Waterloo Park improvements (Silver Lake, new water play area)

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Waterloo Park

Construction updates

Laurel Creek and Silver Lake construction is underway

Laurel Creek and Silver Lake rehabilitation construction is underway. This work includes:

  • Laurel Creek: rehabilitation along the creek in Waterloo Park from Westmount Road to the LRT track at the promenade (Laurel Trail)
  • Silver Lake: dredging of the lake and removal of accumulated sediment, reconfiguration of the shoreline, demolition of Lions Lagoon

The work on the west side of the park includes improvements to the section of Laurel Creek that runs through the park. The channel is being re-directed in specific areas to allow for more of a meander, to slow the water and create opportunity for habitat. It also includes the creation of an upstream lake cell on the west side of the LRT tracks to provide a settlement area for sediment and material travelling downstream. The city will carry out regular maintenance on this feature to lengthen the time between larger lake cleanouts. This work will be limited to the creek corridor and staging area near the bandshell.

What about the trees? Construction projects in a mature neighbourhoods and parks are a sensitive issue. The city values our urban tree canopy. As part of the design process, we review the proposed designs with the city arborist, ecologists and arborists from the project team, and relevant regulatory agencies to identify any potential impacts to existing trees. We take great care to save healthy trees as part of our design and construction process wherever possible. Any anticipated potential tree loss is identified in the design options, and evaluated to determine what possibilities there may be with the design to avoid removals. Sometimes, there are additional steps that can be taken as part of the design and during construction to reduce tree loss and damage.

Reconfiguration of a creek is done to allow for better sediment transport and flow through our urbanized system. In some cases, erosion of the creek bank can threaten the integrity and structural stability of nearby infrastructure which requires creek bank stabilization measures. The reconfiguration and/or stabilization of creek banks by installing engineered retaining structures (such as armour stone) can be disruptive to the vegetation along the creek corridor. Creek reconfiguration and bank stabilization, while disruptive, helps to plan for the future and minimizes the need for future removals.

The stormwater management ponds and lakes throughout our system also require maintenance from time to time, and this work can also be disruptive to the existing plants in those areas. These are maintenance items that are required to maintain resiliency in our system and provide protection for our communities, private properties, and infrastructure. Changes to our natural assets and stormwater management infrastructure always include a landscaping and planting plan to replace lost vegetation once the work has been completed.

Every effort is always made to save as many trees as possible during both the design and construction phases of any project.

The remaining area of the park on the west side will remain open and accessible for residents and park users to enjoy. This includes the sports fields, picnicking areas, walking trails, ball diamonds, skate park, natural play area and the new splash pad area.

The work on the east side of the park includes dredging of built up material from the lake and reconfiguration of the shoreline. Silver Lake is currently over capacity with sediment build up and requires a clean-out. This work will be limited to the area directly around the lake and the parking lot at the north shore. The promenade will not be impacted or closed by this work. The remaining area of the park on the east side will remain open and accessible for residents and park users to enjoy. This includes the promenade, the Eby Farmstead, walking trails, potters’ workshop area, cricket pitch, sports fields, ball diamonds, Victorian gardens and lookout.

Construction will carry through the remainder of 2020. We do not anticipate any interruptions to trail connections/usage, however please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for construction updates.


Waterloo Park

  • Improvements and upgrades to Waterloo Park as identified above will begin later this year.


Lions Lagoon and Waterloo Park west - water play area

The city installed Lions Lagoon in the early 1990s in Waterloo Park east. Constructed over a former outdoor swimming pool that required repair, it is the only splash pad facility that exists in Waterloo at present. Over the years, Lions Lagoon has undergone numerous repairs to maintain functionality. However, the useful life cycle of this facility has been reached and in 2020 a new splash pad was built on the west side of Waterloo Park. For more information, view the Waterloo Park west splash pad project overview.


Waterloo Park West Splash Pad

  • The new splash pad was completed and opened in mid-August, and enjoyed by the public, with physical distancing protocols in place, until Labour Day. Now that the summer has come to an end the splash pad is closed until June 2021. See you next summer!


