The City of Kitchener has launched an equity-driven engagement and education process exploring the history and impacts of the Queen Victoria statue located in Victoria Park. Community engagement activities will unpack multiple perspectives and options related to the statue’s future. The process will provide opportunities for the community to provide input while prioritizing the voices of Indigenous, Black, and racialized community members. The City has partnered with Jay Pitter Placemaking, an award-winning practice mitigating growing socio-spatial divides across numerous North American cities.

Through meaningful conversations and co-learning, community members will have an opportunity to share their perspectives, consider new ideas and explore a few approaches for the statue. By participating in this process, community members will build knowledge and new relationships while contributing to a critically important decision-making process.

The City is inviting community members to participate in these and others:

  • Ask Jay Anything Instagram live session
    • Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, from 12 noon - 1 p.m. Community members are invited to join Ms. Jay Pitter for an ‘Ask Jay Anything’ Instagram live session on the City of Kitchener’s Instagram to ask questions about the project and process.
  • Community discussion: Witnessing circle
    • Thursday, Nov 10, 2022, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Kitchener Market, 300 King St. E.

Revision on November 8, 2022: The November 10 witnessing circle has been rescheduled to November 24, 2022. Read the full update on Engage Kitchener.

  • Community discussion: Placemaking options presentation and engagement
    • Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Kitchener Market, 300 King St. E.
  • Community discussion: Closing circle and evaluation
    • Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Kitchener Market, 300 King St. E.

Registration for the community discussions will be required. Child minding, transit passes, and a light meal will be provided at community discussions. To register for a community discussion visit or call Shannon Lodenquai at (519)741-2200 ext. 7407.

Jay Pitter Placemaking will develop the community engagement strategy and public education resources, and co-develop a staff report that will include equitable placemaking recommendations to guide the future of the statue. As the principal placemaker of the practice and an internationally recognized expert, Ms. Jay Pitter has led highly contested public space projects involving Confederate monument sites, sites of gender-based violence, sites impacted by gun violence, and sites involving Indigenous burial grounds.

“Having led projects and conducted extensive research related to historically fraught sites and symbols, I understand that there is no single solution or right approach. My goal is to create space for local knowledge to be centred, respectfully listen to diverse perspectives that build our capacity, and equally important, compassion,” said Ms. Jay Pitter, Principal Placemaker and Lead Consultant on the Queen Victoria Statue Initiative. “These kinds of processes are inherently uncomfortable, evoking a complex range of emotions. However, discomfort is also the precursor to growth and positive transformation. This is my hope for all of us, individually and collectively.”

To stay up to date and for more information on other engagement opportunities, visit


For more information, contact: 
Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing 

Jay Pitter Placemaking
Jay Pitter, MES, is an award-winning placemaker whose practice mitigates growing divides in cities across North America. She spearheads institutional city-building projects specializing in public space design and policy, forgotten densities, mobility equity, gender-responsive design, inclusive public engagement and healing fraught sites. What distinguishes Ms. Pitter is her multidisciplinary approach, located at the nexus of urban design and social equity, which translates community insights and aspirations into the built environment. Ms. Pitter has used this urgent, evidence-based expertise to shape numerous projects in over 25 cities including; working with Westbank to preserve intangible cultural heritage and expand engagement during the Honest Ed’s redevelopment project in Toronto; leading the (RE)IMAGINING Cheapside Confederate monument placemaking process in Lexington; and applying a gender- responsive design lens to the redevelopment of Granville Bridge in Vancouver. She has developed an equitable planning certificate course with the University of Detroit’s Mercy School of Architecture, a women in city-building course with the University of Toronto, and an Engaging Black People and Power course spurred by the murder of George Floyd. Ms. Pitter has also presented at MIT, Harvard and Princeton universities, among many others. She was recently the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning at the University of Toronto and shortlisted for the Margolese National Design for Living Prize. Among a diverse practice portfolio, Ms. Pitter is honoured to be leading the development of The Cultural Districts Program Proposal and The Little Jamaica Master Plan for the City of Toronto–two precedent setting projects within her home city. Her forthcoming books, Black Public Joy and Where We Live, will be published by McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada.