Downtown Kitchener is at a key point in its evolution. It’s time to develop a new, community-led vision for the future. Learn more about how the vision process and how you can get involved.

On this page:

  1. Developing a downtown vision
  2. Downtown Community Working Group
  3. Timeline
  4. Existing vision and related projects

Developing a downtown vision

Unprecedented growth is happening at a time where housing affordability, climate, equity, and social factors are coming together to change the face of the downtown core. The pandemic has caused significant impacts to our business community, including the many businesses and organizations reliant on in-person engagement. The office community has largely been forced to work remotely, with uncertainty on what a post-pandemic work environment will look like.

As a result, it’s a great time for the community to shape a new vision for the downtown. This new vision will include a set of equity-based guiding principles for the next generation of community-led transformation.


Downtown Community Working Group

The Downtown Community Working Group (DCWG) includes members of the downtown and broader Kitchener community, each bringing unique and diverse perspectives to the process.

The DCWG will:

  • shape a comprehensive community engagement process
  • craft a vision that encapsulates downtown Kitchener in 10 years, one that is premised on a “downtown for all”
  • identify and define a set of principles that shape, direct and build context for future decision-making for the downtown core

The DCWG will work together with and be supported by community engagement consultants and staff. A space for input and collaboration with the broader community will be part of the community engagement process.

The members of the DCWG are:

  • A.J. Vlcek
  • Abdullah Rehman
  • Adam Sulemani
  • Alicia Mah
  • Anna Staszewska
  • Arnold Yescas
  • Carlina Andrews
  • Clair Donnison
  • Craig Beattie
  • Dwayne Taylor
  • Emily Charman
  • Franco Solimano
  • Janine Stanic
  • Jessica Burman
  • Jyoti Mehta       
  • Klas Bockasten
  • Katherine Andrews
  • Lee Ann Hundt
  • Linda Jutzi
  • Lindsey Bett
  • Martin de Groot
  • Matthew Rappolt
  • Michelle Purchase
  • Richard Belcher
  • Rick Haldenby
  • Sally Gunz
  • Sana Banu
  • Tabi Tse
  • Theo Ossinga
  • William Turman

Timeline

The Downtown Kitchener Vision project will take place during 2022 and 2023:

  • early 2022: project planning
  • mid to late 2022: community-led visioning through theme-based discussions
  • 2023: development of a downtown Kitchener vision and principles

Existing vision and related projects

 In 2003, city council endorsed a vision for downtown Kitchener (DTK) with key guiding principles. This vision focused on creating “a place for people” which guided key decisions, including:

  • investments in post-secondary institutions
  • pedestrian-first redesign of King Street
  • growth of festivals and events
  • creation of the Downtown Community Centre
  • expansion of Kitchener Public Library Central Library
  • policy changes to support residential intensification.

Today, DTK is guided by more recent strategies, including:

Over the next several decades, we’ll work to shape and transform DTK. At this time, identified in-progress and future city initiatives that a collective DTK vision would help inform include:

  • new land use and zoning framework for DTK
  • Civic District master plan
  • Bramm Yards master plan
  • Arts and Culture Strategy
  • District Energy plan for DTK
  • inclusionary zoning for DTK
  • Places and Spaces Master Plan
  • city-owned lands strategy (Make it Kitchener 2.0), and
  • new Official Plan

These bodies of work will work together with the Downtown Kitchener Vision to guide our future decision-making.