Project background

Silver Lake improvements

In 2018, a Class Environmental Assessment Study was completed on Waterloo Park - Silver Lake and Laurel Creek to determine the preferred rehabilitation option. The environmental assessment recommended improvements to Laurel Creek upstream of Silver Lake and improvements to Silver Lake. A portion of Waterloo Park is also being reconstructed as part of the overall project.

Channel improvements along Laurel Creek from the LRT tracks to University Avenue will be done to improve fish habitat, terrestrial ecology, the vegetative community and to reduce erosion. Silver Lake improvements will include removal of the accumulated sediment, reconfiguration of the shoreline and construction of a new upstream lake cell. Waterloo Park improvements will include new walkways, lighting, amenities, features of interest and improved pedestrian circulation. For more information, view the presentation boards used at the March 6, 2019 public information centre.

View the final detailed design of Silver Lake, Laurel Creek and Waterloo Park

The project team invited the public to view and comment on the drawings being presented as part of the detailed design of the project on Sept. 26, 2019. Landscape plans were also presented at this information centre. This was the second public information centre for this project. This map shows the extent and location of the work being illustrated in the detailed design phase:



Construction updates

Laurel Creek and Silver Lake construction is underway

Laurel Creek and Silver Lake rehabilitation construction is underway. This work includes:

  • Laurel Creek: rehabilitation along the creek in Waterloo Park from Westmount Road to the LRT track at the promenade (Laurel Trail)
  • Silver Lake: dredging of the lake and removal of accumulated sediment, reconfiguration of the shoreline, demolition of Lions Lagoon

The work on the west side of the park includes improvements to the section of Laurel Creek that runs through the park. The channel is being re-directed in specific areas to allow for more of a meander, to slow the water and create opportunity for habitat. It also includes the creation of an upstream lake cell on the west side of the LRT tracks to provide a settlement area for sediment and material travelling downstream. The city will carry out regular maintenance on this feature to lengthen the time between larger lake cleanouts. This work will be limited to the creek corridor and staging area near the bandshell.

What about the trees? Construction projects in a mature neighbourhoods and parks are a sensitive issue. The city values our urban tree canopy. As part of the design process, we review the proposed designs with the city arborist, ecologists and arborists from the project team, and relevant regulatory agencies to identify any potential impacts to existing trees. We take great care to save healthy trees as part of our design and construction process wherever possible. Any anticipated potential tree loss is identified in the design options, and evaluated to determine what possibilities there may be with the design to avoid removals. Sometimes, there are additional steps that can be taken as part of the design and during construction to reduce tree loss and damage.

Reconfiguration of a creek is done to allow for better sediment transport and flow through our urbanized system. In some cases, erosion of the creek bank can threaten the integrity and structural stability of nearby infrastructure which requires creek bank stabilization measures. The reconfiguration and/or stabilization of creek banks by installing engineered retaining structures (such as armour stone) can be disruptive to the vegetation along the creek corridor. Creek reconfiguration and bank stabilization, while disruptive, helps to plan for the future and minimizes the need for future removals.

The stormwater management ponds and lakes throughout our system also require maintenance from time to time, and this work can also be disruptive to the existing plants in those areas. These are maintenance items that are required to maintain resiliency in our system and provide protection for our communities, private properties, and infrastructure. Changes to our natural assets and stormwater management infrastructure always include a landscaping and planting plan to replace lost vegetation once the work has been completed.

Every effort is always made to save as many trees as possible during both the design and construction phases of any project.

The remaining area of the park on the west side will remain open and accessible for residents and park users to enjoy. This includes the sports fields, picnicking areas, walking trails, ball diamonds, skate park, natural play area and the new splash pad area.

