University Gateway Projects looks to redesign University Avenue

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Photo by Qiao Liu

The City and Region of Waterloo have partnered up with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College to create the University Gateway Project in order to develop a new vision for the future of University Avenue.

The project has begun and is in it’s first phase which focuses on community input for future projects.

The first public information centre will be held on Thursday, Nov. 23 at St. Michael’s Church, where the team will begin working with the public to decide what should be changed in the University corridor. A date of when work will begin has yet to be determined.

The project will be looking at the University corridor which includes the road between University Avenue and Conestoga Parkway and University Avenue and Westmount Road, passing all three post-secondary institutions.

“University Avenue is a unique place in the city and Region,” Ric Martins, policy planner and growth management for the City of Waterloo, said. “It is often the first place people see when they visit the community.”

The project team is looking to gain insight from community members. Community members are invited to attend the full launch of the project, which will feature a presentation, allow for questions and share thoughts about University Avenue and visions for the future.

“The corridor area has great potential to become an even more unique place to showcase the city and the region as a centre for learning, innovation, discovery and entrepreneurship. The study will aim to create an overall vision for the corridor and serve as a guide for future projects,” Martins said.

Specific projects for the street have yet to be determined, although the team is working to create changes while considering the many travellers and visitors who take University Avenue.

“There are three excellent post-secondary institutions located all on the same street, there are numerous businesses located there as well,” Martins said. “The road is a key link for automobile and transit users and has a lot of pedestrian cyclists.”

University Avenue is one of the busiest roadways in the City of Waterloo and the project team is working to address its many challenges.

“A public meeting is important to introduce the study to the public and to gain feedback from those who interact with the corridor most often. Feedback from the first meeting will help shape future phases of the study like what to prioritize etc.” Martins said.

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