Kitchener City Council has approved the downtown cycling grid, connecting the downtown core to adjacent neighbourhoods and regional cycling arteries. It is a crucial step forward towards the City’s goal of ensuring that residents can walk, run, roll, or cycle across the city safely with dedicated active transportation infrastructure.

The grid was developed as part of the City’s recently approved Cycling and Trails Master Plan, which aims to link Kitchener’s extensive trail network and bikeways by identifying key locations where a new connection or upgrade would link neighbourhoods. This will eventually provide trail and bikeway access to most of the City. The downtown cycling grid was identified as critical piece for those connections, building off popular trails like the Iron Horse Trail, Spurline Trail and The Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail).

“This isn’t just about the strong local demand for active transportation,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “This is about planning for the thousands of people moving into the downtown core in the coming years. The record-breaking number of development projects downtown will soon be welcoming many new residents. A healthy mix of transportation options for those residents isn’t a nice-to-have, it is absolutely critical.”

In total, the grid consists of 10 km of new or upgraded infrastructure:

  • 2.8 km of separated cycling facilities that create a grid of east/west and north/south corridors in and through the downtown.
  • 6.6 km of neighbourhood bikeways that will connect surrounding neighbourhoods to the downtown.
  • A 0.6 km multi-use trail that will help connect the Civic District, Spur Line Trail and Olde Berlin Town neighbourhoods to the downtown.

Capital costs for the grid are estimated at $5.9 million.

Some additional parking spaces are planned to be added on Francis St, Hall’s and Bell Lanes with the removal of some along the protected bike routes. In the report, staff outlined the positive economic impact that highly loyal cycling customers have on independent, downtown small businesses, but also on the social component of the grid. The grid will enable healthy, active lifestyles and provide safe recreational outlets for families with young children.

“Parents should be able to teach their kids how to cycle on roads that are safe to do so,” said Ward 1 Councillor Scott Davey. “It’s been an important part of raising my own kids, and our downtown residents deserve that same opportunity.”

The City has committed to support people-friendly transportation options as one of the goals of its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. The downtown cycling grid delivers on this commitment.

To learn more visit


For more information please contact:

Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing