Key decisions of Council is a summary of major discussion items presented at Kitchener City Council meetings. It is circulated immediately following each meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.  

City of Kitchener donates land to Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region for affordable home ownership build 

Council approved the donation of a parcel of land at River Road East and Ottawa Street North to Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region as part of “BUILD NOW: Waterloo Region”, a first of its kind, community-led partnership that will create 10,000 new affordable and attainable homes for individuals and families in Kitchener, and the cities and townships throughout our region by 2030. 

Habitat Waterloo Region will use this land for purpose-built affordable housing that will include a number of larger three and four-bedroom units, as well as some smaller studio, one, and two-bedroom units. This housing announcement marks a new era in the relationship between the City of Kitchener and community partners to get more affordable housing built throughout our community and will serve as an initial demonstration project for this ambitious and innovative program to tackle housing affordability and supply. Read the news release online

City of Kitchener invests in Communitech to supercharge downtown innovation 

Council approved a significant investment in downtown innovation through a renewed funding partnership with Communitech. The investment of $500,000 per year will be taken from the City’s Economic Development Investment Fund in 2024 and 2025, with a possible extension of funding into 2026 and 2027.  The partnership will support start-ups in all areas of their business journey, from early start-up and discovery through to revenue generation and validation. A portion of the funding will also be reserved to support underrepresented groups to establish and grow their ventures. This program builds on Communitech’s long history of supporting the entrepreneurship and start-up culture in downtown Kitchener. Read the news release online

Council approves not-for-profit affordable rental and co-op housing incentive 

Council approved a pilot program that will incentivize up to 520 new not-for-profit supportive and affordable units in Kitchener. Up to $10,000 per unit will be provided as start-up funding to help cover early project costs for developments that provide not-for-profit supportive, affordable rental or affordable co-op housing units. $1.3 million from the Affordable Housing Reserve will be used to leverage $3.9 million of Housing Accelerator Funds from the Federal Government. Read the report and learn about more Housing Accelerator Fund projects online. 

City of Kitchener adopts Corporate Climate Action Plan 2.0 

Council endorsed the City of Kitchener’s new Corporate Climate Action Plan, a detailed strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce costs through investments in energy efficiency and prepare our community for the increasing effects of climate change.  

The plan outlines 47 actions to be implemented through 2027, setting the City of Kitchener up to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The actions in the plan focus on reducing GHG emissions in the city’s facilities and fleet & equipment divisions as these focus areas offer the greatest opportunity for impact. Read the report online

Council advances construction of 1,194 residential units 

Council approved zoning by-law amendments, and adopted and forwarded official plan amendment applications to the Region of Waterloo for approval, to permit the construction of: 

  • 1,076 units across two towers (35 and 40 storeys) at 236-264 Victoria Street North. 
  • 118 units in stacked townhomes and street-facing townhouses at 135-161 Jackson Avenue and 136 Brentwood Avenue.

Kitchener Utilities natural gas rate reduction 

Council approved a decrease to natural gas supply rate to 11.63 cents/cubic meter (from 16.7 cents/cubic meter) for Kitchener Utilities gas customers. This will result in savings of approximately $80.69 or 9.3 per cent in 2024 for the average residential customer. Council also approved quarterly reviews of market conditions and natural gas rates. Read the report online

Council approves pilot to accelerate commercial business approvals 

Council approved a Strategic Plan pilot project to accelerate commercial business approvals in the downtown core. The goals of this pilot project include: 

  • Streamlining permitting, approvals and licensing processes for new business owners, relocating businesses, or businesses undertaking major renovations so that they can open their doors quicker. 
  • Ensuring the City delivers first-rate customer service. 
  • Ensuring that Kitchener remains attractive to new businesses and entrepreneurs.  

This project will include an 18-month secondment position to support the implementation of initial improvements. Read the report online

Rockway Centre redevelopment phases approved 

Council approved a plan to modernize and redevelop Rockway Centre, Kitchener’s only dedicated facility for older adults. Challenges with the current three-storey building include poor traffic flow, lack of accessible washrooms, visual and auditory challenges, an insufficient elevator system, lack of storage and change rooms, and more. Over the next five years, staff will review possible partnerships and timelines for this redevelopment, undertake community engagement, then issue a Request for Proposals. The new facility could be a redevelopment of the current site (1405 King Street East) or development of a new location. It will prioritize accessibility, community input and flexibility for future use. Read the report online