Posted on May 15, 2019
We are having our executive meeting tonight at 7 pm in room 201 at the Breithaupt Centre. All our meetings are open to the public so please drop by. We can talk about our initiatives, including our upcoming Flea Market, Garage Sale and Music Festival. Perhaps you would like to ask about a micro grant? Or talk about trees? (We are in favour of trees).
Hope to see you this evening.
Posted on May 15, 2019
By Kate Pearce (Director, Partnerships MHBPNA)
On Saturday May 4, I had the joy of leading a small group and my own family on a Jane’s Walk around the Mount-Hope side of the MHBPNA area. I was asked afterwards why I had chosen to lead a walk and plan that route. I have been on several Jane’s Walks in previous years and thought it would be fun to look at some of the existing elements in our neighbourhood and talk about what they mean to my family. And if I am being honest, I was also looking for an activity that would keep my twin 3 year olds occupied for the morning. The idea sprung to mind while I was attending the Eco Market Low Waste Pantry takeover of the Little Library at Extend-A-Family WR. I know there are many Little Libraries sprinkled across the neighbourhood and across our community, so I thought why not tour around and see what else our ‘hood has to offer for families.
For those who have never heard of Little Libraries or Jane’s Walks before, here are some details. Jane’s Walks are citizen-led walking tours that make space for people to observe, reflect, share, question and collectively re-imagine the places in which they live, work and play. Jane’s Walks happen the first full weekend in May in cities across the world. They cover themes from coffee shops, local history, art installations, social issues, sketching, and more. This year there were 39 scheduled Jane’s Walks across Waterloo Region. While walking or biking through our neighbourhood you may have noticed the little houses that sit next to the sidewalk in front of some homes. Little Libraries are neighborhood book exchanges that invite everyone to take a book or leave a book, and have been running since 2009. Our kids love checking them out as we walk around, you never know what you might find!
We were fortunate to have beautiful weather for our Wee Little Wander which began at Extend-A-Family WR. Our walk opened with an invitation to all 11 participants – share the things you like to do as we move across the neighborhood. I told the group, if you have a favourite place or activity tell us about it!
From our start we headed up Moore St. towards the Mount Hope Cemetery and talked about how many children we all knew who had learned to bike on the winding and protected paths through the cemetery. With my kids in a wagon, we rumbled up Guelph Street, heading slowly toward the Duke Street Playground. Along the way we learned about the Kitchener-Waterloo Central Art Walk happening this October 19-20, 2019 as we passed the mosaic on the corner of Waterloo Street and Duke Street West. We filled the Little Library next to the Duke Street Playground and talked about the upcoming (2nd Annual) Duke Street West Music Fest happening on June 22. It’s a free event being run by MHBPNA with lots of music, pizza and great times for everyone. Then we walked up to the Spur Line Trail entrance at Weber Street where talked about trail etiquette (stay to the right!) and then we raced the 3 year olds over to Guelph Street. We checked out the Community Gardens at the Uniroyal Goodrich Park. There were many questions about the rain collection system and barrels, and I am hopeful that everyone went home to learn some more on their own.
Next, we finished up the trail at the Ferdinand Avenue entrance where we paused to check out the Midtown Chalkboards and talk about the programs offered at the nearby EarlyOn Centre (on Roger Street). I was able to connect with the EarlyON staff who provided some details about what the center has to offer.
EarlyON Child and Family Centres offer free, drop-in programs for children, their parents and caring adults throughout Waterloo Region. EarlyON Centres are places to engage and connect with others in the community and feel a sense of belonging. We are funded by the Ministry of Education, which means our drop in play areas, activities and onsite supports are all offered at no cost to families.
Knowing where and how to access services for your family can be a challenge. The EarlyON Child and Family Centres in Waterloo Region are a one stop hub of resources and information for families who are expecting, adopting or parenting children up until age 6. You can drop in anytime during centre hours to play, connect with other families, or talk with staff or other onsite community professionals to get answers to questions about your family’s well-being.
We can support you in connecting with specialized services throughout our through brochures, conversation and referrals. EarlyON Child and Family Centres view all children, parents and caring adults as capable and competent.
For our last stretch as we finished our route, we wound our way up to Dekay Street and filled some more Little Libraries along the way. I think we are lucky to have so many great resources in our ‘hood and I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to check them all out.
Go for a walk. Borrow or give a book to a Little Library. Look around and admire the art, artists and gardens that fill our neighbourhood with beauty. Talk to each other and continue to share your favourite space across MHBPNA.
Posted on May 11, 2019
A Camping Group for Seniors
Over fifty years old and looking to go camping with your peers? You can join the senior camping group based at the City of Kitchener Downtown Community Centre on Weber Street.
We have four camp-outs between mid-May and mid-September. We camp during the week, generally from noon, Tuesday to noon, Friday at area Grand River Conservation (GRCA) Parks. The camping fee is approximately half the regular price for camping.
