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.

Please read the Foundations document, which outlines the Parks Strategic Plan update process, its structure and guiding principles.

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.

Please read the Foundations document, which outlines the Parks Strategic Plan update process, its structure and guiding principles.

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!


  • Spaces and Parkland Dedication Bylaw Update, June 28, 2022

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    Spaces, the Parkland Dedication Bylaw and Parkland Dedication Policy were received by Committee and Council in June and through both Committee and Council meetings saw a number of delegations appear to share views on the proposed strategy and bylaw.

    Given the importance of the changes being proposed and the need to ensure that Council has time to understand the impacts of the proposed changes, Council has deferred making a decision on Spaces, the Parkland Dedication Bylaw and the Policy until the August Council meeting, scheduled for August 22nd, 2022. Staff have been asked to address some questions in advance of Council to help inform the discussion at Council.

    If you have not yet had a chance to share your feelings on the Spaces Strategy, proposed new Parkland Dedication Bylaw or the associated Policy, there is still time! Please consider coming to Council or connecting with your local member of council and sharing your feedback as a delegation. Details of meetings can be found at the Council and Citizen Committees calendar.

    If you would like to delegate – tell Council what you would like to see in the plan during a meeting - please see 'Appear as a Delegation'.

  • Spaces strategy to be presented to Council

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    Thank you for all your comments, feedback and input into Spaces!

    We have heard from 1000’s of residents, stakeholders and community groups, through neighbourhood summits, community associations, individual feedback through these engage pages, and from so many others – thank you! We have tried to listen and hear you and we very much hope that you can see this in the final draft of the Space plan, and associated documents. These are now headed to Council for final approval and endorsement.

    If you would like to continue to help support the plan through this final step, please consider coming to Council and/or a Committee meeting, sharing your feedback to Council as a delegation. Community and Infrastructure Services Committee on June 8th will see a discuss the plan in detail, and then the recommendation of Committee will receive final approval at Council on June 20th. Details of meetings can be found at the Council and Citizen Committees calendar.

    If you would like to delegate – tell Council what you would like to see in the plan during a meeting - please see 'Appear as a Delegation'.. If you cannot make Committee or Council meetings, please feel free to reach out to your ward Councillor and share with them your views, so that they may represent you at Council discussions on this plan.

    Thank you once again for all your time on this one – and, don’t forget, the Places part of the plan is still very much under development, so please stayed tuned to this Engage page for more opportunities to help shape what the parks of tomorrow will look like in Kitchener!

  • Now available: Spaces webinar recording

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    Did you miss our virtual webinar about the Spaces strategy? A recording of the presentation is now available. Watch the video at Places & Spaces: Spaces Public Meeting (May 12, 2022).

  • Update on Spaces strategy and park dedications

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    Join us May 12, 2022 starting at 6:00p.m. for a virtual webinar on the Spaces strategy and the proposed updates to the park dedication policy and by-law. Staff will give a presentation followed by a Q&A with attendees.

    Please register in advance.

    The Spaces strategy identifies where gaps in parks around the city are and updates the tools necessary to close those gaps with new park developments. Read a short summary of the strategy in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, or Serbian.

    As a technically oriented document, the Spaces strategy is paired with changes to the Park Dedication By-Law and Policy that are based on the strategy’s findings. Spaces outlines how these documents are used and how they influence park development in Kitchener. For more information, read the summary of proposed changes to the by-law and policy.


  • Spaces strategy now open for feedback

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    Thank you to everyone who participated in our surveys, ideas boards, and information sessions last year! Your comments and feedback helped us to create the Spaces half of Places and Spaces.

    Niall Lobley, Director of Parks and Cemeteries, just released a new video with an update on Places and Spaces. He describes the proposed Spaces strategy and how residents can contribute to the final version.

    Included in Spaces is a look at the existing park inventory to establish what the City currently has and build an understanding of how those parks are created. Building on that foundation we can establish where gaps in parks around the city are and update the tools necessary to close those gaps with new park developments. The full draft is available. You can also read a shorter summary in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, or Serbian.

    Spaces is a technical document at its core, being rooted in policy and legislation. We'd like to ask you a few questions about it to see if we're on the right track. Please answer our short 5-10 minute survey and tell us what you think.

    Answer our survey by May 13, 2022.

  • Are there more dogs or children in Kitchener?

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    We have just released a new factsheet about dogs and Kitchener parks! It answers questions like: How many dogs are licensed in Kitchener? What did we hear in our last survey? How do other communities create shared spaces for people and dogs?

  • Kitchener Parks public engagement moves to pet use, sponsorship, and use of alternative spaces

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    Whether you use parks to gather, unwind, exercise, socialize, play, or celebrate, let us know how parks can be better for you!

    The City of Kitchener is continuing public engagement to inform our Parks and Open Space Strategy through Places and Spaces. We are now looking for feedback on how pets use parks and how you feel about the sponsorship of parks to allow for external funding opportunities. We also want to know how you would like to see parks used as dedication and memorial spaces, and how you would like to use alternative spaces, like cemeteries and schoolyards. The survey is open until April 8.

    In addition to online engagement through Engage Kitchener, in-person opportunities will be made available, when COVID restrictions allow. The Places and Spaces strategy will guide the City’s decision-making and future investment in park amenities, facilities, and infrastructure for the next 10 years or more.

    Additional parks-related consultations on Engage Kitchener include:


  • Places and Spaces Winter Update

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    In this video, Niall Lobley, Director of Parks and Cemeteries, shares his story of experiencing a Canadian winter for the first time. He also gives an update on the project and invites you to take part in the conversation. We want to hear from you on several topics this year, starting with winter use and parks education. How do parks and open spaces shape your life in the winter? What do you want to learn or know about parks? Watch the video

  • What makes a great park? Places and Spaces engagement phase 2 now open

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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!

    The City of Kitchener kicked off our Parks and Open Space Strategy last year with our first phase of Places and Spaces engagement. The second phase of engagement is now open. Over the next 12 months, we are continuing to engage residents to better understand how parks are used, what barriers exist to using parks, and what you value most about parks. We want to know ‘how can parks be better for you?’ and want to learn what you need and want when it comes to the use of space, equipment, and amenities available, and how we can improve safety, accessibility, and inclusion in parks and open spaces across the city.

    The current survey focuses on winter use and parks education and is open until April 8.

    In addition to online engagement through Engage Kitchener in-person opportunities will be made available, when COVID restrictions allow. The Places and Spaces strategy will guide the City’s decision-making and future investment in park amenities, facilities, and infrastructure for the next 10 years or more.

  • 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
Page last updated: 28 Jun 2022, 11:47 AM