit of a health and fitness nut over the past few years. I love using technology to track data on calories, nutrition, daily steps and nightly sleep! Your biggest life lesson so far? Hands down, my biggest life lesson so far has been to have confidence in myself. If you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t give others a reason to believe in you. This is an area that I’ve consciously worked on over the years and is something that I’m constantly striving to improve.
Jodi Stone Co-Owner Jodi Stone DNA Screening Inc.
Co-Owner DNA Screening Inc. promotional agencies on solving problems Jodi works closely with for clients, negotiating costs with garment distributors and uses her Jodi works closely with promotional agencies on solving screenprinting experience to help community organizers get the problems for clients, negotiating costs with garment most out of their marketing. distributors and uses her screenprinting experience On working a male-dominated industry: to helpincommunity organizers get the most out of Whentheir I first started working in this industry the tension was marketing. palpable. I was much sicker more often; it was because of the stress. On working in a male-dominated industry: There was an aggression back then that I was unaccustomed to. But When I first started working in this industry the tension working in a strictly male environment hardened me. The sales reps was palpable. I was much sicker more often; it was because had been part of an old boys club for years. While print shops had of the stress. There was an aggression back then that accepted the value of women screen printers, it took some time for I was unaccustomed to. But working in a strictly male the reps to come around. environment hardened me. The sales reps had been part Any words for women of an of oldwisdom boys club for years. While print shops had of theaccepted next generation? the value of women screen printers, it took Holdsome your time own,for control what canaround. control, follow your instincts the reps toyou come and focus on being fair. There is no shame in asking for help but Any words of wisdom for women of the next generation? if you feel confident about your business decisions don’t question Hold your own, control what you can control, follow yourself, because you are probably always right (wink). Maintain a your instincts and focus on being fair. There is no shame sense of humour. in asking for help but if you feel confident about your What’s been your biggestdon’t life lesson so far? business decisions question yourself, because you are I made a close female friend in this industry, ashe worked with me probably always right (wink). Maintain sense of humour. as a screen printer then opened her own shop. We shared resources What’s been your biggest life lesson so far? and updates on inks, suppliers, names of clients that don’t pay I made a close female friend in this industry, she worked their bills - vital information for small business owners. She died with me as a screen printer then opened her own shop. last year of breast cancer. Not only do I miss her as a dear friend, We shared resources and updates on inks, suppliers, names I miss that female confidante in this industry. From this I have of clients that don’t pay their bills - vital information for learned that no matter how strong and determined you are, your small business owners. She died last year of breast cancer. health will ultimately control your story. I’ve learned that there are Not only do I miss her as a dear friend, I miss that female no replacements, so enjoy it while you have it. The clichés hold true confidante in this industry. From this I have learned that here: enjoy life to its full potential (don’t spend it all working!) and no matter how strong and determined you are, your health if you are fortunate to have good health, nurture it. will ultimately control your story. I’ve learned that there are no replacements, so enjoy it while you have it. The clichés hold true here: enjoy life to its full potential (don’t spend it all working!) and if you are fortunate to have good health, nurture it.
Challenging any dominant position is a hard road. However, if someone doesn’t do it, the world will not get better.
What’s been your biggest life lesson so far? Recognizing the value of rest. I often feel compelled to work so hard that I feel crushing guilt when I sleep eight hours or take a rest day. Especially when stakes are high or deadlines loom near. Getting a concussion taught me two things. I deserve to rest; no one else’s opinion matters in the face of healing and keeping my health optimal. As someone once said, successful people see rest as lost time; really successful people see sleep as an opportunity to achieve peak performance and improve our abilities to think and create.
Performer Artistic Producer Altekrea | festival of alternative creation MBA Student Like many actors, Miroki’s ambitions after graduation were to “pursue her acting dreams.” Altekrea was a passion project on the side, given her lifelong love for Japanese animation and comics.
Running a startup can be really stressful/ challenging! What most interests you within your work? My favourite aspect of working on a consumer app is understanding user behaviour to create new features that not only delights the end user but also changes their appreciation of the real world. You are a woman in a very male dominated sector, and some might say you and your business partner almost have a traditional role reversal thing going on. Can you tell us a bit about that? Any words of wisdom for other women in similar situations? The “role reversal” has definitely been noticed as people automatically direct technical questions to Riley… but it is fun to see their faces when they realize they need to be directing their questions to me. My advice to other women in a similar situation is to not let stereotypes hold you back! Follow your passion, without worrying about where other people think you should be. Also, connect with mentors that can see past the stereotypes and give you honest feedback.
“It’s what I grew up with while others watched American cartoons,” she says. Due to overwhelming audience response, what she thought would be a one-year thing became a multi-year event with her next festival in June 2016 The alternative arts world and comicon environments are very male oriented. Do you have any words of wisdom for other women in similar situations looking to make their way into the scene? Be strong, and never compromise for one minute the type of person that you are. As an Asian woman, and someone straddling multiple disciplines, there are many prevailing stereotypes I face from the arts, geek culture and business world that unfortunately get reinforced by many external factors. The days of open discrimination are over, but unconscious bias and micro-aggression prevails.
where she managed the entire software development of the iOS application. After a year and a half, Pout was acquired by San Francisco’s Everalbum in February 2016. Laura is now on their iOS team working out of their new Kitchener office at the Tannery.
Previously Co-founder of Pout Currently iOS engineer at Everalbum Laura and her co-founder Riley Donelson created Pout (a fashion and beauty app for millennials, with a vision of democratizing fashion and beauty for young women),
What else are you passionate about? Knitting? Woodworking? It can be anything! Tell me why? I’m very passionate about being part of and growing the startup community in Kitchener, and Canada in general. Part of that growth is connecting KW and Toronto via better rail service, which I’m excited to see evolve. I also enjoy exploring my personal fashion and health food recipes in my spare time.
region, together we were able to influence change in Kitchener, Waterloo and now Guelph. Based on that momentum, it was important to me to keeping the group and stakeholders connected because it will allow us to continue bringing amazing street food to this region! www.kwfoodtrucks.ca and social media tags were also created to strengthen food truck awareness.
New Business Coordinator at Equitable Life Creative Director at Café du Monde Crêperie I am an insurance new business coordinator during the day and a food truck owner by night. These are two vastly different roles. In insurance, I get to interact a lot with my computer while owning a food truck I get to wear many hats, a Crêpe maker, trainer, recruiter, I get to experiment with different flavours, meet really interesting people and attend amazing events! Food trucking is a mostly male dominated field - can you tell us a bit about that? Any words of wisdom for other women in similar situations? Yes, it appears to be male dominated because the guys are typically behind the wheel, however, behind the scenes, women are involved in some aspect of the business. Words of wisdom for other women: you can do it, you are strong, brave, confident, you can haul that food trailer or drive that 20 foot long food truck. You’ve taken a leading role in making food trucks visible. Can you describe that? In 2013-2014, food truck owners in this region were very active in trying to get food truck bylaws changed. We worked together to address the lack of opportunity to operate food trucks in this
What else are you passionate about? Knitting? Woodworking? It can be anything! I love travelling, learning. How people live, how they celebrate and enjoy life can be experienced best through travel. Rock climbing is something I am also passionate about and want to do more of it in the future. Rock climbing is so rewarding, you work had to get to the top, and when you do you stop for a moment, look around, feel invincible, then you plan the next challenge! That’s how I live my life, always looking for the next challenge!
