Rehabilitation of Waterloo Park, Silver lake and Laurel Creek

Waterloo, Ontario


Silver Lake is an online pond located within Waterloo park that was desperately in need of maintenance. In 2018, a Class Environmental Assessment Study was completed on Waterloo Park – Silver Lake and Laurel Creek to determine the preferred rehabilitation option. The environmental assessment recommended improvements to Laurel Creek upstream of Silver Lake and improvements to Silver Lake. The City’s goal was to prepare a detailed design for Silver Lake and laurel Creek and surrounding features in Waterloo Park based on recommendations for the preferred alternative identified in the EA Addendum report and to implement the design.

SDG aimed to strengthen the connections within and throughout Waterloo Park and the surrounding uptown Waterloo context by improving access to the Interior perimeter walkway of the park, updating the History Walk around Silver Lake, Linking the Perimeter Institute site to the south and adding wayfinding improvements to inform and encourage exploration. SDG wanted to engage all park visitors through a variety of amenities that can support programming or stand on their own to provide play, learning and relaxation such as outdoor concessions, washrooms and information facilities, performance and gathering spaces, water features and sculptural focal points, horticultural gardens and naturalized plantings and canoe rental areas. To keep within the intent of the project, SDG planned to improve the sustainability and ecological impact of all new and existing elements by implementing Low Impact Development strategies to reduce and mitigate the impact of storm water runoff, including bio swales and infiltration areas. SDG also incorporated native planting and naturalized areas to improve habitat, especially in shoreline areas. Other areas of sustainability included using solar lighting and permeable paving.

Channel improvements along Laurel Creek from the LRT tracks to University Avenue will be done to improve fish habitat, terrestrial ecology, the vegetative community and to reduce erosion. Silver Lake improvements will include removal of the accumulated sediment, reconfiguration of the shoreline and construction of a sediment forebay to manage future sediment issues. Waterloo Park improvements will include new walkways, lighting, amenities, features of interest and improved pedestrian circulation. Photos by Jeff McNeil Photography, 2023.


Location: Waterloo, ON

Size: 47 ha

Client: City of Waterloo

Project Team: SDG, Landscape Architects
Ecosystem Recovery Inc., Water Resource Engineering
Crystal Fountains Inc., Water Feature Consultants

Services Provided: Background review, Supplemental Site Inventory/Investigation, Detail Design, Agency Approvals and Permits, Tender Package, Contract Administration and Construction Inspection, Public Consultation Program & Meetings.


“Waterloo’s Silver Lake to undergo $9 million transformation” Catherine Thompson, Waterloo Region Record, September 25, 2019.

“Waterloo Park improvements (Silver Lake, new water play area)” Engage Waterloo.

“City looks to rehabilitate Silver lake, again” Samantha Beattie, Waterloo Chronicle, April 11, 2017.