The work on the east side of the park includes dredging of built up material from the lake and reconfiguration of the shoreline. Silver Lake is currently over capacity with sediment build up and requires a clean-out. This work will be limited to the area directly around the lake and the parking lot at the north shore. The promenade will not be impacted or closed by this work. The remaining area of the park on the east side will remain open and accessible for residents and park users to enjoy. This includes the promenade, the Eby Farmstead, walking trails, potters’ workshop area, cricket pitch, sports fields, ball diamonds, Victorian gardens and lookout.

Construction will carry through the remainder of 2020. We do not anticipate any interruptions to trail connections/usage, however please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for construction updates.


Waterloo Park

  • Improvements and upgrades to Waterloo Park as identified above will begin later this year.


Lions Lagoon and Waterloo Park west - water play area

The city installed Lions Lagoon in the early 1990s in Waterloo Park east. Constructed over a former outdoor swimming pool that required repair, it is the only splash pad facility that exists in Waterloo at present. Over the years, Lions Lagoon has undergone numerous repairs to maintain functionality. However, the useful life cycle of this facility has been reached and in 2020 a new splash pad was built on the west side of Waterloo Park. For more information, view the Waterloo Park west splash pad project overview.


Waterloo Park West Splash Pad

  • The new splash pad was completed and opened in mid-August, and enjoyed by the public, with physical distancing protocols in place, until Labour Day. Now that the summer has come to an end the splash pad is closed until June 2021. See you next summer!


Project background

Silver Lake improvements

In 2018, a Class Environmental Assessment Study was completed on Waterloo Park - Silver Lake and Laurel Creek to determine the preferred rehabilitation option. The environmental assessment recommended improvements to Laurel Creek upstream of Silver Lake and improvements to Silver Lake. A portion of Waterloo Park is also being reconstructed as part of the overall project.

Channel improvements along Laurel Creek from the LRT tracks to University Avenue will be done to improve fish habitat, terrestrial ecology, the vegetative community and to reduce erosion. Silver Lake improvements will include removal of the accumulated sediment, reconfiguration of the shoreline and construction of a new upstream lake cell. Waterloo Park improvements will include new walkways, lighting, amenities, features of interest and improved pedestrian circulation. For more information, view the presentation boards used at the March 6, 2019 public information centre.

View the final detailed design of Silver Lake, Laurel Creek and Waterloo Park

The project team invited the public to view and comment on the drawings being presented as part of the detailed design of the project on Sept. 26, 2019. Landscape plans were also presented at this information centre. This was the second public information centre for this project. This map shows the extent and location of the work being illustrated in the detailed design phase:



Guest Book

While this project is in the construction phase, we still welcome your thoughts about the upgrades happening to Waterloo Park’s Silver Lake.

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Did they bulldoze the trails by accident because the people in charge don't know the park very well? Or did they do it on purpose to stop people from using the trails? Was clearcutting along Father David Bauer Drive the first step before they sell off parts of the park to build more condo towers and convenience stores? Once the fake beach is installed, will they take a few photos with paid models to use as marketing materials, knowing the beach will quickly fall into disuse? (Or maybe it could be a future social media challenge: See who can get a skin rash the fastest!) It's difficult for me to understand someone who looked at the park and thought to themselves, "You know, there just isn't enough concrete here. And all those trees ruin the view of those apartment towers."

Andrew Screen Name 22 days ago

Why would the planners remove the trees along the Laurel Creek area west of Silver Lake, many of which were huge offering excellent shade and protection from erosion? What devastation!

Donna Richardson 23 days ago

I was dismayed to see the clearcutting of the woods just off Father David Bauer Drive!

