The City of Kitchener officially launched Downtown Kitchener’s newest placemaking space, the Gaukel Block, with remarks and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting earlier today. Thanks to Government of Canada support through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Gaukel Block, a pedestrian-only street, will become a vibrant hub of activity and commerce, through passive placemaking and beautification, programming and infrastructure driven by the community’s artists, small business and local leaders. 

“The Gaukel Block defines the Kitchener community through artistic and cultural expression. The revitalization of the Block will keep it as a public space that draws in residents and visitors to enjoy the markets, art, greenery and more. The Government of Canada recognizes the value of investing in community infrastructure, and we are happy that we could support the Gaukel Block in Kitchener,” said Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. 

“The Gaukel Block placemaking project is another modern example of arts, culture and innovation coming together to build a vibrant community,” said Kitchener Mayor, Berry Vrbanovic. “Gaukel Block is helping animate Downtown Kitchener and bring people together to support local artists and vendors while creating a unique vibe in DTK. We’re grateful for yet another example, this time from FedDev Ontario, that demonstrates how awesome happens when governments work together!”  

The accessible space is a community hub capable of hosting a wide variety of activations, including city-hosted events, community/city collaborations, and use by community groups.  

With an over $500,000-investment from FedDev Ontario, the city was able to design a versatile space that combines high impact, vibrancy, and usability. New seating accommodations include framed tables with swing seats, modular benching, oversized horticultural planters to add green space, and repurposed multi-use shipping container kiosks wrapped in art by 17 local artists. 

“The community events that will be hosted in this space will add vibrancy to the downtown core,” said Councillor Paul Singh, Chair of the Planning & Strategic Initiatives Committee. “The Neighbour’s Day After Party this evening, the July 1st Gaukel Block Party, arts and music festivals, markets and even dog-friendly events.”  

For a complete list of upcoming events in the Gaukel Block, visit  

The Gaukel Block is located on Gaukel Street and is an integral connection between Carl Zehr Square at City Hall and Victoria Park and is becoming a primary location for activation, placemaking, Downtown Kitchener events and more. 


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

Edward Hutchinson 
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario 


About FedDev Ontario 

For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn