Reimagining Willis Way

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An aerial photo of Willis Way

The City of Waterloo, along with a consultant team led by SHIFT Landscape Architecture, are conducting a feasibility study for the Laurel Greenway, building on the outcomes of the Uptown Public Realm Study. Willis Way, between Caroline and Regina Street, will be explored to determine potential improvements to create an improved experience for the public who use the space as well as business owners along the street.

The entire Laurel Greenway Feasibility Study will focus on three key areas, and each of these has its own Engage Waterloo project page. Please visit the pages related to your interests to see information and engage with the projects:

  • Creating a more vibrant and welcoming experience on Willis Way between Caroline and Regina Streets. (You’re already here – this page focuses on Willis Way)
  • Exploring a shade structure for Waterloo Public Square, supporting activities in all four seasons.
  • Improving the experience along the entire Laurel Greenway, focusing on the trail, wayfinding, active transportation, and connections between spaces throughout.

Where is the Laurel Greenway?

We encourage you to watch our video that provides a high-level introduction to the Laurel Greenway and the spaces within it, outlining the project components and focus.

This map shows the boundaries of Willis Way.

A map of the Willis Way boundaryThe future of Willis Way:

Currently operating as a municipal roadway, Willis Way supports several businesses and provides one access route to the uptown area. A key piece of this study will be to identify how the street can become a more welcoming and inviting pedestrian space that encourages use of businesses and provides an amenity within uptown. In order to do this, the design team is looking to understand how people currently use and experience the street. Defining clear gateways to uptown and encouraging a flexible street use may be long-term options that are explored, depending on the outcomes of the feedback provided in this current project phase.

Willis Way is closely connected to Waterloo Public Square and is bookended by two important uptown park spaces, the Barrel Warehouse Park and the Cenotaph area. The vision is for Willis Way to become an integrated part of uptown and serve as a valuable part of the city’s public realm.

Please review the documents in our document library to learn more about some of the initial problems and opportunities that have been noted for Willis Way.


An aerial photo of Willis Way from City HallThe feasibility study process:

The study will begin by developing problem and opportunity statements which will direct the work throughout the project. Following that initial phase, we will develop concepts for the key areas of the study: the Laurel Greenway, a shade feature in the public square, and the creation of a more vibrant and welcoming experience along Willis Way. Final concepts and costing will be presented to council for approval before construction can begin.

Public consultation and comments:

The community will have several opportunities to provide feedback on the concepts and ideas developed for all of the key areas of the study. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this strategy will focus on online engagement through this Engage Waterloo page and using tools that will allow for the greatest outreach possible while abiding by public health protocols.

.

The City of Waterloo, along with a consultant team led by SHIFT Landscape Architecture, are conducting a feasibility study for the Laurel Greenway, building on the outcomes of the Uptown Public Realm Study. Willis Way, between Caroline and Regina Street, will be explored to determine potential improvements to create an improved experience for the public who use the space as well as business owners along the street.

The entire Laurel Greenway Feasibility Study will focus on three key areas, and each of these has its own Engage Waterloo project page. Please visit the pages related to your interests to see information and engage with the projects:

  • Creating a more vibrant and welcoming experience on Willis Way between Caroline and Regina Streets. (You’re already here – this page focuses on Willis Way)
  • Exploring a shade structure for Waterloo Public Square, supporting activities in all four seasons.
  • Improving the experience along the entire Laurel Greenway, focusing on the trail, wayfinding, active transportation, and connections between spaces throughout.

Where is the Laurel Greenway?

We encourage you to watch our video that provides a high-level introduction to the Laurel Greenway and the spaces within it, outlining the project components and focus.

This map shows the boundaries of Willis Way.

A map of the Willis Way boundaryThe future of Willis Way:

Currently operating as a municipal roadway, Willis Way supports several businesses and provides one access route to the uptown area. A key piece of this study will be to identify how the street can become a more welcoming and inviting pedestrian space that encourages use of businesses and provides an amenity within uptown. In order to do this, the design team is looking to understand how people currently use and experience the street. Defining clear gateways to uptown and encouraging a flexible street use may be long-term options that are explored, depending on the outcomes of the feedback provided in this current project phase.

Willis Way is closely connected to Waterloo Public Square and is bookended by two important uptown park spaces, the Barrel Warehouse Park and the Cenotaph area. The vision is for Willis Way to become an integrated part of uptown and serve as a valuable part of the city’s public realm.

Please review the documents in our document library to learn more about some of the initial problems and opportunities that have been noted for Willis Way.


An aerial photo of Willis Way from City HallThe feasibility study process:

The study will begin by developing problem and opportunity statements which will direct the work throughout the project. Following that initial phase, we will develop concepts for the key areas of the study: the Laurel Greenway, a shade feature in the public square, and the creation of a more vibrant and welcoming experience along Willis Way. Final concepts and costing will be presented to council for approval before construction can begin.

Public consultation and comments:

The community will have several opportunities to provide feedback on the concepts and ideas developed for all of the key areas of the study. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this strategy will focus on online engagement through this Engage Waterloo page and using tools that will allow for the greatest outreach possible while abiding by public health protocols.

.

Page last updated: 18 October 2021, 15:52