Uptown Waterloo will be home to new rainbow crosswalk

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Graphic by Simran Dhaliwal

Waterloo will soon become the newest addition to the growing list of cities in North America with a rainbow crosswalk.

Mayor of Waterloo, Dave Jaworsky, said that the crosswalk emphasizes the diversity and inclusivity of the Waterloo community.

“Over the past years, we’ve had seen discussions of other cities who are doing this kind of inclusive action in their community,” Jaworsky said.

“We want to join other cities across America and North America who are actually making this dedication to say ‘this is something that’s not one day a year, one month a year, this is a permanent part of our community.’”

The initiative has been discussed over the past few years, but it wasn’t until more recently that the city decided to put the plan in action.

“It was something that our staff were looking at for the past year, trying to figure out how it might work, where it might work. And now that they have better ideas, we took it to council and decided move forward with this idea.”

The location of the crosswalk is something that is still being discussed and there are several factors that will influence where it is placed within the community.

“We do have some busy roads here that are owned by the region. So those aren’t actually our roads. Think of University, King Street, those kinds of roads, the ones that are four lanes and that, those ones are regional roads. Those aren’t our roads,” Jaworsky said.

“The rainbow flag has become a symbol of a welcoming community, an inclusive community.”

Jaworsky also said that the city is currently discussing the benefits of putting the crosswalk in the Uptown core.

“In particular we’re looking at putting it right in our Uptown core, somewhere around the … area of city hall, to truly demonstrate that this is something that we believe in,” he said.

“I do view it as a bit of place-making as well,” he added.

“It might be a place where people come to, they take pictures — if you look online, you’ll see lots of pictures of rainbow crosswalks.”

The city has currently set aside $4,000 in funding for the project, which is set to be completed by this summer.

“We’re going to fund it and do a proper consultation to make sure we get it right,” Jaworsky said.

Ultimately, Jaworksy noted that the crosswalk highlights the City of Waterloo’s dedication to creating an inclusive community environment.

“The rainbow flag has become a symbol of a welcoming community, an inclusive community,” he said.

“And that’s what we want to do.”

“It’s a symbol that the City of Waterloo is recognizing that we’re a youthful city with our universities here,” he said.

“We’re the kind of place where we want people to come here for four years and then get a job and make their home here, and contribute to the growth of this great urban city.”

 

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