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.

Council marks one year since pandemic began

Mayor Berry Vrbanovic began Monday’s City Council meeting by reflecting on the past year. Since the declaration of a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, over 11,500 of our neighbours in Waterloo Region have fought the battle against COVID-19. Tragically, we have mourned the loss of 240 parents, siblings, friends and loved ones from this virus. Many others were impacted by job loss, business closures, in-home schooling, work-from-home directives, cancelled sports and activities and more. Despite all these challenges, the past year has also brought out the best in people and shown us what humans are capable of. Our health care workers, first responders and other essential workers have put themselves at risk, working tirelessly so we could get the service and care we needed. Others have shown gratitude, donated generously and volunteered their time.

Mayor Vrbanovic closed by thanking Council and the City's staff and leadership team for their support and hard work throughout the pandemic and reminded residents of the need to continue to do their part by following public health guidance over the coming months. 

Council approves Lower Doon Land Use Study

Council approved the Lower Doon Land Use Study. The objectives of this study are to:

  • Review current issues, zoning and land use designations and policies for the Lower Doon and Conestoga College area.
  • Examine the planning structure, land use mix and intensity for the lands identified in the study area.
  • Make recommendations to update the Official Plan Policies, Zoning bylaw regulations and any other planning tools as needed for the lands identified in the study area.

The study contains 23 consultant recommendations that were built upon extensive public engagement. They fall into the following categories: Protect heritage; Enhance the supply of housing; Enhance the public realm; Allow lodging houses; Prepare a planning framework; The role of Conestoga College; Oversee property standards; and The role of lower Doon residents.

City Planning staff will use the recommendations from the phase 1 report to move forward with formal amendments to planning documents. This will involve:

  • reviewing and replacing the existing community plan, block plan(s) and zoning for the area;
  • reviewing and replacing any neighbourhood specific urban design expectations for any new development; and
  • formally updating the cultural heritage framework.

Staff will engage landowners, residents and stakeholders (including Conestoga College and students) during this process.

Traffic calming measures adopted

Council approved the implementation of traffic calming plans for Deer Ridge Drive, Holborn Drive and Robert Ferrie Drive. Measures include adding speed humps and cushions, raised crosswalks, narrowed intersections and sidewalks as well as adopting a Deer Ridge neighbourhood speed limit of 40 km/h. These measures will help reduce automobile speeds and increase safety for all users of these streets. Residents were engaged through public information centres, mailouts and temporary road signage.

Drinking water quality report presented to Council

Kitchener operates and maintains the city’s water distribution system and City Council is the decision-making authority for this water system. Staff presented Council with a 2020 summary report to provide an update on the status of the drinking water system. The Kitchener water distribution system meets the requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Although COVID-19 restrictions resulted in some delays, the majority of water infrastructure construction and maintenance activities were completed in 2020. The water quality report includes details on consumer feedback, results of an infrastructure review, results of audits and a summary of maintenance.

For more information

Bethany Rowland
Director, Corporate Communications & Marketing