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House of Friendship, supported by WalterFedy’s consulting services, is taking a big and exciting step forward on its ShelterCare approach to supporting homeless men in Waterloo Region.

 

The Government of Ontario recently announced capital investments of $8.5M for House of Friendship to advance its innovative ShelterCare program. ShelterCare wraps medical and community services around a housing-first approach to ending cycles of homelessness.

 

“WalterFedy’s partnership has been absolutely pivotal to ShelterCare’s ongoing success,” said Jessica Bondy, director of housing services at House of Friendship. “WalterFedy has blown us away with their willingness to partner, their eagerness to truly understand the needs of the homeless population and the housing sector, and their hustle – without them, this project would be years rather than months in the making.”

 

This funding is part of the province’s Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF), which is an effort to help municipalities and Indigenous program partners support vulnerable groups, including those who are homeless and/or at risk of homelessness in Ontario.

With an anticipated Fall 2022 opening, WalterFedy has created the renovation plans for the former Comfort Inn, adapting it to become a new emergency shelter that will operate 24/7. When renovated, this location will enable House of Friendship to continue to provide the highly successful ShelterCare program, which brings healthcare onsite to help individuals experiencing homelessness become healthier and housed. This new facility is conveniently situated near public transportation, recreational spaces, and job opportunities, and will serve 100 men. In addition to bedrooms, it will include treatment rooms, a primary care medical clinic, common areas for people to engage in intentional programming and spaces for staff to strategize and work together. Participants of ShelterCare will also have access to housing support, meals, and community-based wrap-around healthcare services, including mental health and addiction support.

 

In the supportive housing, affordable housing, and shelter world, there are oftentimes nuanced aspects of design that can significantly impact those the facility serves and employs. As such, WalterFedy has been working closely with House of Friendship staff since March 2021 to employ a trauma-informed design building to meet the unique needs of the program participants.

 

“It has been apparent from the outset that House of Friendship team is bringing decades of experience and passion to the design table,” said Ben Gregory, Project Architect. “They truly care about creating spaces that are inclusive, accessible, restore dignity, mitigate trauma triggers, and respect a broad range of identities and lived-experiences. House of Friendship is a pillar of supporting marginalized peoples in the Waterloo Region community and WalterFedy is proud to support such a respected and impactful organization.”

 

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the design team at WalterFedy,” said Jessica Bondy, Housing Services Director at House of Friendship. “They have taken our ideas and insights to create an innovative design that allows us to implement ShelterCare. We’re delighted to see this dream come to fruition alongside our the WalterFedy team.”

 

Homelessness continues to be a critical issue affecting more than 1,000 people in Waterloo Region. Thanks to the support of the community and generous investments from our municipal and provincial leaders, House of Friendship is well-positioned to provide life-changing resources for those in need of emergency food, housing, addiction treatment, and community support –a vital steppingstone on the path to empowerment and self-sufficiency. 

 

Learn more about the ShelterCare project at 190 Weber here.

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The WalterFedy Canstruction team was hard at work on April 22 at Conestoga Mall building our Olympic-themed creation from cans called, "Win Together, Luge Together." We are so happy to announce that the cans we chose led to WalterFedy being awarded the coveted Best Meal Award from the Food Bank judges!

 

A big thank you to the hard-working Canstruction team for their months of hard work and dedication to bringing this build to life. Another big thank you goes out to everyone at WalterFedy/AEC who supported us in our fundraising efforts over the last two months. We couldn't have done it without you!

 

If you love our build and want to support the team, you can donate to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region via our Donate to Vote page - every dollar we raise on this page goes toward us winning the People's Choice Award AND stamping out hunger in the Waterloo Region. Pretty good bang for your buck!

 


 


  
 

 

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Canada's Top Small and Medium Employers Logo

 

It is with great pleasure that WalterFedy announces the company has achieved Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer (SME) status for the fourth consecutive year. Administered by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the annual awards program recognizes employers across Canada for their exceptional workplace practices and policies, including workplace, atmosphere, social opportunities, benefits, vacation, and training, among other criteria. 

 

“Early in the pandemic, smaller employers were able to respond to employees’ needs quickly and with agility,” says Anthony Meehan, Publisher at Mediacorp. “Once again, small and medium employers are responding with agility by adopting many of the benefits previously seen only at larger, more established organizations.” 

 

In Mediacorp Canada Inc.’s official release, WalterFedy was commended for adapting to better support employees in the pandemic: 

 

“Along with moving all employees to work-from-home arrangements early in the pandemic, Kitchener, Ont.-based WalterFedy let employees take home needed tech and furniture along with introducing a special program to provide interest-free loans (up to $1,000) for home office improvements.”   

 

“We’ve learned we can work differently and want to ensure our employees have the resources and tools to do so,” said Victoria Campbell, Director, Human Resources. “Flexibility and communication continue to be essential elements in our strategy as we navigate through the future of our workplace.” 

