Tag Archives: development

What you need to know about 155 Uptown and the Iron Horse Trail

We’ve written before about the 155 Uptown development proposal, which is a 19-storey condo tower plan predicated on the City of Waterloo agreeing to a land swap to move a portion of the Iron Horse Trail. Worryingly, the staff report indicates that the City of Waterloo considers the Iron Horse Trail to be a purely recreational facility.¬†And while there have been a couple of neighbourhood meetings and committee consultation, the general trail-using public has not been consulted about this plan, and most are probably not even aware.

Now is the time to speak up (or send in your written comments), as the proposal is coming up for formal approvals at two meetings on Monday, June 10. Here’s what you need to know:

Planning documents for the development, as well as the staff report and recommendation.

Disposition of the Iron Horse Trail property – formal meeting for the land swap decision on June 10.

Zoning by-law amendment – formal public meeting for development approval, on June 10.

Contact for City Council. Call or email councillors with your thoughts, in addition to providing comments through the formal meetings linked above.

We believe that land in close proximity to LRT stations should indeed be intensified, but with less parking, more active streetscapes, and more sensitivity to the surrounding transportation context than the current 155 Uptown plan. The City of Waterloo should not be making exceptions (and trading off public assets) to facilitate merely “transit-adjacent development”, and instead should focus on making actually transit-oriented development.

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Designing to Improve the Iron Horse Trail

We need your help and creativity. There’s a development proposal in Waterloo right by a planned LRT station. It’s for a second tower on the block bounded by Caroline, Allen, Park, and John streets, in addition to the one currently under construction at the corner of Park and Allen. (Details of the submission are here, along with slides from a recent meeting.). Apart from the egregious planned amount of parking either required by the city or desired by the developer at what should be a transit-oriented development, there is a bigger issue. The developer wants to build on top of the current Iron Horse Trail and replace it off to the side, lengthening it and making it worse as a transportation corridor. Chris Klein has written about the need to think carefully before trading away a main transportation corridor for a developer’s benefit. But more on that later.

Here’s where you come in. We want to see what ideas people have for how to develop this parcel and make the Iron Horse Trail better at the same time — by bringing it back to the original rail corridor alignment and taking out the current 90-degree turn. This is what I mean:


View Iron Horse Trail and Allen/Caroline in a larger map

Let us know in the comments or email us your depictions (or examples from elsewhere) of what could be done with that area, perhaps with some creative use of the space above the Iron Horse Trail. We don’t have much time to get this out to the developer and Waterloo City Hall, so e-mail us your ideas or examples to protectthetrail@tritag.ca . We’ll put up the submissions in a follow-up.

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