Comment 46245

By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:47:28

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.

Don't kid yourself they are two separate cities. Yes there is a regional strategy (including Cambridge) in place and to the untrained eye it is hard to distinguish where Kitchener ends and Waterloo begins. But they are two cities with two separate city councils and two very different mindsets and dynamics.

As for the recent downtown improvements, those have been 30+ years in the making. Moving the farmers market has helped, the remote UW campus at King and Victoria has also helped but improving downtown has not been fast and has seen many false starts in the past. Kitchener has many problems. Downtown revitalization has been a topic since the 70's an LRT has been discussed for two decades and a loss of manufacturing jobs has been occuring since the 1980s with the closure of Uniroyal, Budd Automotive, Kaufman footware (one of those great loft projects), and many others. In fact Kitchener has a higher unemployment rate than Hamilton and one of the highest in the province. Not to mention many people in Waterloo (and some in Kitchener) feel the same way about downtown Kitchener as people on the mountain feel about downtown Hamilton. Also both cities have and still are supporting classic examples of unsustainable sprawl. With much of the sprawl to the north eating up what used to be Mennonite farms.

Pardon my prickliness on this issue, but this thread is starting to give off a grass is greener in Kitchener vibe. Trust me, it is not.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-08-25 13:48:51

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