 

WalterFedy was also recognized by Mediacorp Canada Inc in January 2022 as a Waterloo Region Top Employer. 

 

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Read the official MediaCorp Release. 

Learn more about WalterFedy’s 2022 award recognition here. 

We are always on the lookout for great candidates. If you are interested in joining our team, you can find a full list of open positions here. 

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WalterFedy was among 25 local businesses recognized as one of Waterloo Area’s Top Employers today. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the firm has made the list, carefully curated by the team at Mediacorp Canada Inc, and the fifth win since 2016.

 

The Waterloo Area’s Top Employers competition is part of the larger Canada’s Top 100 Employers contest, now in its 15th year. Employers are judged on eight criteria – physical workplace, atmosphere and social culture, benefits, vacation/time away policies, employee communications, performance management, professional development opportunities, and community involvement.

 

The staff editors at Mediacorp Canada Inc. cited WalterFedy’s pandemic response and vacation policy in their reasoning for selection. The full employer profile is available here.

 

"Hearing from our employees through regular pulse surveys and open forums helped us understand their changing needs as we moved through different stages of the pandemic," said Victoria Campbell, Director of Human Resources. "We continue to adjust our approaches based on the challenges our employees face. Our hope is to maintain this invaluable open dialogue so we can continue to pivot to the needs of our business and our people."

 

“The past few years have been challenging for businesses across Waterloo Region,” said Garth Cressman, CEO. “That we were able to maintain our culture amid a pandemic without compromising on the programs and supports we could offer really speaks to our people. Despite the adversity and uncertainty presented by the pandemic, they continued to drive us forward and challenge us to rethink the workplace.”

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December 20, 2021

Effective Monday, December 20, 2021, WalterFedy/AEC has shifted to Working from Home following guidance from the Province of Ontario and local health authorities. We will continue to be available via email Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to serve our clients.

 

August 2, 2021

With restrictions beginning to lift, we have opened our office to visitors by appointment only. Guests will be required to wear a mask and complete a pre-screening form prior to entering the building.

 

April 7, 2021

Following the Province’s state of emergency announcement on April 7, WalterFedy and AEC Developments is closing our office and employees will be working remotely until the end of the lockdown order. Our staff will continue to be available via email Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to serve our clients.

 

October 13, 2020

WalterFedy continues to follow the guidelines of the Province and has kept most of our workforce at home. Our Reception is closed to visitors until further notice and all client meetings are being held virtually. We will continue to be available via email Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to serve our clients.

 

March 31, 2020

With the announcement from Premier Ford extending the state of emergency in Ontario for at least another two weeks, and Minister Lecce announcing schools will remain closed until the end of April, WalterFedy has decided to keep our workforce at home until at least May 4, 2020, as well. All employees who are able will continue to work from home as they have been for the last few weeks. We will continue to be available via email Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to serve our clients.

 

March 17, 2020

WalterFedy and AEC Developments are continuing to work hard to meet the needs of our clients during this extremely difficult time. Information around the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, and we continue to monitor the updates and developments as they are released. In a step to protect the health and safety of our staff and clients, WalterFedy and AEC Developments is closing our office and employees will be working remotely until at least April 6, 2020. Our staff will continue to be available via email Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to serve our clients.
 

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And just like that, after seven fantastic weeks, our 70+ Acts of Good campaign has come to an end. When we set out to celebrate WalterFedy’s 70th Anniversary, we knew we had to do something that would include and benefit the community around us.

 

In the final three weeks, we covered a lot of ground, including purchasing 70 trees through the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) to be planted in the Waterloo Region via their Give Grand program. This isn’t the first time we’ve teamed up with the GRCA and we hope to work with them again to help plant some of those trees!

 

After a successful run at Community Fridge KW, we connected with  Community Fridges Hamilton to fill up the Beasley Fridge in Downtown Hamilton for three days. Like their Kitchener counterpart, Community Fridges Hamilton provides 24/7 low-barrier access to free food provided entirely by the community. We were happy to play a small part in filling their fridges for a week and look forward to supporting them again in the future.

 

We also purchased seven essential items from YWCA's wish list for their affordable and supportive housing project on Block Line. We’ve been providing project management services to this project and were happy to give back and help support this project that is so important to the Waterloo Region.

We wrapped up the campaign by delivering 401lbs of food and $915 to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. That translates to 3,060 meals to help feed our hungry neighbours. In Hamilton, our team rallied to provide an assortment of festive gifts that will be distributed to people in need this holiday season through the Good Shepherd. 

 

We’re sad that the campaign is over, but after a long 2021, this was the perfect way to end the year. We might be 70, but we’re feeling spritely heading into 2022 . We look forward to finding new and exciting ways to live out our core value of community building! 

