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The city’s publication for its residents

May-June 2014

Local on your table




hen the book The 100-Mile Diet rose to popularity a few years ago, locally raised and produced food returned to the radar as a real option for our kitchen tables. Last year, awareness of, and accessibility to, local food was formalized when the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed Bill 36, Local Food Act, 2013.

The new legislation - the first of its kind in Canada - will foster successful and resilient local food economies and systems in Ontario, help increase awareness of local food in Ontario and develop new markets for local food by making more local food available in markets, schools, cafeterias, grocery stores and restaurants throughout the province. And the first week of June will be the province’s first Local Food Week, drawing attention to the benefits of local, fresh foods, both nutritionally and economically.

The Kitchener Market has been supporting local food for generations, but celebrating a week highlighting local producers and farmers is about more than local food for Kim Feere, manager of the Kitchener Market; it’s about the local economy. “The market connects producers and consumers. When one does well, it positively impacts the other,” Feere said, adding according to Farmers’ Markets Canada, every market vendor creates up to five jobs. “People are more aware of what they’re eating and where it’s coming from. It’s important to them to support the local food economy and it’s important to us, too.” According to provincial statistics, Ontario farmers produce more than 200 agricultural commodities, the agri-food industry employs more than 700,000 people of the 6.9 million employed in the province, and exports are $9.9 billion and growing. There are 200 farmers’ markets in the province.

“There are nutritional and economic benefits to purchasing produce from local farms, not to mention the good value of local foods and more availability of organic foods,” said Feere. “We see the Kitchener Market as a partner in assisting in the overall development of the Waterloo Region local food community and economy.”

The Kitchener Market is particularly accessible to residents who live in or near the downtown area of Kitchener, but draws people from all different communities. The Local Food Act establishes efforts to make access to local food a reality, which places the Kitchener Market in a special position.

of accessible transit. In the future, an LRT stop near the market will increase accessibility even for out-of-town shoppers.

“The accessibility of the Kitchener Market is what sets it up to be the biggest facilitator of a transition to eating locally grown foods for Kitchener residents,” she said. The market will celebrate local food with a farmers’ dinner, including beef from market vendor, Charles Meats, on Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $45 per person. For more on the Kitchener Market and Local Food Week, please go to n

Feere points out that transit stops along with parking options every few blocks place the farmers’ market at the centre

McLennan Park is ready to rock!


or three days in the summer, the atmosphere in Kitchener will be heaving with energy and good vibes as Big Music Fest comes to McLennan Park July 11-13. Headliners for this all-ages, familyfriendly event include the legendary rock band, Aerosmith, and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Bryan Adams. In order for the event to go off without a hitch, the promoters are working with the City of Kitchener’s special events, bylaw and parks staff, as well as Waterloo Regional police, Waterloo Region emergency medical services and Kitchener Fire Department on security plans, parking and onsite security presence. “As you might imagine, an event that draws thousands and has a projected economic impact of more than $2 million over three days is a challenge to execute without the help of a number of partners,” said Jeff Young, manager of special events. “We’re working with a large

number of local service clubs and vendors to make sure the event runs smoothly.” The first day of the festival will be free to the public and will feature breaking bands and a province-wide band talent competition. Also featured during the three days are Styx, Moist, Kim Mitchell, Collective Soul and Slash, with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Logistically speaking, portions of the park will be unavailable prior to and during the festival, including the dog park and splash park, which will be closed Thursday to Sunday inclusively. All festival attendees will pass through security before entering the event site, and for additional safety, there are no in-and-out privileges during the day. Also, no lawn chairs, umbrellas, outside food or drink will be permitted on the festival site.

