Growing Together

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Kitchener is growing, and a lot of that growth is around the ION LRT system.

Intensification around transit is a core fundamental principle of Ontario’s planning framework. It has been since the introduction of the Places to Grow and Greenbelt Acts in 2005. These areas have been identified as Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) by the Region of Waterloo. MTSAs have unique policies at both the provincial and regional level. Growing Together will carry out those policies by updating the City’s Official Plan and Zoning by-law.

Growing Together will create a planning framework for Kitchener’s MTSAs. This will enable and encourage responsible growth for many years to come.

Stay informed

If you would like to get email updates about this project, add your email to the Stay Informed section and click ‘Subscribe’.

An Award Winning Process

Growing Together has won four awards to date:

  • A Smart50 Award, an international award honouring the 50 most transformative smart projects of the year. Additionally, at the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver in May 2023, Growing Together was announced as one of the top-3 projects overall.
  • A 2023 Excellence in Municipal Systems award by the Municipal Information Systems Association of Ontario.
  • Honorable mention at the 2023 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada Core Values Awards
  • A finalist for the World Smart City Awards in the Infrastructure and Building project award category. Smart City Expo World Congress is the world’s biggest and most influential event on urban innovation.


Kitchener is growing, and a lot of that growth is around the ION LRT system.

Intensification around transit is a core fundamental principle of Ontario’s planning framework. It has been since the introduction of the Places to Grow and Greenbelt Acts in 2005. These areas have been identified as Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) by the Region of Waterloo. MTSAs have unique policies at both the provincial and regional level. Growing Together will carry out those policies by updating the City’s Official Plan and Zoning by-law.

Growing Together will create a planning framework for Kitchener’s MTSAs. This will enable and encourage responsible growth for many years to come.

Stay informed

If you would like to get email updates about this project, add your email to the Stay Informed section and click ‘Subscribe’.

An Award Winning Process

Growing Together has won four awards to date:

  • A Smart50 Award, an international award honouring the 50 most transformative smart projects of the year. Additionally, at the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver in May 2023, Growing Together was announced as one of the top-3 projects overall.
  • A 2023 Excellence in Municipal Systems award by the Municipal Information Systems Association of Ontario.
  • Honorable mention at the 2023 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada Core Values Awards
  • A finalist for the World Smart City Awards in the Infrastructure and Building project award category. Smart City Expo World Congress is the world’s biggest and most influential event on urban innovation.


  • Meet with staff on Feb. 29

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    Over the past 2 weeks, staff have been preparing an additional conversation with the community as a result of Council’s deferral of Growing Together. This post provides the details of the additional drop-in session, which will be similar in format to those offered in November 2023.

    Thursday Feb. 29

    3:30pm to 6:30pm

    City Hall Rotunda (200 King Street West)

    Staff from the Growing Together team as well as additional planning staff with expertise in land use policies, zoning regulations, and cultural heritage will be available. The councilors for wards 9 and 10, Cllr. Debbie Chapman and Cllr. Stephanie Stretch, will also be in attendance.

    Through the Growing Together project, staff have had conversations with over 1,100 community members at 13 unique engagements spanning more than 72 hours. This additional engagement opportunity has been created to have further dialogue with the community on the general theme areas related to matters raised through written and verbal delegations at the Planning and Strategic Initiatives Committee meeting on Jan. 29, 2024.

    Those themes include:

    • How Growing Together works with Heritage Conservation District policies;
    • How built-form transition works where a low-rise zone abuts a mid-rise or high-rise zone;
    • The permissions and regulations in the SGA-1 zone; and
    • Lands outside of the Major Transit Station Areas within existing Secondary Plan Areas that are proposed to be zoned through this process.

    Thank you, and we look forward to continued community engagement on Growing Together.

    -Growing Together Team


  • Staff report going to Council Jan. 29

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    Over the past 2 weeks, staff have been preparing an additional conversation with the community as a result of Council’s deferral of Growing Together. This post provides the details of the additional drop-in session, which will be similar in format to those offered in November 2023.

    • Thursday Feb. 29 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm in the Rotunda on the first floor of City Hall. Staff from the Growing Together team as well as additional planning staff with expertise in land use policies, zoning regulations, and cultural heritage will be available. The councillors for wards 9 and 10, Cllr. Debbie Chapman and Cllr. Stephanie Stretch, will also be in attendance.

    Through the Growing Together project, staff have had conversations with over 1,100 community members at 13 unique engagements spanning more than 72 hours. This additional engagement opportunity has been created to have further dialogue with the community on the general theme areas related to matters raised through written and verbal delegations at the Planning and Strategic Initiatives Committee meeting on Jan. 29, 2024. Those themes include:

    • How Growing Together works with Heritage Conservation District policies;
    • How built-form transition works where a low-rise zone abuts a mid-rise or high-rise zone;
    • The permissions and regulations in the SGA-1 zone; and
    • Lands outside of the Major Transit Station Areas within existing Secondary Plan Areas that are proposed to be zoned through this process.

    Thank you, and we look forward to continued community engagement on Growing Together.


    -Growing Together Team

  • Thank You for Your Feedback!

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    Thank you for participating in the Growing Together engagement throughout November. If you have made a written submission to our email address, provided comments through conversations in November, and/or provided comments through the engage page they have been received.

    Staff will be reviewing and considering all submissions throughout the month of December as they prepare final recommendations on land use and zoning changes for the Growing Together geography. You can expect to hear from us with a response to your submission if you have made one in early January.

    Comment responses will be followed shortly thereafter with the staff recommended Official Plan amendment and Zoning By-law amendment that are expected to be considered by Council later in January. This Council meeting is also known as a Statutory Public Meeting.

