Mayor Dave Jaworsky Reflects On The Passing Of Former Waterloo Mayor Marjorie Carroll

By: Kw Now Local News
| Published 10/26/2020

Waterloo Mayor Marjorie Carroll in 1987 (Courtesy of the City of Waterloo)

Mayor Dave Jaworsky Reflects On The Passing Of Former Waterloo Mayor Marjorie Carroll

'Marjorie was a trailblazer serving as the first woman mayor in the city’s history'

It is with great sadness I have learned about the passing of former city Mayor Marjorie Carroll.

Marjorie was a trailblazer in our community, serving as the first female mayor in the city’s history. She also holds the distinction of being the City of Waterloo’s longest serving mayor, having held the position from 1977 to 1988. Equally as impressive is that Marjorie ran uncontested in three mayoralty elections – which is a testament to the confidence residents had in her leadership and vision for the city.

Her political career began in 1974 when she was first elected as a councillor. Marjorie’s style of leadership, along with her openness and accessibility, was greatly appreciated by staff. Waterloo’s first female mayor was affectionately known to many as “Mrs. Waterloo”, often seen driving her sporty red and white Firebird throughout the streets of Waterloo. Her administration was noted for their business-like efficiency and pro-business stance. In total, she served the community as an elected official for 14 years.

The city enjoyed a number of notable accomplishments during her tenure, including the development of Glasgow Heights subdivision, along with the expansion of the Beechwood, Lakeshore and Lincoln Village subdivisions. In the early 1980s, designations of historically and architecturally significant buildings took on an important role in Waterloo. Council recognized the need to preserve its historic foundations in a rapidly changing city, while carefully considering Waterloo’s future growth. In 1982, Waterloo celebrated its 125th anniversary. Mayor Carroll and council hosted many anniversary events, including a parade and a free sausage on a bun lunch for citizens, sliced from a 7.5-meter long Piller’s sausage.

Marjorie saw the city through the opening of the Seagram Museum (Waterloo’s first core area museum), the Rink-in-the-Park skating facility, and the Bechtel Park soccer facility. A student housing task force was also struck to deal with ongoing university housing concerns, while accessibility and smoke-free workplace bylaws were approved by council. Under her leadership, she also ushered in greater use of technology in the city’s administration by equipping staff with desktop computers for the first time.

Marjorie was also a nurse and she and her husband Glenn had two daughters. Her valuable contributions were recognized with the naming of a courtyard outside of Waterloo City Centre In addition, the birthing centre at the Grand River Hospital was renamed the Marjorie Carroll Childbirth Centre. A nursing lecture hall at Conestoga College was also named in her honour and she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Our city is a better place thanks to her energy and contributions. On behalf of my council colleagues and residents of the city, I extend my condolences to Marjorie’s family and friends.