Places and Spaces: Kitchener's park and open space strategy

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In Kitchener, we know parks aren’t just important – they’re essential. Parks are more than the sum of their parts. They are extensions of the communities they are placed in and contribute significantly to the community’s identity and individuals’ connections within it. Whether you use parks to gather, unwind, exercise, socialize, play, or celebrate, we want to hear from you. Let us know what a great park means to you!

Places and Spaces is an update to the existing Parks Strategic Plan adopted by City Council in 2010. It is the recasting of the parks plan to better reflect current demands of park space. It will re-evaluate all aspects of parks delivery in Kitchener down to the fundamental level - what makes a quality park in Kitchener?

The purpose of this strategy is to:

  1. Re-affirm Kitchener’s vision and commitment to building and maintaining public parks
  2. Provide multiple guiding principles and policy themes to inform future park development
  3. Modernize the process of park acquisitions

There are two core focuses for this strategy:

Places: the vision of parks in Kitchener. Places focuses on the quality of our parks for placemaking and creating diverse and functional spaces. Places will explore a wide range of themes, including principles of design (equity, accessibility), environmental (habitat, stormwater and climate change), and specific infrastructure planning (playgrounds, sportsfields, dog parks).

Spaces: explores the quantity of parks in Kitchener, and parks context within the City. It will detail Kitchener’s current inventory, look at the definitions of park space, determine the amount of park space we need and where, and provide or update the tools in which we acquire those spaces.

We want to hear from you!

Over the next 18 months, we are engaging residents to better understand how parks are used, what barriers exist to using parks, and what you value most about parks. Guiding documents, created with the data collected from these engagements, will help shape more inclusive and all-welcoming Kitchener parks.

Subscribe to this page using the button at the top right corner to get updates on how you can take part!



In Kitchener, we know parks aren’t just important – they’re essential. Parks are more than the sum of their parts. They are extensions of the communities they are placed in and contribute significantly to the community’s identity and individuals’ connections within it. Whether you use parks to gather, unwind, exercise, socialize, play, or celebrate, we want to hear from you. Let us know what a great park means to you!

Places and Spaces is an update to the existing Parks Strategic Plan adopted by City Council in 2010. It is the recasting of the parks plan to better reflect current demands of park space. It will re-evaluate all aspects of parks delivery in Kitchener down to the fundamental level - what makes a quality park in Kitchener?

The purpose of this strategy is to:

  1. Re-affirm Kitchener’s vision and commitment to building and maintaining public parks
  2. Provide multiple guiding principles and policy themes to inform future park development
  3. Modernize the process of park acquisitions

There are two core focuses for this strategy:

Places: the vision of parks in Kitchener. Places focuses on the quality of our parks for placemaking and creating diverse and functional spaces. Places will explore a wide range of themes, including principles of design (equity, accessibility), environmental (habitat, stormwater and climate change), and specific infrastructure planning (playgrounds, sportsfields, dog parks).

Spaces: explores the quantity of parks in Kitchener, and parks context within the City. It will detail Kitchener’s current inventory, look at the definitions of park space, determine the amount of park space we need and where, and provide or update the tools in which we acquire those spaces.

We want to hear from you!

Over the next 18 months, we are engaging residents to better understand how parks are used, what barriers exist to using parks, and what you value most about parks. Guiding documents, created with the data collected from these engagements, will help shape more inclusive and all-welcoming Kitchener parks.

Subscribe to this page using the button at the top right corner to get updates on how you can take part!

  • Public Question & Answer Sessions - Nov. 16 and 17, 2021

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    The City of Kitchener will be hosting two question and answer periods, open to the public. Each session will have a 10 to 15 minute presentation by the Project Team, followed by an open opportunity to ask your questions about the Places and Spaces project.

    The sessions will be held on Zoom with registration links below:


    Places & Spaces Public Presentation & Q&A

    • Open question and answer period about Places & Spaces and Parks in general
    • Tuesday November 16, 2021 - 6:30PM to 7:30PM
    • To register, click here


    Places & Spaces Public Presentation & Q&A - Downtown Focus

    • Open question and answer period about the current state and future of Downtown Parks in Kitchener.
    • Tuesday November 17, 2021 - 6:30PM to 7:30PM
    • To register, click here
  • Places and Spaces: Kitchener wants your feedback on our parks and open spaces

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    In Kitchener, we know parks aren’t just important – they’re essential to our community. Whether you use our parks to gather, unwind, exercise, socialize, play, or celebrate, we want to hear from you. Let us know what a great park means to you!

    Today marks the start of the first phase of community engagement for Places and Spaces, Kitchener’s park, and open space strategy. Resident feedback will help the City build the types of parks and open spaces that residents value most.

    “Our parks and open spaces are such an important part of what makes Kitchener a great place to live, work and play,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Whether you use parks to walk the dog, enjoy an outdoor activity, or gather with friends to celebrate culture together, we know that Kitchener parks enrich the lives of our residents and contribute to their sense of belonging. With input from the community, we can ensure future investment in our parks and open spaces reflect the needs and priorities of residents.”

    Starting today, residents can share their views and ideas by completing an online survey and sharing their personal parks stories on Engage Kitchener. In addition, staff are working with stakeholder groups to ensure COVID-safe opportunities are available to equity deserving communities that may not be able to participate online.

    Input will be used to develop a series of guidelines for what makes a great park and open space and will guide the City’s decision-making and future investment in park amenities, facilities, and infrastructure for the next 10-years or more. It will also be used to shape the City’s approach to supporting, maintaining, and developing new and reinvesting in older parks and open spaces.

    “Parks really do provide the backdrop for building community,” said Niall Lobley, director of parks and cemeteries at the City of Kitchener. “I look forward to hearing what the community would like to see the city focus on as we work through the phases of our community engagement and look toward the next decade of parks and open spaces at the City of Kitchener.”

    This is the first of many conversations the City will have with the community as Places and Spaces takes shape. Subscribe to Engage Kitchener to stay up to date and informed of upcoming engagement opportunities as this project progresses.

    For more information or to complete the survey, visit www.engagewr.ca/placesandspaces. The online survey closes on Jan. 7, 2022.

    For more information contact:
    Shawn Falcao
    Manager, Corporate Communications
    shawn.falcao@kitchener.ca

Page last updated: 21 January 2022, 20:55