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We’re halfway through our 70 Acts of Good to celebrate our 70th Anniversary and we want to tell you what we’ve been up to! We shared our full plan in a blog at the end of October and we are very excited about what we have accomplished so far.

 

We started by kicking off a six-week food drive in our Kitchener office for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. We’ve been closely connected to the organization for many years through food drives and our yearly Canstruction builds, so including the Food Bank in this initiative was an easy decision. We’ve already smashed our goal of 70lbs of food and we keep adding more to our collection! We also launched a food and gift drive in support of Good Shepherd in Hamilton. We’ve supported Good Shepherd initiatives since we first arrived in Hamilton in 2015.

 

With a change of seasons on the horizon, we turned our attention to those most impacted by the cooler temperatures and donated the monetary equivalent of 70 pairs of socks to ToastyToes Waterloo Region. This annual program helps local shelters support our most vulnerable residents with clear, warm socks – the most requested item by people accessing their services.

 

We teamed up with Community Fridge KW to fill their community fridge for four days earlier in October and it was our first time being involved with this grass-roots organization. They are directly supporting those in need in our community and their new location outside of the Kitchener Market now has a pantry set up to go along with the fridge. If you’re at the Kitchener Market, please consider buying a little extra and adding it to the fridge.

 

Every Wednesday on our Instagram account we are hosting raffles to support local small businesses in Kitchener and Hamilton. Winners from KW win Downtown Kitchener BIA Downtown Dollars and winners from Hamilton chose businesses through the Hamilton Hometown Hub and have picked Bread Bar, Blooms Fresh, Merit Brewing and Hambrgr so far.

 

Last week we hosted a week-long contest for community members to nominate frontline workers to win a free lunch on us. We sent lunch to seven people who’ve worked throughout the pandemic to keep us safe and much-needed services open. Thank you to all the winners!

 

This week we made donations of cat food to both The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth and the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA. We hope there are some very happy kitties today!

 

We have three more weeks in our 70 Acts of Good campaign and we can’t wait to share what else we have been working on!

 

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The year is 1951. Kitchener is nearly 45,000 people strong with a vibrant shopping district, a healthy textile industry, and a newly erected Memorial Auditorium Complex. The city is booming, and eager to support a metropolis on the rise, our founders Herman Walter and Bill Roberts open a mechanical and electrical engineering firm. Tucked in an understated office on Francis Street with only a handful of staff, the two would launch HK Walter & Associates — a firm that, in the years that followed, would grow to include architecture, full-service engineering, and construction management, undergo three name changes, employ hundreds of staff, expand to three offices, and help weave the remarkable tapestry that is Waterloo Region and beyond.

 

It’s now 2021. Kitchener’s population has soared to 571,000 people, and the textile manufacturing facilities that drove the economy in the 50s have since been transformed into start-ups, tech hubs, and trendy apartments. The office space where it all started has since been wiped from the map and is now a vacant parking lot and future site of a 44-storey glass monolith. In our 70 years of business, there isn’t much that hasn’t changed, but one important thing remains: we continue to have the privilege of shaping the communities we call home through our work.

 

As we reflect on our history, we can happily recount the projects that helped put us on the map. But anniversaries, at their core, are more than a list of accomplishments. They are a celebration of a beautiful relationship. And so, as we celebrate our 70th year in business, we turn our attention to the community that has trusted us to play a leading role in enhancing the world around them, and in so doing have provided meaningful employment for so many. Thank you.

 

“In the past 70 years, WalterFedy has had many incredible employees grace our hallways to help build us into the company we are today,” says Garth Cressman. CEO. “We wouldn’t be where we are without the people who helped us grow and the community that supported us in that growth for the past 70 years.”

 

In honour of our anniversary, we will be performing 70+ Acts of Good in our community from now until December. It is one small way we can demonstrate our gratitude for the communities that continue to inspire and support the work we do.

 

  • Buying lunch for 7 frontline workers
  • Giving away 7 gift certificates to support local businesses in Kitchener and Hamilton
  • Buying 7 bags of cat food for the KW Humane Society and 7 more for the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA
  • Buying 7 essential household items for the YWCA supportive and affordable housing project
  • Filling up the community fridges in Kitchener and Hamilton for 7 days
  • Cleaning up 7 parks before the snowfall
  • Raise 70 lbs of food and donate 70 meals to the Waterloo Region Food Bank and the Hamilton Food Share
  • Planting 70 trees through the Grand River Conservation Foundation
  • Donating funds for the equivalent of 70 pairs of socks to the Toasty Toes Campaign


Keep up with us on Instagram and LinkedIn to engage with and follow our campaign.

