There are a record-breaking eleven (11) Jane’s Walks in Waterloo this weekend, plus another 17 in Kitchener and three in Cambridge.
All are inspired by Jane Jacobs, an urbanist and activist whose writings inspired a fresh, community-based approach to city building.
Jane Jacobs would have been 100 years old on Wednesday May 4, 2016. On the weekend closest to her birthday, community volunteers lead walks to help others discover their cities.
So many to choose from! And choose you must, because many are offered at the same, or overlapping times.
If you’re interested in planning or neighbourhood development issues, here are some you might consider: * Fri May 6 5 p.m. “The Need for Small Blocks and Aged Buildings” – a look at Waterloo’s intensification plans through Jane Jacobs’ eyes. * Sat May 7 10 a.m. The Changing Face of Northdale – how is the 2012 plan working? * Sat. May 7 9 a.m. A Walk Along Waterloo Park’s Central Promenade – planning for Waterloo Park, LRT and Station Areas * Sat. May 7 11 a.m. Re-meet Your Park – community planning the future of Kitchener’s Vanier Park neighbourhood * Sat. May 7 11 a.m. Civic District: Past, Present & Future – focus on place making
If you’re interested in heritage and history, you have a great many choices: * Sat. May 7 1 p.m. Waterloo’s First Neighbourhood – led by Tricia Siemens * Sat. May 7 2 p.m. Memories of the Old ‘Hood – led by Sue Enns * Sat. May 7 3 p.m. Secrets of Amos Weber; the Beechwood “Garden City” suburb – led by Karen Buschert * Sun. May 8 1:30 p.m. Waterloo: From Grist to Infinity & Beyond – led by Doug Mulholland * Sun. May 8 3:30 p..m. Waterloo Park’s West Side natural heritage – led by Sharon Woodley
* Fri. May 6 12 noon & 2:30 p.m. Rock around Kitchener – led by Peter Russell * Sat. May 7 11 a.m. Kitchener: Then and Now – led by Tim Willcox * Sat May 7 11 a.m. Kitchener’s Civic District: Past, Present and Future – led by James Howe * Sat May 7 11 a.m. and Sun May 8 2 p.m. Past and Present of Rockway Gardens – led by Catherine Owens, * Sat May 7 1:30 p.m. Mount Hope Cemetery: from “Berlin” to “Kitchener” – led by Wayne Miedema * Sun May 8 9:30 a.m. Along Breithaupt St: our historic factories and new development – led by Lane Burman and Ted Parkinson * Sun May 8 1 p.m. Berlin’s Civic History – led by Todd Bowman * Sun May 8 2 p.m. Walking in our own shoes: Rumpel Felt Company – led by Sarah Granskou & Sarah Marsh
* Sat. May 7 1 p.m. Stories of growing up in Cambridge’ s West Galt – led by Jim Griffin * Sat. May 7 2 p.m. History, Architecture and People of Preston led by Amy Barnes
If you have a creative, artistic bent, here are some to consider: * Sat May 7 11 a.m. Found in Waterloo – graffiti and found art in Uptown Waterloo * Sat May 7 11 a.m. Kitchener: Then and Now – photographic comparison of past and present * Sat May 7 11 a.m. Fairy Walk along Brubacher Street – using art to build community * Sat May 7 1 p.m. Contemporary Art in Kitchener’s Core – public art and place making * Sun May 8 2 p.m. Walking in our own shoes: Rumpel Felt – introduction to felt making
If you are interested in nature and natural history, check out these walks: * Fri May 6 12 noon & 2:30 p.m. Rock around Kitchener – a tour of Kitchener’s geological history * Sat May 7 10 a.m. Uptown North along Laurel Creek – what is the value of natural elements and green space to urban environments? * Sat May 7 10 a.m. Edible Forest Heights – edible trails, permaculture, pollinator fedges, community gardens * Sat May 7 10 a.m. River Bluff Park, Galt – walk along the Grand with author David Menary * Sun May 8 3:30 p.m. Waterloo Park’s West Side – walk in our green oasis in the middle of the city
Consider these two very kid-friendly Jane’s Walks: * Sat May 7 11 a.m. Fairy Walk along Brubacher Street – find the fairy doors that have popped up along the street * Sun May 8 2 p.m. Kids Take Over Jane’s Walk – 5-year-old Johanna introduces us to her neighbourhood park
If you like cycling, there are two Jane’s Rides in Waterloo Region this year: * Sat. May 7 10 a.m. Waterloo – Bike Friendly Community – ride from Conestoga Mall to Waterloo City Hall with active transportation advocate Diane Freeman * Sun May 8 2:30 p.m. Explore the Spur Line Trail between Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener
If you like coffee, consider these walks * Sat May 7 9 a.m. Downtown Kitchener Coffee Walk – explore some great “third places” ; bring a reusable mug * Sun May 8 2:30 p.m. Explore the Spur Line Trail – with a coffee roastery at one end and a bicycle cafe at the other
* Many other walks may well end up in a coffee shop, or pub
— Information originally shared by Kae Elgie, City of Waterloo Jane’s Walk organizer
See janeswalk.org for more information.
Attendees: Melissa Bowman , Agnes Das, Anka Brozic, Anna Maste, Gillian Veitch, Cathy Lumb, Charlotte Keeler, David Opper
Regrets: Cheryl Evans, Eduardo Cejudo , Steve Burrows, Frank Etherington
a) Fire Drill at DCC – reviewed by team
b) May 13 – Volunteer appreciation day. An event is happening at the Apollo theatre in Kitchener. Still 8 tickets left.
c) Earth day – plan to do a park clean up on Saturday April 23rd., 10-12. Tents and tables available. rych, of the Victoria Park Working Group, is helping out.
a) Neighbor Day is June 11/16 – at the DCC there will be chalk and bubbles for the kids, pancake breakfast, fire truck, interactive map etc. Parking for this event – best to use the Duke parking lot, DCC will have passes for free parking there just check in at DCC reception to pick one up.
b) April 19+26 at 9:30 Sexual Assault Centre staff will facilitate 2 Healthy Relationships workshops, in partnership with Extend-a-Family and VPNA.
c) Drumming program – 11 people attending
d) Art therapy session will be running this spring
e) 2 planters at front of the building – Charlotte will get seedlings for at the end of May
f) Science Fair – geared to home schoolers or those young enough to not go to school
g) May 28 – Dance for families Update: date change for this, now planning for the Fall
h) Neighborhood Bylaw guide was distributed
a) Food Forest (at the foot of Park st and Jubillee) – could a music garden or Zen garden go in that space as well? Can we also put a playscape or small library there? Info about the FF could be left at the Welcoming Centre. It could be highlighted during Neighbor Day.
b) Signage in the park is sorely missing i.e way finding as well as area-of-interest signs. Needs to be addressed. There are small grants that can be accessed in order to support this. Charlotte K will look into it.
Projects and Committees:
a) Clothing /House Goods Swap – VPNA could do one in Summer and Winter. Two hours in duration at either the Pavillion or DCC. Whatever is left over is donated. Potential date for this event -September 10/16. TBC.
b) CAFKA event May 28-June 26 will include 5 installations in and around the park this year
c) Dogs off leash –there is no off-leash space for dogs/owners in the core. Suggestion was made that we have an off leash park or area designated.
d) Neighborhood strategy- April 26 is the launch party. 450 attending. The event is sold out.
a) Delivery of the newsletter – 1300 need to be delivered quarterly. No one overseeing this currently. There are 20 drop off spots. Fall will be the next time they need to be delivered. VPNA members are willing to divide the work and help as able.
May 11, 2016
Present: Laura Seaman, Rych Mills, Councilor Etherington, Glennis Yantzi, Tom Margetts, Melissa Bowman, Bob Sharpe, Scott Berry and Paula Davis (Recorder)
Guests: Joshua Shea, Natural Area Coordinator; Gloria MacNeil, Interim Director Bylaw Enforcement; Eric Rumble, Executive Assistant PT – Economic Development; Jeff Young, Manager Special Events
1. Security / Vandalism – Victoria Park Washroom
* Scott Berry welcomed everyone to the meeting and advised that he will be the interim chair of the VPWG group. Introductions were made around the table.
* Rych commented that the Victoria Park washroom and issues with security and vandalism has been on the Working Group’s agenda ever since the washroom was built.
* Rych would like to see signs up for hours the washroom is open to the public
* As a first step it was decided to keep 2 benches in the vicinity of the washroom – this is done. To relocate 5 or 6 benches to areas along the park pathway in the Commons area.
* Can comfort station washrooms open early in the year? Current open date is April 1st. There were several days when weather was nice and the park was full, but had no washroom available. Scott had concerns with freezing pipes and winterizing procedures. Action – Scott to talk with FM about freezing and winterizing issues.
2. Review of Action Items List
* Scott reviewed the list of action items with the Working Group. The following is an update on the status of the items.
– Tom advised that his section will be removing the boards, storing them and then have them re-installed in the fall. UPDATE: the plan is in place to have the boards removed when the weather improves.
Ø Jeff Y said lighting in the pergola will be repaired and LED lights installed.
* Signage does not appear to be approved signage for the park
* Trailer that is there has now had the wheels removed. Is this a permanent structure now?
> Sand Play
– Design & Development staff will be starting the design of the sand play this winter with construction occurring in 2016. The final location of the sand play is not finalized at this point in time, but most likely will be located closer to the existing playground areas providing a larger separation between the sand and splashpad areas.
* Tom advised he will follow-up with Canoeing on the Grand closer to spring regarding the canoeing operation and storage of the canoes.
> Clock Tower & Band Stand Electrical Outlets
* Tom advised he would be following up with Special Events and FM regarding an internal process for the turning on and off of the electrical for booked events.
> It was noted that there is a bylaw that prohibits loud amplified music on the Island and that Special Events staff needs to be aware of this bylaw.
Only amplified music currently allowed is the Christmas Fantasy which is run by the COK, Lions, Kiwanis and KW Hydro Action – Jeff will send list of events planned in the park to Scott and this will be distributed to the group
> Frank noted that the island is not a leash free area and that more should be done to control the number of people who walk their dogs off leashes in the park
> Any noise complaint within the park should be directed to Police who in turn will working with City Bylaw section to resolve the issue
> Trees damaged in the park from the ice storm. Action – Tom to follow-up and to see if trees believed not survivable to be replaced with same kind. Tom to follow-up with staff to see if there is a plant inventory for the park and to bring for next meeting when we walk about the park.
3. Community Garden Update
* Rych raised a concern regarding the location of the two no smoking signs in the playground area. The signs should be moved closer to the playground and also two or three more signs are needed. Action: Tom advised that signs to be located in the playground area sports field area will be done once weather permits installation of mounting posts. UPDATE: Tom has passed this information along to the Supervisor of Tech Services (Playgrounds)
* Concern was expressed that there is rust on the railings/slats of the heritage bridge. Tom has passed it along to the Supervisor of Tech Services.
* Goose Control
* Joshua’s area monitors and controls the number of geese in the park. Numbers rise and decline with migration and birth rate.
* 2015 saw 49 nests with 220 eggs
* There will be one swan in the park this year, 2017 we hope to see two
4. CAFKA Festival
* Eric Rumble joined the meeting to discuss the CAFKA festival program
* The program runs for 5 weeks, starting May 28th until June 26th
* Option 1 Phone booth
* Option 2 Debris Hut
* Option 3 Synanthrops
* Option 4 Loose large knot
* Option 5 Collection of broken and damaged elements relating to statues and public monuments
5. Victoria Park Mandate – Review
* This item was deferred to the next meeting
Next meeting: Meet at Clock Tower date to be determined
Time: 1:00- 3:00
When it comes to protection of Kitchener’s historic buildings, we all have a responsibility to be aggressive watchdogs of our declining stock of downtown heritage assets.
In Ward 9, that responsibility has been shared for more than five years by residents, planners, heritage advocates and yours truly in order to safeguard and save a building behind the Tannery at 195 Joseph Street.
The efforts of those community watchdogs recently paid off with a $10-million plan to develop the former “hide house” at what was once the Lang Tannery.
When I first ran for office in 2010, city officials and councillors were in the process of ignoring community wishes by demolishing several other heritage buildings in order to create an eyesore parking lot surrounding 195 Joseph on the edge of the Victoria Park neighbourhood. Since then, the community has maintained a close watch over the single remaining brick-and-beam building.
Now, thanks partly to commendable efforts by the current owner, Allied REIT, the building —surrounded by high tech’ companies and close to the future LRT Hub at King and Victoria Streets — is scheduled to become a beautiful new home for about 200 employees at Deloitte Waterloo Region.
All we need now is some additional, well-designed development on that ugly Joseph Street parking lot and community eyes focused on other heritage buildings scattered around Kitchener, a city that, when it is faced with heritage stock, has a record of eating its old.
Two of my favourite empty buildings at risk of damaging neglect, are the former Legion headquarters on Ontario Street — a building that would make an interesting arts centre — and the beautiful old PUC building opposite city hall.
We need to keep a close watch on those and other downtown historic buildings in order to prevent them going the depressing demolition route of the old city hall, the Forsyth shirt factory and the Mayfair Hotel.
In attendance: Melissa, Gillian, David, Cathy, Agnes
Regrets: Frank, Charlotte, Steve, Cheryl, Anka, Eduardo
Want to connect with Frank regarding appropriate no smoking signage for in the park that complies with new no smoking by laws
DCC Updates (Agnes):
- Neighbourhood strategy meeting with neighbourhood association Feb 18th. Melissa to attend, as well as (hopefully) Gillian. Will report back next meeting.
- Charlotte has connected with Agnes about the DLC using a planter outside to plant this Spring. Fabianne and Agnes to look at obtaining a few more large planters soon. It would be great if the DLC families could plant items along with the seniors day group.
- The Healthy Kids Challenge has a launch event Feb 17th at Bingeman’s. Free admission (5-8pm) with lots of fun activities open to all.
- Save the date: May 13th volunteer appreciation event at the Apollo cinema.
- The Family Kitchen cooking class will run beginning Feb 23rd.
- The DCC is partnering with KPL in providing some programming for some of the newcomer families. One such support is art time. The DCC could use some of art supplies for this program. Please pass on to Agnes as appropriate. The VPNA will donate some of our leftover art supplies from the potluck.
- Running effective meetings workshop being offered Feb 22nd, 6:30-8:30pm. Contact Melissa or Agnes asap if you would like to attend.
- DCC guides and newsletters just arrived from printing today. Melissa and David to make a plan to get them out to street reps.
- We need some more street reps. Gillian will create an ad for this.
- We need a plan for future deliveries as we have no delivery coordinator
Family Day: Skating and sledding party Feb 15th 1-3pm.
- Reception House has notified us that they will have about 70 kids to join us that day.
- Cathy has contacted Williams and they are willing to increase the amount of drinks and cookies to donate.
- It looks like we should have enough snow and cold temperatures from now until Monday for the event to run but we will keep an eye on it.
- Melissa to continue advertising the event on twitter and Facebook.
- We will set up the treats closer to the washroom area so it is in between the toboggan hill and the skating rinks.
- Melissa will try to bring signs and the banner.
- We may also want to have a binder with upcoming events, etc to put out on the table. Melissa will try to put this together in time.
Walk for Wildlife: June 12th (the day after Neighbours day) in the Park, mostly on Roos Island from 1-4pm. Cathy has a meeting Feb 16th and will update us as needed.
In a city that is actively supporting community gardens as a way to grow healthy neighbourhoods and human relationships, there’s an ongoing thirst among green-thumb participants to ensure available, reliable water sources.
Three of those 28 Kitchener gardens have been carefully nurtured in the Victoria Park and Cherry Park neighbourhoods of my ward where, because of supply problems, there have been water-source issues.
