Rainbow crosswalk unveiled in Uptown, vandalized three days later

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Photo by Safina Husein

This past Wednesday May 30, Waterloo’s first rainbow crosswalk was officially unveiled in the heart of uptown  located on Willis Way near the Waterloo Town Square.

Dave Jaworsky, mayor of Waterloo, Melissa Durrell, uptown councillor, Tracy Van Kalsbeek, UpTown Waterloo BIA executive director, individuals from OK2BME and a crowd of over almost 30 were there to commemorate the unveiling.

The crosswalk’s installation works to emphasize pride, inclusivity and equality within Waterloo and in Kitchener — where a corresponding rainbow crosswalk was also unveiled earlier this week in downtown.

“Waterloo is Canada’s education city — each and every year we welcome over 12,000 new first year students to Waterloo and we want to show them that we are a welcoming community,” Jaworsky said.

In terms of next steps, Jaworsky noted that the crosswalk is just the beginning.

“For me, a lot of people have asked me — so now that this is done, now what?” he said.

“This is something where we really need to up our game, there’s still lots of hate in this world and we need to compete against that hate; this is a permanent reminder that we’re on our way to doing that.”

However, only three days after its unveil, the crosswalk was met with an act of vandalism. Earlier today, a black tire mark caused by a vehicle’s “burnout” was found across the crosswalk.

It is currently unknown who is responsible for the vandalism and if the crosswalk will be fixed.

According to The Chronicle, it was reported that the city is uncertain if there is budget to repair the crosswalk and, in order to conduct maintenance in the future, there will be a need for community buy-in.

 

 

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