Christina Mills 24 days ago

I am curious about the work being done on Laurel creek between downtown Waterloo and Weber Street. It is actively being constructed behind the Walmart plaza - installing blocks. The stretch between Peppler St and Bridgeport looks to be complete. I cannot find a project on this site that speaks to it. I live in the Black Willow condo building which is between these 2 segments of Laurel Creek. The property management company has not had official notice of work being done on our section. And aside from the unworldly noises the cranes make and the constant backup noises that seem to come from behind Bridgeport Plaza that has reduced my sleep from 8 to 6 hours nightly, I have another concern. If you replace our stretch, that will destroy some mature trees that make my residence a lovely place but I guess PROGRESS, what? BUT what will the geese do to enter the creek with their goslings in the springtime when there is a block wall 3 or 4 high? There are at least 3 places they pass between the bushes down a slope to the creek? The geese feed on our back and side lawns for several weeks. It is a lovely site - I had counted a total of 40 grazers at some points - although maybe in 3 different family groups. If this is not the correct project please advise which one is.

GloriaM 25 days ago

Curious why the lake filled up this weekend? Was that intentional

G-dog 26 days ago

Every couple of weeks that I walk by or through Waterloo park on the Westmount Road side, I see more trees removed and more natural bush and plans razed to the ground. Just a couple of days ago I was stunned to see the area from the skateboard park to the parking lot at the old train station completely denuded. This was a lovely area - and now it looks like it will be completely urbanized. You might as well pave the whole thing for all the difference it would make. We have enough flattened grassy areas in Waterloo Park already. Please stop destroying the natural beauty of this gem in the middle of our City.

Jim Parrott 26 days ago

Please don't take away the cedars between the playground and the labyrinth. They're so good and make it quiet and contemplativeOtherwise yay lake

Vearobertson 27 days ago

So disappointed in the park's new "face lift"-- so many trees gone. The park feels more industrial now, like something you would find in Toronto. I agree that silver lake needed help, there was alot of sedement piling up and making it appear dirty, but why remove all the trees facing the river??? So much habitat for birds gone and the park was so much more beautiful with those mature trees.

allison about 1 month ago

My mother took us here when we were young, and we came here weekly while my kids were growing up. So many beautiful memories of this place. Now I visit almost daily for coffee while bird watching with my 90 year old friend Jack. We put up the bird feeders together and I see countless people admiring the birds while out walking. I’m all for improving Silver Lake, as long as it truly is for the wildlife and not for cosmetic Waterloo wanna be Toronto reasons. I was honestly devastated to see all of the beautiful mature, colourful trees and bushes killed and thrown away, especially with our planet in such need of more mature greenery, not to mention the wildlife that needs it, even more so during the fall and winter season. I hope and pray that our city will be planting LOTS of trees and bushes, and please bring back our beloved wooden gazebos. Think natural, not cold, hard, useless concrete! Lord knows we have enough of that. Please think of the families and seniors who come to this park often. I know my children will bring their little ones here in the years to come.

Jodi G about 1 month ago

I took a look at the plans, and while I like the rehabilitation of the river and the lake and agree it all needs a face lift, I am not the biggest fan of the sunbathing/beach area and the grass terraces. It looks and feels very bland (the water feature at the end is cool, and the new sign, I like those). Is there anyway to make it feel more rustic/natural looking? Also, I am not sure how many people are going to want to hang out on the beach when it is covered in goose poop, I don't think having a beach is a good idea, you can't swim in the water. Is it possible to have more shade and sitting areas instead on the terrace, leading down to a nice sitting area (benches, wheel chair accessible tables?) along the water's edge?. Those thoughts aside, I really do like the change that is coming to Silver lake, and I like the idea of having different zones, that will have different uses around the lake.

ScottyB 2 months ago

Where will the Sept. 26th presentation take place?John Lochead

JAL 3 months ago

I like the idea of fixing the river and the lake, but there was a sweet intimacy about the boardwalk and the wood structures around the lake! It was perfect, especially in the fall. Please don't take away all the natural rustic aspects of this area during renovation and improvement. That was a lot of grass and fancy cement work, transforming the lake area into something completely different. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for improvements and making sure the wildlife are taken care of- they deserve better than the state the lake has been in the past couple of years. That being said, please don't make it too manicured or too perfect, as the rustic look is what made this area of the lake so cozy, approachable and perfect for families. Waterloo is an up-and-coming city but we aren't Toronto. There is a special appealing quality to the way the park was before that would be nice to see trailed through the more modern designs. Take what we had before and improve upon it, but don't destroy it. Also, we like the gazebos, so integrating those back in would be lovely!

tiggertea 3 months ago

On viewing the plans for the walking path around silver lake I see little chance for the handicap capped to stop and rest.Will there be benches or chairs?The design shows umbrellas on the sand but no seats.It shows people sitting on grass slopes but no benches.I did attend the public viewings and asked this question at that time .We and many like us live across the street and uses the park for exercise most days.Thank you for your consideration.

