Affordable housing, homelessness, roads and climate change top the list of issues that are important to Kitchener residents, according to recently released results of an Environics survey. 

Other survey highlights include: 

  • 33 per cent of residents identify affordable housing as the most important issue in the city. Residents also identified better roads and transportation as a key issue. 
  • 59 per cent of Kitchener residents agree that it is important to use more of the City’s budget to address climate change. 
  • A majority of Kitchener residents want to see the City balance supports for existing businesses and the creation of new jobs. 
  • Satisfaction with City of Kitchener government is high at 78 per cent, with results remaining stable since the last community survey in 2018. 
  • 60 per cent of residents say they receive good value for their tax dollars. 26 per cent of residents favour a tax increase to improve services, and one-third would prefer service cuts over tax increases. 
  • Kitchener residents want to see a larger investment in arts and culture, with 12 per cent feeling cultural events should be part of that focus. 

“Our regular Environics survey, conducted once every four years, has become a valuable tool for Council and staff to get a statistical reflection of our community and help shine a light on the issues that are most important to the residents of Kitchener,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “As we make important decisions for the future of our city, these insights are extremely valuable to help shape our path forward so we can build a top-notch city that is innovative, caring and vibrant.” 

The City of Kitchener retained Environics to undertake the survey as the first step in a public engagement process that will inform the City’s 2023 - 2026 Strategic Plan. The survey results will be used to inform a meaningful and inclusive public engagement process with the goal of identifying community priorities and creating a new 20-year community vision. 

The Environics survey of 1,000 residents (18+) was completed in March and April 2022. The sample for the survey matched the statistics Canada profile for the City of Kitchener on key demographic and lifestyle variables. This survey included more equity-focused questions and expanded demographic questions to help understand opinions across categories including race and gender identity, which were not asked in previous resident surveys. 

Compass Kitchener is a 12-member committee of community volunteers who advise Council on the Strategic Plan. They play a key role in public engagement that informs the City’s strategic plan. 

“Broad citizen engagement and input is vital to developing a strategic plan that truly reflects the needs of the community,” said Judy Stephens-Wells, Compass Kitchener Chair. “Compass Kitchener is pleased to receive the Environics data and we look forward to collaborating with City staff and the public to further understand key priorities to be addressed in the next strategic plan.” 

Future engagement to inform the strategic plan will include: 

  • Engage Kitchener page (May 2022) 
  • Pop-up and event engagement (June 2022 - August 2022) 
  • Outreach to community groups (June - December 2022) 
  • Online public survey (Engage Kitchener) on draft strategic goals and actions (May 2023) 

See the full Council and Environics reports for more information. These will be presented to Council at a special council meeting on Monday. 


For more information:  

Bethany Rowland 
Director, Corporate Communications & Marketing  

Jodi Shanoff 
Vice President, Consultation and Engagement, Environics Research