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Forest Heights Area in Kitchener
Hello, everyone; we’ve got another entry in WRX Property Group’s ongoing series of descriptions of the neighbourhoods of Kitchener-Waterloo. Today we’ll be looking one of Kitchener’s larger, and westernmost, neighbourhoods: Forest Heights. So, without further ado, let’s take a look and see what we can see.
About Forest Heights
Forest Heights’ boundaries are made up of Highland Road in the north, Fischer-Hallman Road in the east, the Conestoga Parkway in the south (Highways 7 and 8), and Trusller Road in the west (effectively the border between Kitchener and the Township of Wilmot). Directly east of Forest Heights is Forest Hills, another Kitchener neighbourhood, but one that shares a Community Association with Forest Heights (Forest Heights Community Association [FHCA]). In brief, Community Associations are groups of residents within specific neighbourhoods throughout Kitchener-Waterloo that do such things as organize events and apply for neighbourhood grants. Rest assured, we’ll discuss Forest Hill more in tomorrow’s article, and we may cover the FHCA itself in a future article. But let’s get back to Forest Heights.
The Forest Heights area is primarily residential, and it has an established, suburban feel to it. The region underwent rapid development beginning in the 1970s – its population blossomed from around 1300 in 1971 to over 16 000 by 1991 (FHCA). Most of the homes are detached, with both bungalows and two-storeys available. Households here are mixed (in terms of singles, couples, and families), but more than half of households have children, and Forest Heights is indeed a fine place to raise a family. With its abundance of schools, and the availability of activities for a variety of ages, it’s no wonder families have been coming to the area increasingly over the past few decades. Prices in the neighbourhood range between the mid $300 000s to upwards of $800 000. If you’d like to inquire about a specific property, or if you’d like to know more, feel free to contact WRX, and we’ll help however we can.
One of Forest Heights’ loveliest features runs on a diagonal line through the middle of the neighbourhood: the Forest Heights Community Trail. This lengthy stretch of tree-lined, green land is long enough for a nice stroll, at any time of year. It has offshoots that lead to parks of different sizes and shapes throughout the neighbourhood: the network of trails throughout Forest Heights is so extensive that you can essentially travel from Fischer Park in the northeast all the way to Forest West Park in the southwest, staying on green land the whole way. Sandrock Greenway, like the Forest Heights Community Tail, cuts a diagonal path through the neighbourhood, and this trail connects to several other lovely green areas outside of the neighbourhood, including Monarch Woods Park and Filsinger Natural Area. A neighbourhood called Forest Heights ought to have good access to nature, and Forest Heights does very much live up to its name – the areas listed here are but a sample, and each park offers slightly different perks, whether it be a baseball diamond or a particularly sturdy bench.
Another of Forest Heights’ residents most cherished locations is the Forest Heights Community Centre, located in the east of the neighbourhood near Fischer Park. Constructed in 1998 to accommodate the increasing number of families living in the neighbourhood, the Forest Heights Community Centre offers over 100 volunteer-run programs, for all age ranges. Near the community centre are the Forest Heights Community Library (part of the Kitchener Public Library network) and the Forest Heights Pool. All in all, there is a lot for Forest Heights residents to do within the neighbourhood – boredom need never be an issue.
Forest Heights is a suburban neighbourhood, through and through. But it is well-located in order to take advantage of shopping opportunities, and to access other less suburban areas of Kitchener-Waterloo. To cover the latter point first: there are on- and off-ramps to the Conestoga Parkway at both the eastern and western ends of Forest Heights (accessed from Fischer-Hallman Road and Trussler Road, respectively). This access point to Highway 8 enables resident to quickly travel east into central Kitchener, and from there proceed to Waterloo, Cambridge, or the 401 (and from there to Toronto and beyond). As for shopping, There is a fair-sized shopping area in the northeast corner of Forest Heights (Highland Hills Mall), which includes a variety of smaller shops, a few fast food options, a Real Canadian Superstore for groceries, and even a JYSK for furniture. It is very nice having a well-equipped plaza within the neighbourhood boundaries, but equally exciting is the Sunrise Shopping Centre just on the other side of the Conestoga Parkway. This large shopping area has numerous big box stores (including a Walmart Supercentre and a Canadian Tire), a wide variety of clothing shops, plenty of options for food, and much more. And if these aren’t enough, Forest Heights residents can travel north along Trussler Road (which turns into Ira Needles Boulevard) and visit the Boardwalk, Kitchener-Waterloo’s latest (and some may say greatest) place for shopping, dining, and watching movies (the Boardwalk also features a prominent Medical Centre). To summarize: when it comes to shopping, Forest Heights residents truly have the gift of choice.
There are quite a few schools in Forest Heights, which is a big part of the reason why it’s so popular amongst families (one must ask the question: what came first, the abundant schools of Forest Heights, or the families living here? The answer: a bit of both). There are six schools within Forest Heights’ boundaries (and multiple others nearby). Sticking with the ones inside, though, there are: Driftwood Park Public School; Forest Heights Collegiate Institute; John Darling Public School; Meadowlane Public School; Saint Mark Catholic Elementary School; and Westheights Public School. Students in the public school board (WRDSB) are zoned as follows: students living southeast of Westheights Drive and Royal Orchard Drive are zoned for Meadowlane; students living north of Highview Drive and West of Westheights Drive are zoned for John Darling; and students between these two areas are zoned for Driftwood Park. Each of these schools serves Kindergarten to Grade 6 (and students interested in French Immersion will have to attend Driftwood Park, regardless of location). All Forest Heights public students will attend Westheights, a senior elementary school, for Grades 7 and 8 (French Immersion is offered here, too). For high school, they will attend Forest Heights Collegiate Institute (you can read more about it on its WRX article here). Students in the Catholic board (WCDSB) will attend St. Mark, and for high school, they are zoned for Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, Kitchener-Waterloo’s newest Catholic high school (buses are available for transit).
Kitchener-Waterloo has many great neighbourhoods, each with their own distinct flavours and offerings. Forest Heights has plenty to offer, and it is one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s best suburban areas. If you fancy a nice stroll, why not go check out some of its lovely, lengthy trails?
Written by Will Kummer