End of May Blog updates

We had a very interesting Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance meeting last Wednesday at Kitchener City Hall. Among the items discussed was some encouraging news about "brownfield" areas and development plans for them. The Blog will be posting more information on this topic in a week or so.

Transit discussions are heating up. Practically half the letters to the Editor in The Record are on the transit issue. The MHBPNA Blog is completely in favour of better transit but is disappointed we have only two options, LRT or one rapid bus proposal. There are many other innovative possibilities but long ago our planners chose to ignore them.

During our recent Jane's Walk, we discussed plans for a mixed use trail to be constructed along the current rail spur line from Ahrens street in Kitchener to Willis Way in Waterloo. In today's Record there is an article about these plans. Click here to read the article which includes a nice map. I am putting the meeting on our Blog's Calendar.

It has rained for many days. Then we had a great weekend and now it's raining again. I know the plants have to grow, but I think we deserve some sunshine in our Mt Hope - Breithaupt Park area!


Events Observed on Post

On a recent walk past the Duke Street Playground I observed the following posters stuck to the large post at the front by the street. This seemed like a viable way to communicate information and has a rich history, so I took a photo of it and am posting it here in case anyone is interested in the events.


Duke Street Playground Pot Luck

(Breithaupt-Mount Hope)

When: Sunday, May 22 starting at 4 pm
(Raindate: Sunday, May 29 starting at 4 pm)

Location: Duke Street Park (near Stahl and Bismark, on Duke St)

What to bring:
- dishes, cups and cutlery for yourself
- dish of food to share (due to allergies please write ingredients of your food item)
- picnic blankets or lawn chairs to sit on
- soccer ball, lawn bowling, botche, frisbee, etc

Let's try to make this a litter-free potluck picnic!  Please bring reusable plates and cups, and your potluck foods in reusable containers if at all possible.

Please invite your friends and neighbours - everyone most welcome!

If you haven't already seen it, the Duke St Park has a great new playground/climbing structure for kids - so have your kids come along to check it out!

IN CASE OF RAIN a cancellation sign will be posted at Duke St Park and this Blog will update


Jane's Walk, 2011: a resounding success!

This is the third year the MHBPNA has organized a Jane's Walk in our area and it was the most successful so far. Close to 50 people met at 10 am on Saturday, May 7th in the Duke Street Playground! We talked about the water tower that used to reside there and learned a bit about the early history of "water" in the Kitchener area.

We then walked across the street to talk about a house that had been moved many years ago and get a look at the proposed bike trail to be build beside the rail tracks.

We then walked down the street to Little City Farm where Greg, Karin and Maya welcomed us onto their 1/3 acre of "country in the city". Greg talked about their philosophy of living in a sustainable fashion--which included building their addition out of straw bales. By the end of our time there Karin's bread was ready from their clay and brick oven in their back yard and it was delicious.

We then walked up Duke and Guelph streets for Wayne's fascinating talk about the Mount Hope Cemetery.

We learned about the original division between Catholic and Public portions and also some great stories about some of the people buried there (some famous, some just interesting). Wayne even brought an "ivory nut" for show-and-tell so we could see what buttons used to be made from. If you want to take your own tour of the cemetery click on this link for the city's helpful guide.

We received many nice comments and "thank yous" from the people attending. It is always great each year to meet so many people from our area and surrounding neighbourhoods as well. It is a great way to spend two hours.

We are planning to have another walk next year. Please contact us if you would like to help out, or if you have any stories from our 'hood. One of the highlights of the walk is when people who have grown up in the area come along and share some of their stories.

Here are links to two other Jane's Walks that occurred on the weekend in Kitchener:

"Downtown after Dark"

"Pedestrian" in the City walk.


Evolution of the King and Victoria Corner

The MHBPNA Blog is very excited to post a contribution by Matt, who lives in our neighbourhood. If any of you have content, events, observations etc., please send them to our email address and we will share.

I wanted to give you a street level update of the King and Victoria street area. I walk by this corner each morning on my way to work at the Tannery.
I recall this still being the Tin Roof a coffee shop in the 90's but can't recall when that stopped. Over the last few years it was an Asian grocery store and I think it's been vacant for the last year or two at least. Seeing it usually prompts a few moments of speculation. Especially with the pharmacy school open, it seemed inevitable that this land would be repurposed. I imagine it's in line with the exciting transit hub plans, but for the interim, this blended spectacle of a long time Kitchener landmark and decaying retail is no longer.

I plan on asking my neighbour, who grew up in the house he's in, what he remembers of the location. It was a sketchy area in the 90s as some of us I am sure recall. I am often guilty of not perceiving enough change in the downtown, but that intersection has really transformed in the last 20 years.



Check us out, Jane's Walk is all official now

We must be really going to do this! We are now listed on the Jane's Walk website so click here.

There are lots of other great walks in the KW area on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. It is a great opportunity to meet neighbours, or strangers, and have great conversations about buildings and history of our region.


Community Cultural Fair, May 12, Victoria Park

“A Night in the Park”
Community Cultural Fair – Victoria Park
Crafts and Food Vendors / Musical Artists

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Victoria Park, Kitchener
Clocktower area at the Joseph st. / Gaukel St. Entrance
5:30 pm – 9:30

The Centre for Community Based Research, in partnership with the City of Kitchener and KW Community Foundation, is organizing a multicultural faire event in Victoria Park, on May 12, 2011. 
Join us for "A Night in the Park" -- a multicultural experience in Victoria Park, downtown Kitchener.
  • Showcasing of the Kitchener-Waterloo community and local artists and craft vendors
  • Multicultural food vendors
  • Entertainment including theatre and musical performances: Healing of the Seven Generations, Asphalt Jungle Shorts, Jaru and the Pyrotechnix dance crew, latin guitarist Juneyt, celtic band Failte
Open and free for all!