Masthead with text: Kitchener Life and an image of a park in the background

Older woman sitting at a laptop

Introducing a whole new online experience 

A new and exciting website and first-of-its-kind customer service portal are here! 
The City of Kitchener has launched MyKitchener, a brand-new online experience that 
has transformed the way you access information and services on the web.

Renovating Kitchener.ca

A new-look Kitchener.ca website offers improved usability, including easier-to-find content with enhanced search and navigation, a customized experience based on navigation history, improved accessibility and integration with voice-controlled personal assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

The brand new MyKitchener portal

The City of Kitchener is the first municipality in Canada to offer a personalized customer service portal that includes a wide range of city services. The MyKitchener portal is a central place for you to access 
information that is relevant to you. To personalize your experience, you can now create a secure account to view information like property tax and utility bills, view events and facilities based on your address, 
receive Snow Event and road closure notifications and more. It’s as unique as you are. Spring is the season of new beginnings. This new online experience was entirely created with our community in mind. Thank you to the citizen volunteers who participated in user testing and helped to make MyKitchener the best it can be. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it for you.

Learn more at on our MyKitchener webpage.

Tech program helps seniors stay connected

For Lenny Gurtz, there is no greater joy than being a grandfather. From birthday parties, to swim lessons, 
little league games to dance recitals, Lenny hasn’t missed one milestone moment of his grandchildren’s lives. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Lenny’s world changed completely. His days, which once revolved around end-of-school pick-ups and impromptu ice cream runs, were spent indoors and away from his beloved grandkids.

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented Lenny from being with his grandchildren, he’s still very much involved in their daily lives. With a little help from the Kitchener Tech Connects program, Lenny has found new ways to stay in touch with his grandkids by learning new computer skills. Now well-versed in Zoom calls and even email etiquette, he’s yet to miss a living room piano concert or the story behind a missing tooth.

Visit our seniors webpage to learn more about the free courses available to Kitchener seniors.

How we supported sustainability in 2020

Kitchener residents consistently tell us they want the city to show environmental leadership and take strong action to combat climate change.

City facilities

  • Energy projects completed at City facilities will save 194,934.56 kilowatt hours of electricity annually
  • Energy audits and new efficiency design standards for pumping stations

Fleet

  • Expanded our fleet’s sustainability by adding five hybrid SUVs, four electric cars, an electric zero turn mower, and an electric utility vehicle
  • Average annual savings of a new electric vehicle is $2,270 due to lower fuel, operation and maintenance costs, with an average payback period of six years and lifespan of 10+ years

Waste

  • Diverted over 635 tonnes of waste from going to landfill, including:
    • 3,369 LED lightbulbs
    • Over 1.1 million lbs of e-waste, scrap metal, and cast iron
    • Over 14 tonnes of wood

Expanded transportation options

  • Approved 10 km of new or upgraded infrastructure for downtown cycling grid
  • Approved Cycling and Trails Master Plan – recommendations for the next 10 years include 43 km of ‘on street’ active transportation facilities like bike lanes and multi-use trails and 13 km of ‘off-street’ multi-use trails

Nature and trees

  • Our Earth Day commitment to plant 500 trees by 2022

Air quality

  • Anti-idling Bylaw approved by City Council
  • Four real-time air quality monitors installed at local elementary schools

Due to the pandemic, our emissions actually fell well below our goal, more than 20% below our benchmark year (2016). Now that we’ve shown it can be done, we’re more committed than ever to reach our 2026 goal.

Read the whole report on our sustainability report page.

 Celebrating the kindness and generosity of Kitchener’s volunteers 

April 18-24 is National Volunteer Week – a time to celebrate the volunteers whose contributions both big and small make all the difference in our Kitchener community. While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our community in different ways, Kitchener volunteers have continued to show their generosity and dedication to serving our city. By giving their time, skills and experience, Kitchener volunteers have helped to make the continuation of important City operations possible. From maintaining valued program delivery, to serving on advisory committees and boards, Kitchener volunteers continue to play a vital role in helping to make our City a great place to live, work and play. This spring join us in celebrating the contributions of our many volunteers and thanking them for their continued support.

Volunteering takes many forms. To learn more about opportunities to get involved in your community, visit our volunteering webpage.

 Engagement opportunities

Though we can’t meet in person, we still want your feedback, input, and involvement! You have valuable opinions, perspective, and ideas that can help shape our community. At Engage Kitchener, you can do so safely and from the comfort of your home. Stay Connected! Register for Engage Kitchener

One of the most difficult things about the COVID-19 pandemic is feeling isolated from one another. We can’t gather with friends and family, or our neighbours.

One way to stay connected and engaged is Engage Kitchener. It is an online
platform where you can comment, share opinions and exchange ideas about city programs, services and decisions. Registration is free and
registered users are the first to know about new opportunities to learn more about new city initiatives and give their feedback.

Though we can’t meet in person, we still want your feedback, input, and involvement! You have valuable opinions, perspective, and ideas that can help shape our community. At Engage Kitchener you can do so safely and from the comfort of your home.

In 2020, we heard from thousands of residents on projects like the 
Downtown Cycling Grid, Housing for All Strategy, Vision Zero, and the 2021 budget. This year, we’ll be looking for feedback on other issues like city parks, utilities, stormwater management, and climate action.

Join the 3000+ neighbours just like you who are sharing their feedback and making a difference in our city.
Visit Engage Kitchener and be part of the conversation.

 Bringing your priorities to life in Kitchener

The priorities that matter most to Kitchener residents are important to us. In fact, they form the backbone of our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. We’re in an exciting phase of our four-year plan; many of the strategies 
have been approved and we’re now in the process of seeing tangible change in our community.

Our strategic plan has turned many of the community’s priorities into long-term strategies for the City – the 
Cycling and Trails Master Plan, the Make it Kitchener 2.0 Economic Development Strategy and the Housing For All Strategy.

These strategies are based on the feedback we received from you. As we begin to bring these projects to life in your neighbourhood, we want to continue that dialogue by hearing what you think about the individual projects and programs.

Visit engagewr.ca/kitchener and register to be notified of the latest opportunities to have your say about the future of our community. This spring we’re starting construction on the Downtown Cycling Grid, the result of feedback from more than 5,000 residents. We’re listening and want you to be involved as we become a more innovative, caring and vibrant community.

 
 Upcoming events

April

Seniors’ flexercise
 (online)

  • April 12, 19 & 26
  • Seniors can enjoy virtual programs from the 
comfort of home.
  • Kitchener.ca/Seniors

Spring Stories: 
A Time for Listening, Sharing and Connecting

May


Kitchener Fire: Emergency Preparedness Week

Seniors’ flexercise
 (online)

  • May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31
  • Seniors can enjoy virtual programs from the comfort of home.
  • Kitchener.ca/Seniors 

Ongoing until May or June

Heart for Art – until May 11

Offered at Chandler Mowat (CMCC), and Victoria Hills (VHCC) community centres

  • For participants 8-12 years
  • At CMCC: Tuesdays, 4:30-6 p.m.
  • At VHCC: Wednesdays, 4-5:30 p.m.

Youth Programming – 
After school club – until May 26


Offered at various community centres

  • Program runs for 1 hour and 30 mins, beginning at either 4 p.m. or 4:30 p.m., weekday varies by centre.

  • Pre-registration required. Register online on Active Kitchener.

Older adults virtual programming – Offered until end of June


  • Participants must register online on ActiveNet.
  • Chair Yoga: Mondays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 1:30 p.m.

  • Flexercise: 
Mondays at 10 a.m. and Fridays at 10:15 a.m.  

  • Stability Ball: 
Thursdays at 10 a.m. 
 Help shape the vision for parks and open spaces

The City of Kitchener is creating a strategy that will explore what community members are looking for when they visit city parks and open spaces. We believe they’re more than just a plot of land and play structures. 
Parks are places where residents connect and grow.

Visit our webpage and subscribe to page updates to be
notified when the city will be collecting input to shape the future of parks in Kitchener.

Off the beaten path

With more than 500 parks and open spaces across Kitchener, you don’t have to look far to find one. Here are some hidden gems worth exploring this spring.


Trillium Woods Trail
1541 Fischer-Hallman Rd.

The Trillium Woods Trail is perfect for hiking, running, walking and biking. Start your adventure at Williamsburg Cemetery, home to a bridge overlooking a pond.

Homer Watson Park Trail
1094 Wilson Ave.

The Homer Watson Park Trail offers a five kilometre scenic route through Homer Watson Park with stunning views overlooking Schneider Creek.

Lakeside Park
206 Lakeside Dr.

Often described as an urban oasis, Lakeside Park is quietly tucked away in the heart of our city, near St. Mary’s General Hospital. Migratory birds and other animals are easy to spot during the warmer months.

Improvements at RBJ Schlegel Park

RBJ Schlegel Park, located at the corner of Huron and Fischer-Hallman roads, is an inviting new park that features diverse amenities built sustainably in a growing area of Kitchener.

Two artificial turf fields and a playground were opened after completing phase one, with a splash pad, cricket pitch and third natural turf field set to open this summer. The City is excited to bring phase two to the community this year. Construction this year will bring a new washroom and changeroom facility, outdoor court spaces and improved trail connections.

We’re excited to share when these additions are made.

Art in the park

Parks are not just places we enjoy in the present, but sites that celebrate the past. Take a moment to acknowledge these creative pieces of art located in some of Kitchener’s parks.

KW Homelessness Memorial
Vogelsang Green: corner of Duke and Queen streets

The KW Homelessness Memorial: Between a Rock and a Hard Place honours and acknowledges local people experiencing homelessness and commemorates those who lost their lives. The memorial was created by local artist Ernest Daetwyler and depicts a backpack cast in bronze on a red sandstone slab.

Canoe
Victoria Park: 32 Dill St.

An aluminum canoe rides the grassy waves of Victoria Park, not far from the water. Inside the canoe, mirror-polished stainless steel reflects the sky. The canoe becomes a vessel reflecting the environment.

Protecting the Memory
Civic Centre Park: 101 Queen St N.

This 13-foot memorial sculpture depicts a firefighting scene encircled in the arc of angels’ wings. The installation includes inscribed bronze helmets for fallen firefighters as a lasting tribute to their sacrifice. It was commissioned by the Kitchener Professional Fire Fighters Association and donated to the City of Kitchener.

 Kitchener’s LoveMyHood Matching Grant helps to make your vision for your neighbourhood a reality 
Last spring, Barb Ward and Mark Stubbs saw their creative vision come to life when the installation of Kitchener’s very first outdoor gym in Victoria Park was complete. Now known as the Kitchener Rangers Fitness Area, the gym offers a range of accessible outdoor fitness equipment suitable for a variety of ages and abilities. The project, which took several years to complete, was the recipient of the $20,000 LoveMyHood Matching Grant, in addition to sponsorship from the Kitchener Rangers, Kitchener Sports Association and other generous community partners. The outdoor gym is just one example of community-based projects that have been made possible by the city’s LoveMyHood Matching Grant. From little libraries to community gardens, LoveMyHood has supported a host of different projects in neighbourhoods across Kitchener.

Do you have a project idea to enhance your neighbourhood, but need a little help making it happen? Apply for a LoveMyHood Matching Grant and you could be eligible for up to $30,000 in funding to make your vision a reality. Apply online at on our LoveMyHood Matching Grant webpage. The deadline for the next round of applications is May 20, 2021.

 Kitchener Remains Connected and Resilient During COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kitchener community has remained connected and resilient.

We’ve seen an outpouring of community support for small business and we’ve heard inspiring stories of good neighbours across our city showing their kindness and generosity. Together, we’ve ‘Reimagined
Winter,’ finding safe and innovative ways to be more active and involved as a community this past winter. Since the very beginning, you’ve joined us online for our virtual Active At Home programming, to continue to stay active, connected and even learn something new. While you’ve been doing your part to adjust to changes in your daily life and to make the most of more time at home, we’ve been doing what we can to keep city operations running and continue offering the programs and services we know you value most.



