A record of making a difference

James Howe has a proven record of making a difference as a community advocate. Two examples are:

  1. Traynor-Vanier LRT Crossing
  2. 48 Ontario St. N.

Traynor-Vanier LRT Crossing

James Howe has been actively interested in this issue since it came to public attention 2 years ago. He wrote a column in support of residents in March 2017.

He recently helped Traynor-Vanier residents get answers on the status of the LRT crossing they have needed for years to restore this Ward 3 neighbourhood’s much needed walkability. When they weren’t pleased with a timeline that pushed the crossing off for another year or more, they held a rally that attracted media attention. As a result, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic arranged for the Chief Administrative Officers of Kitchener and the Region of Waterloo to get involved. Now the crossing is tentatively planned for the spring.

Howe arranged media coverage of the July 2018 rally by residents to draw attention to not having any firm plan or timeline in place.

48 Ontario St. N.

When the Mayfair Hotel was demolished, James Howe vowed never again. Through blog posts and social media, he raised awareness that despite being owned by the city the former Legion building at 48 Ontario St. N. had sat empty and unused for more than 15 years. That lead to the formation of the Friends of 48 Ontario that arranged for the “birthplace of the blues in Kitchener” to be in Doors Open Waterloo Region in 2016. Their efforts got the city to make a decision on the building’s future.

The city decided to sell the property for $1.5 million dollars with half going towards a creative hub for the arts. The building is currently part of an estimated $12 million redevelopment.