There is a long standing Canadian joke that goes something like this. There are two seasons in Canada, winter and construction.
Things happen to a city when it gets big. It’s often said that the biggest cities never sleep. Well that seems far off for K-W, its full metro area has only 500 000 people. But it is beginning to build a light rail transit system and that seems to have pushed the city into one season. That season is construction.
Oh, we still have winter. We’re just finishing one of the coldest Februaries on record. But the ongoing construction for the light rail continued this month last month and indeed never stopped even when the snow started building up on the ground. And I think seeing the light rail workers never stopping inspired a city.
I know of at least two big roofing projects that carried on into this month. One occurred on a residential town house complex and one happened on a bowling alley. That’s right, roofers had to work all winter long so far. I can see that happening in previous years, where the roofer might put in a temporary patch that everyone hopes lasts until spring. But these two developments seemed to involve the complete or almost the complete job. I didn’t know roofers were so ambitious. Slips and falls are more likely with ice and snow and yet the workers braved those conditions.
Maybe I would have let all this construction lie but off of the future route of the LRT I noticed more outdoor construction at Bleams and Manitou. I don’t think this project is a broken water main (another acceptable outdoor construction activity in winter). Once again there is more outdoor construction this winter.
And lastly (although this seems to happen in any city that gets such projects), outdoor construction continues in the high rises that were partially built last summer and have continued unabated all winter.
So there you have it. Kitchener-Waterloo is now always under construction. It’s supposed to get busier in the spring when they shut down major amounts of King Street (the main street) for up to eighteen months. You heard me. That eighteen months means the same thing is going to happen over next winter.