Getting there McLennan Park is close to Grand River Transit stops, cycling routes and walking trails, and alternate modes of getting to the festival, rather than driving, are preferable; even consider being dropped off or taking a taxi. There will also be additional off-site shuttle locations throughout the city. Ottawa Street between Elmsdale Drive and Strasburg Road will be closed Saturday and Sunday evenings from about 8:30 p.m. to midnight. There will be no on-street parking permitted in the McLennan Park area. There will be volunteer parking marshals at entrances to the subdivision on festival weekend who will be advising festival attendees that there is no on-street

parking throughout the weekend. Since this event is also licensed, designated driver services will be also available for festival attendees. Park staff will be on site throughout the day to keep the park clean. Additional trash cans will be on site to assist with trash collection. Set-up for the festival begins on Monday, July 7, and takedown will be complete by Monday, July 14 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available online at or by phone at 1-866-943-8849. A single-day ticket is $69.50, while a limited number of two-day passes are available for $99.50. VIP single-day tickets will also be available for $129.50 n

Your Kitchener

Is published every other month to keep citizens informed on local issues and events. Questions or comments can be directed to 519-741-2200 ext. 7383 or The City of Kitchener is committed to providing accessible formats. If another format would work better for you, please contact the number above.

Summer camps Summer camp registration is now open! We have a series of fun, affordable options for ages three to 14. Visit www.kitchener. ca/summercamps for listings. n Are you on the voters’ list? Kitchener’s next municipal and school board elections take place on Monday, Oct. 27. Are you recorded as an eligible voter for the upcoming municipal election? Confirm you are on the preliminary list of electors, which is used to prepare the voters’ list for election day. Have your say. Visit to confirm and update your voter details. For more information, contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) at 1-866-296-6722. n City and Colour with Half Moon Run Canadian singer-songwriter City and Colour tours with a brand new band, arriving at The Aud on May 12. Currently touring for his fourth album, The Hurry and The Harm, his melodic acoustic and folk music has won international attention, and he has toured Australia and Europe in the past year. Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone at 1-800-265-8977, and in person at The Aud and The Centre In The Square. n

Keepers of the code


ike Seiling holds up the latest version of the Ontario Building Code and a version from 1975, when the Code was first written; the 2012 version is about two-thirds thicker and much heavier. “The first Code dealt mainly with building and fire safety,” said Seiling, who is the director of building for the City of Kitchener and president of the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA). “Every time there’s a death or a safety situation that causes harm, it gets expanded. And now it includes enhanced accessibility and environmental regulations, as well.” May is Building Safety Month and Seiling’s staff will be raising awareness about permits and inspections during the week of May 12-16 with a tent on the main floor at city hall. The tent will be staffed from noon to 2 p.m. every day that week. “When we catch people building without a permit, often they’ll say they didn’t know they needed a permit,” said Seiling. “This is an opportunity for the public to pick our brains, and for us to let people know about the building division and clarify what projects require permits before the project starts.”

The thick Code book, which is updated every seven years or so, is an example of how much knowledge building officials need to do their work; it’s knowledge that comes in handy when talking to residents who are planning to do renovations or build a deck or pool. So when you’re applying for a permit, you’re getting a wealth of experience and know-how that can help you complete your project efficiently and safely. “Staff checks the Code book many times every day,” said Seiling. “The Code covers everything from issuing permits to conducting an inspection, and is invaluable for guiding how we serve our customers.” Homeowners can get a head start on their summer projects starting in May with the city’s Tuesday night express permit service, which runs from 4-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday night until the end of August. “It doesn’t take long to get the permit if you have your complete project drawings, but there might be a line-up, so come early,” Seiling advises. “We’re the only municipality in the region to offer this service.”

