Kitchener Life - Spring Edition - March 2021

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S T R AT E G I C P L A N 2019-2022

Celebrating the kindness and generosity of Kitchener’s volunteers April 18-24 is National Volunteer Week – a time to celebrate the volunteers whose contributions both big and small make all the difference in our Kitchener community. While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our community in different ways, Kitchener volunteers have continued to show their generosity and dedication to serving our city. By giving their time, skills and experience, Kitchener volunteers have helped to make the continuation of important City operations possible. From maintaining valued program delivery, to serving on advisory committees and boards, Kitchener volunteers continue to play a vital role in helping to make our City a great place to live, work and play. This spring join us in celebrating the contributions of our many volunteers and thanking them for their continued support. ..............................................................................................................................................................................

Together, let’s build an innovative, caring and vibrant Kitchener

Bringing your priorities to life in Kitchener The priorities that matter most to Kitchener residents are important to us. In fact, they form the backbone of our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. We’re in an exciting phase of our four-year plan; many of the strategies have been approved and we’re now in the process of seeing tangible change in our community. Our strategic plan has turned many of the community’s priorities into long-term strategies for the City – the Cycling and Trails Master Plan, the Make it Kitchener 2.0 Economic Development Strategy and the Housing For All Strategy.

Volunteering takes many forms. To learn more about opportunities to get involved in your community, visit

DELIVERING SERVICES WE RELY ON City of Kitchener staff have continued to deliver the services you depend on throughout the pandemic. We make sure critical services are delivered when you need them most. From providing safe and reliable water, maintaining our parks and trails, keeping our city roads in good condition, public workers are busy behind the scenes making sure these amenities are running smoothly. City staff are committed to delivering safe and reliable services to our community. .................................................................................................................... Visit for up-to-date information on city services impacted by the pandemic.

The city is now accepting grant applications from residents looking to restore or conserve their heritage property. Eligible properties include individually designated properties under the Ontario Heritage Act and properties located in one of the city’s four heritage conservation districts: Grants are available to cover up to half the cost of eligible projects, from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $3,000. Applications for 2021 funding are due April 30. For more information, go to

Upper Doon Victoria Park St. Mary’s and Civic Centre

These strategies are based on the feedback we received from you. As we begin to bring these projects to life in your neighbourhood, we want to continue that dialogue by hearing what you think about the individual projects and programs. Visit and register to be notified of the latest opportunities to have your say about the future of our community. This spring we’re starting construction on the Downtown Cycling Grid, the result of feedback from more than 5,000 residents. We’re listening and want you to be involved as we become a more innovative, caring and vibrant community. ...........................................................................................

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kitchener community has remained connected and resilient. We’ve seen an outpouring of community support for small business and we’ve heard inspiring stories of good neighbours across our city showing their kindness and generosity. Together, we’ve ‘Reimagined Winter,’ finding safe and innovative ways to be more active and involved as a community this past winter. Since the very beginning, you’ve joined us online for our virtual Active At Home programming, to continue to stay active, connected and even learn something new. While you’ve been doing your part to adjust to changes in your daily life and to make the most of more time at home, we’ve been doing what we can to keep city operations running and continue offering the programs and services we know you value most.

The City of Kitchener continues to evaluate our service delivery, making programs and services available when it’s safe to do so as directed by the province and Public Health officials. In January, the province declared a second state of emergency and issued a stay at home order for all Ontarians to help limit the spread of COVID-19. During this time, residentswere asked to remain home, with limited exceptions for essential outings such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, and for exercise or work. We continue to take direction from the Province, adjusting city operations to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our community.

The city is committed to providing residents with the most current information on our COVID-19 response. As facilities begin to reopen and city services become available again, we’ll be updating our social media channels and webpage, stay tuned to for the latest information.

As our city and community takes action to limit the spread of COVID-19, here are just a few ways to continue staying connected and resilient this spring: BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR There are lots of safe ways to show a neighbour you care. Whether it’s saying hello from your doorstep, mowing their lawn or delivering groceries, take a moment to show kindness to someone in your neighbourhood.

SUPPORT LOCAL Our small businesses need our support now more than ever. Consider shopping online or ordering take-out or delivery to show your support for a local, small business.

STAY ACTIVE Active At Home continues to offer free online programming to help you stay fit, active and even learn a new skill. From fitness classes to cooking tutorials and even computer literacy programming, there are a host of activities available 24/7. Visit for details.

GIVE BACK Looking to give back? Consider planning a neighbourhood project to enhance your neighbourhood or sharing your skills and talents by volunteering with us. Learn more about neighbourhood projects at and volunteering at

MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER For the latest community information on COVID-19, as well as updates on city services, visit




REPORT – 2020 –

Kitchener residents consistently tell us they want the city to show environmental leadership and take strong action to combat climate change.

• Energy projects completed at City facilities will save 194,934.56 kilowatt hours of electricity annually • Energy audits and new efficiency design standards for pumping stations

FLEET • Expanded our fleet’s sustainability by adding five hybrid SUVs, four electric cars, an electric zero turn mower, and an electric utility vehicle • Average annual savings of a new electric vehicle is $2,270 due to lower fuel, operation and maintenance costs, with an average payback period of six years and lifespan of 10+ years

WASTE • Diverted over 635 tonnes of waste from going to landfill, including: – 3,369 LED lightbulbs – Over 1.1 million lbs of e-waste, scrap metal, and cast iron – Over 14 tonnes of wood

Greenhouse Gas (tonnes of CO2 equivalent gases)

Kitchener’s Corporate Greenhouse Gas Inventory EXPANDED TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS 14 k

• Approved 10 km of new or upgraded infrastructure for downtown cycling grid

12 k

• Approved Cycling and Trails Master Plan – recommendations for the next 10 years include 43 km of ‘on street’ active transportation facilities like bike lanes and multi-use trails and 13 km of ‘off-street’ multi-use trails

10 k 8k 6k 4k



• Our Earth Day commitment to plant 500 trees by 2022

0k 2010 Building









Pumping Stations


Due to the pandemic, our emissions actually fell well below our goal, more than 20% below our benchmark year (2016). Now that we’ve shown it can be done, we’re more committed than ever to reach our 2026 goal. Read the whole report at

AIR QUALITY: • Anti-idling Bylaw approved by City Council • Four real-time air quality monitors installed at local elementary schools

DID YOU CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES? Daylight saving time changes are a great reminder to make sure your fire and CO alarms are in working order, with fresh batteries. These alarms are often the first sign of danger, so make sure they are working to keep your home safe.

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Parks and


HELP SHAPE THE VISION FOR PARKS AND OPEN SPACES IN KITCHENER The City of Kitchener is creating a strategy that will explore what community members are looking for when they visit city parks and open spaces. We believe they’re more than just a plot of land and play structures. Parks are places where residents connect and grow. Visit and spaces and subscribe to page updates to be notified when the city will be collecting input to shape the future of parks in Kitchener.



KW Homelessness Memorial

With more than 500 parks and open spaces across Kitchener, you don’t have to look far to find one. Here are some hidden gems worth exploring this spring. TRILLIUM WOODS TRAIL 1541 Fischer-Hallman Rd. The Trillium Woods Trail is perfect for hiking, running, walking and biking. Start your adventure at Williamsburg Cemetery, home to a bridge overlooking a pond. HOMER WATSON PARK TRAIL 1094 Wilson Ave. The Homer Watson Park Trail offers a five kilometre scenic route through Homer Watson Park with stunning views overlooking Schneider Creek. LAKESIDE PARK 206 Lakeside Dr. Often described as an urban oasis, Lakeside Park is quietly tucked away in the heart of our city, near St. Mary’s General Hospital. Migratory birds and other animals are easy to spot during the warmer months.

Trillium Woods Trail

Parks are not just places we enjoy in the present, but sites that celebrate the past. Take a moment to acknowledge these creative pieces of art located in some of Kitchener’s parks.

IMPROVEMENTS AT RBJ SCHLEGEL PARK RBJ Schlegel Park, located at the corner of Huron and Fischer-Hallman roads, is an inviting new park that features diverse amenities built sustainably in a growing area of Kitchener. Two artificial turf fields and a playground were opened after completing phase one, with a splash pad, cricket pitch and third

RBJ Schlegel Park

natural turf field set to open this summer. The City is excited to bring phase two to the community this year. Construction this year will bring a new washroom and changeroom facility, outdoor court spaces and improved trail connections. We’re excited to share when these additions are made.

KW HOMELESSNESS MEMORIAL: Between a Rock and a Hard Place Vogelsang Green: corner of Duke and Queen streets The KW Homelessness Memorial: Between a Rock and a Hard Place honours and acknowledges local people experiencing homelessness and commemorates those who lost their lives. The memorial was created by local artist Ernest Daetwyler and depicts a backpack cast in bronze on a red sandstone slab. CANOE Victoria Park: 32 Dill St. An aluminum canoe rides the grassy waves of Victoria Park, not far from the water. Inside the canoe, mirror-polished stainless steel reflects the sky. The canoe becomes a vessel reflecting the environment. PROTECTING THE MEMORY Civic Centre Park: 101 Queen St N. This 13-foot memorial sculpture depicts a firefighting scene encircled in the arc of angels’ wings. The installation includes inscribed bronze helmets for fallen firefighters as a lasting tribute to their sacrifice. It was commissioned by the Kitchener Professional Fire Fighters Association and donated to the City of Kitchener.




VIRTUAL KIDS IN THE KITCHEN KITCHENER MARKET March 20 & 27, 10 - 11 a.m. Online cooking class designed for your young chefs.

SENIORS’ FLEXERCISE ONLINE April 5, 12, 19 & 26 Seniors can enjoy virtural programs from the comfort of home.

SENIORS’ FLEXERCISE ONLINE March 28 & 29 Seniors can enjoy virtural programs from the comfort of home. VIRTUAL COOKING CLASS: BRISKET TACOS KITCHENER MARKET March 24, 6:30 - 7 p.m. Chefs providing instruction on a slow roast brisket taco.

WINTER STORIES: A TIME FOR LISTENING, SHARING AND CONNECTING ONLINE: KPL’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL April 7 & 21, 7-8 p.m. All are invited to Winter Stories, a video series where local Indigenous knowledge keepers and elders share stories of culture, history and lived experiences.

VIRTUAL COOKING CLASS: GRILLED CORN AND POTATO SOUP KITCHENER MARKET March 26, 6:30 -7 p.m. Learn to make soup using local craft beer.

WINTER STORIES: A TIME FOR LISTENING, SHARING AND CONNECTING ONLINE: KPL’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL March 24 All are invited to Winter Stories, a video series where local Indigenous knowledge keepers and elders share stories of culture, history and lived experiences. VIRTUAL COOKING CLASS: FRENCH FLAIR WITH INGREDIENT KIT KITCHENER MARKET March 25, 6:30 - 7 p.m. Registered class with ingredients kit available for pickup.


EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK KITCHENER FIRE May 2-8 Take actions to be prepared and protected in an emergency.


SENIORS’ FLEXERCISE ONLINE May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 Seniors can enjoy virtural programs from the comfort of home.

March 31, 6:30 - 7 p.m. Learn how to braise beef using local craft beer.

ONGOING UNTIL MAY OR JUNE HEART FOR ART – UNTIL MAY 11 Offered at Chandler Mowat, and Victoria Hills Community Centres. For participants 8-12 years At CMCC: Tuesdays, 4:30-6 p.m. At VHCC: Wednesdays, 4-5:30 p.m. YOUTH PROGRAMMING – AFTER SCHOOL CLUB – UNTIL MAY 26 Offered at various community centres: BCC, CHCC, FHCC, DPPCC, CCC, WCC. Program runs for 1 hour and 30 mins, beginning at either 4 p.m. or 4:30 p.m., weekday varies by centre. Pre-registration required. OLDER ADULTS – OFFERED UNTIL END OF JUNE VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING. Participants must register via ActiveNet. CHAIR YOGA Mondays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. FLEXERCISE Mondays at 10 a.m. and Fridays at 10:15 a.m. STABILITY BALL Thursdays at 10 a.m.

Though we can’t meet in person, we still want your feedback, input, and involvement! You have valuable opinions, perspective, and ideas that can help shape our community. At Engage Kitchener, you can do so safely and from the comfort of your home.

STAY CONNECTED! REGISTER FOR ENGAGE KITCHENER ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS ABOUT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS FEELING ISOLATED FROM ONE ANOTHER. WE CAN’T GATHER WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, OR OUR NEIGHBOURS. One way to stay connected and engaged is Engage Kitchener. It is an online platform where you can comment, share opinions and exchange ideas about city programs, services and decisions. Registration is free and registered users are the first to know about new opportunities to learn more about new city initiatives and give their feedback. Though we can’t meet in person, we still want your feedback, input, and involvement! You have valuable opinions, perspective, and ideas that can

help shape our community. At Engage Kitchener you can do so safely and from the comfort of your home. In 2020, we heard from thousands of residents on projects like the Downtown Cycling Grid, Housing for All Strategy, Vision Zero, and the 2021 budget. This year, we’ll be looking for feedback on other issues like city parks, utilities, stormwater management, and climate action.

.............................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................................... Join the 3000+ neighbours just like you who are sharing their feedback and making a difference in our city. Visit and be part of the conversation.

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The evolution of downtown

A new way to get around is coming to Kitchener’s downtown. The DOWNTOWN CYCLING GRID is designed so people of all ages and abilities can get around safely and comfortably by bike. Construction will begin this spring and will be complete in September.

