If you’ve walked down Waterloo Street lately you might have noticed the building at 65 Waterloo Street (Kitchener) looks rather different than the rest of the street. There used to be a teeny, tiny white house on this property beside the laneway. In an effort to support intensification in established residential neighbourhoods, the City of Kitchener supports redevelopment and infill housing in neighbourhoods where more people want to live…. like Midtown.
The corner of Bismark & Waterloo is going to look different in the near future too. The property facing Waterloo Street is slated to become a semi-detached duplex. Judging by the real estate sign, the builder is expecting to erect something more contemporary. Wouldn’t it be nice if the lovely pine trees at the corner of the property were kept?
The adjacent lot on Bismark Avenue was also approved for the same semi-detached duplex buildings. All changes for these lots were approved by the Committee of Adjustment in 2016.
There aren’t very many vacant spaces on which to build anything new, but these lots at the bottom of Duke Street stood empty for decades. This low lying area had some site restrictions and extra requirements for development. Can’t wait to see how these properties take shape and become individualized with home owners.
There is no doubt that our neighbourhood will continue to change and grow in the next decade with new development on King Street between Victoria & Wellington, the Transit Hub, and additional offices with employees who want to live close to where they work. Regardless of whether or not you like the design or style of the buildings, so far, I’d say the neighbourhood has been lucky and we’ve have new homes that add positive character to our streets.
However, this isn’t always the case and it reminds me that city-led processes like RIENS (Residential Intensification in Established Neighbourhoods Study) are important for neighbourhoods to have a voice in helping the City of Kitchener to develop a clear and fair process for approving redevelopment projects in established neighbourhoods like Midtown.