Professional Practice Laboratory Coordinator/ Instructor University Of Waterloo, School Of Pharmacy I teach within professional practice, one of the largest courses at the School of Pharmacy. It’s a series of courses and labs, teaching students about the applied practice of pharmacy. I teach 120 students every
term in the lab, and my area is dispensing and community pharmacy. Dispensing involves learning how to read prescriptions, pharmaceutical calculations, processing prescriptions, and prescription verification. What keeps you passionate about your work? What most interests you? When I was little, I remember asking my mom how medicine knew where to go in my body. I don’t remember her answer, but from that point on I was very intrigued, and I wanted to know more. Little did I know back then that pharmacy is a profession that is always changing. From new medications, new conditions they treat, and even non-pharmacy methods, I’m always learning something different. Keeping up to date with new information and finding ways to incorporate them into my lab is always enjoyable. What else are you passionate about? Knitting? Woodworking? It can be anything! My passions run deep in photography and music. Pharmacy is a science program, and I spend a lot of my day with my head wrapped around drugs and dosages, so it’s necessary to flex the other side of my brain. I don’t play an instrument, but there isn’t a day where I don’t play music in my office, or on headphones when completing lab work. Photography has always been with me. My Nikon sits on my dresser in my bedroom, just waiting to be picked up. If I see an image I need to capture, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s like my camera is constantly poking me until I do it. My kids are a big part of my photography these days, and documenting their lives is paramount for me. I print their photos and make them albums, hoping they’ll appreciate the images I’ve created for them. Visit downtownkitchener.ca for the full interview
Kitchener’s own cocktail bot is on a mission to be a great bartender You’re in a hotel room, slightly crumpled after a day of adventure-seeking or conference-hopping. A fresh cocktail would beautifully toast the escape from your shoes. You pop a plastic pod into a sleek, pre-spiked appliance and it neatly and discreetly fixes you a drink. Before your feet stop sighing, you’re sipping a margarita. An upstart startup in the Velocity Garage is making this suitcase fantasy a reality. The idea was indeed hatched when a friend of the co-founders was faced with nothing but a Keurig in her hotel room. Its Kickstarter-fueled ascent has excited the likes of Hyatt, Four Seasons and Holiday Inn. A series of capsule-fed prototypes made by locally trained engineer and co-founder Bryan Fedorak guided the Bartesian through uWaterloo’s Velocity and Laurier’s LaunchPad programs. Hardware accelerator HAX sent them to Shenzhen, China, to build a manufacturing base. And last summer’s crowdfund gave them a boost of US$115,846 (from 355 folks who’ve presumably given up on their inner mixologists) and a deluge of media attention from Fox Business, CNN Money, TechVibes and The Wall Street Journal – which named Bartesian one of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show’s best new devices. The machine works by drawing spirits from four reservoirs – gin, vodka, rum or tequila – based on barcoded recipes. Each capsule’s liquid mix ingredients – real fruit juices, non-alcoholic liqueurs, premium bitters, even muddled herbs – are reconstituted by a water reservoir and carefully dispensed. The Bartesian owner’s only tending is to set their wallop between virgin cocktail and triple-shot.
Designing capsules well has also been an elaborate and vital process. “Really we’re a capsule and cocktail company,” says co-owner Ryan Close. “The machine is sleek and innovative with amazing features, but if the drinks don’t taste good, then who cares?” To keep their cocktails tasting fresh and seemingly human-made, Bartesian partnered with mixology author Dee Brun and University of Guelph’s Food Institute to nail down good recipes for Bartesian’s recyclable plastic capsules. Their solution hinged on using only natural ingredients and extracts, no artificial colours or flavours. The process was not without months of tweaking, more than ample sampling and “a lot of happy people in that office whenever I came in because they knew it was cocktail time,” says Dee. “We were like mad scientists, but with booze.”
“I create cocktails all the time, but I’m using pre-existing ingredients. We had to start from scratch to make everything taste how we wanted it to. I really look at flavours and appreciate the work that goes into making them a lot more now.” Dee is also excited to tackle new drinks as the Bartesian machine evolves, whether capturing Clamato’s thickness in a Caesar or playing with carbonation. In the meantime, the startup is busy meeting with Pernod Ricard’s people and Nobu’s head bartenders, while mining the supply chains of coffee-pod retailers. A capsule-making operation that will crank out dozens more signature cocktails and packages for holidays and themed parties is plotted for the near future. “One of our greatest selling points when we talk to large companies is that they know we’re backed by such strong mentorship,” Ryan says of Bartesian’s partnerships and incubator home base. “It gives them confidence to invest in our product or decide to put it on their shelves, because we’re not just a couple of guys in some garage with a wacky idea.”
“WE WERE LIKE MAD SCIENTISTS, BUT WITH BOOZE.”
Getting the right balance of orange, pineapple and pungent rum flavours in Bartesian’s sex on the beach was challenging, for example. A pinhead drop of one ingredient or another could create huge flavour changes. Adding alcohol often changed things further. “There are certain things you don’t put with gin or tequila, you know?” Dee was also amazed by the widely different tastes of various brands of the same food extracts, like coconut or mint.
Bartesians will begin shipping this fall, with a round of six cocktails to get the party started. bartesian.com | cocktaildeeva.com
WRITTEN BY ERIC RUMBLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY SYLVIA POND
LIVE AT THE APOLLO CINEMA “We might be a small, indie-rep cinema but we can easily compete with the multiplexes,” says Matt MacKinnon, co-owner of Apollo Cinema. “In fact, we even do one better: we serve beer.”
A fact not lost on customers who happily sip on the local craft libations the flowing community spirit in Downtown Kitchener’s newest theatre-meets-eatery space – Apollo Cinema. Specializing as a space to see first-run, cult, indie, and classic films, Apollo is also a dynamic venue where owners Matt MacKinnon, Andy Willick, and Daniel Demois, are keen to develop community in the heart of Downtown Kitchener.
Apollo has been screening movies for the last year, and has quickly developed a loyal following. The owners aren’t without their badges in the film scene; Matt was a film programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and Andy and ran Toronto’s Fox Cinema. “We offer interesting films with a great viewing experience, and it’s amazing to see people excited about what we are trying to do,” says Andy. Beyond movies, Apollo has a community-
minded approach, offering the space for different events. “We rent the space, but are also open to interesting collaborations, such as local craft brewery events and neighbourhood socials, such as the Funtario Christmas party,” says Matt. Drawn by the sense that things were really happening in Downtown Kitchener, the trio opened Apollo looking to bond with the community and revive the long-standing history of a cinema – and more importantly, a social hub in downtown. They knew good partnerships with other businesses and organizations would be key to their success. “We’ve intentionally cultivated relationships and there is a real feeling that we are all in this together, that everyone’s success impacts us all,” says Andy.
APOLLO MEETS THE MERCURY The Apollo partners have had a pretty big year. Between the three of them, they opened the cinema, celebrated two weddings, the birth of a child, and entered the restaurant business. Last fall, they bought the 86-seat restaurant, Mercury Café, with a treed patio, adjacent to Apollo. Mercury will operate as a quality, daytime dining and catering option for downtown workers and neighbours with a menu that will focus on locally-sourced food. Bonus points: it will also prepare dinner for movie-goers, who want to dine in the theatre.
Building on the momentum of their first year, they have big plans Apollo in 2016. They’ll offer dinner service in the cinema (prepared in their newly acquired restaurant, Mercury Cafe), more audience participation events, a VHS movie series for great films that never made it to digital, film festivals and of course more partnerships, including local filmmaker showings. “People often ask us how we are doing; they seem really invested in our success,” says Matt. “A good theatre is a good social space and we want to create opportunities to showcase what’s important to our audience.”
