AGM 2015 Executive Roundup

Thanks to all who came out to our AGM on 
Saturday October 3rd. 
Good things are being done in our hood!
Our Board was elected with two new faces.

CoChair- Ted Parkinson
CoChair- Lane Burman
Secretary- Linda Vandenakker
Treasurer- Trudy Beaulne
Communications Director- James Gaede
Program Director- Michelle Jennings
Special Events Director- Dan Lauckner
Partnership Director- Graham Jackson
Member at Large- Louis Burbach
Member at Large- Laura Morelli

We will be posting more updates on the meeting and what we have accomplished throughout the year. We had over 30 residents in attendance including our Ward 10 Councillor and our Mayor and Regional Council chair came as well. It was a great opportunity to talk about our area, get reacquainted with old friends and make some new ones.

Our next event will be the Margaret Avenue Bridge re-opening party. Of course the bridge finally re-opened on October 2 and many of us have been driving and walking over it just because we are excited!
To celebrate the re-opening we are working with the city to close the bridge again -- but just for a couple of hours! 
Click on the image below for the larger poster and we hope to see you there!



MHBPNA Annual General Meeting 2015

Please come out to our Annual General Meeting tomorrow

Saturday, October 3, 2015

10 am to 12 pm

Room 207

Breithaupt Centre

We will have:

Coffee, refreshments

Review of the year by members of our Executive

Guest Speakers (relating the state of our neighbourhood)

Elections for our Neighbourhood Association Executive for 2015/16

Meet your neighbours, see what has been going on, chat with the executive and ask questions. Active participation leads to better engagement and better living. Coming to our AGM can actually help you live longer!

See you there!


Lippert Park Master Plan released

The city of Kitchener has been working to "rehabilitate" many of the parks throughout the city. This process started in MHBP with several upgrades to Breithaupt Park. City Staff met with residents where we had many proposals and many were rejected (the rejected proposals included a bike "pump" track, small cricket field, shade structure(s) near the splash pad). 

Some of our ideas were implemented and the city added some renovations of their own. 

A list of improvements to Breithaupt Park, along with panels showing graphic displays, is available here.

The MHBPNA believes the city has made a much improved attempt to engage residents in talking about the upgrades to George Lippert Park. They posted a detailed online survey with two proposals and many people filled this out with their preferences and extensive comments. 

Our councillor Sarah Marsh also came to our Earth Day Cleanup where many of us talked about how we used the park and what improvements would help us enjoy it even more.

The consultation and planning processes are now complete and the city has released its "Master Plan" which is a combination of the Plan A and Plan B we were shown a few months ago. The George Lippert Park occupies a unique location in the middle of our neighbourhood and the MHBPNA believes this Master Plan is very exciting and will turn it into an even better location to plan events, bring children to play and will improve community engagement. It is already a nice space and it will be even better!

Below we are posting the message from the city and links to the two detailed handouts they have provided. There are many exciting elements of this plan including significant improvements to the walkways and park drainage, a mini dog park, a new trail and improvements to the tennis and basketball courts.

The main failure of the new plan is access to the park. Prior to the Weber Street widening there were about three parking spots along Weber which were handy for parents with strollers and since there was no curb it was also convenient when we had a picnic or other event, to drive up to the side of the park and unload supplies. We have had fire trucks and Police attend some events and they easily drove in. Weber Street is busier than ever and the new curbs are very high which make it difficult for most vehicles to enter. 

We experienced this access problem at the Pen Pal Picnic several weeks ago. We had to drive through the private parking lot of the apartment building to the side in order to unload (and reload) heavy tables. Although there will be more picnic areas in the renovated park, and more places to meet and hold events, the city has no plans to improve access. The MHBPNA did raise this issue several times before and during the Weber Street widening but the Region just said "no parking on Regional Roads" and the city was not responsive.

Despite this one issue, the improvements to the park are exciting and we are looking forward to the vitality it will bring to the centre of our neighbourhood.

The outline of improvements is below. 

The George Lippert Park website is here.

