We work with the City of Waterloo to streamline services and benefit residents on both sides of our borders. These services include fire dispatch, equipment sharing and more.

On this page:

  1. Why we share services
  2. Current projects
  3. Ongoing services
  4. Related projects

Why we share services

We work with Waterloo to:

  • identify services we share and look at ways we can streamline them to benefit residents on both sides of our borders
  • maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our resources and service delivery
  • develop and complete strategic joint initiatives
  • learn from our collective best practices

The joint projects we pursue align to three basic principles:

  • accessibility: residents in both cities must be able to understand the purpose and benefits of the project
  • accountability: each project must represent the needs of both communities and clearly identify areas of responsibility
  • affordability: each project must maximize cost efficiencies where possible, without sacrificing the benefits to residents

Each project must:

  • enhance the ability of either city to deliver or develop a service or program outside of its resources
  • create service-level improvements, while either maintaining costs or producing savings opportunities
  • provide operational and/or capital opportunities
  • feature best practices of both of our organizations

Current projects

These joint projects are underway in 2023-2024:

  • implement Vision Zero approaches to support the goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all
  • assess the impact of provincial legislation requiring the inclusion of affordable housing units in new residential development projects, and implement enabling policies and procedures for such zoning
  • undertake comprehensive reviews and updates to both cities’ official plans as key enabling land use planning strategies that will guide future growth and development across the communities
  • collaborate and bring consistency to sport and recreation service delivery through information sharing, understanding best practices, joint training and development, and maximizing resources

Ongoing services

We collaborate to improve service delivery in these ways:

  • maintenance of the 20 border streets including snow removal, general upkeep, street sweeping and leaf collection
  • after-hours dispatch: Kitchener takes Waterloo's public works and facility after-hour calls and offer dispatch services to reduce costs of duplication
  • joint fire dispatch: Kitchener offers dispatch services to Waterloo and Cambridge for an annual fee, this includes all infrastructure, hardware, software and mapping data
  • mutual aid: if a major emergency occurs and the situation cannot be contained or controlled with available resources, both cities will look to one another to provide support or coverage in needed areas
  • equipment sharing to reduce duplication and costs
  • Kitchener manufactures Waterloo's traffic signs
  • common platform for resident engagement
  • coordinated efforts and applications related to external grant opportunities from which both cities can benefit
  • coordinated lobbying efforts in support of two-way, all-day GO service from Toronto to Kitchener, and high-speed rail to foster a Toronto-Waterloo corridor
  • joint advertising campaigns to reduce cost of letting residents know about programs like snow and ice removal, Earth Week, Earth Hour and more
  • joint purchasing through the Cooperative Purchasing Group of Waterloo Region to achieve savings on the purchase of everything from road salt to envelopes
  • Waterloo Region Small Business Centre is supported through the economic development functions of both cities
  • firefighter recruitment: Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph have streamlined the process for applications to reduce costs
  • staff learning and development: finding opportunities to share best practices and common staff learning programs
  • joint promotion of the ‘Bloom in a Box’ program, which offers a grant to homeowners toward purchase of a naturalization kit for a landscaped area to reduce stormwater runoff to municipal systems
  • corporate fleet training and best practice information sharing
  • common Administrative Monetary Penalty System to move adjudication of parking tickets out of the provincial court system
  • joint bylaw enforcement and reciprocal support arrangements for large special events
  • Alert Waterloo Region, a service that sends residents important public safety messages in the event of a large-scale emergency
  • coordinate winter weather updates to ensure citizens receive consistent messages and give more web-based and social media communications.

Related projects

These projects rely on cooperation between Kitchener, Waterloo and other services in the region:

  • Kitchener Public Library removed its non-resident charge and is now part of the regional reciprocal borrowing network
  • both libraries share an integrated computer system that manages core activities of the customer, circulation and collection databases
  • the libraries also buy some database products jointly, and participate with other library systems to provide downloadable content (e-books, e-audio and e-video)
  • tourism: both cities contribute to Explore Waterloo Region to provide tourism services to their respective communities