Kitchener Wins and Loses Prestigious Architectural Award

The Ontario Organization of Architects (OOA) recently visited Kitchener to present an award for outstanding architecture to the city of Kitchener.

“The award is presented annually to cities that demonstrate architectural imagination in the construction of their public buildings,” said Harold Trevors, a member of OOA and the delegate who came to Kitchener to present the award. “We felt that the geometrical futurist entrance way was a fantastic juxtaposition against the inspiration-less city hall. It really made a statement.”

Citizens examine and feel introspective about the new entrance way to city hall.

Citizens examine and feel introspective about the new entrance way to city hall.

Kitchener mayor, Berry Vrbanovic, was present at Carl Zehr Square for the award ceremony.

“I think the new entrance way speaks a lot about the unique cultural heritage of the city, and the great people who make it what it is,” he announced to a crowd who had gathered there for the ceremony.

But the ceremony was cancelled when Trevors arrived, trophy in hand, only to discover that the new entrance way had mysteriously vanished.

“We carried the trophy all the way from Toronto — it’s really heavy and shiny — and then when we got to Kitchener the super cool structure wasn’t even there anymore.”

Mayor Vrbanovic tried to calm an increasingly disturbed crowd that had gathered at city hall for the ceremony but they erupted in outrage when Trevors announced that he was repealing the award, “because you can’t win an architectural award for invisible architecture.”

Waterloo Honk staff interviewed Trevors before he returned to Toronto. “It’s really unfortunate,” he commented, “especially given this city’s history of very poor decisions regarding the construction and destruction of its city halls. You know what I think? I think that Kitchener does need a team of architectural heroes, reborn in the gentrified remnants of its downtown heritage.” 

Vrbanovic was equally downtrodden. “That trophy was so big. Man, I wish we could find the entrance way. They didn’t even know that it even had its own pyrotechnics. Way cool.”

September School Opening in Question, but Not Why You Think

Waterloo Region Schools may not be opening on September 8th as planned, but the reason is surprising, and a little odd. It’s not because of potential teacher’s union action, or because of the eternal construction. No. It’s because too many students may still be grieving One Direction’s ‘hiatus.’

Psychologists recommend keeping broken-hearted children home

Stephen Harper was visibly devastated at the news of One Direction’s 2016 hiatus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Waterloo Honk spoke with musicologist, psychologist, and boybandologist Dr. Jackson Osmonds of The University of Waterloo’s new Celebrity Faculty. “When boy bands break up, or ‘go on hiatus,’ it can have a very damaging effect on the tiny underdeveloped brains of youngsters. Their lives, their very world view, is crumbling around them. People often think of things like graduation, marriage, etcetera as being significant life events. Our research is showing that when the de jure boy band dissolves it’s a damaging developmental event. We should definitely coddle these heart-broken children. Show them pictures of soft, cuddly, non-threatening looking people or things. Perhaps wombats wearing those little ballerina skirts. Or some beautiful per-pubescent youth holding a hedgehog.”

When Osmonds was asked what he thought the impact the heart-break would have on the pre-teens as school begins he said: “school is the last place they should be at this time. Right now thinking will be very difficult for any pre-teen undergoing boy band induced heart-break. Thinking critically would be very painful for their splodgy, hormone-addled little cerebrums. Writing, for example, would be difficult, not just because the incessant sobbing makes it hard to see, but also because most standard issue inks begin to run when exposed to tears.”

Dr. Osmonds and his research group are meeting with the Region School Board tomorrow to give expect advice regarding school closures.

Stephen Harper commits Canada to joint task force

As soon as the band confirmed their one year hiatus Prime Minster Stephen Harper took a break from campaigning somewhere outside Lindsay, Ontario to announced that Canadian specialists were joining an international task force to aid grieving pre-teens with the end of their collective crush.

“Canadians did not invent the threat of boy band heart-break, and we certainly did not invite it. We, as Canadians, are proud to give our values, families, and strength with the world. In fact, among the nations of the world, we have been one of the biggest providers of heart-break relief assistance.”

The PM finished his speech by pumping his fist in the air and yelling “Canada Strong!” while trying to get the gathered reporters to join him.

“As the king of Stephen Harper’s Canada, I’m putting out an open call to Justin Bieber. Justin, it’s time to do your due diligence to Stephen Harper’s Canada. Work the magic of your beautiful boy band hair, and promise to visit each and every heart-broken tween. Please Justin. Stephen Harper’s Canada needs you now more than ever, for the first time.”

