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VPNA Meeting Minutes – February 6th, 2018

2018 February 11
by Melissa


7:00 Welcome – new members Jim Whitt and Lisa Woo
7:15 Councilor updates: did not attend
7:25 City updates: Placemaking update on adult playground (looking for people on their advisory committee – connect with Agnes) – not going to be near the food forest due to heritage implications. Other location near playground and near the parking lot. Planning for a summer installation. There will be some activity there on the July 28 weekend.

Little library: Where is it going? Perhaps near the playground again – still need to f/u re; recycling bins- not resolved, we don’t know where the bins were purchased;

Gifts for ice rink workers? VP rinks are maintained by city staff. No need for presents for them.

Feb 15 Kitchener Market #lovemyhood update-invitation only and by membership; Family Day event on city website-sledding event, skating and hot chocolate Feb 19 2-4 pm.

NAP- Monday Feb 26th at 7pm council meeting to present update re: NAP.

Launch of #lovemyhood website will be Feb 14th.

7:40 Finance: No new expenses/revenue
7:45 Newsletters: Thanks to Rose for the Spring newsletter – done and ready to go. Distribution – 1100 need to be distributed. Board members divide them up and we deliver them. Mario has volunteered to deliver to Heins.
7:55 Programming: Update – Charlotte was not able to make it tonight. VPNA runs a few programs – DT coop learning program, La Leche, At home school drop in.  Marla (chef) willing to offer some programming regarding food.
8:00 DNA: Heritage/Development team- Jan meeting – Patrick and Melissa – 2 issues – Duke to Charles and Victoria to Ottawa – no neighborhood assoc. There is ongoing development in our area. In March they will focus on developing a committee that would have reps from every NA who will keep an ear to the ground about upcoming developments and share info with all NAs. We will be able to stay informed. If there were concerns they would bring them up as a committee. Mt Hope and Breithaupt NA has assembled a subcommittee already looking at this. Next meeting 4th Wednesday of the Month 730 Mar 28th. They will meet quarterly. Location: DCC. Steve and Erin will attend. They have been given a Terms of Reference from a similar committee to review.  Goals for this larger committee is to have a support group and put their heads together bring in their connections to figure things out. Mario is interested in this (away until early April). Can we as the NA do a better job at sharing these types of information with our neighbours. If so, how best to do this?

Website – Waterloo Region connected – forums to learn about what is going on in the Region

Are there Heritage guidelines? – Agnes will send a link.

Heritage Committee- citizens make recommendations  to Council. Meet the first Tues of every month – City Hall Heritage Room. All welcome.

Crozby legislation – regarding zoning

8:15 VPWG: Need a replacement for Glennis. Long standing group – working group has 4 citizens that meet quarterly with city staff and ward Councilor and the parks and facilities staff. We could advertise this position at the Feb 19 event, DCC bulletin board, also on social media. Person should live in the VP neighborhood.
8:20 NAP: Placemaking grant; presentation to Council – above
8:30 Food Forest: nothing new at this time. Two metal poles have been put in the ground near the food forest. It was thought maybe to protect it. Agnes will follow up with Charlotte (update: related to the Christmas Fantasy lights – will be removed when the ground thaws). Community garden committee meeting will be happening soon. The beds have been planned but no movement until the Spring.
8:35 Events: Family Day event Feb 19, 2-4 pm– please come out – update on facebook (Rose, Erin, Cathy will attend, others as they are able); Earth Day clean up – April 21 10 am- 12 noon – meet at the gallery. We will have prizes.
8:45 Miscellaneous: historically we have used Mailchimp subscribers meeting reminders and newsletters- what to do with this; we could use social media to send out our newsletter, We have about 400 followers to facebook, we get 1 inquiry every month or so through the website, Patrick will work with our newsletter and put it on mailchimp. This will be cheaper and info will be timely. Henry, Cathy, Melissa and Patrick will meet to discuss.   media guidelines; sign off on AODA documents; consider booking AGM early this year; concerns re: overlap of innovation district and heritage district; Melissa to share about upcoming plans. Melissa will send out info about our mission and vision and we will discuss more about digital expression at our next meeting. What do we need to have a good conversation around our ‘advertising’: demographics; how do we identify who wants to be interested/engaged? What is the purpose of each of our platforms? What are we trying to achieve with them? Engagement, information, creating a sense of community, or something else? Bring in our constitutions and aims and objectives.

Mario had info about the heritage and innovation district that he will disseminate to all of us.

8:55 Information for future meetings: Long term goals for Food Forest; Adopt a storm drain project- deferred; Accessible neighbourhood; tree giveaway – the winner of the draw does not want the tree. We will offer it as a giveaway at Earth Day. We may want talk to Reep about partnering to do so. Little Library location (partner with exercise equipment installation?)

Next meeting : March 6th, 7-9pm  at DCC.

