(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.
Waterloo’s largest ward, Ward 4 begins at the Conestoga Parkway and extends east to the Grand River as far north as Bridge Street. Lexington Rd is its southern border. The massive ward houses Conestoga Mall, RIM Park and the Grey Silo Golf Course.
Major issue: Income disparity, disjointed community
The mass of shoppers that visit Conestoga Mall everyday might give the impression that high incomes abound, but Ward 4 residents are a concerned about income disparity.
Julie Hill, a public health nurse and Ward 4 resident says that the meatier issues – like a gap between incomes – is not easily addressed by municipal officials.
"They’re things that can only be marginally affected at the city and regional level, income and equality," she says.
Candidates in Ward 4 can expect a diverse set of concerns from residents, from the student populations near Conestoga Mall to traffic calming and upkeep in high income, residential neighbourhoods further east.
Hill used the example of a portion of Davenport Road, which divides a particularly high-income suburb from a low-income area.
"That's huge, we see the polarization, when there's polarization people don't trust each other and it tears away at the fabric of our community," Hill says.
Hill says if the large-scale changes required at the municipal level begin and population continues to grow, the polarization will only get worse, leading to increased costs to the city for protective and social services.