Strategic plan

We create a new strategic plan every four years to match with council's term. It identifies our top priorities and how we work towards accomplishing our goals and objectives.

On this page

  1. 2023 to 2026 strategic plan
  2. Past strategic plans

2023 to 2026 strategic plan

Council has approved the 2023-2026 strategic plan, which will define Waterloo's focus over the next four years.

To help develop the strategic plan, we collected feedback from the community through one-on-one interviews, online surveys, workshops and in-person discussions. We connected with:

  • community
  • equity-deserving groups
  • business and organization leaders
  • city council
  • city staff

We also reviewed important city plans and strategies, social and economic data, and current challenges such as COVID recovery, housing and homelessness, sustainability and climate change.

As a result of the process, 6 guiding principles, 5 strategic priorities, 17 objectives and updated mission and vision statements emerged, all of which provide a common focus for council and staff to guide decision-making over the next four years.

View our Engage Waterloo page to see how our strategic plan came to life.

Community vision

Our vision statement is a description of what the community hopes to achieve in the mid to long-term future:

A leader in sustainability and a future-ready community for all.

Corporate mission

Our mission statement answers the following questions: What is the organization? Why does it exist? Who are its customers? What are its services?

To actively engage, collaborate with and respond to Waterloo's diverse community through bold leadership, empathy and accountability.

Guiding principles

Equity and inclusion

We build relationships with First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit Peoples and equity-deserving groups and embrace Reconciliation, equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion.


We plan for the long term, prioritizing sustainability and take meaningful action to address environmental, social and economic goals.


We operate with integrity and transparency, we strive for well-considered comprehensive, responsive, diligent and thoughtful decision-making.

Workplace wellbeing

We commit to promoting wellbeing and providing a healthy, safe and enjoyable work environment for all employees and volunteers of the organization.


We support strong and liveable neighbourhoods, prioritizing community engagement grounded in empathy and understanding.

Operational excellence

We provide fiscally responsible, exceptional service that meets the needs of residents, partners and equity-deserving groups, employees and volunteers of the city.

Strategic priorities and objectives

Reconciliation, equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion

Value that an inclusive city is one that recognizes differences and diversity in planning, decision-making and service delivery for all residents to have equal opportunities and benefits. Through a commitment to Reconciliation, justice, equity and inclusion for all, the city will disrupt and dismantle all forms of discrimination and systemic oppression.


  1. Invest in accessibility and inclusion to enhance belonging
  2. Embed Reconciliation, equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion across the organization
  3. Advance Reconciliation

  4. Action anti-racism

Environmental sustainability and climate action

Become a leader in environmental sustainability practices and climate action by making transformational changes related to city operations and services while working with the community toward climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.


  1. Climate leadership
  2. Environmentally sustainable economy
  3. Environmental sustainability mindset

Complete community

Achieve a high quality of life for all residents and overall community vibrancy through strategic density, diverse housing options and equitably available parks, public spaces and other recreational and cultural amenities.


  1. Invest in arts experiences
  2. Vibrant public spaces
  3. Complete neighbourhoods
  4. Actions to meet community needs

Infrastructure and transportation systems

Expand and support infrastructure and transportation systems in an environmentally and fiscally sustainable manner that provides residents with resilient public infrastructure and sustainable transportation solutions.


  1. Sustainable infrastructure planning
  2. Mobility and a connected community

  3. Investment in active transportation

Innovation and future-ready

Demonstrate resiliency and readiness to do things differently, address social developments and integrate new ideas through collaboration with key partners while continuing to grow a diversified economy and innovation ecosystem.


  1. Support a diversified economy and innovation ecosystem

  2. Partner for social innovation
  3. Digital opportunities for the future

Full strategic plan report

You can read the full strategic plan that was approved by council on June 26, 2023.

Past strategic plans

Past strategic plans are available upon request.

If you require a document in an alternate format, contact 519-747-6064 TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or