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FALL 2019

People-Friendly Transportation

Environmental Leadership


Vibrant Economy

PG 4

PG 7

Caring Community

PG 8

Great Customer Service

KITCHENER’S 2019-2022 STRATEGIC PLAN KITCHENER’S 2019-2022 STRATEGIC PLAN ISN’T JUST THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT’S PLAN – IT’S OUR COMMUNITY’S PLAN. IT WAS CREATED THROUGH EXTENSIVE CONSULTATION WITH THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY IN OUR CITY. Derek is seven years old, and wishes he could get everywhere on his bike. He and his parents love to cycle on the weekends and through their travels, his father has noticed a number of ways the city could improve our cycling infrastructure. There are places where the existing trails and bike lanes end without a direct connection to another piece of bike-friendly infrastructure. For people like Derek and his dad, making those connections should be a priority in order to make our transportation infrastructure more people-friendly. Our new strategic plan began with a year-long process of listening to residents like Derek and his family. As we listened, we heard the same five themes come up time and again. These recurring themes became our five strategic goals. Over the next four years we’ll work to develop and grow a Vibrant Economy, People-

K I T C H E N E R . C A / K I T C H E N E R L I F E

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Friendly Transportation, Great Customer Service, Environmental Leadership and a Caring Community. We are committed to being accountable to those who helped us develop this plan - the community we serve. You may be wondering how we’ve defined these goals, and what will be done to achieve them. That’s why we’ve created Kitchener.ca/ourplan, where you’ll find more information about each of the actions we’ve committed to, updated to reflect their current status. Subscribe to the page to be notified about our latest progress. Kitchener.ca/ourplan


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The Rainbow Crosswalk is just one symbol of the city’s commitment to building a safer, more inclusive Kitchener. Over the next 15 months, this work will continue with the launch of the Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The task force, consisting of roughly 45 members, will work together to create a comprehensive strategic plan to be presented to City Council that is community-driven and includes concrete recommendations that are practical, that address barriers, and that bring real change. The work of the task force is to create a Kitchener for everyone. Part of this will be to find ways to broaden community engagement for municipal decision-making to better represent all residents – particularly those who have been traditionally excluded or under-represented to ensure equitable service delivery, and to focus on how to best encourage, maintain and promote a more inclusive workplace and diverse workforce at the city for both employees and volunteers. This important work will also involve celebrating the full diversity of the Kitchener community to allow all residents to feel they have a place and that they belong. After the launch of a wide-reaching application process, twenty resident volunteers have now been selected to serve on the task force, joining representatives from a diverse range of community organizations, along with Kitchener city staff and council members. Together, this group will participate in and contribute to discussions on how to best embed equity, diversity and inclusion practices into the everyday work that happens at the City of Kitchener.

KITCHENER YOUTH It’s easy to see that Ahmed Kanu loves his job. Ahmed is a youth drop-in leader at the Centreville Chicopee Community Centre - a role he began in June 2018. Despite being relatively new to the team, Ahmed is well seasoned in his position, having participated in the program since he was 12 years old.

build confidence and new skills. Youth enjoy sports, games, music, art and crafts, and cooking classes in a fully supervised environment. “Youth engage in programming that interests them,” added Ahmed. “We tailor the program to suit the needs and wants of participants. Youth make connections

“Every day is a rewarding experience, because it’s an opportunity to make a difference in the community.”

In 2018, Kitchener’s first ever rainbow crosswalk was unveiled at Gaukel and Joseph Streets. A resident-led, city supported initiative brought forward by members and allies of local LGBTQ2S+ communities, the colourful walkway serves as a proud symbol of acceptance and belonging in Kitchener.

“It feels like I’ve come full circle,” said Ahmed. “I see my role as an opportunity to give back to the Kitchener community and a program that was so influential in my life growing up.”

with their peers and foster meaningful, lasting friendships.”

As a Youth Drop-In Leader, Ahmed delivers programming that has a tremendous positive impact on youth. The drop-in program provides a safe space for youth aged 12 to 17 to spend time with their peers and participate in activities that

“I’m grateful to be able to share my experience with youth to help them learn and grow,” said Ahmed. “Every day is a rewarding experience, because it’s an opportunity to make a difference in the community.”

Youth drop-in programming runs year-round in every neighbourhood. The program is free to attend and all youth are welcome.

Through the sharing of experience and expertise, research, and extensive community engagement, some of the issues tackled by this task force will include addressing anti-black and anti-indigenous racism, islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination. As part of this work, the focus will be the importance of diverse representation within the City of Kitchener workforce, the necessary accommodations for language and cultural barriers, and the provision of an inclusive and accepting environment for people with differences of any kind, such as those with disabilities or mental health struggles. The work to create a Kitchener for everyone is just beginning. To stay informed on the progress of this project and notified of opportunities to join in the discussion, visit Kitchener.ca/EDI and subscribe to the page for regular updates sent right to your inbox.

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Join us for youth drop in programming this school year! To find a youth drop in program in your neighbourhood, visit Kitchener.ca/YouthDropIn

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GREATER NEIGHBOURHOODS There’s nothing Mark Stubbs enjoys more than time spent outdoors doing physical activity. His passion for fitness and his love of the outdoors served as inspiration for a resident-led community project to install an outdoor gym in Victoria Park – the first of its kind in Kitchener. Expected to be complete later this fall, the outdoor gym will feature fitness equipment that was carefully selected to allow Kitchener residents of all ages and abilities to participate. A project of this nature requires a significant amount of time, effort and resources to come to life. Knowing this, Mark teamed up with other fitness enthusiasts who were passionate about his

vision for Victoria Park to form a resident group. Together, they put forward an application and were awarded a $20,000 Placemaking Challenge Grant through the city’s Love My Hood Neighbourhood Strategy. The outdoor gym is just one of many resident-led projects that has received funding through Love My Hood to transform everyday places into inclusive gathering spaces. From community gardens to public seating initiatives, residents across Kitchener have put forward ideas for projects to enhance their neighbourhoods and Love My Hood has provided funding to help make them happen.

If you’ve always wanted to get involved in a community project, but need a little inspiration to take the next step, participate in our Placemaking Challenge Days, taking place Sept. 27-29. You’ll see what projects Kitchener residents like Mark have been involved with and learn more about their journey. For details, visit Kitchener.ca/placemaking If you already have a great idea for a community project, apply for a Neighbourhood Matching Grant. The deadline for applications is Nov. 21. To learn more about the application process and eligibility requirements, visit lovemyhood.ca/NMG The city’s Neighbourhood Development Office is happy to answer questions and provide helpful resources to support to your project. Connect with a team member at lovemyhood.ca/workingtogether


For Israel Ramirez, each day on the job looks a little bit different. Israel works at the City of Kitchener’s Corporate Contact Centre and assists Kitchener residents with city-related inquiries ranging from parking issues to leaf collection, to reports of a coyote sighting and street flooding. “One of the reasons I enjoy working at the Corporate Contact Centre is the diversity of the work,” said Israel. “Depending on the time of day or the season, the day-to-day work changes, but our ultimate goal stays the same – to provide assistance, information and solutions to Kitchener citizens.” Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staff at the city’s Corporate Contact Centre do more than field calls - they dispatch the city’s operations team, handle after hours support for Kitchener Utilities and the City of Waterloo, in addition to monitoring the city’s email and social media accounts and alarms at city facilities and pumping stations. They also provide support to city employees, connecting them to information as requested. This time of year, Israel finds the most frequent inquiries are related to the city’s Loose Leaf Collection Program – more specifically dates, times and locations for when collection will take place. Other inquires typical of the fall season include parking and bylaw concerns as well as park and tree maintenance. “There are so many ways for citizens to connect with us to speak to a live person,” added Israel. “We’re available online, in person, by email, through social media, or by phone.” Have a city-related question? The Corporate Contact Centre is here for you 24-7. If you need information or are requesting a service from the city, you can reach us at 519-741-2345. To learn more, visit Kitchener.ca/customerservice

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The bike lane pilot has begun! As Kitchener grows, it becomes more and more important that we build infrastructure that supports all modes of transportation, and create a place for everyone to get across the city. Whether it’s kids learning to bike and getting that first bit of independence, or adults who are starting to cycle for the first time since they were kids (after ten or fifteen years, learning to cycling again is NOT as easy as the old saying would have you believe) we hear the same feedback. People are uncomfortable sharing the road with high-volume, high-speed vehicle traffic when cycling, and it’s keeping them from getting out on their bikes. That’s why we’ve recently launched a year-long pilot of separated bike lanes to prove that they work in our community. Kitchener residents have consistently told us that they want to get out on their bikes more often, and this kind of infrastructure gives people the confidence to do it.

“...they want to get out on their bikes more often...”