9:00 Adjournment

Working Group appointment

2018 February 10
by Melissa

The Victoria Park Working Group (VPWG) is looking to appoint a new member to this citizen working group to replace valued member Glennis Yantzi who has since moved out of the area. The VPWG works as a communications conduit between park users and City staff. Regular meetings to review progress on the Foundations Plan (a document that guides the planning and design of Victoria Park, and has subsequently informed the Victoria Park Strategic Plan) allows citizens to voice concerns and gives staff the opportunity to explain whenever the Plan’s objectives are delayed or sidetracked. In addition, the VPWG takes citizens’ comments, complaints, and suggestions related to Victoria Park directly to the appropriate city manager and bring their explanations and comment directly back to the concerned parties. The group meets approximately quarterly during daytime hours. If this interests you (or you would like to nominate someone), and you are vested in Victoria Park, both its present and future, please email to find out more information.

CANCELLED! Family Day in Victoria Park

2018 February 4
by Melissa
February 19, 2018
2:00 pmto4:00 pm

CANCELLED! Due to poor skating and sledding conditions we are cancelling this year’s Family Day in the Park event. We hope you find other Family Day events to enjoy!

Join us February 19th from 2-4pm for skating and sledding in the park!

The latest from Councillor Etherington: Neighbours learn about development of Schneider’s site

2018 February 4
by Melissa

To date it’s a no-name, urban hamlet planned in central Kitchener that could take at least 10 years to develop.

About 100 residents who live near Kitchener’s 27.6-acre Schneider’s-Maple Leaf site showed up last night to ask questions about the development by Auburn Developments of London that will eventually include at least 2,000 housing units. The information meeting — first of several planned by the developer and the city — was held at Cameron Heights Collegiate.

Auburn is known locally as the developer of the Arrow Lofts on Benton Street, Kitchener and Barrel Yards in Waterloo.

The Schneider site, which has stood empty for three years, will include everything from town homes to 18-storey condo and rental towers. It is located between Courtland, Borden, Palmer and the rail tracks near Mill. It is on the Light Rail Transit route and adjacent to two LRT stations.

Residents learned that initial site activity will include drilling, soil testing and demolition. It will also involve renovation of the existing office building, warehouse and garage near Courtland-Borden for possible high-tech’ offices, restaurant and brew-pub purposes.

Other proposals:

  • Consideration of affordable housing mixed with stacked townhouses and medium to high-rise buildings;
  • Extension of Kent and Palmer streets into the site plus several new, east-west roads;
  • A green park corridor connecting with neighbourhood creeks and trails;
  • A transit study and pre-development inspection of existing, nearby homes/businesses that could be affected by demolitions;
  • Dust and noise controls as demolitions progress.

Meanwhile, Auburn has activated a Schneider website at and announced that neighbourhood issues about site activity should go to site manager Connor Wilks at 519.434.1808.

On a lighter note, nearby residents have been asked to suggest names for the development and its new streets but I would predict several suggested at last night’s meeting are unlikely to be considered.

My favourites?

“Wiener Way” traversing “Hot-dog hamlet.”

Little Libraries of the VPNA

2018 January 22
by Henry Olesen

Image of a sample Little Library

Read for Free!
Little Libraries of the VPNA
Take a book and/or leave a book. These libraries are maintained by your neighbours for your enjoyment so take advantage soon.

• 16 Theresa St.
• 22 Dill St.
• 113 Water St.
• corner of Queen & Brock
• on Patricia Ave., across from Carmichael school
• 35 Highland Rd. W. (near Queen’s Blvd.)
• corner of Queen & Courtland, Bread & Roses Co-op

Sorry if we missed yours. Please share it’s location on our Facebook page (

VPNA Speaks Out on City Clearing Sidewalks

2018 January 21
by Henry Olesen

Chair writes to the editor about city clearing snow off all sidewalks in The Record Saturday, January 21st, 2018.

Click here to read the letter

VPNA meeting minutes – January 9, 2018

2018 January 15
by Melissa




7:00 Welcome – Zac J. working with neighborhood development office came to take pictures of the meeting and doing a story on the neighborhood action plan.

The board did introductions as new members attended.

7:15 Councilor updates:  great turnout at the Christmas light turn on – best ever. Finishing a newsletter on the 1.2 Billion dollar new development happening in our area. We will be having some meetings with developers coming up. Jan 24, 6-8pm  in the Conestoga rm at City Hall. There will be a meeting. Feb 1  meetings – Auburn developers at Cameron Heights 7-8 pm. Drewlo Building at bottom of Cedar hills Feb 6th also at Conestoga room.

Lights are on during the day on Jubilee and on Joseph St. Frank has mentioned this to the appropriate people.

Crossing on Jubilee Dr is still not complete. Was due to be done by August. Likely won’t be done until Spring 2018 now.

The question of sidewalk plowing came up. The cost is between $26-50 per taxpayer. There is all kind of infrastructure for bicycles, why not for pedestrians? Frank encouraged people to send emails to local politicians if they are concerned about this issue.