WRITTEN BY JUDE DOBLE PHOTOGRPHY BT DEAN LANDRY
KITCHENER SYNC â€“ DIY TV
“It’s very difficult to crack the tech sector with the creative sector. Thinking about the legitimacy of
what they do and what we do and how the both can marry each other,” says filmmaker Duncan Finnigan of a long-form project initially brainstormed in the Communitech Hub with co-conspirator Lyndon Horsfall. The duo, who started working together under the name 12 Angry Filmmakers, wanted to do something bigger. Enter Kitchener Sync: an ambitious 10-episode TV show that centers on game software development invented and is set, shot and shown solely in Kitchener. Even without a background in tech, the series hones in on the culture, products and challenges of the industry – but not without research. “I know a lot of people in tech, so whenever something like that comes up in the script, I’ll call someone and ask ‘hey, does this make sense?’” Lyndon says, noting the need to strike a balance as narrative fiction. “A lot of the people watching [the film] aren’t in tech so you don’t want to do it too ‘inside’ where they’re not going to understand it.” They started to find their characters and the partners in the community – a mid-interview run-in with Russell and Tessa Jennison who
act in and provide the score for the series, highlights the hyper-local nature of the project. Explaining their process, Duncan and Lyndon begin to muse about their character development method. “Who would we have? Well, maybe that old man over there,” says Lyndon. “He was always sitting in the corner. So he’s a millionaire. He’s doing this and that. He could be a character. Why is he here?” Star-studded with your neighbor, your barista, your best friend’s younger brother, the series is only available on the Apollo Cinema screen. According to Lyndon, theatre-only viewing dates drive episode delivery – and hopefully the audience – “come hell or high water.” Wrapping up 2015 with three episodes under their belt, Lyndon describes what keeps the project going: “When you decide you’re going to do something, you’ve just got to do it… to prove yourself. Once you make the decision, you don’t stop.” And with such an admirable fusion of art and technology in mind, hopefully they don’t stop. An on-screen intersection of these communities might just act as a catalyst in their synchronization.
STORY & PHOTOS BY DARIN WHITE
WHAT KEEPS DARIN TUNED IN TO KITCHENER SYNC! I’m a huge fan of this project. It was the novelty of a local setting combined with a funspirited poking at the tech industry that drew me in. • The moxie of doing this with only pizza money and a whole lot of determination • The in-person experience at Apollo feels like a party every time • The mix of comedy and drama –belly laughs while tackling serious social issues • The fact that it keeps getting better Stay tuned @KitchenerSync and find them on Facebook.
A MODERN PUB CRAWL The last Downtown Kitchener pub-crawl I went on happened a good number of years ago. Neither the bars nor the beers were anything that could have been described as special. But times have changed, and as an Ontario craft beer enthusiast, when it came time to visit a few spots, the hardest part was deciding where not to go. The three that made the cut: The Grand Trunk Sa loon, TWH Social, and The Adventurer’s Guild.
The primary focus of the bar at The Grand Trunk Saloon is cocktails, and the rows of unique bottles behind the bar make that
pretty clear. With only three rotating taps, you might call their beer selection small, but it carries its weight and the focus is on carrying local/Ontario beers. The night we were in, they had offerings from Beau’s, Black Swan, and Block 3, all of which are solid. When asked what’s selling best on their taps, co-owner Manish Patel said “everything’s selling!” So, it looks like their focus is paying off. Look for offerings from Elora Brewing Co., Ramblin’ Road, Kitchener’s Descendants Beer & Beverage Co., and TWB Brewing Co-op to hit their taps in the future.
The first thing that the bartender at TWH Social asked me was not what beer I wanted, but rather what flavour profile of beer I was looking for. With two rotating taps, and 18 more that are heavy on Ontario craft beer, TWH knows it’s important to educate their staff about what’s on tap, so they can help educate their patrons. Every Ontario craft beer has a back story, and this makes TWH storytellers who connect you with your perfect match.
Moving away from major brands and toward a more personalized, the Ontario beer scene is a hit; rotating beers are leading sales. Even if your regular macro brew isn’t available, and it probably isn’t, they’ll definitely have something you can appreciate, just sit back and let them help you find it.
old favourite, and enjoy some quality beers that you might not find anywhere else. Not a bad way to spend an hour, or four. And yes, the more the beer looks like it came from MiddleEarth, the better it sells.
THE HARDEST PART WAS DECIDING WHERE NOT TO GO.
Going to The Adventurer’s Guild Board Game Cafe & Tavern is like hanging out in your basement, only there’s a better stock of board games, and of beer. Once you pay the $5 cover, you have access to their huge amount of board and vintage video games, as well as food, and a nice selection of Ontario craft beers. With a wider variety of Maclean’s Ales than I’ve seen in one place before, and a number of great offerings from Block 3 and Grand River Brewing, this is a great place to relax with some friends, play a new game or an
LOOKING FOR MORE OPTIONS? We’ve got’em.
McCabe’s Irish Pub, 352 King St. W. Bobby O’Brien’s, 125 King St. W.
The modern Downtown Kitchener pub crawl can be much different from the crawl of the past, if you want it to be. With new locations serving up unique beers, it’s safe to say that the Ontario craft beer enthusiast can have a great time going all over downtown.
Crabby Joe’s, 70 King St. E.
WRITTEN BY JON JOHNSON
Marina’s, 323 King St. E. (across from the Kitchener Market) Best kept secret in DTK? They have an incredible patio out their back door all summer long. The wings aren’t half bad either.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CORY BLUHM
Rhapsody Barrel Bar - 179 King St W Abe Erb (coming soon) - 151 Charles St W Firkin at the Tannery, 121 Charles St. W. Frankie’s Pub, 273 King St. W. (between Water and Gaukel) These guys even boast a few arcade games in the front. Caper’s Sports Bar ,1 Queen St. N. (between King and Duke) Check out their karaoke nights!
Christen Latham (ZOOK) was born with a song in her heart, and that’s precisely where the music continues to churn. A Kitchener-based musician with an ear for melody, and the versatility to nestle inside various genres, Christen has honed her craft as songwriter. She’s got two albums to her credit, and manages to continually carve her mark among her peers; loaning her powerhouse vocals and writing talents to projects ranging from independent to celebrity-status. While promoting and gigging her most recent body of work, Change Is Coming (co-written and produced by renowned Canadian musician, Rob Szabo), Christen was also pursuing new musical opportunities – and one landed her on the international stage.
Christen had become part of an online music open-collaborative project, hitRECord, directed by Gordon-Levitt. Debuting in 2010, his community now boasts more than “100,000 artists of all disciplines” and its first episode, hitRecord On TV (featuring Christen) went on to snag the Interactive Media Emmy for Social TV Experience. “My voice clips have been used on two other 30-second commercials they are doing for other projects,” Christen says of continuing with Gordon-Levitt’s project. “I actually received a certificate in the mail from them congratulating me on part of the Emmy win. I recommend anyone and everyone to join [hitRECord] and give it a shot.”
I ACTUALLY RECEIVED A CERTIFICATE... FROM THEM CONGRATULATING ME ON PART OF THE EMMY WIN
“There was a tweet from Joseph GordonLevitt (3rd Rock From the Sun, 500 Days of Summer) requesting vocalists,” Christen explains. “(The song) was in my key, and I related to the message so well.” With the deadline looming, Christen says she recorded the track and sent it in for submission that very evening. More than half a year later, she discovered she’d made the cut.
And as for here at home, Christen is doing what she does best – singing, writing, promoting and booking (including bringing UK singer/songwriter Jon Gomm back to the region).
CURIOUS ABOUT OTHER KDUBBERS WHO HAVE BEEN NOMINATED OR WON BIG? Here’s a few: Chris Williams, director: Winner of the 2015 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year for Big Hero 6. Natalie MacNeil and Vincent Marcone, media production: Winners of the 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Digital Program for Out my Window Danny Michel with The Garifuna Collective: Winner of the 2013 Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year for Black Birds are Dancing Over Me. Lois Maxwell, actress: Winner of a 1948 Golden Globe for Best New Star of the Year for The Hagen Girl. Lois was also “Miss Moneypenny” in James Bond’s Goldfinger (1964). Craig Cardiff, singer songwriter: Winner of the 2012 Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year for Floods and Fires.