    Comments on the staff recommended Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments can be made directly to Council as part of the Statutory Public Meeting. More details on the Statutory Public Meeting will be provided a minimum of 20 days in advance in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act.

    Thank you for all your participation throughout the Growing Together process!


  • Share your feedback on our final draft Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Regulations

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    Over the last few months, the Growing Together team has been working on the details of our proposed planning framework that will guide growth and change within Kitchener’s Major Transit Station Areas. We are pleased to present those materials here:


    Below is a brief video walkthrough of the basics of the community guide.


    What do you think?

    Please provide us your comments on the draft materials by November 30, 2023. We will then present our final report with your feedback to Kitchener City Council.

    Add your comments


    Meet with us in person!

    Planning staff will be hosting a public open house at the Kitchener Market on Nov. 18, on the upper level near the main entrance from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    We will also be available to meet one-on-one or in small groups during our Office Hour Walk-Ins, held on:

    • Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Mill Courtland Community Centre, 216 Mill Street, Multi-Purpose room
    • Monday, Nov. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Downtown Community Centre, 35 Weber Street West, Multi-Purpose room


    Please Note

    These draft materials are not final and changes may be made based on continued dialogue with the community, industry stakeholders and agency stakeholders. This may include updates such as applying holding provisions to individual properties where a record of site condition or a noise study is required, for example. Properties impacted by these changes will be notified by mail.

  • Share your feedback on our draft approach to growth and change

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    Throughout the past three months, the Growing Together team has been working to develop the Draft Approach to Growth and Change in the Major Transit Station Areas. The draft approach to growth and change combines public and stakeholder feedback and aligns with key City objectives to:

    • Address the housing crisis by improving housing choice and affordability in Kitchener’s Major Transit Station Areas.
    • Address the climate emergency by creating transit-supportive communities, maximizing the use of existing infrastructure and leveraging new infrastructure.
    • Encourage a shift towards active transportation and transit within complete communities that provide for people’s daily needs.
    • Help bring more people, activity, life, and diversity to Kitchener’s Major Transit Station Areas.


    The draft approach recommends a new land use category called Strategic Growth Areas. The Strategic Growth Areas will allow a wide variety of housing types and a mix of uses within the Major Transit Station Areas. The Strategic Growth Areas are proposed to be implemented in the following four draft zones:

    • Strategic Growth Area 1 (SGA-1): Low-Rise
    • Strategic Growth Area 2 (SGA-2): Mid-Rise
    • Strategic Growth Area 3 (SGA-3): High-Rise Limited
    • Strategic Growth Area 4 (SGA-4): High-Rise


    Please read the Draft Approach to Growth and Change for a full description.


    What do you think?

    Help us plan for growth around Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA) in Kitchener. Until August 11, 2023 add your comments and ideas on:


    Come chat with the Growing Together team!

    We attended the Multicultural Festival on June 24th and spoke with over 100 community members about growth and change. We will also be at:


    The Growing Together team will also be holding Office Hours on Friday, July 21 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. You can book a 30-minute appointment with members of the Growing Together team by sending an email to growingtogether@kitchener.ca.


  • Join us to learn more about the draft approach to growth and change in Kitchener's major transit station areas

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    The City is continuing to engage on the Growing Together project, which is updating the planning framework for our Major Transit Station Areas, to enable and encourage responsible growth for the future.

    We’re attending a series of events this summer to chat with the community about our draft approach to growth and change with the Growing Together team at the following dates and times:

    June 24 2023


    July 15 2023


    July 19 2023


    Please feel free to drop-in any time during the above sessions. Participating in this project will provide residents with a greater understanding of the factors that influence growth and change in our city, as well as the city's obligations to accommodate this growth.

  • June 2023 Status Update

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    Throughout March and April, the Growing Together team held six community workshops which were attended by over 500 residents and community members. A What We Heard report has now been published to summarize the key feedback we heard during our engagement events. You can read the engagement report here.

    Staff is presenting the summary report to members of Kitchener Council at the Planning and Strategic Initiatives meeting on Monday, June 19th. They will also present to members of Waterloo Council later this month.

    We are now moving forward to the next phase of the project.

    This summer, planning staff are attending a series of events to explore in a hands-on way how growth and change are happening in our community. During these engagements you will have the opportunity to comment on a draft land use and zoning approach. Your feedback, in combination with the feedback received through the Growing Together Workshops in March and April, will help inform the planning framework for Kitchener’s Major Transit Station Areas.

  • Join us to learn more about the growth around Kitchener's major transit station areas

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    The City of Kitchener is growing, and a lot of that growth is happening in the areas around the ION LRT system. The City has launched the Growing Together project that will update the planning framework for these major transit station areas, enabling and encouraging responsible growth for the future.

    We’re hosting a series of casual workshops that explore, in a hands-on way, how growth and change are happening in our community. During the workshops, we will be sharing information about the amount of growth we’ll need to accommodate within the next ten years.

    • March 25, 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Kitchener Market, 300 King St. E.

    • March 27, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Stanley Park Community Centre, 505 Franklin St. N.

    • March 30, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Kitchener Public Library - Forest Heights Library, 251 Fischer-Hallman Rd.

    Please feel free to drop-in any time during the above sessions and stay as briefly or as long as you like. For the March 27th and March 30th dates, staff will be giving brief presentations and leading guided workshops beginning at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.

    Participating in this project will provide residents with a greater understanding of the factors that influence growth and change in our city, as well as the city's obligations to accommodate this growth.

Page last updated: 16 Feb 2024, 09:48 AM