At a time when produce prices are sky-rocketing, the Queen’s Green garden at Mitchell and Queen as well as two Willow Green gardens in Cherry Park are enthusiastically supported by inner-city residents, particularly newcomer families struggling to survive. In order for gardens to be sustainable and accessible to all participants, they obviously need a convenient source of water.
Which is why I recently supported a council move to budget $50,000 in 2016 that will either hook up gardens to city water mains or continue existing arrangements where water is supplied by nearby houses. In the latter case, Kitchener proposes to directly pay those participating homeowners for water used at gardens in Ward 9 and elsewhere in the city.
I was pleased to see gardeners from Queen’s Green and Cherry Park gardens among those who spoke at a budget meeting open to the public. Their enthusiasm and community spirit helped persuade councillors to approve that $50,000.
And, because of the low cost of achieving priceless neighbourhood benefits being actively supported by Kitchener, I hope councillors increase our community-garden budget in future years.
Location: Downtown Community Centre, Kitchener
Attendees: Melissa, Todd, Agnes, Anka, Frank, Cathy, Charlotte K, Steve
Regrets: Charlotte A, Gillian, David, Cheryl, Eduardo
· Everyone present introduced themselves
2. City Update (Frank)
* Victoria Park working group serves as an advisory board to Waterloo Council. Delves deeply into the issues of the park. A meeting is coming up in March 2016. Interested members of the VPNA are welcome.
* Jan 12/16 was council budget night. 4-5 delegations came to voice their opinions and concerns. One item that stood out was about the lack of water sources to 4-5 community gardens of the 28 we have in Kitchener. One of the gardens is on Queen st across from Schneider House. There is 50K budgeted to fund water for the public gardens in the region. City is working on getting a permanent water source to those that don’t have it.
* Ice rinks are in at Victoria Park and City Hall
* Manulife Contruction – in phase 1. This work will extend into 2017. Approximately 700 employees will move into the new building.
* Bldg on Joseph St. and the owners of the Tannery will maintain that bldg.. Large accounting firm moving in as Google moves out.
* Major developments coming to ward 9 as the plan with the completion of ION is to demolish the bus terminal to make room for high rise buildings.
* Boat house in VP – complaints about trailer outside, aesthetic insult. The trailer will stay but will be moved closer to David St and be camouflaged.
3. DCC/DNA Update (Agnes Das)
· Neighborhood strategy – sent out letter to letter to promote participation in the neighborhood strategy to all neighborhood associations (NA)
· Question posed: What are some of the challenges that NAs face?
Ø Engaging residents
Ø Finding and keeping volunteers
Ø Marketing – creating more interest about NAs
Ø The various NAs are all very different and have different focuses, lrg, small, political, non-political
Ø Professional development opportunities were shared
4. VPNA Update (Melissa)
Ø Family Day (Feb 15) plans – sledding skating party; this will be a 2hour event; Melissa will post on social media; Williams usually sponsors and provides hot refreshments
Ø Melissa also shared other opportunities for community involvement including organizations such as the WRRC, FoN, Reception House, and Kitchener Core Neighbourhoods.
Ø Melissa, Cathy and Anka recently visited Reception House on David St. They have been in the neighborhood for 28 years. This is a govt funded agency that supports refugees. They have capacity for 250 annually but are expecting 800 this year. They have 2 other locations in St Jacobs and one on Roy St. They are in the process of setting up a volunteer system and list. They have set up a website for more info: http://www.wrwelcomesrefugees.ca/en/index.asp
5. Projects and Committees
· Walk for Wildlife – June 2016 -there will be a walk around VP to raise funds for a community member (Joy) that will support the work she does with supporting and sheltering injured wild animals
· Festival of Neighborhoods – sponsorship of various awards
· Food Forest – this is up and running in VP. There are several fruit trees and some vegetable seeds planted in late fall. Anyone can participate. More to come in the spring, including potentially a perennial swap.
· Everyone was encouraged to email Melissa any items they wanted entered into the newsletter.