As president of the OBOA, Seiling’s role allows him to learn of potential changes coming forward from the Province of Ontario and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and provide feedback on them before they become law. The association also provides professional training opportunities for its 2,000 members in more than 20 regions across the province. Building officials are responsible for making sure contractors and homeowners meet the minimum requirements of the Ontario Building Code. “You can go above and beyond the minimum requirements on your project, and it doesn’t matter to us if the house you’re working on is $100,000 or $500,000,” said Seiling. “It’s not our role or responsibility to guarantee the work, but to make sure the minimum requirements are met.” To apply for a permit or to get more information, stop by the building division on the fifth floor at city hall or call 519.741.2433 or go to and look under Living in Kitchener, Housing and Property. n

YOUR KITCHENER, YOUR SAY! A dozen ways to think about food There’s always something fun happening at the Kitchener Market. Free events take place on Saturdays. For details visit • May 10: Mother’s Day Tea for Mom, 10 a.m. - noon • May 24: Food Revolution, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. • June 14: Father’s Day BBQ • June 21: Strawberry Festival 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. • Mother’s Day Fashion Show Friday, May 9, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. $15 per person Discover your love of cooking at the market! Classes take place Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. • May 13: Supper Club Night • May 14: Indian Cuisine • May 21: Thai Cuisine, part 2 • June 3: Cook Like a Chef • June 11: Greek • June 18: Sushi • June 19: Meal Salads • June 25: African Cooking To register, visit www.kitchenermarket. ca/cookingclasses or email info@ n

The circus is coming to town!


uick-change artists, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists . . . these all come to mind when you think of the circus. And they’ll all be part of the Summer Circus Spectacular, which comes to The Aud on Saturday, June 7, with show times at 3 and 7 p.m. This year’s show features the extreme thrill acts of the Winns, who perform amazing stunts on the sway poles, motorcycle on the incline wire, cybercycle and the Wheel of Destiny. Horses, camels, a black panther and baboons are also part of the spectacular show. Our animal provider, the Bowmanville Zoo, is accredited with Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).

African Lion Safari is a current member of CAZA, which promotes the welfare of, and encourages the advancement and improvement of, zoological parks, aquariums and related animal exhibits in Canada as humane agencies of recreation, education, conservation, and science. The animals, which are from the Bowmanville zoo, travel for only four weeks with the show. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.the, by phone at 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, and in person at The Aud and the Centre In The Square box offices. For more information please visit n

Join the conversation Share your ideas Make Kitchener better! Upcoming sessions: May 10, 13, 14, 15, 29 and 31. 519-741-2200 x7700

Wondering what to do this summer?

get on your bike W

ith more than 120 km of off-road bike trails in Kitchener, there are plenty of opportunities to get on your bike and explore all the city has to offer this summer. It’s the fun way to travel to work, school, your local community centre, or to enjoy a family day out on one of Kitchener’s well-loved trails, such as the Iron Horse or Walter Bean Grand River Trail. Not sure what route to take? Pick up a copy of the 2014 BikeKitchener bike map. It is packed full with all of the city’s bike routes, along with useful cycling tips and safety information. Grab your copy of the bike map at a BikeKitchener community cycling event in June; full details on these events, can be found at Or collect a copy during the Kitchener BikeFest on Sun.,

June 1 between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in front of Kitchener City Hall. Copies will also be available at community centres. The 2014 Kitchener BikeFest will be packed full with fun activities for the whole family, a market, live music, food trucks, organized bike rides and lots of free swag–think bike bells, reflectors, stickers, helmets, and lots more. This year’s event is going to be bigger and even better than last year’s! Bring your bike and join in a group bike ride, brush up your cycling safety skills, learn the cycling hand signals, or make sure your bike is in tip-top

condition by checking out one of our bike fix-it stations. We’ll be giving away some pretty awesome prizes during BikeFest including a bike valued at $1,000 from Ziggy’s Cycle and Sport – and launching the Kitchener Bike Challenge!.In total, we’ll be giving away 20 bikes this June. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get on your bike! Full details are available at challenge P.S. Don’t forget, if you’re cycling into the city, there are lots of secure places to park your bike. Visit to check out our secure bike parking locations and to register for a pass. Or, if you don’t own a bike but want to get cycling, check out the Community Access Bikeshare (CAB) ( in downtown Kitchener to hire a cycle. BikeKitchener is a platform for the City of Kitchener to promote and foster a sustainable cycling culture among residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Whether you’re looking for information on cycling routes, safety tips, promotional events or upcoming projects, BikeKitchener provides information, resources, and support to those interested in cycling. n