The Waterloo Honk wants to know: would you send your pre-teen to school if they are 1D heart-broken?

$500K in Damages After UW Engineering Student’s Ego Inflates, Explodes

Yesterday afternoon the ego of a 1st year electrical engineering student inflated to the point of explosion, causing $500K in damages to the Douglas Wright building at University of Waterloo.

No one was physically harmed in the explosion.

Tyler Wright’s Last Words

Engineers use gears to make stuff sometimes. Photo by Diacritica (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Engineers use gears to make stuff sometimes. Photo by Diacritica (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

His last words before exploding? “You’ll see! I’ll get a job right after graduating and I’ll make 10 times as much as you,” he shrieked to his Chemistry professor, unprovoked.

“As soon as he mentioned how much money he would make after graduation, I knew his ego was about to explode,” says hero Dr. Robert Wing. “I’ve seen explosions like this before, at least a  couple times every semester. He was exhibiting all the warning signs.”

The 45 year-old professor was alarmed when his student started yelling in the middle of his lecture on Bioinorganics.

“I’d never seen him before.” In fact, records show that he regularly skipped class to binge-watch Entourage.

Damage Sustained to the Arts

The majority of the damage was contained to a priceless work of abstract art in which Tyler Wright punched a hole. He screamed, “a five year old could have made this,” and blew a loud raspberry at it before fleeing the scene.

Engineer Ego Epidemic

“The ego explosion is inevitable, when you think of the contributing compounds. These kids are told that if they want to be successful in life, all they have to do is take engineering courses. They believe that all of them will get high-paying, low-stress jobs immediately upon graduating – even in what is now a completely oversaturated job market. Add in their young age and general air of entitlement? Hell, I wish there was an engineering job out there for me,” says The Chemistry Professor.

Tyler Wright was unharmed in the explosion but was unavailable for comment. However one of our staff members saw him rage-dropping tomatoes at the grocery store this morning.

Do you know an Engineering student in danger?

If an engineering student exhibits any 3 of the following signs, he or she may be in danger of an ego explosion:

  • Refers to self as “an engineer” before graduation
  • Only hangs out with other engineers, or Arts students “if they’re hot”
  • Constantly complaining about having to study while making fun of other faculties for never studying
  • Misogyny
  • Feels no concern for future, in spite of engineer job drought
  • Tells his friends that his 1st co-op made him “feel really important”
  • Knows ring size by heart
  • Refers to every elective as a bird course
  • Doesn’t believe in “The Wage Gap”
  • Doesn’t believe in “grammar”
  • Draws genitalia anywhere and everywhere
  • Incessant diarrhea

Remember, not all engineers have experienced these symptoms. Some are brilliant shining stars of humility and well-researched job prospects. But if you see someone in danger of explosion, do not approach them. Make sure the student has a clear escape route, then back away slowly and speak in commanding tones. Do not run, as this may trigger an egotistical response in the student. Do not climb trees as engineering students are expert tree climbers.

Stay safe out there kids.

KW Comment Section Officially Worst Place For Women in Canada

Dozens of Kitchener-Waterloo women have been going about their daily lives, without realizing the horrors that surround them.

The Canadian Institute for Comment Sections released a study revealing that 95% of comments on Kitchener-Waterloo local news Facebook pages are offensive to women. They also revealed that comments made by women on local news sites received 70% less support than comments made by men, and that women whose profile picture included either a newborn baby or a book received even less support.

Worst City in Canada To Be a Women on Facebook

President of CICS, Kira Gawk, explained the motivation behind the study. “We’ve been monitoring Canadian comment sections since before the internet was born – sharpie scribbles on bathroom stalls, community bulletin boards, people talking on the bus – it’s only in the last month that we really starting digging into Facebook comments.”

CICS was inspired by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, who recently appointed Kitchener-Waterloo as the worst city in Canada to be a woman. Their study was based on economic security, reports of domestic violence, and stress levels. Kira Gawk’s study, on the other hand, was based on what she calls “a powerful online currency:” Facebook likes.

…But a Woman Conducted the Study

Many have questioned the validity of the study – how can we trust the word of Kira Gawk, a self-proclaimed woman?

“I knew people would be hesitant to accept the results of a biased, gendered, human being. So I holed up in my office and spent a week creating Kobold – a non-gendered computer program who does all the analytical dirty work.”