“Jason Walsh and myself are writing an album of songs together, so we’re going to come out with that,” Christen reveals. “Also the songs I wrote with Ian Smith (Spirits, The Miniatures), that will come out eventually as well.”
Courage My Love, band: Nominee for Best Breakthrough Group of the Year in the 2014 JUNO Awards.
WRITTEN BY CARE FINCH
Peter Huang, director: Nominatee for Video of the Year in this year’s JUNO Awards for SonReal’s For the Town.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEAN LANDRY
Alysha Brilla, singer-songwriter: Nominee for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year in the 2015 JUNO Awards for Womyn, nominee for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year in the 2014 JUNO Awards for In My Head.
A BOTTLE We hear it and we hear it often. Attracting talent to the Waterloo Region is a challenge.
And as most recruiters will tell you, the challenge isn’t Downtown vs. the UW Tech Park, or even Kitchener vs. Waterloo - the challenge is KW vs Toronto/Brooklyn/ Boston/ Silicon Valley/ Melbourne. You get the idea….. You can imagine the conversation between recruiter and recruitee: “If I can work anywhere in the world, why would I choose Kitchener-Waterloo? It’s cold, you have no ocean, no mega skyline. What does your city have to offer me?” We could, of course, rhyme off umpteen reasons we think we’re an awesome place to live (and we do, on page 57’s Insider’s Guide to DTK!), but we thought it would be better for you to hear it from those who know firsthand. So we invited seven relatively new KW residents together for a chat. These super-talented minds, all of whom currently work in the Downtown tech scene, told us “here’s why.” Meet Gavin, Marine, Divam, Terrence, Laura, Vance and Umar: You have all come to KW from other parts of the world. How were the first few months of your experience? Marine - Canadians are notorious for being super nice and it’s true. My first year, I had seven different invitations to go to people’s homes for Thanksgiving dinner. Terrance - I was nervous at first, but after about 6 months, things started to click. Working at Vidyard, I found people in the same situation as me. They aren’t originally from KW either and were looking to build long lasting friendships.
Laura - When I took my job I only expected to stay a few months, but I’ve quickly grown to love this community.
Divam - I grew up in New Delhi and eventually moved to Toronto. In comparison, Toronto already felt slow to me. So coming to KW was no big deal. It may be smaller, but everything is still so accessible. How did you find integrating into the downtown tech scene? Easy? Challenging? Gavin - There is so much support for tech in this community. You can develop an idea and someone here will want to help you build it. Marine - Working for a start up, you never feel alone. Everyone around you is also working for a company where everything is moving so fast. We’re all doing 17 different jobs at once. Laura – It’s so easy to talk to other people in tech - and quickly - and they instantly understand what you’re working on. Vance - There are a lot of resources available. The University of Waterloo has expertise in different areas. We can talk to professors anytime we run into a problem. Other tech companies are always willing to help out. Now that you’ve all been here a while, what do you love about this community? Umar - I love the commute, you can get anywhere you want in 15 minutes. In Toronto, you can lose 15 minutes of your day with one subway delay. Gavin - I love how well connected the tech community is. Every month, 200 people will attend a meet up. You find that this person knows this person, who knows this
Exploring what makes DTK a great home for tech.
person. Everyone is connected to someone. Laura - It’s almost like you can be a big fish in a small pond. Your company actually gets to grow with the community. Vance - Coming from a small island, I appreciate the size of KW. You can live in a neighbourhood outside downtown but still be really close to the core. It’s not Torontobig and it’s not tiny. Yet the cost of living here is so much more affordable. KW is growing and urbanizing, Downtown Kitchener is evolving into an international tech hub. What excites you about building your career here? Terrance - Whether it’s at your company or in the community, there’s a tonne of opportunities to contribute to something meaningful. Umar - This is the right time to come here because we’re in that growing phase. Five years from now, we’re going to look back and say “we just lived through a pretty special time”. Divam - When you think of San Francisco there is an image you get in your head. Kitchener is still evolving. We are establishing an identity and we get to be part of that process. It’s like lightning in a bottle. You’re going to see how Silicon Valley came to be. KW’s not perfect, but you can watch it grow and you can help shape it. You’re not going to get this anywhere else in the world today. We asked all seven about their fav places and what they would like to see... just turn the page.
WRITTEN BY LINDA JUTZI PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN LIMOYO
OWNITDTK Gavin Kendall Developer at Igloo Software Originally from Australia How did you end up in Kitchener from Oz?? My journey is very simple. I met a Canadian girl on the internet, fell in love and came over here. Ever since then I have been watching hockey and snowboarding and becoming a natural Canadian. Favourite part of KW? I love that there’s a ski hill in town...it’s right there! [sorry Vance!]
Best way to get connected? Lots of groups and meet ups to share ideas with. There is so much cross pollination of knowledge. Biggest misnomer about Kitchener’s tech scene? The notion that we’re insular is a complete fallacy. Everyone is trying to get out. Everyone is trying to get connected.
Laura Brodie Director, Marketing & Communications at Bridgit, Originally from Ottawa What has surprised you about living in KW? For the first little while I spent a lot of time going back to Toronto. I soon came to realize that this community has a lot to offer and started having friends come to visit ME for the weekend. From a marketing perspective, what’s one benefit of having a company in KW? Marketing exposure. You can get a lot more recognition as a company here than if you were in a big city. You can be
praised as the best in Canada and use that as a spring board for success internationally. What surprised you about this community? The first time I walked into KWARTZLAB, people I already knew were hanging out there. I love the quick access to the countryside for hiking, or kayaking or cycling.
Divam Jain Software Engineer at Google, Originally from New Delhi You moved here from one of the busiest cities in the world. That must have been a bit of an adjustment? It’s all perspective. I came to UW for grad school and I was amazed at how different life was here. What I love is that you can actually get most of the same things as a bigger city…maybe not as many choices but everything is here. What do you look for in a great city? It’s the community. That’s pretty much the bottom
line. You can have nice restaurants, but if you don’t have a good community of people, it doesn’t matter. What do you love best about KW? One of the most under-appreciated places is The Working Centre - Queen Street Commons. Favourite place in Downtown Kitchener? Pupuseria Latinos
Terrance Kwok Sales Development Manager at Vidyard, Originally from Brampton What would you tell someone considering moving here? After finishing my schooling at UW, I moved to Downtown Toronto. I really did not plan on coming back to KW. I was nervous about what it would be like without being part of the University support system. For the first little while, I would go back to Toronto on weekends. But then something really clicked and I realized everything I need is right here.
Best advice you could pass along? Initially it was hard to find the really good ethnic restaurants but they’re here. BTW - The Easy Earthern Restaurant has the best Szechwan in town. One thing you’d like to see more of? Independently owned retailers and restaurants. Favourite Part of Downtown Kitchener? I love the vibe of the old brick buildings.
SPRING2016 Marine Dumontier Web Marketing Manager at Igloo Software, Originally from Paris, France What would you tell someone who’s considering taking a job in KW? I chose Kitchener after working in Montreal first. This is a community that you’ll be welcomed into. People truly embraced me as a foreigner. I have never had that experience before.
time. I also love that the downtown restaurants are putting a lot of effort into serving local food and involving all the area vendors and farmers.
Favourite parts of KW? I love that the City transformed an old garbage dump into an awesome usable place with a skate park, dog park, BMX bike park and a toboggan hill. I go running there all the
Favourite place in Downtown Kitchener?
One thing you’d love to see improved? Public Transit The Kitchener Market is my happy place :)
Vance Morrison Research Scientist - Advanced R&D at Thalmic Labs, Originally from PEI What do you appreciate the most about KW? You get all the benefits of living in a community that appreciates tech, without the down sides of living in a big city. I enjoyed living in Montreal for school but I wanted a smaller sized place. Kitchener is the perfect in-between.
