Waterloo Neighbourhood Matching Fund Still Active!

While this blog is no longer publishing, the Neighbourhood Matching Fund is still active and accepting applications for grassroots, neighbourhood place-making projects within the City of Waterloo.  See the City of Waterloo’s website for more information about the grant and how to apply.


We are now accepting applications for the Waterloo Neighbourhood Matching Fund!


Do you have a project that can help Waterloo become more livable, inclusive, safe and vibrant?


The Neighbourhood Matching Fund is a fund program that was established to encourage and facilitate citizen-initiated projects. Projects can focus on arts, education, environment, history, place making, community building and/or recreation.  The request must be matched through the applicant’s contribution of cash, volunteer labour, donated materials, supplies and services such as qualified trades.


Please visit the City of Waterloo’s website at: www.waterloo.ca/nmf for more information.


The application deadline date is May 22, 2015 at 4:00p.m.


Please post, share and distribute to your networks.

” I LOVE MY PARK” – Join us at Albert Street Play Space

What has been happening in Waterloo with Sparks Neighbourhhood Matching Funds??  Come out tomorrow and see the new Albert Street Play Space!!

“I love MY park!” ,

……..from the mouth of a child……..

Dear friends and supporters of Albert Street Play space,
The other day I sat in the little green space in the middle of the Albert Street town homes and watched as 28 kids engaged in various forms of play: two little guys turned a structure into a kitchen and busily baked and served cakes made of a delicious concoction of woodchips and energy, someone else pretended that the tower itself was a ticket office and called out information to passengers, while still others hung upside
down on the ropes.

28 kids, each using their imaginations, each engaged in safe play, all under the
watchful eyes of parents.
The community wants to say “thank you”. The community wants to celebrate!!!!!!!
Fullscreen capture 22092014 10226 PMYour generosity has helped to make this possible. Please join us for a BBQ supper along with a few other festivities as we officially open our new park.
Date: Tuesday, September 23 2014, 4pm – 6pm – Short program at 5:15
Alternative bad weather date: September 24, 4pm- 6pm
We are right by the bush on the west side of Albert Street. Parking is available on Albert Street.
For more information call April Brown 519-497-2156.

Fullscreen capture 22092014 10508 PM

Sparks Neighbourhood Matching Funds is taking applications for projects that will make your neighbourhood a better place for you and your family to enjoy and flourish!



Cycling within the region has just gotten more accessible, more affordable and more widespread. On July 17, 2014 Community Access Bikeshare (CAB) http://www.theworkingcentre.org/CAB – Waterloo Region’s fastest growing community focused bikeshare – launched its newest station at Your Neighbourhood Credit Union in Uptown Waterloo.

City of Waterloo Councillors Diane Freeman, Mark Whaley and Angela Vieth, Carly Greco on behalf of Catherine Fife MPP, and MP Peter Braid were present to officially ‘unlock’ a ceremonial bike on July 17, joined by other community leaders and bikeshare members.

The newest station is nestled perfectly at the cusp of Uptown Waterloo at 168 King St S, at King and George Streets (one block south of the junction of King and William Streets).


“The station’s location makes it ideal for residents of Waterloo Region to travel between the exciting events happening this summer in Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo” comments bikeshare organizer Suzie Taka.

As CAB’s fifth active station, the new station at Your Neighbourhood Credit Union works in conjunction with stations at the Kitchener Market, GRT Charles St. Terminal, Kitchener City Hall and Sunlife Financial at King and Union streets.

Bikeshare membership is affordable ($40 for 7 months of riding), accessible (members don’t need a credit card to participate) and accountable (the map on the bikeshare’s website shows bike availability in real time at all the stations, as well as station hours). Members can pick up and return a bike at any one of the bikeshare stations in the network.

The new Uptown Waterloo station became a reality due to many partners and sponsors, including the newest bikeshare sponsor, the City of Waterloo’s Neighbourhood Matching Fund. Community Access Bikeshare is excited to be working with the City of Waterloo to encourage cycling as a viable transportation option in Waterloo.

Community Access Bikeshare looks forward to working with Waterloo’s citizen groups and neighbourhood associations, including the Uptown West and the Mary-Allen Neighbourhood Associations, which are closest to the newest bikeshare stations. We welcome new bikeshare members, volunteers, and conversations with potential station hosts, sponsors and partners.Uptown Station launch July 2014 (2)

For more information about Community Access Bikeshare and to view station locations visit http://www.theworkingcentre.org/cab, call the bikeshare office at 519-743-1151, ext. 172 or follow the bikeshare on Twitter @CABikeshare.

Join us as we drive change in Waterloo Region!

