(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.
A key hub of the city, Ward 6 is home to the University of Waterloo, Blackberry, the David Johnston Research Park, and a number of Waterloo’s tech sector employers. It runs North of University Ave. to Bearinger Rd., encompassing all of the University of Waterloo and is sandwiched between Fischer-Hallman Rd. and Weber St. N.
Major issue: Affordable housing, new rental by-laws
Ward 6 has seen major changes in its always-controversial Northdale neighbourhood over the past four years. There has been an influx in new student-focused residential buildings resulting in an increase in the density of the student population.
Gayle, a server at the Homestyle Dinner and a landlord in the ward, says she does her part to make sure that students know the neighbours so that they can avoid any major conflicts.
For Gayle, the biggest issue in the ward is the result of new rental housing bylaws that she says place restrictions on landlords, making it harder and more costly to keep rental housing, forcing her to pass the cost onto student renters.
"Nobody is enforcing it. There are so many people who are not abiding by [the new laws]," she says.
The city has said the bylaw, which includes a provision that there be seven square metres of bedroom space per person, is in place to avoid overcrowding.
Incumbent candidate Jeff Henry plans to review the effects and effectiveness of the new bylaws over the next four years but believes "most residents are fairly satisfied."
Stephanie Adshead, an employee at the Waterloo Inn and Ward 6 resident, says the ward’s affordable housing is a major concern.
Adshead worries that housing may become inaccessible as nearby plants like Blackberry reduce their labour force, but also believes rental rates will remain “accessible and affordable because the student population keeps them affordable.”
Robert Hodgins, the only other candidate for Ward 6, says success in his first term in office would be marked by "a policy for low income housing being implemented into the development plan for Northdale," which he believes is possible through partnerships with developers.
- Jeff Henry
- Robert Hodgins