And each person must have a Kitchener Group Card at the cost of $15.61 per person, per year. Seniors from Waterloo Region and beyond are welcome.
We also have two, general meetings, one in April and one in November. As well, we meet for three other social events during the year.
Camping units vary from tents to motorhomes. All are welcome.
For more information email: kw50pluscampers.com.
Posted on April 30, 2019
Jane’s Walk is named after Jane Jacobs, an urban activist and writer who lived in New York City for many years before relocating to Toronto. Since 2007 people have volunteered around the world to lead walks in urban areas. One of the nicest parts of these walks is the chance to meet your neighbours (or people from far away) and talk about community issues.
This year, the many walks in the Kitchener / Waterloo / Cambridge areas are listed here.
One of the walk is sponsored by the Mt. Hope – Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association and it is described here.
Check out the list as there is something for everyone. Several occur within our neighbourhood, or within walking distance of it. But it is also exciting to join a walk in an unfamiliar area to explore Waterloo region.
For some context, and memories, here is a walk hosted by MHBPNA in 2014.
Updated on April 24, 2019
The city of Kitchener is working on developing a “Secondary Plan” for the area they call “KW Hospital – Midtown”. This includes part of the Mt. Hope section of the Mt Hope – Breithaupt Park neighbourhood.
General information about this Secondary Plan process is located on the city’s website here.
An open house describing the design process was held at the Victoria Park Pavilion on April 18th. City staff discussed how this process evolved from previous studies and consultation including PARTS (Planning Around Rapid Transit Stations) and RIENS (Residential Intensification in Established Neighbourhoods).
The open house included many helpful posters displaying the key concepts involved in this type of planning. The city will be putting up all the content from the open house soon, so it is a good idea to use the subscribe to this page feature so you can be notified about new content that is added.
The Design Charrette will be held on May 15th from 6 – 8 pm in City Hall’s Conestoga Room.
Here is the full text of the invitation from the city:
Good Afternoon Midtown Neighbours,
As part of the Neighbourhood Secondary Planning process that is currently underway for the Midtown neighbourhood—City staff will be developing a set of urban design guidelines for ‘Residential Infill in Central Neighbourhoods’.
This document will apply to all neighbourhoods within the central city area, and in addition, we hope to have a section that contains guidelines unique to each neighbourhood. As it stands, the general guidelines have been drafted that will apply to all neighbourhoods—these guidelines will address things like building placement, setbacks, garage projects, landscaping, building design and massing, etc.
We would like to invite you to join staff in a design charrette intended to develop the unique set of neighbourhood design guidelines for Midtown.
The 2 hour design charrette will take place at the following time/location:
Wednesday, May 15th 2019 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at City Hall Conestoga Room (1st Floor)
I’m hoping you will join planning and urban design staff to share your experience, vision and ideas for the Midtown Neighbourhood.
Your RSVP prior to May 10th would be greatly appreciated.
Please be advised that the goals and objectives of the charrette are to explore design guidance for the public realm and local neighbourhood. Property specific zoning or other questions pertaining to individual properties will not be discussed at the meeting.
- Current draft of Residential Infill in Central Neighbourhoods document: https://www.kitchener.ca/en/resourcesGeneral/Documents/DSD_PLAN_UDM_Design-for-Central-Neighbourhoods.pdf
- Neighbourhood Planning Review Midtown https://www.kitchener.ca/en/city-services/kw-hospital-midtown.aspx
Updated on December 16, 2018
Cookie Decorating at Relish Cooking Studio
On the sunny afternoon of December 2, families and friends from across the MHBPNA neighbourhood arrived at Relish Cooking Studios on Victoria St. for some sprinkle covered fun.
We were greeted with the delicious smell of fresh baked sugar cookies, and the kids (and adults) did not have to wait long to slather frosting on cookies and apply layers of festive sprinkles.
A batch of Basic Sugar Cookies made by the Relish Cooking Studio team.
Donna-Marie Pye, best-selling cook book author and co-owner of Relish Cooking Studios, had some tips to share with the group and suggestions on other ways to utilize the recipe during the holidays and beyond:
- To get cold butter warm enough to beat for the recipe you can grate it using a regular cheese grater
- Use proper measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients
- When measuring flour, scoop the flour from the container into your dry measuring cup and overfill it and then level it off with a flat utensil.
Sprinkles galore! A decorated cookie from the event.
In addition to using festive cookie cutters, you could also try:
- Try cutting out small circles, bake and cool. Then layer your favourite jam on a cookie and top with another for sandwich cookies.
- After cutting out small circles, instead of baking them flat on a baking sheet, fit the dough into mini-muffin trays and bake. Then fill the cookie with chocolate sauce or caramel for a treat.