Preserving cultural heritage


A cultural heritage landscape is a location where people’s influence on the natural landscape results in a place with distinctive character and cultural importance. Cultural heritage planning is about managing change to ensure that cultural heritage resources are appropriately conserved.

hen you hear the words “cultural heritage,” what comes to mind? A park? A building? A neighbourhood? This year, the City of Kitchener is conducting a study to identify, evaluate, inventory and map significant cultural heritage landscapes in Kitchener. The city is working with a team of professional consultants, including landscape architects, heritage planners and archaeologists led by the firm, The Landplan Collaborative Ltd. Leon Bensason has worked for the City of Kitchener for 27 years, 22 of those in heritage planning. “By far, the majority of my work has focused on conserving buildings and structures, whether that includes integrating heritage properties into new subdivisions, the adaptive re-use of industrial buildings, or conserving historic neighbourhoods through the

designation of heritage conservation districts,” said Bensason. “This significant yet narrow view of heritage has in the last several years been broadened to include cultural and natural landscapes and the significance of the interrelationship between structures, spaces, and natural elements that together are valued by a community for their meaning and association.”

“The first step in any conservation strategy is identification and evaluation, and this study is about taking stock of those places and spaces that are significant in defining Kitchener’s identity and culture,” said Bensason. “Only then can we begin to have a discussion on how best to conserve the character defining features which contribute to making those areas significant. Public consultation and engagement will be a key component of this study.” For more information, please visit www.

Putting nature back into play


vonne Westerveld Cardoso’s face lights up when she talks about planning a natural play garden at Huron Natural Area. A landscape architectural intern for the City of Kitchener, she sees so many possibilities for creating a place where children can dig, build, imagine, create, hide, explore and discover, that she can hardly wait to get started. “I imagine a place where there are so many different layers that every time you come back, you find something new,” she said. “I could see a play garden with a little whimsy and a whole lot of imagination.” Natural play gardens, or playscapes, provide creative outdoor play to teach, engage and help kids learn about the environment. They blend natural materials, features and indigenous vegetation with creative landforms to create interaction with natural, environmental objects to challenge

An example of a natural playspace.

and fascinate children, and teach them about the wonders and intricacies of the natural world as they play within it. Play components may include environmental art, indigenous vegetation (trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, mosses), boulders or other rock structures, dirt and sand, natural features (stone, willow, wood), textured pathways, and simple water features. “In essence, playscapes are designed with the intent of bringing children and people back to nature,” said Josh Shea, the city’s natural areas coordinator. “The movement from traditional playground structures to natural

outdoor environments has been gaining momentum over the past 10 years. With new research on environment, childhood obesity, horticultural therapy, nature deficit disorder and bullying, these play spaces offer an important, inclusive alternative to traditional playgrounds.” Weather permitting, the project will be constructed in late summer or early fall. There will be opportunities for the public to help create parts of the play garden, and to share skills, knowledge, labour, materials, even elements of artistic expression. For more information, see n

Festival of Neighbourhoods


hen a seven-year-old boy brought his neighbours in Edgewater Estates together through a toy drive for Anselma House, it was a perfect fit for Festival of Neighbourhoods (FON). So was a walk-about in the Auditorium neighbourhood, which was open to and attended by people with varying physical abilities, and from different cultures and varying ages. Celebrating its 21st anniversary, FON has provided a $10,000 capital improvement grant to one winning registered neighbourhood area each year. This year, FON got a long-overdue increase; grants will now be $21,000, the difference achieved by reallocating existing funds that were being under-used, specifically the Tier 3 community grant. FON is a supportive incentive program that builds connections and celebrates neighbourhoods. Community members

