My ideal city

This evening grade five and six students participated in a mock council meeting where they debated solar roofs and the use of solar energy. These students were the winners of the My Ideal City essay contest and were paired with members of council and senior management to participate in the debate. Following the mock meeting, the winners were each presented with a certificate at the start of the official council meeting. My Ideal City is a contest that empowers young people to participate in municipal government. Students aged 10-12 who live in Kitchener are asked to think about the programs and services they would like to see in their "Ideal City," and write a 250 word report about why they chose them.

Two-way all-day GO train and high speed rail advocacy

Council unanimously approved a resolution calling upon all political parties at both the federal and provincial levels of government to remain committed to supporting two-way, all-day GO rail service between Toronto and Kitchener by 2024 and bringing Canada’s first high-speed rail line from Toronto to London by 2025. Seeing these rail projects come to fruition will ensure the connectivity needed to help Waterloo Region to attract global talent and innovative companies, reduce emissions and congestion on the 401 and improve the environment and residents’ quality of life. Learn more about how the city is working to bring improved commuter rail service and high-speed trains to Waterloo Region.

New bikeshare pilot

Local municipalities have been working together to maintain a bikeshare service within Waterloo Region. Council approved a one-year pilot with Dropbike which offers a dockless bikesharing system where users unlock bicycles using a smartphone app. Having access to a bikeshare program is connected to the city’s active transportation vision of ensuring a range of transportation options for all citizens. Learn more in the staff report.

Environics Results

Today, council received the results of the Environics survey – a statistically representative survey commissioned by the Compass Kitchener Advisory Committee. The results will be explored further in the Your Kitchener, Your Say! engagement campaign and will inform the community priorities that will be brought forward by Compass Kitchener in advance of this fall’s municipal election.

The full report can be found online but highlights include:

  • Resident’s satisfaction with the city is high and the results have improved since the last community survey in 2013. Respondents indicated they feel the city is on the right track.
  • Most residents believe that they get good value for their tax dollar and a majority believe that service levels should be maintained by keeping tax increases in-line with inflation.
  • The most important issues facing their city were identified as transportation/transit issues, the cost of housing, development, traffic congestion, and health care.
  • Respondents felt the most beneficial achievements for the city recently have been the development of asset management plans, council’s commitment to participatory budgeting, and securing a commitment from the province to improve rail service between Kitchener and Toronto.
  • Infrastructure, the environment and economic development lead the way for community priorities for improvement over the next four years.

Opportunities to provide further input will be available during the month of June. Updates and details can be found at

Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy

Today, council also received the draft Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy that identifies the vision for a sustainable urban forest as well as a framework for actions the city would need to take to achieve the vision. The draft strategy is available online and limited print copies will be available at city facilities. Feedback is welcome in writing or via an online survey that will be available May 8; the survey will close June 29. Once the final strategy is approved by council in 2019 an implementation plan will be developed by staff to direct future work and budget requirements. Learn more at