Complete Streets for Canada

policy and design hub for building safe and inviting streets for all

King Street, Kitchener, ON

King Street in Kitchener, Ontario was one of nine Complete Streets projects profiled in Complete Streets Transformations.


An innovative redesign featuring seasonal flexibility, enhanced pedestrian features, and sustainable streetscaping has substantially improved this downtown main street in Kitchener.  This transformation won a Community Places design award from the International Making Cities Livable Council for bringing people back to the downtown.  It cost $14 million, and took 4 years to complete (2006-2010), from the beginning of the design process to the end of construction. 


  • Sloped curbs to improve universal accessibility
  • New bike racks to encourage cycling to nearby destinations
  • Improved transit shelters
  • Environmentally friendly planter beds that collect and filter stormwater
  • The addition of 120 street trees to enhance the human scale and provide shade
  • Increased amount of seating to create spaces for people to linger
  • Signature lighting to enhance safety at night
  • Removable bollards to delineate on-street parking spaces in the winter and to close off the street for public events in the summer


  • The perception of safety along the street is positive.  According to a survey conducted after the completion of the project, 92% of people on King St feel safe during the day.  Although no data is available from before the street redesign for comparison, this news is positive for a downtown that previously struggled with safety concerns. 
  • Festival attendance has risen from 250,000 to 400,000 per year.
  • Pedestrian activity has increased from an average of 3,000 pedestrians per day to 8,900 pedestrians per day on average, an increase of nearly 200%.
  • Fifty-nine façade improvements have been undertaken since the project's completion, indicating a benefit to local businesses
  • The number of summer patios has increased from 5 to 16.


Before and After

Photo - After: 
Photo - Before: 


King Street West at Young Street
N2G Kitchener