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. This work will be limited to the creek corridor and staging area near the bandshell.

What about the trees? The work along Laurel Creek needs to be done to stabilize the creek bank and protect infrastructure and private property from erosion caused by increased peak flows. All work is being done on the east side of the creek to limit the amount of tree removals required, and to avoid closure of Laurel Trail, where possible. Once the armour stone walls are complete in each section, we will restore the area with seed mix and new tree plantings.

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. This work will be limited to the creek corridor and staging area near the bandshell.

What about the trees? The work along Laurel Creek needs to be done to stabilize the creek bank and protect infrastructure and private property from erosion caused by increased peak flows. All work is being done on the east side of the creek to limit the amount of tree removals required, and to avoid closure of Laurel Trail, where possible. Once the armour stone walls are complete in each section, we will restore the area with seed mix and new tree plantings.

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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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 3 days 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 27 days ago

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

JAL about 1 month 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 about 1 month 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 about 1 month ago

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

P.S. 2 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. 2 months ago

PLEASE CLOSE THE ZOO FOREVER!

don't feed the bears 3 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 3 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. 3 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 3 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 6 months ago

Leave Waterloo Park alone - a great park to visit.

Keatsway 11 months ago

I am very much in favour of the improvements being proposed for Silver Lake, Laurel Creek and the adjacent Waterloo Park. However, all this money and effort will be largely wasted if there is not a MUCH more concerted effort to control the goose population in Waterloo Park. It will not be possible to eliminate the goose population but it can be reduced. Oiling the eggs in the Spring is an effective means of population control. Pathways, grassy park areas and waterways saturated in goose poop will not make an attractive and sustainable focal point for our city. Please please please give this aspect a lot more attention!

KeithG about 1 year ago

I appreciate what Charlotte said. Many people, like me, love this park deeply. I swam in the pool. I grew up in the park. I have lived Uptown for 25 years and walk to the park. I walk to the park with my daughters. Their favourite place is the splash pad. My favourite thing to do is walk along the boardwalk and see the ducklings and goslings. We set up picnics in the shade. The splash pad keeps us cool. They can move from the splash pad to the playground. Now I feel that my heart is being broken. My favourite spot, the jewel of Waterloo, is being changed drastically. I feel no longer welcome in my own local park. While the terrace looks nice it is sterile. The natural beauty is being converted to a manicured lawn. That will be covered in goose poo. It’s like a goose buffet. And the splash pad. Used by so many kids and families. One of the busiest areas of the park, a draw to the park, Is being halved and moved from its beautiful relaxing location to something that feels like an activity hub. How much did I love to decompress in the beautiful park while my kids could run and burn off energy? Now the splash pad is too small for them to run around. When I asked about all the day camps that use the splash pad, probably around 60+kids daily, I was told they will have to go somewhere else. Aren’t we supposed to be bringing people to the park? This has gutted me. I was so excited...

Phe about 1 year ago

All I see is more concrete where the beach area is planned. I agree with another comment that the beach area is a terrible idea. Love the current boardwalk and gazebo. It’s a park and we should keep the green and increase the tree canopy not cover the area with concrete. Please go back to the drawing board and give us a climate friendly design not concrete. As someone else said, more park like and less like an open plaza.

Blue about 1 year ago

(also emailed) 1. Consider not removing the tall tree line between the playground and the labyrinth garden. Beside it being ill advised to remove mature trees under any circumstances, these trees provide an important sound and space buffer between the "loud, active" park and the "contemplative" labyrinth.2. The Plaza area is a good concept, but needs far more trees than currently rendered in the plan. It's way to wide open and sunny, needs more quiet/shad space as well as aesthetically, more defined character which could be achieved through grouping of trees (more park like, less plaza like - we have have a plaza uptown already, and given climate change considerations, we need to move away from these types of open spaces and towards more treed areas).3. I'm very hesitant about the "beach" idea. I see how it's neat, but I strongly visualize this becoming a collecting area for urine and feces and garbage. And I cannot imagine how you can keep people from wanting to swim - although Silver Lake is pretty gross, so probably no one would want to - but when you see a beach, you want to swim, so why make people feel that way if they can't? I think the boardwalk has had a wonderful function currently and is absolutely appropriate for the space. I highly recommend you stick with it, or at very least, put lawn in that space. Also, those beaches continue the lack of shade of the plaza. More shade, please.4. I really like the boardwalks on the other wide of the lack. Awesome! I really miss the old bridge on the South side (that enclosed the small pool) and it's nice to have something like that back5. I think folks are really going to miss the Dock by the Grist Mill. Please don't get rid of it! Many people don't have access to a cottage and this is an important space for those people to enjoy the park. I think the most important thing to remember is that people usually not only like what is already there, but love it, deeply, with a lot of memory and attachment. Things change, but vast and total changes are not usually appreciated by the people who most love something. People who don't care about changes won't care one way or the other, but people who love something that is already there will feel pain at the loss. Even though we know things have to change, you can do it gently and kindly by building on what is already working rather than just starting fresh with something completely new. Overall I think this is a good initiative, just plant way more trees and keep things cozy rather than spectacular. Build on what is already working. This isn't a blank canvas, this is our home and our history.

Charlotte about 1 year ago

Generally, I like the proposed design. I would encourage some type of separation between the splashpad and the skateboard park - e.g. shrubbery.

LNZ about 1 year ago

I just want to say I fully support these projects and would love to see an improvement to this beloved lake near where I live. The water feels so stagnant and unsanitary to me and it brings down the energy of the park. Anything to help make this area greener, more healthy, and cleaner, would be welcome! I'd love to see the water flowing better with less pollution and goose poo. Also I'd love to stop seeing fireworks at this park! It is so jarring for the animals and the people always leave their fireworks stuff behind on the dock area by the lake which is totally polluting! One more idea is to turn the old Lions Lagoon area into a bandshell or small amphitheatre area. It's already on a slope where the seats could be. It could also be turned into a giant gazebo area. I totally agree with moving the splash pad to the other side of the park where the skateboarding is - there's more room there for them. Another idea is to move that entire parking lot by the Park Inn to another spot closer to the park perimeter (e.g. Seagram's) and turn that area into something amazing that is part of the park (like maybe a dog park!). Less cars within the park space would be so great to see. I agree with one other commenter that the Park Inn could be turned into a year-round option, maybe into a community hub in a way (not just for food). Thank you for your efforts!

Sam about 1 year ago

Love the idea! I would highly suggest doing something with the bandshell that is currently in Waterloo park and rarely used! Would love to revamp it and get it back up and running! Bring in different acts throughout the summer. Many towns and cities do “Sunday Evening Music”, and I believe it could draw good crowds as the area has nothing of the sorts.

Staci about 1 year ago