I have completed the workbook and so my voice has been heard. I’d like to encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity so that your voice is heard too. Complete the full workbook if you have time but you can also answer just a few questions that are important to you. To get you thinking, I have included a few questions and my answers. Agree or disagree with me, but participate while you can.
What types of things would attract you to spend more time in downtown Kitchener than you currently do
There needs to be more diversity of shops, restaurants, cafes and services. There’s also a need for more concentration of businesses and attractions that reach out to target audiences so that when they come for one thing, they stay to do other things or attracts them because they know there are plenty of relevant options. For example, a business targeting young families will do better if there are other options for young families nearby. Antiques or higher end used furniture stores are an example of what is missing that I am used to seeing in urban cores. A night life that is for more than the young bar crowd is also a must.
In the Environics survey, some residents said they want Kitchener to have a small town Ontario feel, while others said they want it to have a big city atmosphere. With careful planning, Kitchener can have a balance of both. What elements or amenities of big city life, if any, would you like to see in Kitchener? What elements of small city life, if any, would you like to see?
Kitchener must accept that it is not a small town any longer. At the same time, small town traits that we want to continue are to be friendly, helpful and caring. Kitchener strives to have neighbourhoods with a strong sense of community. In part, this exists but there needs to be a greater ability to live, work, shop, play, etc within your neighbourhood than currently exists. Walkable neighbourhoods are critical to a sense of community.
Big city atmosphere is critical and a vibrant downtown is the key. Planning could help to create a restaurant district or an arts district (including independent shops and cafés). Downtown should be considered the length of King Street. In the central core, more effort is needed to have retail and services on the streets parallel and perpendicular to King St. so that there is a greater concentration of reasons to be downtown.
What is the one thing that you would like decision makers to keep in mind so that their decisions don’t negatively impact the quality of life in Kitchener?
Financial considerations are important and must be a part of the decision-making process but they should not drive the process, what is in the best interests of the people who live here should be the overriding objective.
What do you think? Participate while you can.