Kobold primarily analyzes comments on local news Facebook pages, considering the reported gender of the posters, occurrences of offensive language, content of profile picture, feminimity of name, and ranks support based on number of likes per comment.  It scours the internet every morning and reports back with ranked list of Canadian cities. According to the official report, Kitchener-Waterloo consistently ranks as the worst.

What’s next for Kira? “This project has become much bigger than just for CICS. I’m working on a new program that will tackle the complicated issue of negativity towards those who do not identify with a gender on Facebook. I’m really hoping that these studies will cause a decrease in senseless aggressive language and hateful attitudes.”

KW Facebook Commenters Do Not Agree

We took to the net and collected a few of the comments in response to Kira Gawk’s study.

“no offense but Ive never met a girl who could make a highly functional program like that.. its not prejudice its just a fact,” says Joshua Tyler, who later added that he’s a hiring manager in the tech industry and has interviewed too many “girls who didn’t look like they would know how to turn a computer on, let alone send an email.”

“see this is proof theres no such thing as a wage gap dumb broads like her just chose failing careers LOL,” comments a Facebook user by the name of Tennis Racket.

“Typical chick, naming a computer program,” says Maluuba Siri.

“I bet this Kira chick is one of those girls who thinks she’s allowed to walks around topless HAhaha no self-respect probably so dumb” contributes Tennis Racket again.

What do you think of Kira Gawk’s study? Let us know in the comments.

LRT Construction to Continue Indefinitely

Grandlinq contractors and region officials gathered at Kitchener City Hall Friday to celebrate a momentous announcement for the region’s LRT system…and commuters. Plans were unveiled to keep the region in a permanent state of LRT construction.

“This new, extended project will put Kitchener-Waterloo on the map,” explained Grandlinq spokesperson Robert T. Builder, as he gestured to a Map of Southern Ontario Cities People Have Heard Of.  “We intend to build the tallest-ever LRT in the world

Never-Ending Construction

This announcement has been expected ever since Waterloo’s Caroline Street was officially declared “under construction forever.” The celebrations featured an LRT-shaped cake and legendary Debrodnik’s donuts.

Fake News Waterloo LRT Construction

Approximately 2,591 construction vehicles have found a permanent new home in KW. Photo by George Socka from Toronto, Canada (Building demolition machine Komatsu 450 CLAWS) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

“Personally, I’m quite excited to hear the news”, said area resident Summer Straphanger.  “It will keep my daily commute fresh and exciting.  I really like how I never know what detours, road closures or short-turns to expect next.”

Straphanger lives in Waterloo, and takes the bus daily to and from her workplace in downtown Kitchener.

“The other day I was sitting on the iXpress hoping to get to Uptown Square in Waterloo.  Then, all of a sudden, whoops!  The bus makes a left on Erb street.  I was so surprised I took the bus all the way to Cambridge.  It was such an adventure!”

Chain Businesses Will Be Fine

University of Waterloo student Diana Porter was also present. Porter is the head of a team of researchers from the School of Planning working with the region to study whether Kitchener’s downtown core will continue to see rising rent prices for commercial spaces, despite the ongoing construction.

“It’s really a strange phenomenon we’ve seen already, with rent for commercial spaces increasing even during LRT construction, and even before the population density required to support potential businesses for these spaces is present,” Porter said, referring to the increased density expected to be brought by the new condo towers and other planned developments near the downtown core.

“We’re not sure what to expect now, given plans for an indefinite state of construction.   Perhaps rent prices will continue to increase indefinitely as well.”

Builder, who expects closing local businesses will make way for brand-name chain stores, thinks it will make Kitchener a more welcoming place for visitors from Toronto and elsewhere.

“If I live in a suburb, and I drive to a box mall to do my shopping, I’d like that I can go all the way to downtown Kitchener and buy the exact same stuff from the exact same stores out there.”  Builder says.

“We can replace all the local business with signs indicating where they used to be.”

Additional LRT Attractions: Roller Coasters?

With the new LRT construction plans, rail lines will eventually be installed in every road in the region, with some routes even featuring multiple sets of rails.

The largest and most expensive development is a planned six million square-foot GRT-themed theme park at the Conestoga Mall end of the line.  Transit users will be allowed entry to the park with the presentation of valid proof of ticket payment.

