Comment 46235

By mdruker (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 12:26:14

Downtown Kitchener is doing quite nicely, actually. It has substantial downtown development going on, including three loft conversions -- one of which has recently attracted Google from its current Waterloo office.

The redesign of King Street (the central drag) in downtown is making it the nicest major street I've seen in a while: very wide sidewalks, a narrow roadway, and bollard-controlled parking essentially on the sidewalk. In front of city hall, the square visually extends to the other side of the street, where the roadway is raised and is the same texture as the sidewalk. Businesses are moving to the remaining empty storefronts along the street. I hope Waterloo follows suit in uptown, but I'm not sure they have the guts.

Kitchener has designated several different areas outside downtown as mixed-use corridors, with new urban-focused zoning that allows mixed-use and does not allow car-oriented design. New subdivisions actually feature street grids.

Kitchener and Waterloo are hardly separate cities. I live literally a couple of houses away from the border, and there really is no dividing line. With the King Street West mixed-use corridor and a light rail stop at Grand River Hospital, we'll likely see intensification in midtown making for a continuous urban stretch from downtown to uptown.

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