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 2020-2021:

  • review the uniform speed limit of 50km/h and look at the benefit and feasibility of reducing to 40km/h
  • investigate a new stormwater grant program that would enable private property owners to better manage stormwater on their properties, reducing runoff to municipal systems
  • assess the impact of provincial legislation requiring the inclusion of affordable housing units in new residential development projects, and the choice for municipalities to implement such zoning
  • develop an app for residents to be aware of when city streets will get cleared after a winter snow event
  • stormwater management facilities risk assessment to mitigate chlorides entering drinking water through a partnership between the cities and Region of Waterloo

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 eventsAlert 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 Waterloo Region Tourism to provide tourism services to their respective communities