Melissa Bowman Ward 9 

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What's Behind Door #1?

Observations from a great event

Upcoming Events

Sept 20th:  Environmental Election Forum

Sept 26th: All Candidates Meeting


Stay in touch!


What's Behind Door #1?

Doors Open Waterloo Region is a favourite annual event of mine. There are always so many buildings and organizations with interesting stories behind them, I can never get to all of the places I want to but still fill my day with lots of interesting visits. This year focused on the built region with a theme of Places, Patterns and Plans. Each location addressed this theme well, while also speaking to some of the issues facing our city and ward 9.

So allow me to make a few observations based on my day's schedule:

Catalyst 137 is the world's largest “Internet of Things” hardware. It's home to Miovision, Graffiti Market, Red Circle, and much more. I attended the talk, "What is a City? Interpreting Change in the Urban Landscape" by Brian Doucet (below left) while there as well. I appreciate how this building brings together a variety of companies who partner as needed and share resources. It's an excellent example of collaboration, a key theme of my campaign.

The Deloitte building (above right), known for its iconic smokestack, was built almost 100 years ago by the Lang Tanning Company. It has been carefully restored into a stunning work space for Deloitte employees. Instead of viewing heritage and development as working against each other, this is an example of the positive outcome of both of those elements working together.

GSP Group offices originally housed the Interior Hardwood Company factory and is one of the first brick-and-beam factory conversions in downtown Kitchener. Walking through the space provides a small history lesson as you see different construction methods in each renovation, some in the 1910s and some over a century later. It's another great example of the beauty and character of heritage redevelopment done well.

GSP and Deloitte both represent what is possible when developers and heritage advocates work cooperatively.

One example of the original beams found at 72 Victoria St South in the GSP Group offices.
The NEO architecture building has been transformed several times from a produce store, to a clothing shop, and now to an architecture firm. It displays works by five local artists, demonstrating the important role the arts industry plays in contributing to our local identity, culture, and history. 

44 Gaukel, the former Canada Post depot, is now Kitchener’s combined arts and technology hub. The hub houses tech companies, studio space and an art gallery, highlighting the importance of facilitating partnerships in our region, leading to new collaborations and innovations. The City of Kitchener also used the location to seek public input about the upcoming Queen Street redevelopment project.

Carizon is another great example of partnerships and collaboration, this time with a focus on social supports. Here in this purpose-built mental health and community services hub, over 45 community partners meet once a week to support at-risk members of Waterloo Region.

To me, the theme at these locations pointed to varied groups collaborating together in shared spaces to the benefit of stakeholders and the wider community. Doors Open provides a peek into some of the behind-the-scenes work that happens throughout our region. Thank you to the many volunteers who help make this event happen each year. It provides our residents with a better understanding of the architecture, partnerships, innovation, and history of our Region.

Upcoming Events

Click for details about the Environmental Election Forum
Click for details about the All Candidates Meeting
Neighbourhood Happenings
Now it's starting to look like election season! Since September 7th, election signs have been popping up on lawns across the Region. I was glad to have my niece and nephew so willing to help us place signs throughout the ward (top left). On September 8th I attended the Hold The Line festival which celebrates the countryside line and its role in protecting farmlands and water sources (top right).

I always enjoy discovering new things in our city. I recently happened across this smaller version of the Walper Hotel at THEMUSEUM (bottom left). While walking along Queen Street South last week I was encouraged by this sidewalk chalk message (bottom right).
Volunteer With Us!
Join our team! We are looking for support for our campaign in a variety of ways, including:
  • Connect with your neighbours while knocking on doors with us
  • Help us deliver literature to mailboxes
  • In ward 9? Place a sign on your yard!
  • Spread the word about the campaign by sharing this newsletter with others
  • Share posts from the campaign's social media
Email to volunteer!
Copyright © 2018 Melissa Bowman Ward 9, All rights reserved.

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