I recently received information about renovation work taking place on Forwell Trail and Creek in three sections between King Street and Blue Springs Drive. This work is being done in order to reduce erosion and flooding; improve vegetation conditions along the creek to improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat; improve trail accessibility and the connections to adjacent lands and existing trail; and perform necessary maintenance to the Forwell Sanitary Sewer Trunk that runs beside the trail.

Unfortunately, in preparation for the above work to begin July 1, 2015, some trees along the trail had to be removed. In order to be in compliance with the migratory birds convention act, these trees needed to be cut down before nesting season occurred in order to avoid harm to nesting birds and to visually determine if nests were in the trees. The downed trees need to remain down due to restrictions by the Grand River Conservation Authority regarding a fisheries timing window which is in effect. All clearing of this downed wood will occur after the fisheries timing window is over after July 1, 2015.

Staff will be hosting public information centre in May for residents interested in learning more about this project. I'll post information on my website when the date and location are confirmed. In the meantime, if you would like more information, visit our Forwell Trail page.


The City of Waterloo undertakes Street Tree pruning and elevating on an on-going basis we do this because: 

The City has requirements on Clearance standards:
1)       Lowest branch must clear public sidewalk by at least 2.7 meters
2)       The lowest branch reaching over the roadway must have no less than 3.7 meters of clearance measured at the curb line
Small trees are often not at a stage to be elevated to the heights noted above, however by pruning at an earlier stage the tree is able to recover quicker and not go into stress compared to pruning larger branches at a later developmental stage of the tree. Also the Cityuses structural pruning techniques to correct any growth defects, co-dominant leaders,  crossing branches, V-attachments to trunk which will eventually become a very weak branch and could result in branch failure. Correction in form at an early stage results in a healthier more structurally sound tree as the tree matures and less corrective pruning when tree is mature.
The primary reason for elevating over sidewalk/roadway is to prevent obstructions to people (eg. poking them in eyes) and vehicles striking and breaking branches, but while staff are elevating they also are there to prune the trees so we can attain a structurally sound tree which will aid in future maintenance and reduce branch failures. It should be noted as well that it takes at least 4-5 years before we complete the pruning cycle around the city so staff prune accordingly to this to attain proper clearance and any correctional pruning required at the time of pruning.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank-you for your continued support.  I look forward to continuing to serve the interests of the citizens of Waterloo for the next four years and continuing to work closely with the Eastbridge neighbourhood.

Over the next month, the new City Council will participate in a series of meetings including:

1. Orientation Meetings:  These will include an overview of the service areas of the City and a tour of the facilities that the City of Waterloo owns, operates and maintains. These facilities include our recreation facilities, City Hall and our public works building.

2. Committees/Board Assignment: Each member of Council is requested to undertake a review of the Committees and Boards that they are willing to participate on over the next two years.  This process is repeated in 2016 to allow members of Council to shift committees if they are interested in a change. 

Each member of Council is assigned as a liaison to one of the City departments.  In the past years, I have served as the liaison to Integrated Planning and Public Works and Community, Culture, Recreation and Leisure Services.

In addition, members of Council are expected to serve on a variety of City and External Agency Committees.  There are sixteen (16) City Advisory Committees and fifteen (15) External Agencies seeking representation.  Council also participates in Region of Waterloo Steering Committees associated with Projects and Studies occurring in the City boundaries.  In the past I have served on the Clair Lake community task force, dog designation appeal committee, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Board of Directors, Grand-River Hospital Board of Directors and the Regional steering committee for the Northfield Drive Widening (Davenport to University Ave).

3. Media Training: I seize every opportunity I have to receive advice and training related to responding to media inquiries.  Communicating with media and the broader citizenry is a critical part of my job as a member of Council.  I am always looking for new strategies to improve my communications skills

4. Inaugural Meeting:  The first meeting of the new Council is December 1, 2014.  This and all Council Meetings are on Monday evenings starting at 6:30 pm.  At this meeting Mayor-Elect Jaworsky will outline his vision for the City of Waterloo over the next four years.  As well, each member of Council will swear an oath to serve the citizens to the best of their ability.  All Council meetings are open and the public is invited to attend.

My Vision for this Term of Council

My goal for the next term of Council relates to three major undertakings for the Ward.  The first being the long awaited widening of Northfield Dr.  This work will be done by the Region of Waterloo and is scheduled to start construction in the spring of 2015. 

My second goal is to see library services delivered in the ward.  The 2013-2017 Waterloo Public Library Strategic plan can be reviewed at this link: http://www.wpl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/Strategic-Plan.pdf.  The plan speaks to the library functioning as a place making space.  Direction Number 2 in the plan is entitled Moving Beyond Our Walls.  The following is an excerpt from the plan: Transforming Understanding requires the library to go where we’re needed, and will use new partnerships to extend our reach. An innovative approach to bringing WPL to the community will improve the delivery of services and programming. 

Outreach to non-traditional users.

Action: Tech Connect On the Go

  • Take WPL’s ‘Tech Connect’ program on the road, promoting and teaching technology skills

Develop community outreach approach

Action: McCormick community conversations

  • Engage the neighbourhoods surrounding the McCormick Branch in transformational community building
  • Expand digital content delivery

Action: East-side digital library outreach

  • Expand virtual library service to East-side customers
  • Expand point-of-need service through automation

Action: Hand-held wireless check-out pilot

  • Implement hand-held wireless check-out for use in the library and off-site        

My last goal, and likely the most important, is to be your voice at City Hall.  The ION construction in the Ward will occur over the next four years along Northfield Drive from near the expressway to Conestoga Mall.  I have been promised that the work will include finishing the road way with a dedicated space for cyclists.  The works on Northfield will be challenging and frustrating.  We speak a lot about the need for infrastructure re-investment, but when it requires us to manage traffic congestion as a part of the work, it can be tremendously frustrating.  Please be prepared, 2015 will be another spring, summer and fall of road construction. 

Upcoming Events:

Mark your Calendars for some special dates and events happening in and around the City of Waterloo:



Location (s)


Wonders of Winter - Waterloo Park - www.wondersofwinter.ca

Opening and Fireworks - November 29, 2014 at 6pm

Runs Nov 29-Dec 31, 2014

Waterloo Park

Rink in the Square

December - Snow melt 2015

Waterloo Public Square

Mayor and Council New Year Levee - waterloo.ca

January 11, 2014

To be finalized - historically Forbes Room - RIM Park

I welcome your comments on my columns so please do not hesitate to contact me at:

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . twitter: @dianelfreeman 

More Articles...
Who's Online
We have 15 guests online