THE GRID CONSISTS OF 10 KM OF NEW OR UPGRADED INFRASTRUCTURE: • 2.8 km of separated cycling facilities that create a grid of east/west and north/south corridors in and through the downtown. • 6.6 km of neighbourhood bikeways that will connect surrounding neighbourhoods to the downtown. • A 0.6 km multi-use trail that will help connect the Civic District, Spur Line Trail and Olde Berlin Town neighbourhoods to the downtown.


SEPARATED BIKE LANES ON: • Joseph Street • Water Street • Duke Street • Ontario Street • Cedar Street

• This provides two-way travel for both pedestrians and cyclists in a shared space in the boulevard.

ONE-WAY VEHICLE TRAFFIC ON PORTIONS OF: • Joseph Street • Duke Street • Ontario Street • Cedar Street

• Proposed on Margaret Avenue and Otto Street. Learn about our construction status by subscribing for updates at

Kitchener’s LoveMyHood Matching Grant helps to make your vision for your neighbourhood a reality

KITCHENER TECH CONNECTS PROGRAM HELPS SENIORS STAY IN TOUCH For Lenny Gurtz, there is no greater joy than being a grandfather. From birthday parties, to swim lessons, little league games to dance recitals, Lenny hasn’t missed one milestone moment of his grandchildren’s lives. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Lenny’s world changed completely. His days, which once revolved around endof-school pick-ups and impromptu ice cream runs, were spent indoors and away from his beloved grandkids. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented Lenny from being with his grandchildren, he’s still very much involved in their daily lives. With a little help from the Kitchener Tech Connects program, Lenny has found new ways to stay in touch with his grandkids by learning new computer skills. Now well-versed in Zoom calls and even email etiquette, he’s yet to miss a living room piano concert or the story behind a missing tooth.

Last spring, Barb Ward and Mark Stubbs saw their creative vision come to life when the installation of Kitchener’s very first outdoor gym in Victoria Park was complete. Now known as the Kitchener Rangers Fitness Area, the gym offers a range of accessible outdoor fitness equipment suitable for a variety of ages and abilities. The project, which took several years to complete, was the recipient of the $20,000 LoveMyHood Matching Grant, in addition to sponsorship from the Kitchener Rangers, Kitchener Sports Association and other generous community partners. The outdoor gym is just one example of community-based projects that have been made possible by the city’s LoveMyHood Matching Grant. From little libraries to community gardens, LoveMyHood has supported a host of different projects in neighbourhoods across Kitchener. ........................................................................................................................................................................................ Do you have a project idea to enhance your neighbourhood, but need a little help making it happen? Apply for a LoveMyHood Matching Grant and you could be eligible for up to $30,000 in funding to make your vision a reality. Apply online at The deadline for the next round of applications is May 20, 2021.

REGISTER NOW! Spots fill quickly.



years old.

er, Where sudmm t! e e m s d n ie r f n a fun

Activities Eco-Discovery Sports STEM Learning Arts • Crafts Games Kids in the Kitchen Teen Zone Registration is now open!

To learn more about the free courses available to Kitchener seniors, visit

For kids

Affordable, fun camp options, available for all ages and interests. Visit for more information or call 519-741-2382.


They say it’s us, but it’s NOT Kitchener Utilities does not go door-to-door, use telemarketers or send unmarked letters to contact you. If we need to inspect or repair your rental water heater, natural gas or water meter, we will contact you in advance, by mail or by phone to schedule a time.


If you are unsure if the person calling or visiting you is Kitchener Utilities, call anytime to verify.

519-741-2529 Select option 3 You can identify if it’s us by: • Official City of Kitchener identification • A marked City of Kitchener, Kitchener Utilities or partner ‘authorized dealer’ vehicle

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RENOVATING KITCHENER.CA A new-look website offers improved usability, including easier-to-find content with enhanced search and navigation, a customized experience based on navigation history, improved accessibility and integration with voice-controlled personal assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

THE BRAND NEW MyKitchener PORTAL The City of Kitchener is the first municipality in Canada to offer a personalized customer service portal that includes a wide range of city services. The MyKitchener portal is a central place for you to access information that is relevant to you. To personalize your experience, you can now create a secure account to view information like property tax and utility bills, view events and facilities based on your address, receive Snow Event and road closure notifications and more. It’s as unique as you are. Spring is the season of new beginnings. This new online experience was entirely created with our community in mind. Thank you to the citizen volunteers who participated in user testing and helped to make MyKitchener the best it can be. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it for you.

Learn more at

Natural gas lines can sometimes intersect with sewer lines beyond the outside walls of your home or building. In these cases, clearing a blocked sewer line with motorized or water jetting equipment could damage the natural gas line and lead to a gas leak creating a serious safety risk for you and others.

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