Waterloo community association wants to curb partying ahead of homecoming

MacGregor-Albert Community Association held a barbecue in the uptown Waterloo neighbourhood aimed at University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University students, as well as community members on Sunday to, in part, curb the partying ahead of homecoming. 

Homecoming begins this week at Laurier with a series of events hosted by the university, but despite efforts to stop unsanctioned events last year, the partying happened anyway. According to the Waterloo Regional Police Service, 183 charges were laid and 11 people were arrested during last year’s homecoming.

Kae Elgie, a board member with MacGregor-Albert Community Association, has lived in the neighbourhood for 41 years. (James Chaarani/CBC)

Kae Elgie, a board member with the association who helped organize the event, said that a big motivation behind the event is for everybody to get to know each other, learn to coexist, develop respect for one another — and ultimately curb the partying.   

“There’s a reason we do it ahead of homecoming,” said Elgie, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 41 years.  

“I want us to meet them and them to meet us. And to kind of appreciate that we all want to live together and not be [woken] up by crying babies or loud parties.” 

Also in attendance were some local politicians, including Waterloo Mayor Dorothy McCabe, and organizations like Waterloo Fire Department, Municipal Bylaw Enforcement and KW Urban Native Wigwam Project. The barbecue returned to the community after a four-year hiatus. 

Do these events work?

Elgie believes that these types of events do have impact, despite the unsanctioned events continuing.

“They definitely help on an individual level,” she said. “And I think what’s been good on a larger level is the cooperation between the city, Laurier, the police, bylaw, the special constables of UW — you know, all these people.”

“I think it’s definitely helping and I hope that we haven’t just pushed the problem somewhere else. I don’t think we have.”    

Gabby Alexander and two of her roommates sitting on a curb at Sunday's barbecue.
Third year Laurier student, Gabby Alexander (right), with her two roommates at Sunday’s barbecue. (James Chaarani/CBC)

Gabby Alexander, a third year exchange student from London, England, now studying at Laurier was in attendance on Sunday, and thinks that an event like this could help curb partying and develop relationships.

“So you come home late at night, you’re much less likely to be annoying and incredibly loud if you think, ‘Okay, my next door neighbour has kids, they’re trying to sleep, I’m going to shut up when I get into the house.'”

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