We’re developing a Secondary Plan for the Lower Doon neighbourhood. You can find everything related to this project, including completed work, on this page.

On this page:

  1. About the review
  2. Land use study final report
  3. April 2022 engagement session
  4. November 2020 engagement session
  5. September 2020 engagement session
  6. Phase 1 – land use study
  7. Phase 2 – planning amendments
  8. Existing land use policies and zoning
  9. Cultural heritage resources

About the review

We prepare Secondary Plans for newer urban areas of the city that are planned for growth and sometimes for existing neighbourhoods to help guide the growth of new development in these specific areas.

The existing policies and regulations for Lower Doon were developed over 20 years ago, with some dating back to the late 1970s. We will be developing a new Secondary Plan for Lower Doon to guide and manage growth and change in the neighbourhood. The Secondary Plan process will include opportunities for community and stakeholder input, including input from Conestoga College. We will work with a cultural heritage consultant to allow for consideration of the cultural heritage assets in Lower Doon.

Lower Doon study area map

Lower Doon is defined as the area bounded by the Grand River to the north, Highway 401 to the east, properties located along the south side of Conestoga College Boulevard and Homer Watson Boulevard to the south, and Homer Watson Park to the west.”

New Secondary Plan

The new Secondary Plan will implement the recommendations from the Lower Doon Land Use Study. This will involve developing new policies and guidelines specific to Lower Doon, including:

  • new/updated land use designations
  • new/updated zoning provisions
  • new/updated urban design guidelines
  • identifying a Cultural Heritage Area near Pinnacle Drive and other cultural heritage assets
  • other recommendations included in the Lower Doon Land Use Study

Land use study final report

The Lower Doon Land Use Study Final Report was approved by city council on March 22, 2021. The Study reviewed current issues, zoning, and land use designations and policies for the Lower Doon neighbourhood and examined its planning structure and land use mix.

April 2022 engagement session

We hosted a virtual community engagement session on Tuesday, April 5 to share an overview of the Lower Doon Land Use Study and the next steps for developing a new Secondary Plan for Lower Doon.

You can download the presentation shared at the session.

Open the accordions below to find answers to common questions at this session.

What work has occurred following the Lower Doon Land Use Study that was endorsed by city council in March 2021?

City council endorsed the recommendations of the Lower Doon Land Use Study in March 2021. Since that time, staff started the Lower Doon Secondary Plan project, starting with the community check-in meeting held on April 5, 2022. At this meeting, staff provided an overview of the Lower Doon Land Use Study and an outline of how the Secondary Plan project would move forward with implementing the recommendations in the Land Use Study.

When will the next round of community engagement be held?

We'll be developing draft materials and will undertake a broad community engagement campaign in early 2023, where we will present those materials, including new and/or revised policies, regulations, guidelines, and visualizations for Lower Doon. 

Are you going to be working with Conestoga College as part of the Lower Doon Secondary Plan project? 

We will engage with Conestoga College, including the Conestoga Students association (Conestoga Students Inc.) throughout the study process. 

What are you doing to accommodate housing needs in Lower Doon? 

The Secondary Plan project will assess all forms of housing that could be accommodated in Lower Doon, as well as where different forms of housing can best be accommodated. This includes opportunities for purpose built rental accommodations. The review of existing regulations, and the creation of the new city-wide Lodging House bylaw will be created in consultation with various stakeholders and will aim to address housing needs by making licensing of lodging houses more accessible to property owners. We will be focusing on application processes, regulations, fees and inspections, while preserving the intention of the bylaw to maintain public health and safety (for neighbourhood and tenants). 

What are you doing about to address concerns regarding property maintenance, garbage, noise, and parking in Lower Doon? 

We will continue managing properties through existing city protocols, such as the property standards and maintenance protocol, as well as Kitchener Fire inspections. Going forward, our licensing services division will finalize the review and update of the city-wide Lodging House bylaw review, which may address concerns around property maintenance, and garbage for licensed properties. The review may also identify new or revised city protocols to better address issues that may arise. 

Will you be improving the public realm (e.g.: installing sidewalks and enhancing park space)? 

The Secondary Plan project will explore and identify opportunities to enhance the public realm in Lower Doon. Our sidewalk infill project is currently paused, though this project will identify opportunities for new sidewalks to be added. 

What is being done to preserve the mill ruins?

We'll work with a heritage consultant to help with the preparation and development of heritage policies and guidelines, including a Heritage Character Area for “Upper Pinnacle Drive”. This area includes Willow Lake Park, where the mill ruins are located, and a portion of Pinnacle Drive. The Heritage Character Area may speak to the ways in which the mill ruins can be preserved. 

November 2020 engagement session

We hosted two online meetings on Wednesday, November 18 to review draft recommendations for the Lower Doon area.

September 2020 engagement session

We hosted a virtual engagement session on September 22, 2020. The workshop included a presentation, conversation and exploration of land uses in Lower Doon.

Find the presentation used at the session and recordings of the session below:

Phase 1 – land use study

We hired a consultant, The Planning Partnership, to lead phase 1 of this neighbourhood planning review.

This process will involve public and stakeholder engagement to review the existing and potential issues, explored desired outcomes and options and offer a recommended course of action for the next phase of work.

The result will be an issues and options report provided to committee or council in winter 2021.

Background report

This report includes background information on the work completed so far. This includes what we heard from residents and outlines options and possible next steps for the study.

Neighbourhood engagement workshop

We received input from all landowners, residents and stakeholders in the study area to help explore the future vision, goals and preferred outcomes. Our first introductory workshop session was held on February 4, 2020 at the Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre.

If you want to review the information we shared during this session, download the workshop material.

Engagement summary report

The community feedback from one-one-one conversations with residents through December 2019 and January 2020 have been compiled along with the results of our February engagement workshop into a summary report.

Phase 2 – planning amendments

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
  • formally updating the cultural heritage framework

We will engage landowners, residents and stakeholders during this process.

Existing land use policies and zoning

Cultural heritage resources

Within the Lower Doon / Conestoga College – Doon Campus area, there are several properties that are either listed or designated on our heritage register.

In our Cultural Heritage Landscape Study, the Lower Doon area and Homer Watson Park were identified as areas that required further review. At the time, the evaluation for this area did not clearly meet the criteria for being a significant cultural heritage landscape but did call for more review within the area.

We hired Stantec Consulting Ltd. to do more research on the cultural heritage value of the area. 

Cultural heritage resources will be part of the information considered in this project and during upcoming public/stakeholder engagement. If you have any feedback, you can use our comment and feedback form.