For the full description of the Master Plan click here.

And for a graphic overview of the plan click here.

The city has developed a Master Plan for George Lippert Park based on feedback and ideas received from the concept plans and Public Information Centre.  The Master Plan is a combination of improvements presented in both concept plans.  Please find attached the Concept Summary and George Lippert park Improvements Masterplan for your information.

The proposed improvements for the Master Plan include:
·         Looped Trail - Granular Surface
·         Micro Area Leash Free Dog Park
·         New Benches throughout park
·         Picnic Area with new Tables
·         Community Garden Fence Repair and Signs
·         Playground Edge to be Cleaned Up and Formalized
·         New Swing Set with two baby and two belt swings
·         Paved Path from Trail to Tennis Court & Building 
·         Review all existing Trees and Vegetation, trim trees and clean up vegetation growing along fences
·         New and additional garbage can locations along the trail
·         Tree planting along Weber Street Frontage
·         New Trail Loop Connecting the Back of the Park to Weber Street on the South Side of the Park
·         Low Areas of the Park to be Fixed to Prevent Ponding
·         Park Post Signs to be installed at each entrance off Weber Street
·         New Tree Planting throughout the Park
·         Tennis & Basketball Court Upgrades
o    Crack Seal & Repair Asphalt, Repaint Court Lines
o    Repair and Install new Chain-link Fence
o    Relocate Basketball to North Side of Tennis Court
o    Basketball to get new Posts, Nets and Boards

It is anticipated that construction of these improvements will start Fall 2015. 

For more information, please visit the City’s George Lippert Park website Page atwww.kitchener.ca/GeorgeLippertPark


Pen Pal Project Picnic Perfection

The MHBPNA worked with others in the community on a Pen Pal Project which we reported on here. This was made possible by a grant from the Kitchener Health and Safety Advisory Committee.

We had over 20 families participate for a total of around 100 people in our neighbourhood exchanging letters over a 3 - 4 month period. 

Much of the hard work of matching and organizing was done by Matt and Kim form Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region. 

The projected ended with a picnic at George Lippert Park on Saturday, June 20th. The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time. 

For photos of this event please go to this page

The Pen Pal Project is ending now, but we hope to have inspired a new group of letter writers and we had a great time organizing everything and meeting many of the "pen pals" in person. This was a great neighbourhood initiative so THANK YOU to all involved.


3rd Annual MHBPNA Bike Tour

Weather is still holding for our 3rd Annual Bike Tour. Grab your bike and helmet and join us at The Breithaupt Block Parking lot at 1:00pm on Saturday for a great tour of our 'hood.

Pictures from our 2nd Annual Tour can be viewed here.


First (annual?) Garage Sale a success!

The 2015 MHBPNA Yard sale event was a great success!

The weather helped us out a little bit by delaying the onslaught of rain and thunder until after noon when everyone was packing up or taking their "finds" back home. Thanks to everyone who registered, bought items or generally enjoyed the morning. We had over 50 registrations on our map which helped build the excitement of browsing down the street to find great deals!

Some people were able to "wheel away" their treasures: 

We received the following letter from a resident and we really appreciate the thanks and support from our community.

"Congratulations on organizing a very successful garage sale! We are on Louisa street and there were a few houses on our block setting items out. Then the crowds started to arrive and kept coming in hordes throughout the morning. I was surprised that there weren’t a lot of people trying to jump the 8 AM time line as can often happen, and was very pleased to find everyone so polite. I heard nothing but compliments from the buyers and the sellers...all pleased to be able to do one stop shopping. It also brought a number of neighbours out that we had not met before. I do hope this will be an annual event. By the way...good call on the weather. Packing up by 12:30-1:00 after such a nice morning was actually a welcome thing! Three cheers to all of you at MHBPNA. "  

You can never have enough toys or cassettes!

People meeting other people is what the neighbourhood is all about!

If you have anything left over please consider donating to Worth a Second Look (97 Victoria North at Weber) or Thrift on Kent (50 Kent Ave, Kitchener).


