(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.
South of Benjamin Rd. and East of Wilmot Line, Ward 2 is Waterloo’s northwest corner. The ward is characterized by expanses of green space and fields near Conservation Drive, a portion of the Laurel Creek conservation area and the Laurelwood neighbourhood.
Major Issue: Growth and infrastructure
What once was vast farmland and space, Ward 2 now looks completely different.
"The ward has seen the most growth in Waterloo in the last 20 years," says Helen Kalunzy, one of the four candidates in Ward 2. Along with new houses and developments, residents are starting to notice that the infrastructure that was planned isn't keeping up with the growth as well as was expected.
As a result of the rapid growth, residents are facing traffic concerns.
"If you look along Laurelwood Drive, it's supposed to be a 40 kilometre per hour road, but cars go faster than that all the time," said Emma Bartlett, a mother of two and 12-year resident of the ward. "It's really unsafe for kids, especially so close to the schools."
Bartlett’s worries extend beyond residential traffic to trucks and buses that have in recent years began to use the residential street to get from Fischer-Hallman Road to the commercial developments along Ira Needles Boulevard.
"The road wasn't meant for [buses and trucks] and the roundabouts are too small, it's not the best planning, " said Bartlett.
"Traffic during rush hour is a nightmare," said Brian Bourke, candidate for Ward 2. What was originally supposed to be an industrial road, Ira Needles Boulevard, was built with two lanes but has plans to be expanded to four lanes to allow for smoother traffic.
"We need to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for the growth that we're seeing," said Bourke.
Janice Moore’s platform highlights the importance of promoting non-motorized transportation in the Ward. Hardy Willms aims to mitigate the ward’s rapid growth by focusing on plans of financial sustainability.
Other concerns raised by residents included the development of a new Costco and ensuring that parks and trails in the neighbourhoods are up kept.