We’ve looked at the experiences of other rapidly-growing Canadian cities, and when this type of infrastructure is put in place, it’s heavily used, even in municipalities that have not traditionally had a large cycling community. Even those who aren’t going to be getting out on our bikes will benefit – by encouraging a balanced mix of transportation options we can improve traffic congestion, enjoy improved air quality and remove barriers for people looking to work or access services without a car. The five-kilometers of separated bike lanes are nearing completion on Queen’s Boulevard Belmont Avenue and Water Street. Made of rubber curbs and flexible posts are part of a yearlong pilot conducted by the City of Kitchener to assess the effectiveness of this type of cycling infrastructure. We’re using sensors to track how many people are using the lanes, the extent to which it calms traffic and reduces speeding, how many cyclists move off the sidewalk and the impact on travel time for cars. We’ll use that information to report back to council next fall, and figure out where these lanes could make sense in our community.

Check out our online map of cycling routes at Kitchener.ca/bikelane lane to plan a route along our new bike lanes!

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40 km

RISK of DEATH and INJURY percentages

50 km









kilometers per hour

Percentage risk

Percentage risk

Percentage risk

kilometers per hour

Percentage risk

Percentage risk

Percentage risk

40 km

32% %

26% %

42% %

50 km

80% %

3% %

17% %

Improving road safety for motorists and pedestrians is a key priority for the city. Concerns about speeding, especially in areas used by children to get to school, are one of the most common pieces of feedback that we receive. Reducing neighbourhood speed limits was one of the priorities identified through the extensive consultation conducted as part of Kitchener’s neighbourhood strategy initiative. As a result of this feedback, the city studied all collisions in Kitchener over the past five years. Although 95 per cent of collisions were between vehicles, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist were the cause of 70 per cent of collision-related serious injuries. In a collision between a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h and a pedestrian, the likelihood of survival is only 15 per cent. This survival rate increases to 75 per cent if the vehicle speed is reduced to 40 km/h. In light of this, the City of Kitchener has begun a review of the impact of reducing speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.

Three neighbourhood speed limit areas have been created for this pilot project. Zone One is bounded by Fischer Hallman Road, Huron Natural Area and Huron Road. Zone Two is bounded by Homer Watson Boulevard, Conestoga College Boulevard, New Dundee Road, Reidel Road, Caryndale Drive, Stauffer Drive, Tilts Bush and Schneider Greenway. Zone Three is bounded by River Road East, Ottawa Street North, Lackner Boulevard and Fairway Road North. To make it safer for kids walking to school, these limits will be reduced to 30 km/h in the school zones found

in each test area, down from their current 40 km/h. Though 53 sections of road already exist in Kitchener with speed limits of 40km/h, research suggests that education and enforcement must go along with lower posted limits. That’s why we’re taking this approach – it is much easier for residents to learn about neighbourhoods with lower speed limits and adjust their behavior compared to individual streets scattered across the city, and they are easier for police to consistently enforce. Find out more about the 40km/h pilot at Kitchener.ca/speedlimit




SEPTEMBER - FREE ROTUNDA GALLERY EXHIBIT The work of Eryn O’Neill. Kitchener City Hall Kitchener.ca/RotundaGallery

NOVEMBER - FREE ROTUNDA GALLERY EXHIBIT The work of Ioana Dragomir. Kitchener City Hall Kitchener.ca/RotundaGallery

SEPTEMBER - FREE BERLIN TOWER ARTSPACE EXHIBIT Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery in partnership with KW Habilitation. Kitchener City Hall Kitchener.ca/BerlinTowerArtspace EVERY THURSDAY 11 A.M. - NOON KID’S ART Free program with Artshine. Kitchener Market KitchenerMarket.ca/kidsart TUESDAY, SEPT. 18 12 - 1:30P.M. PRE-PLANNING SEMINAR The Dedication Centre at Williamsburg Cemetery KitchenerCemeteries.ca/seminars

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SUNDAY, SEPT. 22 COMMUNITY TREE PLANTING WORKSHOP Save the date for this hands-on tree planting workshop. Details coming soon! Kitchener.ca/trees

TUESDAY, SEPT. 24 5:30P.M. - 7P.M. PRE-PLANNING SEMINAR The Dedication Centre at Williamsburg Cemetery KitchenerCemeteries.ca/seminars TUESDAY, SEPT. 24 11 A.M. - NOON KID’S HOP Free sing along music for kids and families. Kitchener Market KitchenerMarket.ca/kidshop SEPT. 27-29 PLACEMAKING CHALLENGE DAYS Learn about neighbourhood projects and enjoy free activities. lovemyhood.ca/placemakingchallenge