May 30, Giant Neighbourhood Garage Sale is a "GO"

Hey neighbours!

The forecast between 8-noon has been consistent for a couple days.  33-50% precipitation.  I'm making the call NOW and saying we are A GO!
All registered houses can be found on this map.
I wish you all the best!  Please give me a shout afterwards and tell me how you did.  I would love to know how it went and any suggestions you may have.
This huge garage sale has been organized by your neighbourhood association.  We are a committee of volunteers who love where we live and are dedicated to our community.  We organize events *for you* throughout the year and work with local government to maintain and improve the Mount Hope Breithaupt Park neighbourhood.  If you haven't already, please keep in touch by reading our blog (http://mhbpna.org) or liking our page on Facebook (http://fb.com/mhbpna).  A strong community relies on good neighbours & communication. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions, event ideas, concerns or need neighbourly support.

Dan Lauckner
Special Events Director ~ Mount Hope Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association


Graffiti and Lighting updates for Weber St Construction

The MHBPNA has been an active participant in the Weber Street construction for the past couple of years. We have posted articles on the pedestrian cross walk at Wilhelm we argued for in front of regional council and which is now being installed.

We have also lobbied for the LED lighting under the bridge to continue all the way to the Spur Line trial which will also have LED lights. For the past two and a half years the region and city have said "no". It was planned that the city would keep the original lights even though the overall 5 year plan is to go to LED. However, now that plan has changed and it is entirely because of our relentless lobbying!  (see below)

Graffiti: Two and a half years ago, when we first saw the plans for the Weber St widening, before a shovel was in the ground, we identified graffiti as an issue. It was not hard to understand the region was building a huge potential canvas. We suggested that they grow vines up the noise barrier walls but were met with opposition. We also suggested the grow something on the retaining wall in front of the big brown building close to Louisa and Weber but they paved over that area and prevented anything being planted.  We then suggested concrete planters which were not approved. We are now working with the owner of Xtreme Motors to paint something big on the wall.

We do have some good news. Here is a short update on graffiti and lighting planes from Peter Linn who is a senior transportation project manager with the Region of Waterloo.

"Just an update on the graffiti – the concrete walls at the new bridge will be sandblasted on Monday April 20. The anti-graffiti coating can’t be applied until the first week of May when we can be sure that the temperature will stay above freezing. We may have to sandblast the walls again before then. The supplier for the noise walls has provided color-matched paint for the walls since the walls can’t be sandblasted. The walls will be painted in the next week or so. In addition, we will be planting vines in front of the walls which will eventually climb the walls to discourage further graffiti. Our contractor will be experimenting with a dry-ice blasting method on the steel bridge girders to see how effective it is in removing the graffiti. Apparently this method has worked in several locations in the States.

Also, we have received direction to switch the streetlight bulbs on the existing streetlights on Weber Street between Wellington Street and Wilhelm Street from high pressure sodium to LED. We are currently working with Kitchener Hydro on the technical details of this change-over. This will unify the LED light levels north of Victoria all the way to Wilhelm Street to tie-in with the proposed LED lights on the Spur Line Trail."


Kitchener's Heritage and the Mayfair Hotel

The MHBPNA just received the following email from a concerned resident:

"This Monday evening, at the 7:00 pm council meeting, Councillor Zyg Janecki will propose that the Mayfair demolition be put on hold. This will give the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario a chance to get an architect or engineer, who is an expert in heritage restoration, to offer preliminary expert advice on the feasibility and cost of restoring a heritage building.  The cost to the city will be $300.00.
We talked to Mr. Janecki last evening.  He suggested we get as many people as possible to attend Monday night’s council meeting.  The presence of a large group of citizens interested in seeing heritage buildings saved, may sway enough councillors to support his motion.  He needs the support of at least 8 councillors, or two thirds of the eleven person council, to reverse the decision made on April 23 to remove the heritage protection from the Mayfair.
We feel that it is important to get the opinion of an expert in heritage restoration before the final decision to demolish is made.  If, however, the opinion of the expert is that the building is beyond saving, we will no longer oppose demolition.
To our knowledge, parking in the parking garage below city hall on council night is free.  The Mayfair is the first item, under new business, on the agenda to be dealt with after council hands out some awards 
If you know of anyone else who might be interested in attending, please bring them along."