One thing you’d love to see improved? I wish we had a bigger ski hill. Favourite place in Downtown Kitchener? Victoria Park
Umar Tanwir Product Management Director at NetSuite/TribeHR, Originally from Montreal What would you tell someone who’s considering taking a job in KW? It the right to time to come here while it’s still growing. The changes that have taken place in the past two years are really awesome. What do you love best about KW? The affordability relative to the scale of the opportunities to work in tech. It’s half of what it would cost if I were living
in Toronto or San Fransisco. I’m not sure you can find that anywhere else in the world. How would you make the community better? What people want in a city will never change. A good quality of life, low cost of living, safety, great things to do, and a cool city image. These wants are as true today as they will be 10 years from now.
CONNECT WITH PLUGIN! Plugin, a bi-monthly mixer created by downtown tech companies, strives to create charitable, fun, and memorable events that unite the area’s professionals. Meet people, have fun, help the community! www.pluginkw.com
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Leading the conversation on Gentrification. When most people hear the word gentrification, they think of ‘that thing happening in Brooklyn’ or ‘what happened on Queen West in Toronto.’ Over the last 18 months, the conversation about gentrification has become local – focusing on what is happening right here in Downtown Kitchener. Most of the conversations to date have been polarized, pitting different groups against each other – developers vs. small business, tech vs. artists, affluent vs. working poor. And while these conversations are meaningful and necessary, we wondered how we might continue the conversation in a different place. What if we brought together four people with unique perspectives on gentrification – people who don’t see themselves on either side of the argument, but rather are in search of the right way forward? What would they talk about? Would they take the conversation in a new direction? Would they land on new solutions? Would they open our minds to a broader view of gentrification? What do you think? Karen Taylor-Harrison has lived in Cedar Hill for 29 years. She didn’t flee in the 90s when drugs and gangs threatened her neighbourhood. Instead, Karen and her fellow neighbours chose to stay, and witnessed their community rebound. Karen eventually became the
Executive Director of the HighlandStirling Community Group and helped foster important local programs like The John School. “I guess as the old lady of the group,” says Karen, “I can give a perspective of Kitchener before gentrification.” Joseph Fung juxtaposes Karen perfectly as a new agent of change downtown. As Vice President at NetSuite, Fung needed affordable office space in the core to get his startup off the ground. His company has now grown to afford and require prized real estate at 55 King. He galvanized the local gentrification dialogue last fall by authoring a blog post focused largely on wanting other tech leaders to not simply turn a blind eye to gentrification, but to be active participants in addressing it. Brad Watson, pastor at Nexus Church, was drawn to the core by a desire to actively participate in a diverse, multi-use, multigenerational downtown, and hoped the faith-based ministry he founded could play some role in the core’s ongoing revitalization efforts. He’s also the most internally conflicted of the group. “I want change, but I don’t want change. I want to see new stores and restaurants, but I don’t want current businesses to close. I want to see more people living downtown, but I don’t want to see people pushed out because of it.” To round out the discussion, Markus Moos, associate director at the University
of Waterloo’s School of Planning, has extensively researched the social and generational change of cities. “Often gentrification is viewed as purely a displacement of one kind of social class or socio-economic group by a group with higher means,” says Markus. “But if we only focus on people getting displaced, we forget that the side effects of revitalization can be much broader.” Markus notes an example: if a food store closes and is replaced with a more expensive food store, the original customers may have to travel greater distances to access food they can afford. Such subtle changes can dramatically impact a community’s social structure. Joseph confesses that while tech industry workers are well intentioned, many are generally unaware of the side effects of downtown revitalization. “As we were renovating the former ATM spaces at 55 King into our new offices, a friend pointed out that sometimes people take shelter in that space,” recalls Joseph. “Even though this isn’t an official shelter, it’s still a shelter we were inadvertently eliminating. It was a very small but real example that if you’re not paying attention, change can have negative side effects. ” It’s important to consider that it’s not just the disadvantaged who feel the impact of change downtown. “Many in our neighbourhood are reaching retirement age and some are feeling a growing sense of alienation,” explains Karen. “We assumed
“DON’T PLAN JUST FOR
” CROISSANTS says Planner Urban Geographer Markus Moos
they’d stay in the downtown, but now we’re not so sure. We adopted an attitude of only supporting downtown businesses. But as stores like Budds close, we’ve lost those long-standing relationships.” The group agrees that a commitment to inclusivity needs to guide change in any community. “There are so many people with a sense of belonging to the downtown, and we need to figure out how everyone can maintain those relationships,” says Markus. Nexus has tried to do just that. “We’re trying to create a passion for the Downtown,” says Brad, “reminding people that progress shouldn’t be at the expense of others.” Cedar Hill, as Karen explains, has become a vibrant mixture of social, economic and cultural backgrounds because community members have made inclusivity a priority. “We tried to look at all sides of the coin, because we didn’t agree that the solution was to move people around,” says Karen. “What we wanted was a community that was safe and secure for everyone. We didn’t make judgments about who should live or shouldn’t live in the neighbourhood.” For Joseph, the insular nature of a tech company shouldn’t be an excuse for not integrating its employees into the downtown community. Recently one of his team members, volunteering at a community centre, learned that some people struggling to pay their rent often overspend in restaurants because they lack the cooking skills to eat at home. In response, NetSuite
purchased crockpots and partnered with local agencies to find families struggling with this challenge who could benefit from cooking classes. This type of engagement can also help to overcome another common pitfall of cultural transformation. “The last thing you want is people feeling guilty about moving downtown,” explains Markus. “What you want to create is a stronger sense of community.” So how can change happen in a way that embraces existing residents and also welcomes those who want to become part of the downtown community? A simple but profound statement captures the group’s suggested approach: “Just don’t be an asshole about it.” When taking over a new space, building a new building, or starting something new, there are choices we can make about how we carry out change. Intentionally or not, those choices and their results can negatively impact someone’s sense of self and community. We can be assholes and ignore that, or be sensitive to it and search out ways to mitigate the impacts. “We’re all skewed in some way by our own socio-economic status,” says Markus. “I really like croissants, but does that mean everyone else wants to be sitting in a square, eating croissants and sipping a latte too? No, it doesn’t.” Karen says it was as simple as opening up the showers at the Mill-Courtland
Community Centre to anyone who needed them, even if they weren’t attending a program. “The simple fact that gentrification is being talked about is important. Out of conflict comes discussion and out of discussion come solutions.” And in order to cultivate new possibilities in a changing community, people have to be willing to get beyond their comfort zones and engage in whatever shape the conflict takes. “It’s easy for us to sit back in our neighbourhoods and have no idea what is going on around us,” says Brad. “I’d like to think what’s happening downtown is revitalization. I would say gentrification is the displacement of those in lower income brackets. They don’t, in my mind, have to be the same thing.” “We’re not so far down the road on gentrification that we can’t do anything about it,” says Markus. “We could be an example to the rest of North America. We’re the type of community that can aim for inclusiveness and we’ll follow through on it.” Want to continue the conversation? This is just one of many discussions that need to happen. And they need to include all perspectives and all types of people. If you’ d like to share your thoughts, start by contacting Hilary. Abel@Kitchener.ca to participate in a future conversation.
THE BIG-HEARTED EMMA DINES “Sometimes the people who seem grumpy and unreceptive, have been the most enthusiastic when I’ve given them a heart,” Says Emma Dines, local yoga instructor, blogger and founder of the heartfelt revolution. “Having hearts in my pocket ready to share, reminds me to pay attention to people and notice how they’re doing.” Inspired by the principles of gifting, often seen at temporary community events like Burning Man, where items are intentionally exchanged without money, Emma and some friends wanted to explore that sense of community in their everyday lives. They came up with the idea of making and giving out felt hearts with safety pins. Last summer, Emma took this idea to the streets of Kitchener with the intention of surprising someone with a heart, as a symbolic gesture of kindness. “I hope the colourful hearts can interrupt the everyday, connect people, and bring an element of playfulness to the world,” says Emma. She is optimistic that it might inspire people to shake up the normal ways they engage with each other, and surprise one another in kind ways.
