Kitchener Community Trails Master Plan (Press Release)

City of Kitchener seeks public input into development of community trails master plan

KITCHENER – The City of Kitchener is looking for public input into the development of a community trails master plan, which will literally map out future local trail systems and provide a renewed vision for linked open spaces across the city.

A public survey has been launched on the city’s website - www.kitchener.ca - asking residents to share their experiences in using the current local trail system, as well as what improvements they would like to see.

There are approximately 125 kilometres of community trail throughout Kitchener. This includes the Walter Bean Grand River Trail, the Iron Horse Trail, the Trans Canada Trail and numerous trails along hydro corridors, along greenways and watercourses and through parks and natural areas.

The master plan will examine the current requirements for pedestrian and cycling routes and facilities outside of road rights-of-way. The plan will also include:

  • A detailed inventory and mapping of the existing community trail system.
  • Recommended locations for new trails that form the “missing links” in an overall connected network.
  • Design guidelines and standard construction details for different types of trails in different types of locations throughout the city.
  • Strategies and policies to ensure that trails are implemented when new neighbourhoods are being developed, and when existing sites are being redeveloped.
  • Suggested scheduling for the implementation for all recommendations.

“Trails provide tremendous benefits to a community, not the least of which is the opportunity to pursue physical activity and healthy, active living, while helping to preserve and protect the environment,” said William Sleeth, a landscape architect with the city. “As our city continues to grow, the public demand for a high quality, connected trail network continues to increase as well. We want residents to envision what that system should look like - and then share that vision with us.”


Breithaupt Block Art Show and Tour, November 2010

On November 13 and 14 the Breithaupt Block hosted an art show and tour. The Box Art Show has become an annual event which showcases local artists in an industrial setting.

I attended on Saturday and was pleased to see  about 50 people there for the show and a history talk by Sonia Lewis from the KPL.

The industrial setting provides a dramatic backdrop for the work of many diverse artists and it gave the public a first peek into these buildings which are being cleaned up and converted into office space. Click on any of the images for a larger picture.

On Saturday Sonia Lewis, CEO of the KPL, gave a talk on the history of the buildings. The original building was constructed as a piano factory and that gave way to a leather company. The buildings grew and prospered for 61 years as the home of several rubber factories (Canadian Consolidated Rubber, Goodrich and eventually Uniroyal). Much of the history was shown through company photos and newsletters that have been been preserved  in the KPL's Grace Schmidt room.

Through Ms. Lewis's insightful talk we learned that Kitchener was known as the "rubber capital of Canada" and that the "Nauga is ugly but his vinyl hide is beautiful"! Towards the end of rubber's tenure in Kitchener Dominion Rubber changed its name to Uniroyal because they were diversifying their manufacturing and wanted the name to move away from the single product association.

Schmidt ended with a fairly short history of Collins and Aikmen. By 1981 Uniroyal was making only automotive acoustic equipment in the building and it was eventually sold to Collins and Aikmen in 1996. By 2005 C&A had filed for bankruptcy.

The MHBPNA Blog congratulates Sonia Lewis on presenting an insightful and informative talk with many great photos from the glory days of rubber and manufacturing. The KPL does have some photographs online but many of the ones in the presentation are still under copyright so you would have to go to the Grace Schmidt room in the library to view them.

After this talk we were treated to a tour of the buildings, but those photos will have to wait for another blog entry........

Ted Parkinson


Duke Street Playground is open for business

The MHBPNA Blog would like to share some images of the new structure at the Duke Street playground.

There is a sign on the structure stating the intended age for users is 5 - 12. In fact, there is a warning about ensuring these guidelines are followed. This is probably because the slides are metal and there is a danger younger kids could hurt themselves if not closely supervised.

Here is a photo of "age appropriate" children playing on the structure:

Personally, the MBBPNA Blog feels that children slightly older than 12 could still have a lot of fun here. There are plenty of opportunities for climbing and hanging and using different parts of the equipment beyond their intended purpose!

It is a little late in the year for a whole lot of use, but we'll put a link to this story in the spring to remind our faithful readers about this magical place.

At the front of the park there is still a "pit" where the old swings are being relocated. We'll see if this happens before the snow falls.


Breithaupt Centre Pool Closure

Breithaupt 25-yard pool closed for renovations
KITCHENER – Renovations to the Breithaupt Centre 25 yard pool began this week and the pool is now closed until February 2011.

The Breithaupt pool renovation includes filter system upgrades, complete re-piping, and pool tank upgrades to the 25 yard pool. The main floor will be re-modelled to include a family changeroom, upgraded accessible washrooms and renovated men’s and women’s changerooms.

The 25-yard pool and adjacent changerooms will be closed during the renovations. The exercise pool and all other areas of the facility will remain open and operational during these renovations.

Program schedules and renovation updates will be available online at www.kitchener.ca or by contacting Breithaupt Centre at 519-741-2502. 


MHBPNA Annual General Meeting, Monday November 15th, 7 pm

It is time again for the Annual General Meeting of the Mount Hope - Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association. This will occur on Monday, November 15th at the Breithaupt Centre at 7 pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend and you do not have to volunteer for anything! There are certainly board positions that are available but please come and see what is going on in our area.

We will have, as a special guest, our Councillor Elect Dan Glenn-Graham.

Please attend and support our activities.


Box Art Show and tour at the Breithaupt Block, Nov 13, 14

From 1 - 4 pm this Saturday and Sunday, the Breithaupt Block (51 Breithaupt Street, Dock 4) will host an art show and sale called "Box 10."

At noon hour on Saturday there will be a history talk and factory tour, and at noon on Sunday there will be an art critique session.

Box 09 took place at the Boehmer Box factory.

For a full list of events this weekend, click here.


Flash from the past

Our family was looking at this sign the other day and we go the idea to post it to the Blog and see if anyone has some stories from that time.

Our son attends KCI and we think it is a great school. It's full of teachers who care and a very "diverse" student population. We are proud to have it in our neighbourhood, but only a few years ago it was almost lost. Can you believe it?

If you have any stories from that time please post a comment. Did you attend meetings? Help organize? Display the sign? What did you and your neighbours talk about? What memories are triggered by this picture? Click on it to enlarge!