2020 budget


The budget is the City of Kitchener’s annual financial plan, and is the primary basis of financial decision making. The budget process allows council to prioritize the programs and services delivered by the city and sets direction for the work to be completed over the upcoming year as well as future years referenced in the budget forecast. 

A high-level overview of the budget can be found through our budget at a glance document:

The approved 2020 operating and capital budgets can be found below:

Additional resources:

 Key dates

Kitchener's budget process runs from Friday, Nov. 15 to Monday, Jan. 20, when the final budget is approved. The key dates in this process can be found below. 


 Key Dates

 Summary of Meetings/Activities

 Friday, Nov. 15

 Proposed 2020 Operating and Capital Budget distributed to council and posted online

 Friday, Nov. 15

 2020 Budget at a Glance document posted on the City's website

 Monday, Nov. 25

 2020 Operating Budget presented and reviewed by council

 Monday, Nov. 25

 2020 Budget Engagement Survey launched

 Monday, Dec. 2

 2020 Capital Budget presented and reviewed by council

 Monday, Dec. 2

 2020 WIP Utility Rates to be approved by council (effective January 1st)

 Friday, Jan. 3

 2020 Budget Engagement Survey closes

 Monday, Jan. 13

 Public Input Night

 Monday, Jan. 13

 2020 Budget Engagement Survey results shared with council

Monday, Jan. 20

 Final Budget Day - 2020 Operating and Capital Budget approved by council


 Operating budget issue papers

The proposed 2020 budget includes funding options for a variety of initiatives. Read the individual issue papers for each operating budget initiative through the links below.

Community Grant Funding

The budget contains options to expand grants funding to new or emerging organizations in the areas of arts, culture, special events, sports, recreation or community development.

Option A - Status Quo $0
Option B - Account for population growth - $22,000
Option C - Account for population growth and community complexity - $39,000
Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options.

(External link


Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy

Options related to the Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy offer increasing levels of proactive conservation and protection for our community’s tree canopy.

Managing our urban trees and forests is a long-term objective; making incremental improvements with a focus on the customer and a strong foundation of planning and management will be key to achieve the goals established by the community in the Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy.

Option A – Conserve and Protect- $50,000
Option B – Risk Mitigation & Inspection - $100,000
Option C – Tree Pruning / Proactive Maintenance - $200,000
Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options.

(External link)


Affordable Housing

The City is preparing an affordable housing strategy to better position itself to find solutions to growing unaffordability. The strategy is to be completed by the end of 2020. While the strategy is being developed there are existing opportunities to make progress on housing and there will likely be quick wins identified in 2020.

Homelessness & Housing Umbrella Group (HHUG) in partnership with Wellbeing Waterloo Region (WWR) is running an ALL IN 2020 campaign. The campaign is seeking to raise community awareness and resources to end chronic homelessness in Waterloo Region.

Option A - Contribution to ALL IN - $75,000
Option B - Contribution to All IN and $50,000 for quick wins - $125,000
Option C - Contribution to ALL IN and $125,000 for quick wins - $125,000
Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options.

(External link


Leisure Access Card

The Leisure Access program provides financial assistance to residents living on low incomes who are accessing direct City of Kitchener programs. This funding cannot currently be applied to programs provided by affiliated organizations such as Neighbourhood Associations.

The budget contains an estimate for the cost of expanding the Leisure Access card to cover Neighbourhood Association fees.

Option A – Status Quo - $0
Option B - Leisure Access to cover Neighbourhood Association Fees - $143,000
Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options.

(External lin

Capital budget issue papers

For this year’s survey, we’re asking residents to weigh in on the allocation of $3.5 million in capital funding across three initiatives.

Love My Hood

In 2017, following one of the most extensive community engagement processes in the City’s history, Council approved Love My Hood as the City’s guiding document for planning, building and supporting great neighbourhoods.

There were 161 applications submitted for resident-led neighbourhood projects between 2017 – 2019 totally 1.2 million, more than triple the grant funding actually awarded. Of those, 37 projects were deemed eligible but were denied due to a lack of funding. The funding proposals would increase the number of applications that could be approved through the Love My Hood program.

Option A – $150,000 per year for 10 years - $1,500,000
Option B – $175,000 per year for 10 years - $1,750,000
Option C – $200,000 per year for 10 years - $2,000,000
Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options.

(External link
Corporate Climate Action Plan

In 2017, Council approved an 8% absolute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction target to be achieved by 2026. The implementation plan (CorCAP), approved in 2019, contains a set of actions in the areas of City facilities, fleet, outdoor lighting and waste to meet the target. Using 2016 as a baseline, the City’s corporate GHG target is ambitious yet achievable with strategic investments in facilities, fleet and outdoor lighting. The recent declaration by Council of a climate emergency has further emphasized the commitment to implementing the City’s climate action goals.

Staff have identified a number of projects that could be implemented in 2020. Depending on Councils desired level of investment, all or some of the below projects would move forward and achieve carbon reductions and associated operating savings.

Option A - Fund three initiatives for a reduction of 149 tonnes of CO2 annually - $207,000
Option B - Fund five initiatives for a reduction of 218 tonnes of CO2 annually - $472,000
Option C - Fund five initiatives for a reduction of 331 tonnes of CO2 annually - $957,000
Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options.

(External lin.
Participatory Budgeting

Participatory budgeting is a process of engaging the community where residents are given control over a portion of the City’s budget. It differs from traditional public engagement/consultation in that residents identify multiple priority projects and then decide which of the projects are funded. The ultimate decision by residents as to where and how funding will be spent is determined through some form of a vote.

The following are three options City Council could consider as part of the capital budget if it wishes to continue the participatory budgeting program. Staff believe taking a measured approach related to participatory budgeting would be appropriate and have suggested two options that secure funding for an additional three years. This would allow the City to test the modified approach outlined above before making any permanent funding commitments. If Council wishes to make participatory budgeting a permanent program, the final option funding for all 10 years of the capital forecast.

Option A - $300,000 per year for three years - $900,000
Option B - $400,000 per year for three years - $1,200,000
Option C - $300,000 per year for ten years - $3,000,000

Click here to view the full explanation of the proposed options(External link).




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