 

WalterFedy’s History

1951 – HK Walter and Associates is formed, offering mechanical and electrical engineering services

1969 – Structural and civil engineering services are added to our offerings while HK Walter and Associates becomes Walter Fedy McCargar Hachborn

1971 – Architects Horton & Ball Ltd join our team

1974 – Construction management services are added, allowing us to provide start to finish design and construction services to our clients

1991 - Walter Fedy McCargar Hachborn becomes the Walter Fedy Partnership

2011 – The team moves to a new LEED CI Certified office and becomes WalterFedy

2014- AEC Developments is created to independently manage the construction management arm of the business

2015 – WalterFedy opens a new office in Hamilton with mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineers. Energy and Carbon Solutions is added to our service offerings.

2018 – Architecture is added to the suite of services offered in Hamilton

2019 – The Hamilton Team gets a new consolidated home in the downtown core

2021 – WalterFedy commits to achieving Beyond Zero Carbon, offsetting all carbon emissions plus an additional 10%. We also open a new office in Toronto.

 

 

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Morwick Groundwater Research Centre

 

The Morwick Groundwater Research Centre, designed by the architecture and engineering team at WalterFedy, has received Outstanding Project status for excellence in educational facility design in the Fall 2021 edition of LEARNING BY DESIGN.

 

The publication features eighty-one recently completed educational facilities across North America, vetted by a panel of six architects and facility professionals. The scoring criteria included several pillars crucial to learning environment excellence, including transparency, connectivity, safety, sustainability, great interiors, purposeful design, and sophistication.


The judges offered the following comment:
"The Net Zero Carbon approach is commendable, something for which the community can be grateful for, which benefits society as a whole. Preserving the existing barn is tremendously beneficial to the environment, as are the other measures indicated. Exposed structure becomes a theme and a point of continuity between program spaces. The building is appropriately scaled and reflects the nature of the earth-science focus.” 

 

About the Morwick Groundwater Research Centre

The Morwick Groundwater Research Centre was designed to generate global respect for groundwater. The expanded facility will allow the University of Guelph to increase and intensify their efforts to conduct leading-edge groundwater education, training, technology advancement, and research. The Centre will be an important multi-functional hub for groundwater-related activities, operating as a teaching and research facility for students and faculty, a venue
for collaboration between the University and industry and investment partners, and a public education resource.

The design reflects the concept of vernacular architecture, leveraging local, natural materials to connect the building to the lands on which it is built. Low-profile, sloped rooves tie the addition into the pre-existing context creating a harmonious juxtaposition between the built and natural environment. Expansive windows throughout the facility invite natural light into the space and remind staff, students, and researchers of the direct link between their work and the world around them. Slate and neutral tones dominate the interior, with subtle rock and wood accents to bring the beauty of the outside into the working and learning environment. 


The facility was designed to be Net Zero Carbon and uses no natural gas. Instead, the design leverages an air-sourced heat pump for heating and cooling. The solar panel will provide enough power for interior lighting demand with additional battery storage to store excess power. Insulation in the building surpasses Ontario Building Code requirements by 50%.

 

 

View the original press release here.
View an e-version of the magazine here.

Learn more about the Morwick Groundwater Research Centre

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This year marks our 8th annual year participating in the Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) tournament to help raise funds in support of five local charities. This year, Lutherwood, House of Friendship, Cambridge Shelter Corporation, oneROOF Youth Services, and YW K-W Emergency Shelter will split the funds raised at the tournament, set to take place on Friday, October 29th.

 

Our Team Captain, Patrick Darby, has been involved with HHTH since WalterFedy began participating in 2014. When asked why he joined the team all those years ago, he had many reasons. “First and foremost, I share WalterFedy’s corporate value of community involvement,” he shares. “It’s also a great opportunity for our employees to come together to support important fundraising initiatives in the community.”

 

This year, the day of the tournament will be structured a little differently, but that hasn’t dampened any of the anticipation for gameday. “With current Public Health guidelines in place, the tournament will look a little different but that won’t stop us from enjoying the day,” said Patrick. “With the cancellation of last year’s tournament, we’re eager to hit the ice this year.”

 

In past years, our HHTH team organized various fundraising events in the office to help meet the team’s fundraising goal. Because of COVID-19, the team has been unable to host their usual events like the much-anticipated company barbecue, jeans and jersey day, and bake sale. This has forced our participants to double down on their individual fundraising efforts to meet the team’s fundraising goal of $15,000.

 

In addition to organizing the team and fundraising leading up to the event, as Captain, Patrick is also responsible for team coordination on the day of the tournament. But it can’t be all work and no play for the team. “I really like hockey, so this is a natural fit for me,” explained Patrick.

 

We couldn’t complete our interview without asking Patrick if WalterFedy has ever brought home the winning trophy. “Well no. But it doesn’t matter! It’s not the driver behind why we’re there. It’s about hitting the ice to support local organizations doing great work in our community.”

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