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General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours
Anyone remember the KPL Bookmobile? I don't know if they still have that, but when I was a kid they had a truck or two (pretty sure they were old school Workhorse boxtrucks) that would drive around to different neighbourhoods to loan out books.
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(06-12-2015, 10:17 AM)Owen Wrote:
(06-12-2015, 09:47 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: I'm afraid that even then it won't be enough, judging from other urban examples. We are going from 0 buildings to 1 (Kaufman) to 3 (Kaufman+One Victoria+City Centre) so while the increase sounds like a lot, density is still extremely low in that area as far as downtown urban districts are concerned. We will need the other City Centre tower as well as the two towers in One Hundred Victoria before we start seeing critical mass. The transit hub will help a lot as the fact that a trip to downtown will be a breeze away when the LRT is in place. Then we'll see a clear pickup.

This brings up my biggest issue with the LRT - "a trip downtown is a breeze away when the LRT is in place"  ... for who??  Maybe a few folks who happen to live around the line, but not for most residents of the city (and by most I mean everyone in Wards 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8).  I understand the planning rationale for creating a corridor that induces development (and a long-term shift in population from the suburbs to condos along that corridor), but I really wish the LRT as more useful for more existing residents - meaning it had lines that extended out into the existing suburbs to the east and west and made it easy for people to come downtown as a destination.  I get it - that was way out of the budget - but presently I have a hard time seeing how the LRT would help me get anywhere I want to go (have you ever found yourself on King street saying "gee, I really wish I could hope on a train and get to uptown waterloo?")  ... most of the city's residents (again, everyone in Ward 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8) live outside walking distance from the LRT, which means they will have to keep driving everywhere they want to go.   

Since the province is now providing 100% funding for this sort of thing we should be lobbying for a Phase II LRT that adds loops from the outer areas into the core to augment the main line!

(01-16-2023, 05:43 PM)ac3r Wrote: Anyone remember the KPL Bookmobile? I don't know if they still have that, but when I was a kid they had a truck or two (pretty sure they were old school Workhorse boxtrucks) that would drive around to different neighbourhoods to loan out books.

Yup I definitely remember this... definitely made it much more convenient when I grew up in Laurentian Hills.
There also will be a new branch starting construction this year. https://www.kpl.org/your-library/locatio...st-library I'm looking forward to this one as I'll be able to walk to this one with my kids...
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100% would like to see some other loop LRT or how I've putt it before, 6 to 8 'tentacles' (leaning towards 8 if not more), that reach out and bring people to node stops on the line. A lot more complex than a straight 2 way line but so what, all doable. As it stands I need to take 2 busses and the LRT to get DTK proper (1h15m one way trip assuming zero delays, can shave off 15mins occassionally if one of the bus drivers is kind enough to make a particular stop on an express run - even then no guarentee).

I'd love to see someone mock something up on a K-W topical map on here!
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(01-16-2023, 11:51 AM)ac3r Wrote: I don't think it takes a genius to tell when someone is in a bathroom using drugs versus doing something with a colostomy bag. Gimme a break.

Problem is, people that want to see it will see it all the time will see it all the time -- and people that want to pretend that it mostly doesn't exist (or simply isn't that bad) just won't see it. It's somewhere in the middle.

That said, I did work in DTK for a number of years, and I know for a fact that drug usage was daily at: The TeenTown washrooms at Victoria Park (by the Pavilion), the other public washrooms close to The Boathouse, City Hall washrooms (main floor) and skate pad washrooms. Duke and Ontario garage also had daily problems (several times a day) and was so bad that the city had to close those washrooms (and I think they're still closed).

This isn't a dump on the homeless or the addicts - just a reality that many of them don't care about anyone else. I had a co-worker stabbed by a syringe and never did come back to work (no idea what happened to her - just that she got really sick).

We have a real problem with leadership in this Region - with Redman and our 3 mayors (includes that two that are no longer mayors) being pretty ineffective at just about everything they did. However, I do reserve judgement for the mayors of Waterloo and Cambridge as they are new and just getting her their wet.
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(06-12-2015, 09:47 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: I'm afraid that even then it won't be enough, judging from other urban examples. We are going from 0 buildings to 1 (Kaufman) to 3 (Kaufman+One Victoria+City Centre) so while the increase sounds like a lot, density is still extremely low in that area as far as downtown urban districts are concerned. We will need the other City Centre tower as well as the two towers in One Hundred Victoria before we start seeing critical mass. The transit hub will help a lot as the fact that a trip to downtown will be a breeze away when the LRT is in place. Then we'll see a clear pickup.

I don't know whether this quoted by accident or intentionally, but it is from seven years ago. Coincidentally, just about the same time that we moved to DTK. That started me thinking, what has changed since then?
  • Three new towers at 100 Victoria/Garment St, plus the Glove Box
  • Two towers at Station Park, and two at City Centre
  • One Victoria, Charlie West, DTK Condos, Barra Condos, Otis
  • Market Flats, The Bow, Ophelia, 66 Civic, The Scott, 169 Borden Ave
  • Mayfair Hotel rebuild, 323 King St W, 50Q renovation, Google phase 3, LCBO building
  • Old regional courthouse renovation, provincial courthouse renovation (that one still in progress)

And also ...
  • LRT started operation
  • Zehr Square redesign
  • Bicycling grid well under way
  • Iron Horse Trail widened and (well!) lit
  • Delta St turned into a trail
  • Gaukel St turned pedestrian only
  • Shoemaker Creek renaturalized

And then ...
  • Conestoga College brought hundreds of students to downtown
  • More than a dozen pot shops opened, outnumbered only by coffee/espresso shops
  • Two new non-AYCE sushi restaurants, three legit Indian restaurants
  • Marche Leo's brought an urban grocery (if not a cheap one) to the core, and a plant-based urban supermarket is about to open 
  • Innovative/niche retail (such as Rose Cafe and Goldie's Convenience) have opened
  • GO frequencies have improved (after a dip during the pandemic)
  • Urban speed limits have been reduced to 40 km/h

But also ...
  • The pandemic hit
  • GRT hub closed, reopened for COVID testing, and then closed again
  • Many companies staying either fully or partly remote, reducing daytime population downtown
  • Housing prices rose rapidly, and fell back only slightly
  • The homeless are at least more visible and possibly much greater in number, with two encampments in the downtown core
  • A Better Tent City opened -- and moved twice
  • Tiny House Kitchen offering high-quality "pay what you can" meals
  • Multiple housing options have opened to help the homeless -- but much more affordable housing is needed
  • A safe injection site opened on Duke St, reducing harm but making addicted people more visible


Overall, it's a lot of changes. And mostly for the better, I think. Hopefully we can continue to build on all that's good, while addressing the issues we have this city will be a very good place to live. At least for us, personally -- everyone else's mileage will vary, of course, depending on your personal priorities.
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(01-16-2023, 06:22 PM)Momo26 Wrote: 100% would like to see some other loop LRT or how I've putt it before, 6 to 8 'tentacles' (leaning towards 8 if not more), that reach out and bring people to node stops on the line. A lot more complex than a straight 2 way line but so what, all doable. As it stands I need to take 2 busses and the LRT to get DTK proper (1h15m one way trip assuming zero delays, can shave off 15mins occassionally if one of the bus drivers is kind enough to make a particular stop on an express run - even then no guarentee).

I'd love to see someone mock something up on a K-W topical map on here!

Imagine if every bus route (or at least every express route) went to an LRT station and every LRT station was served by a bus route.
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(01-17-2023, 01:40 PM)timc Wrote: Imagine if every bus route (or at least every express route) went to an LRT station and every LRT station was served by a bus route.

I’m pretty sure that’s already true outside of Cambridge and the Wilmot and Doon Mills BusPlus routes and Route 36.
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(01-17-2023, 02:11 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(01-17-2023, 01:40 PM)timc Wrote: Imagine if every bus route (or at least every express route) went to an LRT station and every LRT station was served by a bus route.

I’m pretty sure that’s already true outside of Cambridge and the Wilmot and Doon Mills BusPlus routes and Route 36.
Wasn't that one of the main reasons the bus terminal in DTK became obsolete? When the LRT became active, the bus routes in KW were reconfigured to connect to LRT stations.
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(01-16-2023, 06:22 PM)Momo26 Wrote: 100% would like to see some other loop LRT

Sure! Once other routes have the ridership to make an LRT worth while. None currently do, however. Not even pre-pandemic. That's basically the reason why we're waiting for ION stage 2.

(01-16-2023, 06:22 PM)Momo26 Wrote: or how I've putt it before, 6 to 8 'tentacles' (leaning towards 8 if not more), that reach out and bring people to node stops on the line.

In K-W the only routes that do not connect to an ION are 36 and 76 down in Doon/Pioneer Park.

(01-16-2023, 06:22 PM)Momo26 Wrote: As it stands I need to take 2 busses and the LRT to get DTK proper (1h15m one way trip assuming zero delays, can shave off 15mins occassionally if one of the bus drivers is kind enough to make a particular stop on an express run - even then no guarentee).

It sounds like you live in somewhere on the fringes, like to the south and/or east of Cambridge, as even Doon South in Kitchener, a badly connected area, is less than an hour from DTK by the bus schedules.
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(01-16-2023, 09:09 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(06-12-2015, 09:47 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: I'm afraid that even then it won't be enough, judging from other urban examples. We are going from 0 buildings to 1 (Kaufman) to 3 (Kaufman+One Victoria+City Centre) so while the increase sounds like a lot, density is still extremely low in that area as far as downtown urban districts are concerned. We will need the other City Centre tower as well as the two towers in One Hundred Victoria before we start seeing critical mass. The transit hub will help a lot as the fact that a trip to downtown will be a breeze away when the LRT is in place. Then we'll see a clear pickup.

I don't know whether this quoted by accident or intentionally, but it is from seven years ago. Coincidentally, just about the same time that we moved to DTK. That started me thinking, what has changed since then?
  • Three new towers at 100 Victoria/Garment St, plus the Glove Box
  • Two towers at Station Park, and two at City Centre
  • One Victoria, Charlie West, DTK Condos, Barra Condos, Otis
  • Market Flats, The Bow, Ophelia, 66 Civic, The Scott, 169 Borden Ave
  • Mayfair Hotel rebuild, 323 King St W, 50Q renovation, Google phase 3, LCBO building
  • Old regional courthouse renovation, provincial courthouse renovation (that one still in progress)

And also ...
  • LRT started operation
  • Zehr Square redesign
  • Bicycling grid well under way
  • Iron Horse Trail widened and (well!) lit
  • Delta St turned into a trail
  • Gaukel St turned pedestrian only
  • Shoemaker Creek renaturalized

And then ...
  • Conestoga College brought hundreds of students to downtown
  • More than a dozen pot shops opened, outnumbered only by coffee/espresso shops
  • Two new non-AYCE sushi restaurants, three legit Indian restaurants
  • Marche Leo's brought an urban grocery (if not a cheap one) to the core, and a plant-based urban supermarket is about to open 
  • Innovative/niche retail (such as Rose Cafe and Goldie's Convenience) have opened
  • GO frequencies have improved (after a dip during the pandemic)
  • Urban speed limits have been reduced to 40 km/h

But also ...
  • The pandemic hit
  • GRT hub closed, reopened for COVID testing, and then closed again
  • Many companies staying either fully or partly remote, reducing daytime population downtown
  • Housing prices rose rapidly, and fell back only slightly
  • The homeless are at least more visible and possibly much greater in number, with two encampments in the downtown core
  • A Better Tent City opened -- and moved twice
  • Tiny House Kitchen offering high-quality "pay what you can" meals
  • Multiple housing options have opened to help the homeless -- but much more affordable housing is needed
  • A safe injection site opened on Duke St, reducing harm but making addicted people more visible


Overall, it's a lot of changes. And mostly for the better, I think. Hopefully we can continue to build on all that's good, while addressing the issues we have this city will be a very good place to live. At least for us, personally -- everyone else's mileage will vary, of course, depending on your personal priorities.

Also, from the 2021 census, the population of the Downtown census tract (bounded by Victoria, Joseph, a short stretch of Queen, Church, Cedar and Weber Streets) increased from 2,347 in 2016 to 3,075 in 2021, a 31% increase, one of the highest increases of all census tracts in the city.

The adjacent census tract, where Station Park, Glove Box etc. are located, saw an even larger population increase of 38.9% from 2,335 to 3,243.
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The last two days, some workers came by and cut down all the trees on two properties on Mill St., #252 & #247 which are the third and fourth houses counting from St. Andrews Church. I was told, in the summer, that the one next to the church (#265) was sold for development, but I hadn't heard anything about any of the other properties on that section of the street. I was just walking in Charles Best Park when a bylaw vehicle drove into the park to check it out. The bylaw officer told me that there had been a complaint by someone concerned that they were cutting trees that belonged to the park. He said that they didn't. Has anyone heard anything about potential developments along there?
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265, 257 and 251 are listed as having private owners, whereas 247 is owned by 2741275 ONTARIO LTD. Of course the city's information may be out of date, too.

No building permits listed, either, but that stretch is proposed for RES-6 (25m max height, eight storeys).
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(01-17-2023, 09:06 PM)tomh009 Wrote: 265, 257 and 251 are listed as having private owners, whereas 247 is owned by 2741275 ONTARIO LTD. Of course the city's information may be out of date, too.

No building permits listed, either, but that stretch is proposed for RES-6 (25m max height, eight storeys).

All the properties backing onto the park have big backyards. One could build a substantial number of apartments along there if someone were able to buy several of them. Most of them are rather shabby looking houses, so no great loss if they were demolished.
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(01-17-2023, 02:11 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(01-17-2023, 01:40 PM)timc Wrote: Imagine if every bus route (or at least every express route) went to an LRT station and every LRT station was served by a bus route.

I’m pretty sure that’s already true outside of Cambridge and the Wilmot and Doon Mills BusPlus routes and Route 36.

I guess I’m mostly still wishing for a bus connection at Waterloo Park. I forgot about mall connections at the extremities.
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Yes, Waterloo Park station is the only one with no bus connections (more's the pity; several routes on University don't visit UW station).
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