New report recommends measures to deal with unsanctioned street parties
KITCHENER -- The City of Waterloo and local law enforcement are bracing for another round of unsanctioned partying on the city's streets.
Thousands are expected to flood Ezra Avenue next month for St. Patrick's Day.
A new report from the city makes recommendations to deal with the problems that arise from these parties.
The report was put together by the city's Large Street Gathering Task Force, which was formed in 2018.
It details a total of 12 recommendations to put an end to the problems from this student tradition.
More than 30,000 people are expected to pack Ezra and Bricker Avenue next month.
"It kind of stops us from having a good time as well," one resident in the area tells CTV.
"We've got to protect our house for a bit and can't really drink as much and kind of got to work with the police."
Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky says the city plans to make it a less pleasant place to be with fencing and security pods.
"It really worked at homecoming in September," he says.
That's just the beginning.
The report suggests lobbying the province for more help with enforcement.
It also details a number of broader recommendations, like having a student group suggest solutions and changing the nature of the event from a party culture to a community of respect.
"About every year 60 students are taken to the emergency room. Forty are drunk but 20 are dying. They are in serious or critical condition," says Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky.
"That hurts me as a mayor and it hurts the community, and we've been thankful these have all been saved, but we can't predict the future."
The report includes another recommendation that goes even further: planning the neighbourhood with more of a pedestrian focus.
A communication plan, with a price tag of $100,000, would also reportedly be less than what is spent now to deal with the parties.
Officials from Wilfrid Laurier University say they're pleased to be helping address the community challenge, and look forward to seeing how city council deals with the recommendations.
If they're implemented, the changes will take place over the course of three years.
Council will discuss the report on Monday.