7:25 Presentation re: Placemaking Challenge in VP area –winners of placemaking grantwas updated about the plan for this group. Details to be released publicly in February 2018.
7:40 City updates: Henry Sturm community garden plots & Iron Horse trail improvements. There will be 20 plots upcoming by Spring/Summer 2018. Queens Greens has a waiting list of 20+ people. Anyone interested in helping with this is to speak to Agnes. Melissa received a City Builder award 2018. Family day Feb 15 weekend we should share plans with Agnes asap. Salsa Saturdays at DCC 2-4 pm on Saturdays for 55+ registration is required.
7:55 Finance: Update provided to the board.
8:00 Newsletters: To Agnes by Jan 22nd; Ideas and contributions? Rose will take a look and will create the newsletter. It will include upcoming events; interesting stories etc. Mario will help.
8:10 Programming: Update (no update)
8:15 DNA: Heritage team- Patrick sits on this board as well as Melissa – looking to put together a team. Cathy, Anka, and Mario would be interested. Melissa will bring this forward to the DNA group. We are interested in participating in promoting positive ‘friendly’ development.
8:20 VPWG: Update of last meeting- discussed the little library. Library was to go near food forest along with a bench. City does not feel that that area is best location. City has 4 or 5 location areas. We are in agreement to wait to see if the gym goes in the food forest area.
8:30 NAP: Placemaking grant; presentation to Council – Feb 26-  we will be presenting this to Council. We did not win the Placemaking Grant. We are doing a grant for the neighborhood matching grant and presenting to council Feb 26.
8:40 Food Forest: Some items planted, more to be added in the Spring
8:45 Events: Potential ideas: event lead sign up sheet; Feb 19 -Family Day event 2-4 pm; Earth Day April 21 (Saturday); Plant swap at food forest May; Neighbours day June; Summer event; Pumpkinpalooza Nov 1; AGM – Nov; Jane’s Walk May 4th , Clothing swap; Food Forest event.
8:50 Miscellaneous: Mailchimp subscribers; media guidelines; sign off on AODA documents

Fire drill info was shared. Mario inquired about why parts of the ‘Innovation District’ overlap with the Heritage Conservation District.

8:55 Information for future meetings: Long term goals for Food Forest; Adopt a storm drain project; Accessible neighbourhood; tree giveaway; Clarify goals/zoning of Innovation District

Social Media – guidelines – we need to define the audience. Objectives are too many. Voice = tone. What is our purpose for social media? Information or influence. Our Facebook page  starts with photos.

9:00 Adjournment (next meeting: Feb 6th, 2018 7pm)

Update from Councillor Etherington: Developments

2018 January 10
by Melissa


Ward 9 meetings:

* Development of 270 Spadina Ave (Spadina-Highland) tower, Kitchener City Hall, Conestoga Room, 6.30 p.m.-8 p.m., Tues. Jan 16.

* High-rise development by Momentum involving the former Huck Glove building at Victoria and Bramm Streets, Conestoga Room at Kitchener City Hall from 6-8 p.m., Weds. Jan 24.

* Preliminary development of former Schneider’s site at Cortland-Borden at Cameron Heights Collegiate, 301 Charles St.E., Thurs. Feb. 1 at 7.15 p.m.

* Drewlo high-rise development at Charles-Cameron block, Conestoga Room, City Hall, 6.30-8p.m., Tues. Feb. 6.

Melissa Bowman recipient of Kitchener Mayor’s City Builder Award

2018 January 8
by Henry Olesen

Photo of someone presenting a large plaque to Melissa Bowman

Photo by Todd Bowman

On January 7, 2018, Melissa Bowman was one of five to receive the City of Kitchener’s 2017 Mayor’s City Builder Award.

The official Media release with more details can be found here: Five individuals named as recipients of Kitchener Mayor’s City Builder Award

From Councillor Etherington: Take part in PARTS plan for community and Schneider’s site

2017 December 22
by Melissa

Consider this as a homeowner heads up for those living in established neighbourhoods near Light Rail Transit stations at Mill-Ottawa and Borden near the former Schneider’s site.

Ward 9 residents who live a few minutes walk from the stations and the 27-acre site now owned by Auburn Developments of London, would be wise to attend and participate in a public information meeting that will soon be organized by the developer.

Information and plans seen at that meeting will contribute to changing the character and content of communities reaching from Ottawa Street and the expressway to Stirling, Courtland, Kent, Borden and surrounding streets.

Auburn will distribute flyers in surrounding neighbourhoods to announce the meeting where preliminary details of development, new roads, parks and creek-side trails on and near the Schneider’s site will be examined and discussed.

The development will form an urban village at the core of the city’s PARTS (Planning Arround Rapid Transit Stations) recently approved by Kitchener council and planners  who are trying hard to protect and preserve mature residential communities.

And, believe me, those planners will need help from the public in order to resist growing intensification pressure both on council and within the development industry.

That PARTS document, dubbed the Rockway plan, includes portions of Rockway, Mill-Courtland, Highland-Stirling, Cedar Hill, King East and other communities.

On the Schneider site, housing could range from high-rise towers to stacked town homes and affordable housing financed under the federal government’s new affordable-shelter program. It could also include a restaurant, possible brewery and high-tech,’ light-industrial uses in reworked buildings at Courtland and Borden..

Nearby residents will soon notice preliminary demolitions taking place and bore-holes being drilled to test soil conditions on the sprawling site which will be developed during the next decade.

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