Uptown Station launch July 2014 photo caption: (clockwise, from front, left) City of Waterloo Councillor Diane Freeman, Carly Greco on behalf of Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo Councillor Mark Whaley, MP Peter Braid and Waterloo Councillor Angela Vieth unlock bikes to officially open the newest Community Access Bikeshare station in Uptown Waterloo at Your Neighbourhood Credit Union on Thursday, July 17, 2014. For more information about Community Access Bikeshare and to view station locations visit http://www.theworkingcentre.org/cab.

Let there be blue!!

Guelph Street Garden

If you’ve visited the Uniroyal Goodrich Park  since August 2 & 3, you might have noticed the bright blue roof that now completes the rainwater structure being built there over the last few weekends! What a dramatic finish! Were were very fortunate to have the steel roof material donated to the Community Garden by Vicwest. And of course, another great crew of helpers!

Read on to see how the day unfolded, how we raced against the wicked Saturday afternoon rain and thunderstorm and how 650 screws makes a roof a beautiful thing.

Trent laid out a great plan for our weekend, that would see the steel roof installed & completed! Order of Operations: Trent laid out a great plan for our weekend, that would see the steel roof installed & completed!

This is what 50 years of working together looks like! Juanita's parents came out to help on Saturday - and they have lots of experience of working together after 50 years on a farm! This is what 50 years of working together looks like! Juanita’s parents, David & Marjorie Metzger,  came out to help on Saturday – and they have lots of experience of working together after 50 years on…

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HEROES – War Veterans in Waterloo Share their Stories

This week, we are hosting a guest blog, by Frank Reid, a recipient of a SPARKS Neighbourhood Matching Funds grant. It was an awesome project from start to finish and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results of his hard work and creative spirit. Thanks so much Frank!

hero“I am a member of the RCR Association of Waterloo. The Memory Project, based in Toronto, asks our members to give presentations at the local schools around Remembrance Day. Since only a few of our members are in the position to assist with these presentations, we always end up with more requests than we can fulfill. Based on our conversations with the local students, our members felt that there was a great thirst for the type of knowledge we can share, which is not readily available. I got the idea that we should produce a short video, which would be offered to the school system, to include in their library as a resource in the absence of a veteran speaker. Being a new chapter of the RCR Association, our group had no money to do the project. I decided to apply for a grant from the City of Waterloo. The people at the SPARKS Neighbourhood Matching Funds were so helpful in answering all my questions since I was not familiar with the grant application process. I received a grant from SPARKS and immediately began to search for an organization to do the filming and editing. I was lucky enough to find Francois Gand, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Director for ADVIDEO, http://www.advideoproduction.com/ . Francois provided two excellent videographers to film our veterans. Francois and his organization donated the time and resources to help make the project a success. ADVIDEO is also hosting the video on their web site. This is the link below for the Remembering the Heroes video: http://vimeo.com/95000592 Seven veterans participated in the project spanning the period from the Korean War in the 1950s to Afghanistan, including many Peacekeeping missions in between. We had decided that each veteran would tell his story his way, without a script. We focused on the positive side of being a soldier and how each and everyone had, in his career, helped the people of many countries to a better and safer life. The video has now been seen in at least 17 countries. The reviews have been excellent. The Waterloo Regional School Board has taken it on as a resource for their library and it is also in a number of museums. The project has been an outstanding success due to all the great volunteers who worked to make it possible, the City of Waterloo for their financial help and all the people who have watched it around the world and provided us with their great feedback.”

Eastbridge Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt! How much fun is that?



After a long winter of snow shovelling and trying to stay warm, the Eastbridge Neighbourhood Association came up with a new challenge- one that is a lot more fun!  The scavenger hunt – the challenge of finding those hidden treasures, being outside with your family and friends, meeting your neighbours, getting some exercise……..and the possibility of winning a prize or 2.

How did they do this? This Waterloo community put a lot of volunteer hours into planning the event, and then came to the SPARKS, Neighbourhood Matching Fund for funds to help support their event! If you have a community building idea that will help make the City of Waterloo a more vibrant, inclusive community in a safe and healthy way, look us up. We will be accepting applications this summer for more neighbourhood initiatives.



While you are outside this weekend shovelling your sidewalk, talk to your neighbours!! Did you know that there are funds available from the city of Waterloo to support projects that will make your neighbourhood an even better place to live. All you need to do is to find some people to help provide the volunteer labour, and you can be eligible to receive up to $2,000 for projects to improve your neighbourhood.Image

  • Community garden
  • Street festival
  • Playground
  • Sidewalk chalk art contest
  • Music garden
  • Leadership training for teens

We would love to hear from you and help you shape your ideas into a proposal. Applications are due on March 19, 2014, so hurry and visit us at SPARKS, Neighbourhood Matching Funds