Kitchener-Waterloo

Victoria Park LRT stop sign changed over concerns it resembled swastika

The Region of Waterloo has changed the design for the ION light rail transit stop near Victoria Park over concerns the stop didn't fit the character of the area, and that it resembled a swastika.
The older version of the Victoria Park LRT stop on the left, and the new version on the right. (Region of Waterloo )

Waterloo regional councillors are moving to change the design for the ION light rail transit stop near Victoria Park over concerns the stop didn't fit the character of the area and that the dominant motif resembled a swastika. 

"The original design had a grey line going through, it was supposed to represent the Iron Horse trail and some people were concerned that it might be interpreted as a swastika," said regional Coun.Sean Strickland. "There was also concern about the materials used on that stop, that did not fit in quite nicely with the heritage character of the park and the neighbourhood."

The region held two public consultation meetings on the design of the 19 ION LRT stops. Eighty one people attended the sessions, while another 176 people responded to an online survey. The response to 18 of the stops was generally positive, says Strickland, with the exception of the Victoria Park stop. 

As a result, the region is set to redesign the stop with Eramosa stone panels, instead of glass and ceramic panels on other LRT stops. 

"I wouldn't say there was a lot of people concerned," said Strickland over the swastika resemblance. "The overriding real issue is that the whole design did not fit in with the neighbourhood. He said that view was echoed by Kitchener city council. 

Overall, only 15 people commented on the Victoria Park stop, compared to 35 who weighed in on the University of Waterloo stop, which elicited more feedback than any other stop. 

The final Victoria Park stop design still needs to be approved by regional council next Wednesday for final approval, according to Strickland. 

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