City hall outdoor spaces


Response to COVID-19

On March 24, 2020, the Province of Ontario identified construction as an essential service. The City Hall Outdoor Spaces Rehabilitation project will proceed with rigorous health and safety protocols in place in response to COVID-19. The general contractor, Heritage Restoration Inc., has developed comprehensive policies and procedures for their staff about health monitoring and reporting, personal protective equipment, physical distancing and general personal and site hygiene. The site is closed to the public, and people are advised to avoid the site while construction is underway.

Construction schedule

The following areas will be closed to the public on March 23, 2020 at 9 a.m., until spring 2021:

Carl Zehr Square, the north sidewalk on King St. in front of City Hall, and College St. from King St. to Bell’s Lane including the sidewalk adjacent to City Hall.

Project overview

Carl Zehr Square and the surrounding outdoor amenities were built in 1993. Each year tens of thousands of people use the spaces around city hall whether they're attending a large event like the Kitchener Blues Festival, one of our smaller events like Discovery Square, skating on the rink during the winter months or taking a lunch or coffee break at one of the various seating areas. More than 25 years later, many of the infrastructure components are in need of repair, retrofit or replacement.

The City Hall Outdoor Spaces Rehabilitation Project is the plan to improve infrastructure components at the site and surrounding streets and modernize the functionality and accessibility of the space.

In February 2020, Council awarded a tender for the project. Repairs will be made to the parking garage waterproofing membrane, drainage infrastructure, surface paving and the ice rink and water feature will be replaced.


The project will be done in two phases:

Phase 1 - Carl Zehr Square and College St.

Phase 2 - Duke St. and Young St.

The City will work with community partners and stakeholders who organize events and activities to find a suitable location. For more information on events, please contact Special Events at

Investing in the infrastructure in these areas will minimize ongoing operational expenses and improve the usability of the spaces in an area heavily used by the public.

Documents, reports, resources

Project updates
Late June, 2020:

Demolition of all existing infrastructure at Carl Zehr Square is completed. The fountain and rink have been decommissioned, and concrete repairs have begun.

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