are encouraged to organize inclusive activities that bring geographical neighbours together face-to-face to get to know one another better. The grant is awarded to one neighbourhood area each year that holds an inclusive neighbourhood gathering and registers their event with the FON. “As one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Central Frederick has a long history of community led events, both through our neighbourhood association and through independent neighbourhood groups,” said Laura Peart-McBride, a member of the Central Frederick Neighbourhood Association. Last year, Peart-McBride accepted an FON award for the neighbourhood’s 20-year connection with FON. “Over the past 20 years the FON has been a cheerleader for both small community events and for creating

connections between all of the neighbourhoods in Kitchener,” she said, adding when the neighbourhood won the grant years ago, “residents were able to create an urban oasis in an abandoned lot, now known as Brubacher Green.” Registered inclusive events have included neighbourhood clean-ups, street parties, Jane’s Walks, and book swaps. Grant winners have made improvements to their playgrounds, trails, streets and parks. The prospect of winning the grant encourages everyone to imagine how their neighbourhood can become a better place. FON invites neighbourhoods who have held activities to a finale in October to share and celebrate community. The draw for the grant is made at the finale. For more information and a toolkit of resources for organizing your own event, please see n

Discovery Square Every Tuesday in July, starting July 8, bring the kids down to Discovery Square, located at Kitchener City Hall, from 6-8 p.m. Hosted by popular children’s entertainer, Erick Traplin, Discovery Square features hands-on activities and demonstrations for children aged five to 12 focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM)! n

Rockin’ it at Rockway: back by popular demand! Join us for live music on the Rockway Centre patio every Wednesday night in July and August from 6-8 p.m. Food and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. A donation of $5 will be gratefully received to support program costs. Visit rockwaycentre for more information or call 519-741-2507. n

Ignite the night with Summer Lights Summer Lights Festival on June 21 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. brings the arts and words together in downtown Kitchener. Discover new shops and restaurants and visit cool buildings after dark. Ignite the night by taking a ride through four hubs on your lit-up bike or watch films projected on buildings. The four hubs feature activities such as Our World Festival of Music, bike tours and giveaways, CAFKA, Duke Street night food market with music, KW Art Gallery and The Museum. Supported by the downtown BIA, City of Kitchener and Bike Kitchener. n Free pre-planning seminars Delayed preplanning results in increased future costs. Investing today results in savings tomorrow. Join Kitchener Cemeteries at Williamsburg Cemetery for informational seminars on: • Tuesday, May 27, 11-12:30 p.m. • Thursday, June 12, noon-1:30 p.m. • Tuesday, June 24, 5:30-7 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, visit preplanning n

The City of Kitchener is prepared… are you? • Tornadoes • Winter storms • Flooding • Human health emergencies

Listed above are just some of the major emergencies that could happen. The City of Kitchener has an official emergency plan in place and holds annual exercises and training to ensure our staff is prepared. The city’s role is only half of the equation. Will you know what to do? Individual citizens should also have an emergency plan in place so everyone knows what to do when the unexpected happens. Working together, we can help deal with the unexpected and recover from an emergency in our community. For more information about emergency preparedness, a copy of Kitchener’s plan and tips on preparing a family emergency plan, visit

City of Kitchener, Building Division

In a rush for a building permit? The Express Building Permit service for homeowners is back!


very Tuesday from May 6 to Aug. 26, our building division staff will be available to assist you in obtaining a building permit for your home project. In most cases, we will process your building permit on the spot, so that you can start your do-it-yourself project the next day. Building permits are required for projects such as decks, sheds, garages, carports, porches, swimming pools and finishing basements. This service is for residential homeowners only. To use the express service, visit us on the fifth floor of Kitchener City Hall on Tuesday evenings this summer from 4-6:30 p.m. Bring along two copies of construction drawings, including a survey or site plan drawing that shows the proposed project, drawn to scale. Please note: customers must submit permit payments via cash, cheque or debit. For information or to find out which projects require a building permit, visit, stop by the building division on the fifth floor at city hall or call 519-741-2200.

Your Kitchener - May/June 2014  
Your Kitchener - May/June 2014  

City of Kitchener newsletter