Skip to main content

Park users question continued closure of Roos Island

More than five months after the City of Kitchener shut down access to Roos Island in Victoria Park, the area remains closed to the public – and some park users are frustrated.

In late April, the city fenced off the island as staff worked to relocate people living in an encampment there.

The island had been home to dozens of people experiencing homelessness. While most left, one camper has remained throughout the summer. The fences are still up and security personnel continue to monitor the gate.

“I look at it this way, I wonder what it’s costing us taxpayers for this security,” said Mike Guenther, who visits the park daily to walk or ride his bike. “It’s costing a lot of money and we can’t go in there, it is supposed to be a public place.”

Guenther is not alone, other park users question why the island remains closed.

“I think it’s terribly inconsiderate to the rest of the city who live here not to have access to the island,” said Joan Schellenberg, who lives near the park. “They always had events on the island; they always had a band on the island in the summer.”


The City of Kitchener said the island is closed so it can make repairs.

“Rehabilitation work is progressing, with the completion of significant turf, forestry and horticultural rehabilitation on Roos Island over the last several weeks,” the city said in part in an email.

Access on and off the island has been blocked since late April. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)

It said repairing the Heritage Bridge will take more time, but: “The work is expected to begin this fall and our goal is to have it completed by the end of fall.”

At that time, the city said Roos Island will reopen.

Some park users remain skeptical.

“I’m not really optimistic, I heard it was supposed to be done a while ago and its still not,” Guenther said. Top Stories

Oil, gas emissions to be cut by at least one-third by 2030: Guilbeault

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the oil and gas industry will have to cut emissions more than one-third by 2030. A framework outlining the cap is being published today with plans to publish draft regulations next spring and get the final regulations in place in 2025.

Stay Connected