OCTOBER - FREE ROTUNDA GALLERY EXHIBIT The work of Christina Sealey. Kitchener City Hall Kitchener.ca/RotundaGallery OCTOBER - FREE BERLIN TOWER ARTSPACE EXHIBIT The work of Paul Roorda. Kitchener City Hall Kitchener.ca/BerlinTowerArtspace EVERY THURSDAY 11 A.M. - NOON KID’S ART Free program with Artshine. Kitchener Market KitchenerMarket.ca/kidsart SATURDAY, OCT. 5 7 A.M. - 7 P.M. HARVESTFEST & 150TH ANNIVERSARY Celebrate with food, entertainment and family fun KitchenerMarket.ca/harvestfest OCTOBER 6-12 FIRE PREVENTION WEEK kitchenerfire.ca

TUESDAY, OCT. 8 & 22 11 A.M. - NOON KID’S HOP Free sing along music for kids and families. Kitchener Market KitchenerMarket.ca/kidshop FRIDAY, OCT. 11 11 A.M. – 2 P.M. OKTOBERFEST OPENING CEREMONIES And Kitchener Council Grillefest Carl Zehr Square Kitchener.ca/grillefest MONDAY, OCT. 14 8:30 A.M. KW OKTOBERFEST THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE Start: Weber & Frederick, Kitchener End: Weber & Bridgeport, Waterloo FRIDAY, OCT. 18 12 - 1:30 P.M. PRE-PLANNING SEMINAR Learn about end-of-life planning. The Dedication Centre at Williamsburg Cemetery KitchenerCemeteries.ca/seminars

NOVEMBER - FREE BERLIN TOWER ARTSPACE EXHIBIT The work of Paul Roorda. Kitchener City Hall Kitchener.ca/BerlinTowerArtspace EVERY THURSDAY 11 A.M. - NOON KID’S ART Free program with Artshine. Kitchener Market KitchenerMarket.ca/kidsart NOVEMBER 1-7 CARBON MONOXIDE AWARENESS WEEK kitchenerfire.ca SATURDAY, NOV. 2 7-10 P.M. ROCK THE RINK The Aud theAud.ca

TUESDAY, NOV. 5 & 19 11 A.M. - NOON KID’S HOP Free sing along music for kids and families. Kitchener Market KitchenerMarket.ca/kidshop THURSDAY, NOV. 7 12 - 1:30 P.M. PRE-PLANNING SEMINAR Learn about the benefits of proactive end-of-life planning. The Dedication Centre at Williamsburg Cemetery KitchenerCemeteries.ca/seminars NOVEMBER 13 5 – 7 P.M. COMMUNITY GRANTS PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION Conestoga Room, City Hall Kitchener.ca/grants TUESDAY, NOV. 26 6-7:15 P.M. PAW PATROL The Aud theAud.ca

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Trees have always been a vital part of our daily lives – providing us with clean air to breathe, shade on a hot summer day and not to mention the functional role trees play in helping us build our city. This living asset is one we often take for granted, forgetting that they need our care and stewardship in order to thrive. Knowing the value trees provide, Kitchener has set a goal to expand the tree canopy city-wide through the newly introduced sustainable urban forest strategy. Season to season, we’re working in collaboration with the community to plant and water new trees and come fall collect their leaves to reuse as mulch or compost.

Approved by council in April 2019, Kitchener’s sustainable urban forest strategy is a community-driven action plan that has already begun to foster community stewardship for trees across the city. One of the first actions undertaken coming out of the plan was a partnership with REEP Green Solutions to create a program that helps residents, like you, plant and care for new trees. This program launched in June and we’ve already received great response from the community with over 250 applications and counting. Safe to say, Kitchener’s urban forest is growing!

It’s a Tree’s Life:

Kitchener’s Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy 2019-2039

If you’re interested in learning more about trees and to find out about upcoming workshops, visit Kitchener.ca/trees

urban forest, an asset term strategy for its which also provides valued by its residents, environmental and important economic,

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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Did you know that even after the leaves fall they still have lots to offer? Dry leaves are a great carbon-rich ingredient for your compost pile that can enrich your garden, improve the soil around your trees and shrubs and help make your plants healthier. If you are not able to mulch and compost leaves on your own property, Kitchener’s leaf program begins Oct. 18 with the opening of our drop off sites. Because a portion of the leaves collected are distributed to local farmer’s fields, please remember that no bags of any kind are accepted.

You do have the option of composting leaves in paper yard waste bags through the Region of Waterloo’s yard waste program or by delivering your bags directly to the regional landfill site. Plastic bags are NOT allowed at any time. Learn more about this program by visiting the Region of Waterloo’s website.