Most people tend to graciously accept the heart she gives them, often delighted with the gesture, even if they tuck it in their pocket instead of pinning it to their coat. Others seem a bit hesitant or even suspicious about what it might mean. But Emma prevails.
At the core of this project is community engagement and Emma would like the heartfelt revolution to be something others get involved in.
Emma has some potential plans for the future of the project. She plots everything from a ‘heart station’ at the Kitchener Market, where people can take swaths of hearts to share with others to creating a ‘heart recharging station,’ encouraging people to do mindful exercises to recharge their hearts, such as standing inside a heart chalked on the sidewalk and thinking about someone they love for 60 seconds.
You can contact Emma if you are interested in the project or you can share your heart experiences on social media using #heartfeltkw.
“This project has enriched my life and I would love others to share in this kind experience, wherever they live,” she says.
WRITTEN BY JUDE DOBLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY SYLVIA POND
MORE THAN A STORE Note to Readers: In case you missed it, the Budd family has decided to retire, closing their landmark stores after 90 years in business. I initially sat down with Howie, expecting to hear golden tidbits of advice that could be passed on to future generations of downtown business owners. What I found was so much more...
Left the right meet the Budds, Lynda, Howie, Jeff, Stan, Esther Budd
Getting to know The Budds. It was well after midnight in the mid 1930s. Nat, Jack, Mort and Lou Budd the founders of Budds were still hard at work prepping their King Street store for the next day. A man, fresh off his shift at a local factory, was feverishly banging on their door. Thinking the man was in some sort of medical need, they opened the door. “It’s my 8-year old son’s birthday and I forgot to get him a present,” he told them, “he’ll be devastated. Are you still open?” Howie’s father didn’t even have to think twice. He grabbed a Maple Leafs jersey, wrapped it in a gift box, and gave it to the desperate father. When the father offered to pay them for the jersey, they refused. It was symbolic of how the Budd family ran their business for 90 years – treat people with the same level of respect and compassion that you would hope they’d show you. “If you’re going to be successful in retail,” Howie explains. “You have to have a passion for your business and customers. You have to be on the floor and get to know them. You need to build personal connections with them. It’s the only way to find out what products hey want and what price they’re willing to pay. This is how you provide people with value and trust.” With constantly evolving retail trends and no shortage of competition, Howie, his brother Stan and son Jeff have lived through it all. the Budds never waivered from what would prove to be their core competitive
advantage. “We make people feel like they are family,” Howie says. “We always looked out for the forgotten ones, who need special sizes or a particular style that they can’t find at chain stores.” Howie is quick to point out that there is a real science to succeeding in retail, beyond great customer service. Know your bestselling items, and treat them as the basic foundation of your store. Know intimately what sells and what doesn’t. Liquidate what isn’t selling and reinvest those sales into product that will sell. Price competitively. And most importantly, fall in love with your customers, not your inventory. “We treated our suppliers like partners,” Howie says. “We would give them real-time input and suggestions based on what our customers were telling us. In turn, they would advance us new clothing lines weeks before they would release it to Eaton’s, The Bay or Sears and we would have the new items sold well before the national chains were ready to sell.” When asked what he foresees the future of Downtown Kitchener being, Howie shares nothing but optimism. “We’re on the cusp of great success,” says Howie.“But we need to stay true to what differentiates us from every other form of retail. Whether we’re shopkeepers, restaurant owners, lawyers or accountants, we need to continue to care deeply and personally about each and every customer
and client. It’s hard to find that genuine level of friendship at the mall or online.” If anything, Howie hopes downtown will continue to grow its collective personality as a warm and caring community. Even if it means dropping everything and driving to Listowel – something Howie did one day for a customer who, four hours before his wedding, spilled food on his white pressed shirt and needed a new one. Howie didn’t see the man as a customer or a sales transaction, he saw a friend who needed his help on one of the most important days of his life and he drove the shirt to Listowel in time for the wedding. And that 8-year old, whose father narrowly avoided disappointing him? Turns out he never forgot about the kind gesture the elder Budds’ did for his father. He would become one of the Budd’s lifelong customers. “We knew we had loyal customers,” Howie says. “But we never knew how much of a personal connection we had with people, or how important we were to their lives. We’ve had petitions begging us not to retire. That makes us feel like we did something meaningful over our 90 years. It feels pretty special.”
WRITTEN BY CORY BLUHM PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAWNE TAYLOR-GILDERS
A TOUR OF THE WORKING CENTRE’S NEWEST ENDEVOUR Joe Mancini head of The Working Centre, says “always do ten things at once.” My tour of their new space at 256 King Street East was no exception. “Francis, get in this picture, too!” Joe urges Francis Mbewe who has established a micro-loan system in his native Zambia to support local business. Joe and Francis swapped stories of helping their communities get a leg up while I tagged along. I still encounter people who don’t know The Working Centre. That seems impossible given the multi-headed nature of their work, and a track record dating back to their 1982 start. Joe and his wife Stephanie Mancini started the organization as a response to poverty and unemployment in Downtown Kitchener. Thirty-four years later, while still serving that original mission, the group provides a platform for social innovation. “Everything you need to know about The Working Centre is found in the programs we provide,” says Joe. Those programs connect people with jobs, operate a busy café, recycle computers and bicycles to resell, and teach skills in their arts space. Reconstruction on their most recently acquired space began back in June 2015. When it’s up and running it will offer four primary areas of service in addition to affordable housing for eight people on the top floor:
• The Commons Studio with multimedia gear rentals and film making facilities • The Digital Media Lab for learning and creating with software • The Youth Entrepreneurship Project helping young people start businesses • A coffee bar and commercial kitchen “We’re not doing anything new here in this building, just extending it,” Joe explains as we step around pipe installation work and say hello to busy painters. Part of the work on 256 King is being done by people from TWC’s job exchange offering temporary work. In addition to engaging certified tradespeople, one component of the renovation work paused to connect with Conestoga College student schedules. They put their studies into practice installing drywall. This inclusive shift is emblematic of The Working Centre’s collaborative approach to self-help. Find out more at theworkingcentre.org The Working Centre is far more than a place to improve your resume or a spot to go if you’re down on your luck. Similar to the Communitech Hub or UW’s Velocity Program, it’s a dynamic community that enables entrepreneurship and providing people with the tools and resource they need.
STORY & PHOTOS BY DARIN WHITE
HELPING AT STREET LEVEL
THE COMMONS STUDIO – MARTIN DE GROOT
A long-time supporter of the arts, Martin enables experienced and aspiring filmmakers alike. With $100/year membership fee, The Commons Studio offers affordable rentals of cameras, lenses, lighting and audio gear. Advanced editing software and computers are available for members, and most importantly the Studio serves as a connecting point for sharing expertise and encouragement. Their new space at 256 King will include a green-screen room and a recording studio. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE DIGITAL MEDIA LAB – MARTIN EDMONDS Extending existing programs that teach Microsoft Office software, Martin noted new classes being added. The Digital Media for Youth program, has had two sessions already. The groups of eight learned to create videos, use social media tools, make mobile apps and develop web pages. 256 King will boost the collaborative environment. Media captured in the studio can then be edited, produced, printed, and shown in the neighbouring media lab. Martin describes it as “a place where youth who are passionate about technology and digital media can come and hang out together and learn from each other.” Contact: email@example.com
THE YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROJECT – JANE SNYDER
THE COFFEE BAR AND KITCHEN – REBECCA MANCINI
Jane Snyder, heading up the Youth Entrepreneurship Project, talks to people under 30 about ways they can earn an income. I caught her mid-meeting with Ellen Bleaney also of TWC. Helping people always involves a lot of conversation about different paths to income: getting a job, starting a business, developing a plan. YEP helped 14 youth last year and is on target to help another 15 young entrepreneurs this year. Jane urges those interested “to come with a business idea and be willing to move it forward.”