The park will come complete with a 94 meter high “RolLRT-coaster”, and a “House of Wave Hand Here Doors”, full of the automatic rear doors of GRT bus fame, some of which open, and some of which never do.

“We have had people ask us if this is really something we can do,” said Builder to the gathered audience, many holding balloon animals riding balloon trains.

“Well, as Grandlinq spokesperson, its my job to tell them, yes.  Yes we can.”

Kanye Interrupts Taylor Swift Midterm at University of Waterloo

Originally posted to Flickr by Jason Persse at

Originally posted to Flickr by Jason Persse at

What do Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Kim Kardashian have in common? They each have their very own course featured in the new Celebrity Faculty at The University of Waterloo.

The Waterloo Celebrity Faculty

Thousands of current students have already abandoned their majors to join the new Celebrity Faculty. Brandy Rice says, “I’ve always told my friends ‘If only I could get marks for knowing all the lyrics to Katy Perry songs.’ Finally academia that actually applies to real life! Plus the Celeb Faculty has the best parties. I’m so glad my parents forced me to come here.”

Kanye West Intervenes

However, the new faculty has also been attracting some controversial attention. This Wednesday, Kanye West interrupted a class writing their Taylor Swift midterm with some startling news.

“Imma let you let you finish,” said Kanye to the 22 students frantically writing out song lyrics, “but Beyonce has one of the best courses of all time!”

Kanye was escorted from the room while yelling, “Don’t touch me, I am a god! And I’m a proud nonreader of books!”

Reports of Kanye’s presence on campus began to spread after a Kanye-shaped helicopter landed atop the Dana Porter library, knocking off the all-season Christmas star.

Anthony Green had this to say of the incident, “I was just chillin in the library scrolling through Instagram, trying to study for CELEB 102 The Stars Go Social, when I heard a huge thuncking sound from above. At first I was all mad, but then I was like oh Yeezy. What you gonna think up next.”

Kanye University?

An alleged organization called Kanye University has been up and running for many years. There are no required readings, no professors, no exams, and no South Park. Only Kanye.

What courses would you like to see in University of Waterloo’s new Celebrity Faculty?

Public Transit Claims Rider’s Dignity

This winter the motion sensor doors, installed on many Grand River Transit buses, have claimed another victim: the dignity of some riders.

“It was embarrassing”

Ahmed Matherson, 43, requested a stop, and proceeded towards the backdoor. When the bus pulled up to his stop he waved his hand in front of the door, moved it up and down with his palm open, and even pushed on the green sign, all to no avail. The bus moved on and the same thing happened at the next stop, and the next. A line of people all trying to get off grew behind him. “It was embarrassing. I felt embarrassed by my door incompetence,” said Matherson, “I started to doubt my own existence, you know? If I can’t operate a motion sensor door, am I a real person? Do I have agency? It was a really dark moment for me.”

From the Public Transit Board of Ontario 2009 report on Existentialism among riders. Recent polls indicate numbers may be higher than shown.

From the Public Transit Board of Ontario 2009 report on Existentialism among riders. Recent polls indicate numbers may be higher than shown.

Existential Crises

Matherson, it seems, is not alone. A 2009 report published by the Public Transit Board of Ontario has shown that GRT riders show a higher than normal levels of existentialism among riders in comparison to other cities in Ontario. The Tri-City area scored a whopping 13 on the Camus-Hamlet Scale of Transit Induced Existentialism. The next closest transit area was Greater Sudbury with a score of 10. Oddly, the Owen Sound Transit system scored only 2.5, indicating either it’s riders are more mentally resilient, or simply that it is not used. Dr. Maria Goldbaum of the Lyle S. Hallman School of Social Work at WLU told The Honk “I dealt with many existential breakdowns, on a monthly basis, all through the winter. So much so that I have developed Motion Sensor Therapy.” The therapy mainly involves walking through the main door of Dr. Goldbaum’s office, but she says she also plans on working with a motion activated light she found in a basement washroom. “These are very exciting times in Motion Sensor Therapy!”

GRT Response

This is not the first time people have been stuck on a GRT bus because of dysfunctional doors. Two years ago 23 people were trapped for several hours on a bus. No one was available for comment from the GRT, but they did say in a generic email that the motion sensor doors are slowly being replaced by doors with push bars, which they hope will alleviate the problem. Matherson, however, is not as hopeful. “What’s the use of it all?”

What do you think? We’d love to hear from you, just write out your thoughts in the comment section below.