Leaf collection drop sites open Oct. 18 and close Dec. 13, 2019. 1. Schaeffer Park (Bloomingdale Road) 2. Breithaupt Park (Kinsman Park - off Union Street) 3. Kitchener Auditorium (Ottawa Street North entrance) 4. Meinzinger Park Soccer Fields (Homer Watson Boulevard) 5. Lions Arena (Rittenhouse Road) 6. Southwest Optimist Sports Field (Pioneer Drive) 7. Cherry Park (Strange Street at Waverly Road)

The city also provides curbside loose leaf collection to areas with the heaviest tree cover. Use our free information tool to find out what leaf program options are available for your neighbourhood. By filling in your address, you’ll receive a customized list of leaf program options. Try it today! kitchener.ca/leafcollection

8. Hofstetter Park (40 Hofstetter Avenue)

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SUPPORTING OLDER ADULTS TO GO DIGITAL WHEN WALTER TRAN’S GRANDCHILDREN BOUGHT HIM AN iPAD FOR HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY, THEY WERE CERTAIN he would find it useful. They told him all about its capabilities – expressing how easy it would be for him to read the news, check the weather, and play his favourite card games. Walter didn’t know very much about computers. As a retired plumber who was accustomed to his daily newspaper and weekly euchre tournaments, he never felt the need to be online. Eager to test out his new gadget, Walter turned to his iPad to find a bus route to his friend Rory’s house. After just a few clicks, his excitement turned to confusion - and then to frustration. “What’s an iCloud,” said Walter to himself in response to a pop-up that appeared on his screen. Unable to find the Google app and unsure how to exit the camera function, he decided to give up. Dejected, disappointed and late for his card game with Rory, Walter did the only thing he could think of – he called his granddaughter for help. After a long phone call and some direction from his granddaughter, Walter

knew which bus to take to get where he was going. A little embarrassed at his failed attempt, Walter decided he didn’t want to find himself in an unfamiliar corner of cyberspace again – so he signed-up for iPads and iPhones, a computer course offered at the Rockway Centre. A few weeks later, Walter was feeling more comfortable using his iPad, accessing information online and had even created an iCloud account. Motivated to learn more, he enrolled in courses at the Downtown Community Centre to help him learn to use Skype and Facebook as well. Before he knew it, Walter was using his iPad to connect with friends he had known in high school and video chat with his granddaughter who was away at university. Becoming more computer literate had truly changed Walter’s life - it made him feel empowered, independent and more motivated than ever to learn something new. The Downtown Community Centre and the Rockway Centre offer a variety of computer courses for older adults to build knowledge and learn new skills. For more information, visit Kitchener.ca/olderadults


RBJ SCHLEGEL PARK OPENING Southwest Kitchener is among the fastest growing communities in Waterloo Region and home of the new RBJ Schlegel Park. This district park will have lots of leisure and recreational facilities for residents to enjoy now and for years to come as we refine plans for the future indoor recreational facility. Construction of phase one will be completed later this fall and starting next spring residents will be able to take advantage of the all first phase of the park has to offer including: • Two artificial turf sports fields • A new playground and splash pad • Winding trails through the park • Open lawn areas and more than 280 large trees The park also features a natural turf multi-sport field and cricket field that will open in 2021 and enhanced stormwater infrastructure including rain gardens, bioswales and infiltration galleries designed to manage the majority of the stormwater that falls on site. Subscribe to kitchener.ca/schlegelpark for updates and information on the grand opening celebrations.

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Customer Service 519-741-2529


CHANGES AHEAD FOR KITCHENER’S CITY HALL Following an extensive review and consultation, the outdoor spaces around City Hall will undergo renovations beginning in next spring to: • resurface the paved areas to fix the cracks and uneven ground; • replace the aging, but much loved, fountain and skating rink; • improve lighting; and • add new furnishings, splash pad and landscaping.

So that we can deliver safe, clean, reliable drinking water today and for future generations, Kitchener Utilities performs regular maintenance on its water pipes. This includes flushing watermains regularly to reduce the chance of customers experiencing discoloured water. This important maintenance work takes place Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from September to December. When we are working in your area, you may notice: • Discoloured water; • Reduced water pressure; • Short-term water outage. If you experience discoloured water during this work, you can clear your water lines by simply running your cold water tap until the water flows clear. To find out if cleaning is scheduled for your area, enter your address at www.kitchenerutilities.ca/waterflushing

These improvements are not just cosmetic. This work will improve accessibility, energy efficiency as well as the functionality of these prime community spaces. Learn more at Kitchener.ca/chos

Thank you for your co-operation during this important maintenance program.

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Profile for Kitchener Citizen

Kitchener Life - Fall 2019  

The City of Kitchener's Lifestyle Publication

Kitchener Life - Fall 2019  

The City of Kitchener's Lifestyle Publication