“These ideas are still under a lot of development,” Rebecca Mancini cautions me with a chuckle.
The intent with the coffee bar is to continue the welcome that the Queen Street Commons Café offers and bring that to 256 King with opportunities to experiment and align the two. The commercial kitchen in back will support expanded catering work, artisanal cooking and learning opportunities. “Around here the only constant is that everything changes. It’s an important thing because it helps us stay responsive.”
“CONTEXTUALIZING A BUILDING IS ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL TASKS AN ARCHITECT TACKLES” LAIRD A. ROBERTSON.
BUILDING CONTEXT It was the building few people knew even existed. Lost between a parking lot and a large office building, only those that remember Pinto’s Youth Shop, truly know where the building is. So when local architect Laird A. Robertson purchased 243 King Street East, his challenge was to bring new life to a narrow piece of our history.
“Contextualizing a building is one of the fundamental tasks an architect tackles,” Laird explains. “How do we create a harmonious relationship between the building and its surroundings?” In this case, the relationship goes beyond simply enhancing the unique art deco facade. A narrow stretch of land along the east side of the building has been re-landscaped, providing a future location for an outdoor cafe or seating area. “Intrinsically, there’s a civic, community and social nature to every building downtown,” says Laird. “We want to enable this building to one day play that role for people.” Laird was quick to point out that, based on the structural design of the eastern wall, the original builder likely envisioned opening up the sidewall to the outside, it just never happened.
As a partner at Robertson Simmons Architects, his firm has played a strategic role in the re-contextualizing of numerous historic downtown buildings. The Google headquarters at the Breithaupt Block and the repurposing of the Regional Courthouse on Weber Street are two of their more recent projects. Similarly, Laird is working on the transformation and adaptive reuse of New Hamburg’s historic Imperial Hotel into luxury rental suites. “As architects, we almost act as interpreters, taking a client’s dream, the building at hand, the surrounding context, and imprinting a new vision for the space,” says Laird. For the building at 243 King Street East, this included honouring the wishes of the Pinto family, who for generations, were staples of the community. This building is the last physical representation of their family’s legacy. “I actually had to promise them I wouldn’t tear the building down, or if I ever sell it - they get first right,” says Laird. “But as someone who deeply values our built heritage, it was an easy promise to make.”
WRITTEN BY CORY BLUHM PHOTOGRAPHY BY SYLVIA POND
ARTWORK BY DAVID BLATHERWICK
OPEN SESAME The Magic Words for Local Arts
The floor-to-ceiling windows at Kitchener’s newest arts and culture hub, Open Sesame, provide the perfect lighting for the large-scale gallery wall. This is one of the few places in the region that local, emerging, and mid-career artists, can showcase their work. Open Sesame owner Lauren Weinberg, a recent transplant and arts writer from Chicago, opened the shop-meets-gallery last fall in response to a gap in the region’s art scene; artists were in need of a home base. The thoughtfully designed items for sale are intended to subsidize the exhibitions, concerts, and workshops hosted in the space. While a roster of exciting arts events are in the works, a key feature of Open Sesame is the gallery space, and Lauren has enlisted the help of local curator and artist, Sarah Kernohan, to curate the gallery. “I met Sarah when she was CAFKA’s artistic director,” says Lauren. “I was impressed by her curatorial work, knowledge of contemporary Canadian art, and connections to local artists.” Kernonhan, a landscape artist, is passionate about finding ways to present the work of regional artists. “There are many talented local artists, but there aren’t many local platforms to show their work, outside of Toronto,” says Sarah. “Open Sesame can help change that.”
The gallery exhibits will run in six to eight week cycles and they are consciously focusing on affordable work, hoping to encourage gallery visitors to become art buyers. “We want to help people discover local talent, develop their sense of curiosity, and find something beautiful to bring home,” says Sarah. They are optimistic that the workshops, concerts, and art exhibitions will help entice people to visit downtown in the evenings and weekends. “We’ve started to build great momentum and I can’t wait to see how things unfold,” says Lauren.
WRITTEN BY JUDE DOBLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN LIMOYO
Wondering where to find more great contemporary art in DTK? KW|AG, 101 Queen St. N. (with Centre in the Square) kwag.ca CAFKA Contemporary Arts Festival of Kitchener and Area, Waterloo Region May 28 - June 26, cafka.org The Art District Gallery 310 King St. E., Unit #201 (at the Kitchener Market) artdistrictgallery.org
CARVING THE NEXT CHAPTER
It was sitting right there, under everyone’s nosesthe stunning back half of the former Goudies department store. Most people passed by without noticing it, hidden behind a wall of grey stucco. Numerous developers looked at it, but they too didn’t see the beauty. It wasn’t until brothers Frank and Steve Voisin walked through it that 8 Queen found a new purpose. “The moment we saw the towering ceilings, wood floors, expansive floor
plates and exposed beams,” explains Steve, “we knew how great this space could be.” With a growing start-up scene and a shrinking supply of A-class, loft office space, the Voisins saw an opportunity to write the next chapter in downtown’s renaissance. One of the more remarkable design features will be the third floor with its fusion of old and new. A soaring brick and beam space at the back of the building will flow into the new, glass encased addition. Shipping containers were craned in and will be used to form the walls of meeting rooms.
“There are plenty of cities with beautiful, vacant, old buildings,” Frank says, “but Kitchener’s startup ecosystem is what makes a project like this possible. The two have to coexist together at the same time.” In this case, the building will become the new home for Vidyard and its continually expanding workforce. But what really excites Frank is the new glass entrance off of Goudie’s Lane, and a potential restaurant use at the rear. Long considered “no-go” zones, downtown’s back alleys are becoming opportunities for
Left to right Steve, Frank Voisin
‘...KITCHENER’S STARTUP ECOSYSTEM IS WHAT MAKES A PROJECT LIKE THIS POSSIBLE’ FRANK VOISIN
festivals and street parties. EightQueen will push this boundary even further by drawing building users to the laneway, which happens to be surrounded by unique architectural character rarely experienced by the general public. “We wanted to show leadership in our design thinking,” explains Frank, “we feel being the first to invigorate a laneway with day-to-day activity is one of our contributions to the evolution of downtown. We hope it motivates other building owners and architects to rethink
and reframe how they might leverage the charm of these laneways.” Even with such a progressive view to the future, the cultural importance of the building is not lost on the Voisins. “So many community members have shared their personal memories of Goudies department store with us,” says Steve, “we know we need to find a progressive way to showcase these stories.” The front of the old boiler and former vault door are just two of the features that
In progress: New third floor addition features floor to ceiling windows.
will be incorporated into the final design of the space. Respecting the design intentions of the previous owners was critical to maintaining the right ethos inside the building. “From what we can decipher,” Steve explains, “A.R. Goudie took a forward thinking, out-of-the-box approach to his original design. We’re confident that the work we’re doing now will continue this tradition.”
DID YOU KNOW? In 1935, Goudies Department Store was the largest of its kind outside of Toronto and Ottawa, at 55,000 square feet. It was famous for its homemade sticky buns. The building’s previous owner, Bramante Studio, is a world-leading design studio for liturgical art, having adorned over 5,000 churches and institutions worldwide.
