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

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Waterloo Park

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:



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.

loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.

I can 5 trees near the Perimeter Institute that have not been bull dozed - do you need some money for more diesel

Laurelwood Prez about 1 month ago

It's telling they say they had no choice but to clear-cut the area around Silver Lake, since the reasons mentioned are design plans entirely under their control. This is the very typical double-speak I've come to expect from the city.

I think many people assume this was incompetence or some kind of bizarre accident. But we have to understand it was entirely deliberate. They want Waterloo to bring in more revenue and to have a more pro-business environment, and they think the way to do this is to mimic Toronto.

What the city fails to understand is you can't just cut down all the trees and replace everything with metal and concrete, and then suddenly improve the local economy. It's like thinking the way to get pregnant is by walking around with a stroller.

Now just watch as the city uses photos of the pre-renovation park when they try to convince people of how great Waterloo is, and that Waterloo hasn't transformed into a concrete bedroom community, fueled by corrupt landlords and student binge drinking.

A about 1 month ago

Shorelines should be as natural as possible and be allowed to have a variety of native willows and other native to flora grow there. Not only will they act as filters for runoff and stabilize the shoreline as opposed to the current thought of installing hard stone walls, but will discourage waterfowl from settling there and thereby discourage the persistent humans that are determined to feed the waterfowl (in spite of the bylaw that forbids this) that entice the birds to stay there and breed more hungry mouths to feed that become dependent on the handouts.

Yves 2 months ago

Concerned about removing trees and planning to create a large open area called Silver Lake Plaza.
Why is this being done when the City Council says they are concerned about climate warming? -they have declared a climate emergency. Why do we need a plaza in the park with an artificial beach in front? What is the rationale? We should be planting trees and conserving natural areas instead of creating open mowed areas. Everyone knows the value of trees for releasing oxygen into the air plus the shade they provide. The noise and gatherings in this area will discourage the wildlife like the great blue herons that used to come to the quiet areas of the park. Are councillors listening at all to the comments here from residents who are disappointed in this plan?

james weber 3 months ago

I am aghast at the number of mature trees that were removed due to this project. Waterloo Park has been permanently scarred. I strongly believe that the rehabilitation of the lake did not need to include clear cutting the last little bit of forest along Father David Bauer. Even if there were invasive species there, rehabilitation could have happened and those willow trees were not sick. A reminder to city staff that 'arborists' are not ecologists and that mature native trees in landscape plans take an entire human lifetime to grow. The cutting down of mature native trees should not be taken lightly and it is shameful that our region and cities don't have bylaws to protect these beautiful organisms.

TH 3 months ago

Deeply concerned about the ecological consequences of removing mature trees and hardscaping instead of greenscaping using natural features that provide habitat and ecological services. The life in this park is why we cherish the space so much. It seems from those witnessing the changes that a biodiversity or conservation expert must be hired immediately to review and determine how the plans can be adapted to support new growth and habitat.

Josalyn 3 months ago

It is shameful the clear cutting that has gone on with this project. For a city that touts itself as forward thinking and 'smart', rather than selectively thinning older or diseased trees in the park, the landscaping is in fact clear cutting. Strangely all this clear cutting was missing from the original landscaping project and we were assured that 'the trees would be ok'. There's no excuse in this day of environmental awareness that healthy mature trees especially those native to the area, walnut, beech, oak, willow, 50+ yo serviceberry trees can't be saved. Dozens of bird habitats for hawks, red winged blackbirds, kinglets, blue jays, wrens, robins, song sparrows, finches, woodpeckers (at least 3 species), etc etc. have been destroyed. Any marsh animals and amphibians will be unable to make a habitat in concrete block embankments that were put in to solve the problems of erosion because no trees or plants were left in place to help prevent it. The environment needs diversity of native plants to support native insects who help pollinate and are food for the birds and other fauna. Native cat-tails threatened by invasive phragmites were bulldozed in the marsh areas. The marsh land area which contributes to cleaning our water supply was cut in half. Rather than involve the community as they have in the past to help clear out invasive plants, the quick, 'cheap' and easy solution has been taken yet again. It has been heart breaking in a time when connect to nature is the only solace some people have. This is a great example of 1950's landscaping, no progress has been made.

T Ferguson 3 months ago

We watched a few of those huge trees come down last week, and believe me they were totally right to remove them and all the weedy shrubs below them. Garbage trees.
When it fell it was an explosion of dust. The tree just crumbled into small pieces and dry dust. They were all dead except for the vines that covered them.

Deeb 3 months ago

Time to change the picture at the top of this page, since those lovely, mature and essential trees have all been cut down. Sad to see the indiscriminate destruction that went on for days.

Reiny Michel 3 months ago

Looks like the conservation is looking the other way on this one, very dirty water running through the river, looks like its just mud piled up to put the river around the pond with no absolutely no regard for erosion. The rock wall looks like it was done in the dark, and mud all over the site. Not to mention the clear cutting of the bush. Shame

Mark Will 4 months ago

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 5 months 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 5 months ago

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

Christina Mills 5 months 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 5 months ago

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

G-dog 5 months 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 5 months ago

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

Vearobertson 5 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 7 months ago