- This recipe works well all year long. Try using different seasonally themed cookie cutters, or add food colouring to the frosting.
Donna-Marie and Relish Cooking Studio have shared their recipe for Basic Sugar Cookies below so everyone can enjoy some cookies over the holidays!
Basic Sugar Cookie Dough
- In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions. If necessary, knead to form smooth dough.
- Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.(Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Let stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes.
- To Make Cookie Cut Outs: Between waxed paper or on lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Place cookie cutter on dough; cut to make shapes, re-rolling scraps as necessary.
- Arrange, 1-inch apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 375°F oven until edges and bottoms are light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer directly to racks to cool completely.(Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.)
- To Make Lemon Frosting: In bowl, beat lemon juice with meringue powder until foamy and glossy, about 2 minutes; beat in icing sugar until stiff, about 4 minutes.
- Divide icing among small bowls (you’ll need 1 bowl for each colour of icing). Using food colouring, tint each bowl to desired shade. Working with 1 colour at a time, spoon some of the icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; pipe outlines around edges of cookies. Let stand until dry, about 20 minutes.
- Gradually add water to some of the icing, 1/2 tsp at a time, until mixture is consistency of molasses. Spoon onto centers of cookies; using toothpick or skewer, spread to piped edges, popping any air bubbles. Decorate with dragées, sprinkles and/or coarse sugar (if using). Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
This event was a partnership between MHBPNA and Relish. For information about partnership opportunities or other MHBPNA events please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
written by Kate, Partnerships Director
Posted on November 23, 2018
What a time we have had with 152 Shanley: decades of neglect, attempted interventions by neighbours, meetings with MHBPNA executive (both with staff and councilors) and many articles in the Record. And yet it still sits empty, quiet, derelict and with uncleared sidewalks, on the corner of Duke and Shanley.
The city attempted to sell the building in a tax sale. But it was unsuccessful partly because the municipal act tightly regulates sales and the city was required to ask the price of the taxes currently owing which is over 1 million dollars.
In April of 2018 the city organized a “charrette” to get buy-in and ideas from residents. This was well attended and well organized. City staff put together a draft “Vision statement” based on the ideas and comment at the charrette and released it in August. They then held another event in early September to get resident’s reactions to the Vision Statement. For those interested, it is worthwhile to read through many of the comments submitted about that statement.
Ultimately, Kitchener city council approved the Vision Statement on November 19 (despite a petition against it signed by over 20 people). This is the City of Kitchener’s statement: “Following an unsuccessful tax sale in 2017, planning staff developed a vision statement in collaboration with the neighbourhood surrounding 152 Shanley St. that clarifies expectation for redevelopment of the site that has been abandoned since 1990. From the engagement, what is envisioned is a building of up to six storeys that respects the site’s heritage and could permit retail/commercial (such as a coffee shop), personal services and community space on the ground floor and residential uses on the upper levels. The proposals should minimize the disruption to the neighbourhood, keeping parking underground or to the back of the building, provide for ample tree cover and contribute to an attractive streetscape.”
The latest news is there will be a new tax sale attempt in January of 2019. We can hope this is successful but it is impossible to please everyone. For some people the building is ‘historic’ and is a reminder of Kitchener’s manufacturing history. Others are angry it has sat there in a contaminated state for so long and believe the city should tear it down and clean up the contamination. Many who attended the charrette are happy with the city’s organization of that event and agree with the concept of a condo development. But not everyone is happy about a 6 story development and the increased traffic that would entail. And it remains to be seen if 6 floors and a reduced price (plus the Brownfield tax incentives that exist) are enough for a developer to take on the remediation and long term project management of the site.
At this point, all we can say is “to be continued”.
Ted Parkinson, Communications, MHBPNA
Posted on October 23, 2018
MHBPNA 2018 — Annual General Meeting
Saturday, October 27, 2018 11:00 am Breithaupt Centre Room 207
Come out and meet your neighbours. Talk about issues in our area and ideas for building community. Have some free coffee and snacks. Elect our new executive. Plan for the future. Leave happy.
Posted on September 4, 2018
On October 22, 2018 we will be voting for Kitchener and Waterloo Region politicians. The city of Kitchener’s site is here.
Of course we also vote for Mayor and there are four candidates: Jiri Marek, Narine Dat Sookram, Myron Daniel Steinman and Berry Vrbanovic. All candidates (with their websites, if they have one) are listed on this page.
Waterloo Regional Council voting information is here. You can vote for four Councillors to represent Kitchener.
What would you like to ask the candidates for council and for mayor?
Please send your questions to email@example.com. We will compile them, send them to the candidates and then publish their answers to this Blog. This is your chance to get candidates “on the record” for issues specific to the Mt. Hope – Breithaupt Park neighbourhood.
In case you are interested in history, we did this eight years ago as well, and here is an example of the candidate’s answers.