A new vision for Northdale

Before a teeming boardroom on Monday evening, the Waterloo City Council voted unanimously in favour of using a prospective land-use study to assess their next step in the Northdale revisioning process.

The long-awaited decision comes after months of town hall meetings and visioning sessions held by concerned area residents on how to best approach the revamping of the majority student residential community.

From Help Urbanize the Ghetto in Waterloo (HUG), to the Waterloo Students Planning Advisory, local landlords and area architects, a wide range of stakeholders were present at the June 7 meeting to provide their feedback on the proposed visions.

While the evening served as a platform for negative commentary directed toward the city’s student population, which Waterloo mayor Brenda Halloran called “unfortunate”, all parties spoke of the need for ever-more collaboration on the issue.

Most notable, however, was a joint presentation by David McMurray, Wilfrid Laurier University’s vice-president of student affairs, and Bud Walker, the University of Waterloo’s director of university business operations. Before council, McMurray offered assurance that both Laurier and UW were “prepared to invest and do what [they] can to make it better.” The partnership spoke of a newfound bilateral commitment to finding a solution to the enduring Northdale problem.

The Northdale community sits north of Laurier’s campus. The area is bordered by Columbia St., King St. North, Lester St. and University Ave.