We believe this is an important opportunity to show our support for our heritage buildings which are disappearing at an alarming rate. For example, on Monday (May 4, 2015) the MHBPNA appeared as a delegation at the meeting of Kitchener Heritage to argue in favour of placing the Krug Furniture building on a list of "heritage buildings of interest". This gives the city 60 days to respond if an application to demolish is submitted (the normal time frame is 30 days). The owners of Krug Furniture opposed this listing and denied their building was a "landmark" which is simply not true. The Heritage committee listed this building but this still has to be passed by Kitchener City council at their next meeting and we will call on your support for that. Eventually we could ask to have it given an actual heritage designation.

The Mayfair hotel did have a heritage designation but because two engineering reports have deemed it structurally unsound, city council voted in favour of removing that status so it can be demolished. In the Saturday Record we can read this article which describes how the adjacent building may be threatened by the Mayfair demolition.

On a recent Jane's Walk, led by our mayor, I learned that the developer for the Mayfair corner is not the same as for the City Centre condos and that the corner is not necessarily tied into the vision of the condos which will have a park and public space feature. The vision the Mayfair developer had will be lost if it is demolished and we risk the loss of an additional historic building as well! The Mayfair hotel is 110 years old, it passed an inspection prior to its sale in 2013. It was only after a flood that the "deficiencies" were found.

MHBPNA believes that we should all make an effort to preserve our history. We are not certain that Councillor Janecki will achieve his goal, but we believe he should be supported. We will also make a note of the other councillors who support the motion and those who do not! Please come out on Monday so we can show our support.

Ted Parkinson


Earth Day Cleanup, April 24, 2015

The MHBPNA is sponsoring our 2nd Annual Earth Day clean up at George Lippert Park. The action starts at 5:30 pm. This is also a great opportunity to discuss how we use the park and what we hope the scheduled rehabilitation will accomplish.

Here is our poster (click on it for larger size). Please come out and meet your neighbours.


Spur Line Trail information

For many years people have been using the spur line trail (from Wilhelm and Weber to Willow street in Waterloo) to walk and cycle between Kitchener and Waterloo. But it has never been maintained, except by the footprints of local wanderers. It has been both well known and "rough hewn." The idea of creating a paved and lighted trail was studied and approved by the region but there were no funds allocated.

Last fall Metrolinx became a surprise player in this story by offering partial funding for this project. There is an article about the spur line proposal here

Waterloo Region had an open house on February 26, 2015 to discuss all elements of the trail including its proposed completion date of October 2015. It is happening fast!

If you would like information on this project Waterloo Region there is web page with links to all the information here. The information letter is here and the link to all the display material (which is the quickest way to get an overview of the project) is here

This is a great project that will make it much easier to walk and bike between Kitchener and Waterloo and it looks like everything has been thought out and designed very well. It will be a 'gateway' between the two cities. We applaud the many levels of government that have worked together to build a link between our communities.

The MHBPNA would like to draw attention to one small quote in the "Information Package" document. It states "The Waterloo Spur Line crosses Weber Street in the vicinity of Wilhelm Street. Concern was raised by local residents about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists using the proposed Spur Line rail or attempting to cross Weber Street to access Lippert Park and schools in the area. A pedestrian cross over at this location was incorporated into the plans for the reconstruction and widening of Weber Street. The reconstruction of Weber Street was initiated in June 2013 and is expected to be complete by May 2015. The installation of the pedestrian crossover at the Wilhelm Street intersection will occur in the spring of 2015 as part of the final phases of construction." 

