KITCHENER -- Silver Lake in Waterloo is starting to look more like a lake again.

More water could be seen in the lake where only sediment sat for years on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

This comes following the work from a major project to drain the area and reconfigure the shoreline that was started last year.

"I think it's fantastic," said Waterloo resident Ron Penner. "It's been impressive to watch them as they progressed. I was impressed they worked right through the winter.

"It's going to make Uptown Waterloo a much more friendlier place."

Works crews have spent several months removing vegetation to make room for a new retaining wall as part of a three-year cleanup project costing around $5 million.

A new pedestrian bridge, boardwalk, and lookout extension are also expected to be compled within the next few months.

"Aesthetically, it's looking more pleasing all the time," said Waterloo resident Arlene Groh. "I'm looking forward to walking on the boardwalk."

Jessica Kellerman, the stormwater operations and construction manager with the City of Waterloo, says part of the project was creating an upstream lake cell to act as a filter for the main lake.

"You're probably going to see a crew in there every three to five years," she said. "Some work was done in Waterloo Park on an upstream cell that will allow our crews to go in. Our intent of the design is so that we don't have to go in and disrupt the park again sooner than we have to."

The last large cleanup of the park was in 1997, but now regular maintenance can be done easier.

Kellerman adds that vegetation restoration work will start as the weather warms up. A contractor will also work on park upgrades where the Lions Lagoon Splashpad once was and is expected to finish by early 2022.

"We're on schedule and on budget," she said. "From the city's perspective, this has been quite a success, and it's nice to be getting almost to the end."

Kellerman expects the west side be fully completed by the end of March or some time in April.