About DNA

The Downtown Neighbourhood Alliance of Neighbourhood Associations (DNA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that incorporates several neighbourhoods in and around downtown Kitchener, Ontario. Since 2005, the Downtown Neighbourhood Alliance has been committed to coordinating community programs at the Downtown Community Centre in Kitchener, and acts as a forum for common issues for these neighbourhoods.

The non-profit volunteer neighbourhood groups that collaborate with DNA include:

The Central Frederick Neighbourhood Association is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for the residents of CFNA. They represent about 1700 households in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. This area is primarily residential with a mix of housing styles, apartments, some small businesses, a park and the Frederick Street Plaza – one of the first plazas in Kitchener.

The Olde Berlin Town Neighbourhood Association, bounded by Weber, Victoria, Lancaster and Frederick streets, is rich with cultural and historical significance. They aim to foster pride in their neighbourhood, maintain a safe community and promote community awareness. Arts, culture and entertainment abound with The Centre in the Square, Art Gallery, Library and historical gaol [aka jail] nearby on Queen Street -the birthplace of Waterloo Region. Many beautiful homes owned by industrialists from the ‘Busy Berlin’ era are still maintained as family residences in this community-minded neighbourhood. Most of the area is designated as the Civic Centre Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association centres around Victoria Park, so-named for Queen Victoria and is the first park in Kitchener. They are the first Heritage Conservation District designated by the city. It is a popular residential area with large, beautiful, single-family detached homes, more modest homes, multipleunit homes, condominiums and rental units. There are also businesses, shops, bakeries, social support organizations, a health clinic, a senior citizens home, churches, and Joseph Schneider House Museum and Gallery and National Historic Site (built in 1816 – Kitchener’s oldest building). Boundaries are Queen Street South, Joseph, Victoria, Highland and West. As well as partnering with DNA, they sponsor a few independent programs at DCC and are committed to making their neighbourhood a better place to live.

The boundaries for the Cedar Hill Community Group are Benton, St. George, Queen, Courtland, Madison, and King Streets. This grass roots community was originally called Sand Hills and it overlooks main street Kitchener. They promote a safe and healthy community through regular inclusive interaction. A number of locations have historical significance in this long-established neighbourhood. In addition to supporting the principles of DNA, this community sponsors programs at the Mill-Courland Community Centre.

The Auditorium Neighbourhood Association is ringed on one side by the Conestoga Parkway and by Weber Street East, Krug and Ottawa Streets. Near the hub of this grand residential community is “The Aud”. The association promotes community pride and social activities, and encourages vigorous citizen participation in all issues affecting the neighbourhood.

The King East Neighbourhood is located in and around the Market District with boundaries of King East, Cedar, Weber and Stirling Avenue. This primarily residential area borders the East entrance to Downtown Kitchener with the renowned Kitchener Market as one of its focal points.

The Mt. Hope Neighbourhood located on the West side of downtown Kitchener is part of the Mt. HopeBreithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association. The train station is nearby and the proposed Light Rail Transit seems to be spurring growth as many structural changes are occurring, such as a huge condo development, in this long-established residential downtown community. Their annual Jane’s Walk tour highlights the old Fire Hall #2, Little City Farm, and Mt. Hope cemetery that holds the key to many great stories of early settlers, businessmen and former slaves who are all buried there – a great way to learn the history of Kitchener.