Recollections and Imaginings



In 2019, the Charles Street Bus Terminal in downtown Kitchener ended its local bus service, shifting the geography of public gathering spaces. Currently used as a COVID-19 testing facility, people often joke that it will soon be replaced by the next unaffordable condominium in the city. We are a collective of Indigenous leaders from Land Back Camp and allies who are interested in recollecting and imagining a better future for this site.

Why now?

With the COVID-19 testing facility closing in the coming months, the Region of Waterloo is facilitating public consultations to decide the future of the site. As these consultations take place, we recognize the institutional limitations and propose an art-based intervention in the form of a community-led public engagement.

The Ask

We are looking to gather responses from the community around Recollections: to actively remember towards the goal of building a public memory of this place, and Imaginings: to think forward to the futures of this place, grounded in repairing relationships across the past and present, towards just futures.

We ask you to think about and respond to the questions shared below:


What are some of your fondest memories of the old Charles Street Bus Terminal? What friendships and alliances did you build there?


If an Indigenous Community Hub were to replace the terminal, how would you like for this hub to foster relationships and offer support for people (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous)? How could a new hub reference the history of this land and connect to its surroundings?

To recollect and to imagine is a responsibility held by community. We invite you to share your reflections with us (we ask for a limit of 1-2 pages for written submissions). If you would like to engage with this project with an arts-based submission, please submit a description of your work or supporting images to help us understand your story and your vision.

Due to our capacities as a grassroots project, we will only contact you if your submission is selected for the project. If selected, we will contact you to film you telling your story, with the goal of using the footage in a series of short documentaries that will be screened in April 2022 (dates TBD).

The call for submissions closes on March 20th, 2022.

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