The study area is the “Tri-City” area of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (Waterloo Region) located in Southern Ontario, as shown in Figure 2. Waterloo Region consists of the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge and four townships (Woolwich, Wellesley, Wilmot, and North Dumfries) (Region of Waterloo, 2019a). The region lies just west of the Greater Toronto Area and Golden Horseshoe regions of Southern Ontario, but itself contains the urban region known as the “Tri-Cities,” with Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge being geographically clustered together within the province (Figure 3). The region has a population of 594,100 people (2017 estimate), with Kitchener having the largest population within the region at 252,520 people (Parkin, & Pogrzeba, 2018).
The Regional Municipality of Waterloo was created in 1973 from what had previously been Waterloo County (Region of Waterloo, 2019b). Much like potential amalgamation, this level of re-designation changes high level responsibility and governance within the area. For the purpose of this analysis, only the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge will be evaluated, based on their close geographical location as shown in Figure 3. Furthermore, service standards are drastically different for townships in comparison to cities, complicating the overall effectiveness of the research.
Figure 2: Map showing the Region of Waterloo's three cities and four townships. The study area and proximity of the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo are highlighted in yellow
Figure 3: Location of Services in the Tri-City area of Waterloo Region