7. New Business
8. Next Meeting
· February 10, 2016, 7-9 pm, Downtown Community Centre, Kitchener
Our annual general meeting was held at the Pavilion on November 22nd, 2015. Once again we held it in conjunction with our holiday potluck. We were planning to hear from local food forest advocate Nicola Thomas but unfortunately she was ill that evening. Thankfully Meaghan Coneybeare from the Sleep Tight campaign joined us for the evening and spoke about the work of her organization. We also encouraged attendees to donate pajamas to her pajama drive. Our chair, Melissa Bowman, gave an overview of everything that the VPNA was involved in over the past year. Attendees also had the opportunity to provide input/feedback through an asset mapping exercise. The VPNA executive looks forward to using the information gathered from this activity in our future planning. At the end of the evening we held elections for our 2016 executive. The results are listed below:
Position title: Previously held by: Elected (or re-elected): Moved by:
President Melissa Bowman Melissa Bowman Cathy Lumb
Vice President vacant vacant
Secretary Aimee Polevoy Anke Brozic Anna Maste
Treasurer Cheryl Evans Todd Bowman David Opper
Program Coordinator Charlotte Keeler Charlotte Keeler David Opper
Newsletter editor Anna Maste Anna Maste Gillian Veitch
Newsletter distributor Eduardo Cejudo vacant
Members at large David Opper David Opper
– Cathy Lumb Cathy Lumb
– Gillian Veitch Gillian Veitch
– – Cheryl Evans
– – Charlotte Armstrong
– – Eduardo Cejudo
– – Steve Burrows
The new executive will begin meeting in January 2016 and look forward to an exciting year ahead for our neighbourhood!
Friday, December 11, 2015 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Laura Seaman, Rych Mills, Councilor Etherington, Glennis Yantzi, Tom Margetts, Melissa Bowman, Lori Wadsworth (Recorder)
Regrets: Bob Sharpe
Guest: Grant Egerdeen, Supervisor, Facilities Management and Security
- Security / Vandalism – Victoria Park Washroom
* Scott Berry welcomed everyone to the meeting and advised that he will be the interim chair of the VPWG group. Introductions were made around the table.
* Grant Egerdeen was in attendance to discuss with the group their concerns regarding the security of the Victoria Park washroom.
* Police and By-law staff are monitoring the washrooms.
* A discussion ensued and the following suggestions were made as possible ways to address the security problems with the washroom:
> Post a list of rules for the washroom use inside the building.
> Change the hours that the washroom is opened from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
> Ask for more police patrols in the park.
> Have a Police presence in the vicinity of the washroom
> Post a sign in the family washroom – for use of children/guardians.
> Make the area around the washroom more inviting for park patrons by using it as programming area i.e., hold some educational sessions or have music playing, etc.
> Move some of the benches currently located near the washroom to the ice rink area and distribute along the pathway in the Commons area.
* Grant advised that he has met with the Downtown Business group and police recently to discuss security/vandalism in the downtown. He will also be meeting with the Working Centre and Roof to talk about the issues.
* It was noted that there is a broken window at one end of the washroom which should be repaired as soon as possible.
Action: As a first step it was decided to keep 2 benches in the vicinity of the washroom and to relocate 5 or 6 benches to areas along the park pathway in the Commons area.
Action: Tom to work with Operations staff to relocate the benches and have them secured.
- Review of Action Items List
* Scott reviewed the list of action items with the Working Group.
– Tom advised that in future group members should call the City of Kitchener Customer Contact Centre to report lights not working. The Customer Contact Centre number is 519-741-2345.
- Community Garden Update
* Tom provided an update on the Victoria Park community garden (Food Forest). The garden was installed in November.
* Victoria Park staff will be responsible to water the garden and provide some maintenance (trimming around the edges of the garden and turf walkway).
* Rych raised a concern regarding the location of the two no smoking signs in the playground area. The signs should be moved closer to the playground and also two or three more signs are needed.
* Action: Tom advised he would arrange for the signs to be relocated and would determine other spots in the playground area where signs could be posted.
* Concern was expressed that there is rust on the railings/slats of the heritage bridge.
* Tom noted that this issue is on the radar.
- Victoria Park Mandate – Review
* This item was deferred to the next meeting.