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 advances construction of 1,964 homes near transit stations 

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:  

  • 464 residential units in two towers, 30 and 11 storeys, upon a four-storey podium that includes ground floor commercial uses at 1001 King St. E. The development spans the lot between King and Charles streets at Borden Avenue South and Ottawa Street South. Read the report
  • 1,500 residential units and 2,000 square metres of commercial space in five towers, ranging from 15 to 44 storeys, at Mill Street and Ottawa Street South. Read the report

Council adjusts fireworks bylaw in response to public feedback 

Council reduced the number of days fireworks are permitted to only the day of Victoria Day, Canada Day and Diwali. The previous bylaw also allowed fireworks on the day before and the day after each celebration. In addition, fireworks now must be completed by 11 p.m. Council adjusted the bylaw in response to increased fireworks-related complaints during the past several years. The City received 170 complaints in 2022, following a recent peak of 203 complaints in 2021. There were 58 complaints in 2018. Read the report

Council proceeds with Indigenous-focused land restoration project at Pioneer Tower 

Council moved forward with the restoration of the 15-hectare Pioneer Tower Natural Area, located by the Grand River near Sportsworld Drive, in collaboration with the While Owl Native Ancestry Association; the Wisahkotewinoak Urban Indigenous Garden Collective organizations; and Conestoga College. 

The collaboration is to create a project that secures and produces sustainable, traditional food and medicines; increases local biodiversity through habitat restoration and reintroduction of native species; builds community capacity; mobilizes knowledge; and exercises land co-management and relational agricultural practices on the land. Part of the natural area is owned by the City, and part is managed by the Grand River Conservation Authority. The City and collaborators are working toward an agreement with the GRCA to work the parcel managed by the GRCA. Public engagement is to take place soon, with land restoration beginning late spring. Read the report

Council seeks more incentives for missing middle, affordable housing 

Council directed staff to use a new study that recommends how to enable the development of more affordable and missing middle housing when updating official plan and zoning within Major Transit Station Areas and City-wide. The study recommends reducing parking requirements; allowing more diverse housing types in existing low-rise neighbourhoods; exploring financial incentives; and making process improvements. Council also directed staff to consider financial incentives for missing middle and affordable housing and report back to Council on next steps once additional information on Bill 23, regarding affordable and attainable housing, is made available. Read the report

City staff to continue exploring ways to protect tree canopy 

Council directed staff to begin a second phase of the Tree Conservation Processes Review to enhance the protection of the City’s tree canopy. The first phase of the review indicated 72 per cent of Kitchener’s tree canopy is protected or regulated through the Official Plan and various bylaws. Possible mechanisms to protect the tree canopy include education of the various conservation tools the City uses;  updating tree-protection standards to align with current best practices; licensing of tree care professionals working within the municipality; introducing incentive programs to support maintenance and retention of trees on private property; and more. Read the report

Council approves ‘hot spot’ improvements as part of Vision Zero strategy 

Council approved several ‘hot spot’ street safety improvements as part of a broader Vision Zero strategy. The improvements include installing speed humps and cushions; pedestrian refuge islands; traffic signals and other modifications at more than a dozen locations throughout Kitchener. The City recently released the first of several public service videos as part of the Vision Zero program. The video sends a strong and impactful message that traffic collisions are not accidents and always have a cause, which means they can be prevented. Future videos will focus on specific driving behaviours and will be released later this year. Watch the video. Read the report

Council supports heritage designation for two properties 

Council supported Heritage Committee recommendations to extend heritage designation to two properties: 

  • A Queen Anne Revival home at the corner of Moore Avenue and Shanley Street, built circa 1905. The red-brick home originally included a small grocery store. Read the report
  • A Craftsman-style house at 181 Frederick St., built around 1910, is listed on the City’s Municipal Heritage Register as a non-designated building of cultural heritage value or interest. Also known as the “Snider House,” one of the building’s previous occupants, Elias Weber Bingeman Snider, was best known for bringing hydroelectricity to the area and originating the present hydropower system in Ontario. Read the report