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Activa Neighbourhood in Kitchener

It’s time for another one of WRX Property Group’s renowned explorations of the neighbourhoods of Kitchener-Waterloo! Today, we’ll be looking at the Activa neighbourhood in Kitchener.

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The Activa neighbourhood is part of the broader Laurentian Area of western Kitchener. The Laurentian area stretches from central Kitchener to its western boundary with the Township of Wilmot. The Laurentian area’s borders are roughly defined by Courland Avenue East and Manitou Drive in the east; Bleams Road in the south; Trussler Road in the west; and the Conestoga Parkway in the north (Highways 7 and 8). Laurentian encompasses several neighbourhoods in its vast territory, namely (from east to west): Alpine Village; Country Hills; Laurentian Hills; and Laurentian West. The Activa neighbourhood is a little slice of family-friendly paradise situated within Laurentian West. It radiates outward from Activa Avenue, encompassing some of the adjoining streets.
Homes in Activa are typically quite new. Indeed, throughout Laurentian West, and particularly Activa itself, most homes were built no earlier than 2000 (many are less than ten years old). As for pricing, homes here tend to start at prices just over $400 000 to homes priced closer to $1 million. What you typically get for this price is a single family home (most of them detached, many of the two-storeys), with the advantages and convenience of a new property, in a young, growing neighbourhood with good access to some of the things that make Kitchener such a great city to live. Let’s have a look at what some of those things are, shall we?

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The Sunrise Shopping Centre is a massive shopping area, filled with big box stores (including a grocery-equipped Walmart Supercentre, Canadian Tire, and more), a wide variety of shops (with multiple clothing and shoe outlets), and numerous restaurants. It can be found mere minutes away, by the intersection of Fischer-Hallman Road and Ottawa Street South (right by the Conestoga Parkway – but more on that later). There’s more shopping further south along Fischer-Hallman, particularly a plaza near its intersection with Westmount Road East. Here there is a Sobeys, as well as multiple shops and restaurants (including a McDonald’s and a Starbucks). Also in this plaza is the Williamsburg Community Centre; this is the headquarters of the Williamsburg Community Association, which runs a range of social events throughout the year – great for families and those looking to meet people or get involved. In terms of natural attractions, Activa residents have two great options essentially right at their doorstep: the Laurentian Wetlands, with its calm waters and numerous feathered creatures, and the Borden Wetlands, which has a delightful trail. If wetlands aren’t your thing, there are numerous smaller parks to enjoy, too (with plenty of playgrounds). But wetlands, it should be noted, are pretty nice, pretty important, and just downright pretty.

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As mentioned above, Activa’s proximity to the Conestoga Parkway is a major benefit. The Conestoga Parkway (Highways 7 and 8 in Kitchener, and Highway 85 in Waterloo) is one Kitchener-Waterloo’s greatest assets (in terms of getting from Point A to Point B). Kitchener’s various arterial roads work well for getting around quickly and easily (Activa residents have nearby access to the major streets of Ottawa Street South; Fischer-Hallman Road; and Bleams Road), but the Conestoga Parkway really does make manoeuvring through Kitchener-Waterloo simple (especially if you live close to a set of on- and off-ramps). The Activa neighbourhood is indeed close to a set of on- and off-ramps, at Fischer-Hallman Road near the Sunrise Shopping Centre (there’s also a set of on- and off-ramps to the northwest of Activa, on Trussler Road, which is slightly further but also less busy – a good choice if you’re heading to Stratford, for example). Also of use to Activa residents are several GRT (Grand River Transit) bus routes that run nearby. The #22 route actually runs directly along a section of Activa Avenue, and the efficient iXpress 201 route is quite close, with stops on Fischer-Hallman.

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There are numerous schools both within the Activa neighbourhood itself and throughout the broader Laurentian area. In terms of which school students will attend, the zoning is as follows: for Kindergarten to Grade 6, students in the public school board (WRDSB) will attend W. T. Townshend Public School (245 Activa Avenue) if they live north of Bridlewreath Street, and they will attend Williamsburg Public School (760 Commonwealth Crescent) if they live south of Bridlewreath Street. Both of these schools offer French Immersion. For Grades 7 and 8, students from both of these schools are zoned for Queensmount Public School (21 Westmount Road West), to the northeast; because it’s not in the neighbourhood, students are eligible for transportation by bus. Because Queensmount does not offer French Immersion, though, students looking to continue this program can transfer to a different school for Grades 7 and 8 (such as the nearby Westheights Public School). For high school, Activa students are zoned for Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, located in downtown Kitchener and both one of the largest schools in Kitchener and one with a strong academic reputation. Students are eligible for transportation by bus.

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Students in the Catholic board (WCDSB) will attend John Sweeney Catholic School, which, like W.T. Townshend Public School, stands on Activa Avenue itself (185 Activa Avenue). John Sweeney Catholic School opened its doors in September of 2003, placing it on the newer end of Kitchener-Waterloo’s spectrum of schools; its affiliated Parish is Blessed Sacrament Church. After elementary school, Activa Catholic students are zoned for St. Mary’s High School. St. Mary’s is located fairly centrally within Kitchener (at 1500 Block Line Road, near the intersection with Homer Watson Boulevard); it’s both one of Kitchener’s older schools (it dates back to 1907, when it was an all-girls preparatory school in downtown Kitchener), and one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s largest schools, with a student population that ranges from around 1800 to over 2000. As St. Mary’s is a bit further from Activa (though still on the extreme east of the Laurentian area), students will qualify for transportation by bus.

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We’ll say it again: Activa is a great, family-friendly neighbourhood. Certainly, it’s not just families who could benefit from the various amenities and opportunities nearby, but for a family looking to buy a home in Kitchener, Activa deserves to be a top consideration.

Written by Will Kummer

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