The City of Kitchener continues to evaluate our service delivery, making programs and services available when it’s safe to do so as directed by the province and Public Health officials. In January, the province declared a second state of emergency and issued a stay at home order for all Ontarians to help limit the spread of COVID-19. During this time, residents were asked to remain home, with limited exceptions for essential outings such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, and for 
exercise or work. We continue to take direction from the Province, adjusting city operations to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our community. The city is committed to providing residents with the most current information on our COVID-19 response. As facilities begin to reopen and
city services become available again, we’ll be updating our social media channels and webpage, stay tuned to kitchener.ca/covid19 for the latest information.

As our city and community takes action to limit the spread of COVID-19, here are just a few ways to continue staying connected and resilient this spring:

Be a good neighbour

There are lots of safe ways to show a neighbour you care. Whether it’s saying hello from your doorstep,
mowing their lawn or delivering groceries, take a moment to show kindness to someone in your neighbourhood.

Support local

Our small businesses need our support now more than ever. Consider shopping online or
ordering take-out or delivery to show your support for a local, small business.

Stay active

Active At Home continues to offer free online programming to help you stay fit, active and even learn a new skill. From fitness classes to cooking tutorials and even computer literacy programming, there are a host of activities available 24/7. 

Give back

Looking to give back? Consider planning a neighbourhood project to enhance your neighbourhood or sharing your skills and talents by volunteering with us. Learn more about neighbourhood projects on our LoveMyHood website and volunteering by visiting our volunteer page.

Moving forward together

For the latest community information on COVID-19, as well as updates on city services,
visit our COVID-19 updates webpage.

 Delivering services we rely on

City of Kitchener staff have continued to deliver the services you depend on throughout the pandemic.

We make sure critical services are delivered when you need them most. From providing safe and reliable water, maintaining our parks and trails, keeping our city roads in good condition, public workers are busy behind the scenes making sure these amenities are running smoothly. City staff are committed to delivering safe and reliable services to our community.

Visit our city services webpage for up-to-date information on city services impacted by the pandemic.

 The evolution of downtown cycling

A new way to get around is coming to Kitchener’s downtown.
The Downtown Cycling Grid is designed so people of all ages and abilities can get around safely and comfortably by bike. Construction will begin this spring and will be complete in September.

The grid consists of 10 km of new or upgraded infrastructure:

  • 2.8 km of separated cycling facilities that create a grid of east/west and north/south corridors in and through the downtown.
  • 6.6 km of neighbourhood bikeways that will connect surrounding neighbourhoods to the downtown.
  • A 0.6 km multi-use trail that will help connect the Civic District, Spur Line Trail and Olde Berlin Town neighbourhoods to the downtown.

Separated bike lanes on:

  • Joseph Street
  • Water Street
  • Duke Street
  • Ontario Street
  • Cedar Street

A boulevard multi-use trail

  • This provides two-way travel for both pedestrians and cyclists in a shared space in the boulevard.
  • Proposed on Margaret Avenue and Otto Street.

One-way vehicle traffic on portions of:

  • Joseph Street
  • Duke Street
  • Ontario Street
  • Cedar Street

Learn about our construction status by subscribing for updates on our cycling webpage.

Kitchener Life is the City of Kitchener's newsletter, delivered to more than 60,000 Kitchener homes four times a year as a pull-out in the Kitchener Citizen. It has replaced our former newsletter Your Kitchener. 

The publication is intended to share information about some of the amazing people, places, projects and events happening around Kitchener. Each issue will feature information and tips for your health, for your home, and of course, for your 'hood.

Look a printed issue of Kitchener Life inside the Kitchener Citizen on a quarterly basis, at city-owned facilities, such as the Welcome Centre at City hall, swimming pools, arenas and community centres.

There is also opportunity for local companies and organizations to purchase advertising space within this eight page full colour newsletter.