WRITTEN BY CORY BLUHM PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE MARTZ
At the start of the year, the first owners of City Centre Condominiums started to move in. We were lucky enough to snag a tour of a few finished units and we had to show them off. Check out this view:
i nsider guide “Why we should stop complaining we don’t live in a big city and start loving the one we have” Complete with recommendations from your fellow Downtownees
We may not have the Guggenheim, but we do have the Parkenheim
Liz Little’s Song Withour Words allowed this hidden oasis to doubled as a contemporary art venue (look for the lime green parking garage).
WE DON’T have a waterfront SO... er long we party street-side all Summ
King Street is our Bourbon Street, home to some of the best street parties. This year, watch for the Night Art Market (June 10), King Streatery (June 11), Summer Lights (June 18), Canada Day (July 1), Cruising on King (July 8), Rock n Rumble (July 22-23), and Kitchener Blues Festival (Aug 4-8).
juice bar town ne o a t s ju t o n We’re
Goodvibes Juice Co has the biggest juicer we’ve ever seen, pumping out nutritional greats like the Limelight, Sunkiss and Heartbeet. Pure Juice Bar + Kitchen serves up an ever evolving array of juice cleansers, like the Invincible, Full Focus and the Flawless.
O SHARE CAUSE WE LOVE T
OUR CHINATOWN features 15 different cultures in just 6 blocks Hard to deny that DTK isn’t the best place to find truly authentic international food. And most of ours aren’t Americanized. They’re the real deal. Here are some favs:
Sharing is way more fun. Try Gilt’s always changing share plates, order by the Pupusa at Pupuseria Latinos, or order from the Classic Sichuan Series at Easy Earthern. Hand picked by Melissa Bowman, Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association: the Vegetarian Platter (pictured) from East African Cafe
Rainbow Carribean Café Handpicked by Andre Chin, Keller Williams: Curried Goat
OUR BEER STORE HAS A ROOFTOP PATIO
Shinla Garden Korean Restaurant Handpicked by Eric Rumble, Night\Shift: BiBimBap
It’s true. Unproven rumor: if McCabes runs out of beer, there’s a secret dumbwaiter to transport cases straight from the Beer Store’s cold storage.
The Guanaquita (Salvadorian) Handpicked by Erin Atchison, FedDev: The Guanaquita Platter
We may not have a chic bagel bar (yet)
these guys are bringing breakfast back
acou we have the best in Canada
Other innovative breakie spots – try Pure Juice Bar + Kitchen, Kava Bean Commons, Yeti Café, the vendors at the Kitchener Market, the Grand Trunk Saloon, Firkin at the Tannery and the Downtown Crepe Cafe.
Seriously. No joke. Centre in the Square was designed to be an acoustically-perfect concert hall, and is internationally revered by musicians who’ve graced the stage. There’s a feather for the cap.
Gilt try the Lobster & Dill Eggs Benny…with bacon…mmmmm. Handpicked by Cory Bluhm, City of Kitchener
hole foods, but... w a e av h ’t on d e W
B@THEMUSEUM try the B.enedict, and some weekends, the Banana Bread French Toast.
Darlise Café: they have a full assortment of pancakes, eggs bennie, crepes and breakfast sandwiches. Handpicked by Breanna Crossman, Downtown Kitchener BIA
You can still get all the ingredients you need for a kickin’ dinner party. Produce - Legacy Greens and Kitchener Market Meat - Kitchener Market and New City Supermarket Organics - Full Circle Foods Bread - Golden Hearth Bakery Dry Goods - Shoppers Drugmart Specialty Items - America Latina and New City Supermarket Fresh flowers - Living Fresh & Kitchener Market
You know if you have to get there by 5pm or risk waiting in a really long line, the place is legit. Seriously some of the best sushi, and definitely the best interior design, in KW. Handpicked by Kevin Muir, GSP Group
King STREET IS setTing the
Tallest slide in town. BTW pack a towel.... you will not be able to keep your kid from the splash pad. Handpicked by the throngs of parents and children that picnic there all summer long.
The innovative design of King Street opened the flood gates for other cities to build truly people-focused streets. Guelph and Niagara Falls were the first to follow suit. Buffalo is redesigning their Main Street based on the King Street Model. Watch for Toronto (Yonge Street & John Street), London (Dundas Street) and Montreal (St. Catharine Street) as they build their own innovative adaptations. I think we started something…
d by we’re surrounde gs to do in h t s s a d a b y t some pret
Great Wolf Lodge ain’t h a bowling alley it w l e ot h ly on e h t
Bet you didn’t know there was a 2 lane bowling alley in the basement of the Crowne Plaza Hotel did’ya? They also boast a pretty sweet arcade and indoor mini-golf course! Perfect for a rainy day adventure or a private booking for your next birthday party, open to the public - inquire at the front desk. The Dude abides. Hand Picked by Hilary Abel, City of Kitchener:
You can still get lunch under $5
There are some great options for a unique date night in DTK. The Boathouse for live music almost any night of the week, Grand River Rocks for testing your fear of heights and of course… BATL axe throwing. Hand picked and photographed by Chris Plunkett, Communitech.
The Shawarma Poutine (yes, Shawarma and Poutine in the same dish) is a local fav, as is the Bahn Mi from Deli Bahn Mi Givral and the pita specials from Taste of Philly Cheesesteak. Other great lunch deals – Big Fat Pita, Union Burger and Supreme 2 for 1 Pizza & Wings (just ask anyone from Cameron Heights). Handpicked by Ryan Close, Bartesian: Shawarma Poutine, Ace Shawarma
E NEXT FOOD BLOCK H T IS T S E W G IN K WEST
Sometimes you jus t
neeD some comfort food
Here’s our top picks for when you really need to eat your feelings.
Following in the footsteps of the Duke Food Block, restaurants are stacking up on ‘The Block That Rocks’, Good Vibes is the latest addition (pictured above). Watch for another new spot opening this year beside Dallas.
You can actually meet people without using Tinder
SLICES All day Breakfast
Pho DNK Pho or stir-fried noodles
Kava Bean Commons Traditional Canadian Poutine
We’ve got lots of meet ups happening all the time. And they’re always looking for new members. Some of our favs: Nerd Nite (pictured), UX Waterloo, any of the P2P’s offered by Communitech. Or check out Lone Wolf Wednesdays at Adventurer’s Guild.
McCabe’s Tuesday’s half price burger
DOWNTOWN KITCHENER OWNITDTK
Creative Advisor Twitter: @DTKitchener
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Director of Photography Instagram @Cinnvin
Editor, Writer Twitter: @AllisonMLeonard Instagram: @allison_leonard
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Photographer www.brianlimoyo.com Facebook/BrianLimoyoPhotography Twitter @LimoyoBrian
Writer Â www.redleatherbooth.com Twitter @8Jude
Lauren Benn Owner. Stylist @love.you.salon.spa
Photographer www.christinereidphotography.com Twitter @Creidphoto Facebook/ChristineReidPhoto
Writer www.bearface.ca Instagram@brfc
Tatjana Jovanovi Owner. Aesthetician @love.you.salon.spa
Photographer http://www.joemartz.com/ Twitter & Instagram @JoeMartz
Photographer Twitter: @snapdKW
Helena Kwiecinski Fashion Stylist www.stylfrugal.com @stylfrugal Facebook/StylFrugal
Writer www.waterlooregioneats.com Twitter@WatRegEats Instagram@Waterlooregioneats
James Schlueter Illustrator Twitter@fg4_James
A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS AND READERS... GET INVOLVED IN 2017 - EMAIL BCROSSMAN@ KITCHENER DOWNTOWN .COM
TOWN ENER OWNITDTK
Change is happening! It can be overwhelming and challenging or it can be an opportunity and a chance to shape the future. Positive change do...
Published on Apr 11, 2016
Change is happening! It can be overwhelming and challenging or it can be an opportunity and a chance to shape the future. Positive change do...