(Map by Allison Leonard)
Municipal elections will be held across Waterloo Region on Oct. 27, and the following is a city ward profile that summarizes some key information. Did we miss any key issues in your ward? Let us know; email us at email@example.com. This profile was created in partnership with the Cord Community Edition.
Kitchener’s Ward 6 stretches from Fischer-Hallman Road to Homer Watson Boulevard between Conestoga Parkway and Bleams Road.
Major issues: McClennan Park development and upkeep
A focal point in the ward has been McClennan Park, the former landfill that has been redeveloped in recent years. The park was the venue for July’s Big Music Fest, which brought 50,000 people to the area and had an estimated economic impact on the city of at least $3 million.
However, there have been concerns that there wasn't adequate consultation before the park was selected as the venue for the festival.
"Our community is concerned with our outdoor spaces," says Graham Jeffery, president of the Alpine Community Neighbourhood Association. "Paul Singh, our councillor, has talked a lot about replacing the trees harmed by emerald ash borers, McClennan Park [and] dealing with the methane."
The park abounds with dog walkers, runners, volleyball players and skateboarding teenagers. The city has been trying to deal with emissions of methane that originated from the park's landfill foundation. Park users, however, didn't seem too concerned.
"It’s a landfill, of course there’s methane," said ward 6 resident Michelle James, while walking her dog on a late summer day. "I don’t care, there’s a great dog park, and I know the [Big] Music Fest had a ton of people."
McClennan Park has become a social space for local youth. High school students Kelly Kar and Aly Matarazzo spend after school hours walking its paths.
"The McClennan Park area is really good. There’s stuff for little kids, or to skateboard, stuff for teenagers," said Kar. "I don’t know where else we would hang out, they take care of it."