Skip to main content

Charles Street Terminal redevelopment process inching forward

Aside from being used as a COVID-19 testing clinic from December 2020 to March 2022, the Charles Street Terminal has been empty since it ceased operations in 2019. (EngageWR.ca) Aside from being used as a COVID-19 testing clinic from December 2020 to March 2022, the Charles Street Terminal has been empty since it ceased operations in 2019. (EngageWR.ca)
Share

The City of Kitchener’s Finance and Corporate Services Committee has approved a next step in the process that will ultimately determine the future for the Charles Street Terminal.

Operations at the former bus terminal in Kitchener’s downtown core wrapped up in 2019. The site was used as COVID-19 testing clinic from December 2020 to March 2022, but has since been empty.

The terminal, which makes up 88 per cent of the block, is owned by the Region of Waterloo, with the City of Kitchener owning a parking lot that makes up the remaining 12 per cent of the nearly three acre property.

At Monday afternoon’s meeting, the committee approved a Memorandum of Understanding that clarifies how responsibilities and cost sharing will be handled going forward.

Among the arrangements it puts in place, city staff will participate in all applicable processes, but the region will lead and pay for all processes and preliminary work, and the region will be the final decision maker on consultant selections.

The report says preliminary work, including extensive community consultations, environmental work, technical studies, urban design briefs, and a heritage impact assessment, is estimated to cost $840,000. City and regional staff will equally split the cost of community consultation, while the other costs will be split proportional to the percentage of land ownership.

Public engagement on the future of the former bus terminal began in 2021. (EngageWR.ca)

The Memorandum of Understanding notes it does not constitute approval for a future development, as any decision on that would be subject to council deliberations.

Ahead of the vote, Ward 9 Coun. Debbie Chapman asked there be further clarity provided to address questions being raised about a potential sale of the property, as the MOU lays out a plan for how the city’s expenses will be deducted at the time the land is sold.

Executive Director of Economic Development Cory Bluhm told councillors: “Semantically, the way it was laid out in the report, could be interpreted that the outcome is sale, when really one of the outcomes is sale, the other may not be sale, so this just clarifies the semantic difference in the report.”

Public engagement on the future of the site began in 2021. Co-founders of Land Back Camp Bangishimo and Amy Smoke have been calling for it to be turned into an Indigenous community hub, even creating a short film about their vision.

More details on the project’s progression can be found on EngageWR.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING

BREAKING World Court orders Israel to halt assault on Gaza's Rafah

Judges at the top United Nations court ordered Israel on Friday to halt its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, in a landmark emergency ruling on South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide.

Stay Connected