Beginning April 26, access to Roos Island in Victoria Park will be limited to existing campers, service providers, individuals who are supporting campers and city staff.  

There are currently six people living at the encampment on Roos Island, and all have been offered one or more interim housing options. Most have voluntarily accepted an offer and will be moving in the coming days.  

To ensure the safety of both individuals on the island and staff during this transition period, and to protect the privacy of people as they prepare to move, a gate has been installed at the Roland Street bridge. Access on and off the island will be managed by third-party security.  

The safety and best interests of Roos Island campers has been a priority for the City since the encampment was established. Staff will continue to work with any remaining campers to secure alternative housing. New campers will not be allowed to set up on the island or elsewhere in Victoria Park.  

Since July 2022, City staff have been visiting the encampment daily and working with the Region of Waterloo (the lead for housing and shelter locally) and community partners to support campers to relocate to safer and more appropriate shelter locations. The City provides ongoing support to unhoused individuals on City property, including helping them find available shelter spaces and providing transportation to shelters and other services.   

The City’s goal is to return Roos Island to its intended use as a public space, available for all residents to enjoy. Roos Island and the Heritage Bridge will undergo maintenance in the spring and summer. Roos Island is expected to reopen in phases, beginning this summer. 

For more information, contact: 

Bethany Rowland
Director, Corporate Communications & Marketing