The "concern" raised by residents and by the Mt Hope - Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association was for the safety of adults, children and handicapped people crossing Weber Street after it had been widened to four lanes. Initially, the Region had planned only for a pedestrian island to be placed at the Wilhelm Street crossing in the middle of a busy four-lane street. The MHBPNA lobbied politicians, encouraged residents to write letters and made presentations to regional council. Eventually, this resulted in Regional Council approving a pedestrian activated crosswalk (called a "pedestrian cross over" in the Spur Line documentation). 

It is important to MHBPNA that we keep our history straight. The pedestrian crossover was not simply "incorporated into the plans" for Weber street. It was fought for by the residents who wrote letters and by the MHBPNA. The fact we achieved this has subsequently affected the design of the Weber Street widening because it has made Wilhelm and Weber a focal point and now they will build "a new multi-use trail on the west side of the widened road from Wilhelm Street to Water Street to provide a more direct route for pedestrians and cyclists wishing to access the existing GO/VIA Station, the future King Victoria Transit hub and the downtown core of Kitchener." The crosswalk will also make it much easier for cyclists and pedestrians to cross Weber street to the east side and continue their trip to several destinations including the Breithaupt Centre, Lancaster Street or across the Margaret Avenue Bridge to Centre in the Square.

So we applaud both staff and politicians at the city, regional and provincial level for making this happen. But we do not want to forget that it was individual citizens and the MHBPNA who helped shape these projects and make them better for everyone.


Winterfest in the 'Hood is coming tomorrow!

Hey, let's not forget that we have an excellent time planned for everyone tomorrow (Saturday, February 21, 3-9) at Hillside Park.

The event was posted here. We have also been selected as one of the "5 things to do on the weekend" and that link is here. You know you have really "made it" in KW when you make that list.

Another thing to bear in mind: We at the MHBPNA have heard people complaining about the weather and how it has been unseasonably cold. This is true, it has been chilly lately. And many schools cancelled classes today because of the temperature. Well, we have hooked up with some serious "global powers" and as you can see from this weather page, we will warm up to -6c on Saturday! 

If you would like to chat about the event, we have a Facebook page as well. 

Click on image below for all the details:


MHBP Pen Pal Project announced

Check your mailbox and find a fun surprise to help you survive the rest of the winter! 

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not an email. But a real, honest to

goodness letter…. With paper, pen and an envelope with an address and a stamp on

it…  For some, it might be more than a decade since you’ve put pen to paper and

connected with a friend or family across the miles, then eagerly awaited a reply.

No need to get stuck in the nostalgia of letter-writing because now you can

participate in the Mount Hope-Breithaupt Park Pen Pal Project!

A group of neighbourhood residents have a fun way to help you survive the rest of

our southern Ontario winter AND connect with a resident of our large & diverse

neighbourhood that you probably don’t know!

Most people in a community neighbourhood look for some sense of belonging and

connection to the place where they live and the people who live there. The Pen Pal

Project will help you do this!

How to Pen Pal in 5 easy steps

1. Sign up to be a pen pal

2. Eagerly await your pen pal match & participation package

3. Start exchanging letters with your new pen pal

4. Watch your mailbox fill up with letters!

5. Plan to meet your new pen pal at a neighbourhood picnic in June!

6. Encourage your neighbours to participate too!

Need more information? Get in touch…. 

W: penpalprojectmhbp.wordpress.com

E: penpalprojectmhbp@gmail.com

T: 519.741.0190 ext.300 (Matt)

This project is organized by neighbourhood residents Ted, Juanita, Meg, & Sarah

with friends Matt & Kim at Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region (this organization is in

our neighbourhood). This project was made possible with a grant from the Safe &

Healthy Community Advisory Committee (Kitchener) and support from MHBPNA and


Submitted by

Juanita Metzger


Fun Family Toboggan Party Feb 21

You will want to reserve Saturday, February 21 for some fun and excitement. The MHBPNA is sponsoring and organizing a most excellent and amazingly exciting event. We will be having a toboggan party! Please read the poster and think happy thoughts. Come out with your family and zoom down a hill. If you would like to volunteer, contact us at mhbpna@gmail.com.


The 2015 Year Ahead with the MHBPNA

Our Neighbourhood Association executive has met over the past month and identified a number of events and initiatives we would like to promote.

Please contact us at mhbpna@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer for any of these events. We always appreciate help. 

Feel free to attend any of our meetings. Our meeting schedule is listed here.


‘Winterfest’ 2015 Hillside Park: Saturday February 21. We are planning to brighten and warm up the middle of winter. Would your child like to toboggan down the hill and have their speed clocked with a radar gun? Food, lights, music, families = lots of fun!

Jane's Walk: May 2-3, 2015. Here is what we did last year. We should have at least two walks scheduled this year.

Ahrens Street Painting: Please "like" our Facebook Page to follow this initiative. 

PenPal Picnic: June (this is open to everyone, but part of the "Pen Pal Project" initiative).

Soap Box Derby (tentative, depending on interest) Saturday August 22nd. Building a soap box racer is not so hard. Look here

3rd Annual Neighbourhood Bike ride. Probably June?

Margaret Avenue Bridge opening celebration with Olde Berlin Neighbourhood association when the bridge opens. Hopefully in late summer!

MHBPNA will also support other projects such as Dekay St Party, KW Lantern Walk, Dekay Bike Rodeo. 

What else would you like to do? Contact us for our help!


Transit Hub Development:

Advocate for an intelligent entrance off Breithaupt St. so cyclists and pedestrians can continue from Waterloo street down to Victoria. 

Advocate for Community Space to be built in the Transit Hub. The region's website is here.

Neighbourhood Planning:  We will work with the City to list all the existing City and Regional plans so we understand the scope of development planned in the MHBP neighbourhood.

152 Shanley: we will continue to lobby for this building to be developed in a positive manner that will benefit the neighbourhood. For the history of this property please read these two Blog posts here and here.

Maze project  (on hold). We do have a few people interested in creating a "living maze" in Breithaupt Park. Let us know if you would like to be involved.

Margaret Avenue Street Painting (bike lanes will be re-painted).

Use our Web Site as a resource! This BLOG is devoted to providing updated information about "what is going on". These stories feed into our new website where we also have sections for Events and Issues.  


Lantern Walk 2014

The 2014 Lantern Walk on December 21 was a great success, with over 100 people in attendance (some counted over 200)!  Community members began showing up around 6pm, just after dark, and by the time the walk started down Hett St., toward Wilhelm, the crowd had grown to fill an entire city block at a time.  After rounding several blocks, the walkers returned to the starting point by about 7:30pm.  

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

The MHBPNA coordinated with the City of Kitchener and Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro to turn off the street lights in the neighbourhood, making the streets extra dark on this already dark and clear night. Refreshments were served (hot apple cider) prior to the walk, and a local carolling group provided an excellent musical performance!  In a speech prior to setting off, participants were reminded that the walk was an opportunity to reflect on the year past and coming, and on the importance of finding peace during the busy holiday season.

Of course, no overview of the Lantern Walk would be complete without mentioning the lanterns themselves!   Of these, a wide variety of shapes, sizes and designs were on display.  From the hollow, ice-globes housing tea-lights along the boulevard to the oversized rectangular paper lantern that served as the central beacon around which revellers gathered, the lanterns lit up the darkened streets and provided a very enchanting experience. 

Many were built around mason jars, which seemed to be the easiest and safest method to creating your own lantern.  But everybody added their own embellishments to make their mason jar lantern truly their own.

One really special lantern looked just like a 'Despicable Me' minion.  Cool!

Last but certainly not least, who could forget the giant white dove that led the walk down the street.  Hoisted on sticks held by three supporters, the dove lantern was a suiting icon for the message of peace the organizers' wished to convey (if a slightly awkward one to carry down the street!).

We at the MHBPNA, and in the community, would like to gratefully thank the organizers of this very enjoyable event, including Sarah Anderson who has been at the helm for the past two years. Several local businesses helped out and the City of Kitchener supported us with funding and organizational help. We are eagerly looking forward to taking part in the 2015 Lantern Walk! Happy New Year!

James G.