Row 3 months ago

Love the look of the plans! Change is good! I am excited to see it all come together.

P.S. 3 months ago

I don't see any mention of the beach plans on this site, but I sincerely hope that they got thrown out! This park is not meant for a beach, at all. The lake is home to an abundance of wild birds, turtles, muskrats and fish, and to scare them all away with loud jock parties at the "beach" (with inevitable littering, fighting and music blasting) would be so awful. We've been lucky to have a peaceful park with paths that are good for nature-watching. Please keep it that way! Thanks.

M.H. 4 months ago

PLEASE CLOSE THE ZOO FOREVER!

don't feed the bears 4 months ago

Please do not remove the boardwalk. Its a lovely part of the park. The boardwalk should be repaired and maintained instead of removed. The overview for the west splash pad is useful, but there should be a similar overview for the boardwalk area and other parts of the park. If there are, please put them all in one place (On this page would be a good idea).

j in uptown 4 months ago

My wife and I had lunch in the park 4 x this past month. The shade and peaceful setting was very enjoyable. The garbage was not;more pails are needed. I'm 80 years old. Love Waterloo. Thanks!

Bill the old guy. 4 months ago

To whom it may concern:More information about the so-called improvements to Waterloo Park would have been appreciated.I walk in this park almost daily and have been very distressed by the destruction underway.There has been a large amount of clear-cutting of trees and shrubs.A quiet, beautiful canopy of trees over the pathway along the creek has been completely demolished. The pleasant, peaceful nature of the park has been lost.First, we coped with the severing of the east park from the west park with the construction of the LRT, and now this further destruction of our beloved park continues unabated. Noticeably there is no place to register my complaint about the ridiculous erection of pylons on three main streets of Waterloo to prepare for possible bike lanes.Erb St , Bridgeport and Westmount lanes have witnessed the contraction of 4 lane traffic in many instances to 2 lanes. What were the city planners thinking?At Erb & Westmount & bounded to the north by University Ave. we havea mosque, Equitable Life Insurance6 condo buildings, a shopping plaza with an extremely busy T&T grocery store,an essential drop-in medical clinica pharmacy, SunLife Insuranceand alsoan entrance to Father David Bauer Drive with a number of high rise apartment buildings, Luther Village complex & the Waterloo Sports centre & skateparkan entrance to the Waterloo Park currently under destructionHave you counted how many entrances and exits to Westmount & Erb exist in this small community space? Before the pylons, it was very difficult to gain entrances and exits along these roads And then Killam is set to build highrises on the corner!My cyclist friends do not use & do not plan to use these kinds of bike lanes on busy roads. How many senior citizens who live in the condos in this densely populated area do you think will be cycling on these bike lanes?I have seen very few cyclists on these temporary bike lanes.Some cyclists use the sidewalks.I find it difficult to make a right-hand turn from Westmount to Erb without hitting the curb.Great for car maintenance.The pylons are unsafe, ugly, poorly planned and short-sighted intervention in the city.Bragging that COVID-19 gave you the opportunity to disrupt our community in this way demonstrates your lack of ability to connect with citizens.This does not communicate "improvement".It communicates that city hall does not care about what its citizens need or want.

cate 4 months ago

Hello,We were so happy to see this morning that Waterloo Park has been closed off to cars. We hope this will a permanent thing. Waterloo Park is such a gem.Patricia Renaud

don't have one 8 months ago