(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 firstname.lastname@example.org. This profile was created in partnership with the Cord Community Edition.
Ward 9 runs to the west of King Street through downtown. It is north of the Conestoga Parkway, and is bounded on the west by Belmont Avenue West and Glasgow Street to the north. It is home to a number of community hubs, including Victoria Park, the Charles St. Terminal and St. Mary’s Hospital.
Major Issue: Meeting the needs of a diverse population
The history-rich area is diverse in its makeup; old Kitchener meets young families, startups, working professionals and students.
Victoria Park, a main stage for RibFest and the Multicultural Festival, has seen a number of recent improvements,including the addition of a public washroom facility.
Kayden Mateescu, a grade 10 student, said the park is a much-needed public space.
"This park is a place you go to relax, you have fun with your friends, family. My worries go away here," she said.
John Teor and his friends play cards in Victoria Park daily.
“I’m worried about safety and security in the park, the washroom facility has increased people hanging around too late,” he said.
Residents are also concerned about the LRT, affordable housing, growing the arts and culture scene, increased trail lighting, maintaining historic homes and bringing WiFi to Victoria Park. That means that candidates in Ward 9 can expect a set of concerns as diverse as their population.
Juan-Carlos Gomez, a resident clinical social worker uses The Boathouse, Victoria Park’s soon-to-be-reopened music venue as a sort of microcosm of his ward’s diversity.
“It’s just like this community,” he says. “It’s a place of gathering for everyone, it’s accessible, it has arts and culture, people who are different but like minded. It’s all about supporting local business and local recreation.”