Read More About Uptown Waterloo

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Uptown Waterloo Area in Waterloo


Greetings, one and all, and welcome to WRX Property Group’s series on the neighbourhoods of
Kitchener-Waterloo. Today we’ll be discussing one of the most exciting, vibrant, and historic parts of
Waterloo, but first, a clarification of terms. Downtown Kitchener is centred on King Street and Queen
Street (at the point where King Street East and West, and Queen Street South and North, meet), and it
stretches for several blocks in each direction. If you follow King Street East north, it becomes South (it
sounds crazy, but it’s true) around Kitchener’s border with Waterloo. And just past William Street, you’ll
find the subject of today’s article: Uptown Waterloo. Waterloo doesn’t have a ‘downtown’ – that was
reserved for Kitchener, as it had always been the larger settlement and thus featured more commercial
and administrative buildings. But Uptown Waterloo has a nice ring to it, and we think it suits Waterloo
perfectly. Let’s see why.

In nearly every other article on the neighbourhoods of Waterloo, I’ve mentioned how close each one
was to uptown – and how being closer was a benefit. It truly is one of the loveliest parts of the city to go
shopping, sit down for a meal, or simply visit. Today, we’ll be seeing what it’s like to live there. The
boundaries of the Uptown Waterloo neighbourhood are approximately Elgin Street in the north, Willow
and Peppler Streets in the east, Union Street in the south, and Euclid Avenue (and Waterloo Park) in the
west (Uptown West stretches to Westmount Road). The original settlement of Waterloo centred around
Erb Street and King Street – essentially the heart of the Uptown core today. And as one of the earliest
parts of the cities, there are quite a lot of historic buildings.

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Many of the homes here have storied histories (and some have multiple storeys, too [that’s a real-estate
pun]), and there’s much to love in the beautiful stylings of the past. You can find modern homes for sale
here, but many choose Uptown Waterloo in part because of the distinguished facades and wooden
interiors of decades-old houses. A feature of modern Uptown Waterloo is the development of new
condominiums. Some, such as the Bauer Lofts, are in new, 21 st century facilities, while others, such as
the Seagram Lofts, are in converted, historic buildings (in this case, a 19 th century distillery [distilleries
are an important part of Kitchener-Waterloo’s history; the beer for the region’s world-famous
Oktoberfest needs to come from somewhere, right?]). With such a wide variety of sizes, styles, and
locations (this includes distance to the Uptown core, LRT stops, and other amenities), prices can of
course vary. But you can expect single family homes and condos to start around the $300 000 mark,
with prices rising to around $1 million. As always, please contact WRX Property Group if you’d like to
know anything more, whether it’s general information or specific inquiries – we’re happy to help.


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What is it that makes living in Uptown Waterloo so great? What does it have to offer? Well, everything,
really. So let’s just dive in. The main branch of the Waterloo Public Library is here, in a large complex
right by Waterloo Park. Every day, there are a wide variety of events and social opportunities at the
library, for children, teens, and adults. On the main uptown strip, there are truly too many great spots to
list – and part of the joy of Uptown Waterloo is discovering new places on your own – but let’s take a
quick glance and see what we can see.

First up is Abe Erb Brewing Company. This large, uptown staple bears the name of Waterloo’s founder
(Abraham Erb), and it offers delicious food (brunch, lunch, dinner, and more) and locally-brewed,
creatively named beers that are sure to fill patrons with mirth (such as the ‘Buggywhip’ IPA). If you love
the brewery aesthetic, then check out another Uptown Waterloo favourite: the ‘Original’ Princess

Cinema. This theatre, located on the second-floor of a nineteenth-century brewery, opened in 1985. It
shows all the movies you can’t see anywhere else: everything from indie hits to cult classics. Their
second theatre (Princess Twin Cinemas) opened in 2003, just a short walk from the original, and it shows
a mixture of modern, mainstream films and more underground options. Seven Shores is a community-
owned café that serves fresh, local food, and fair-trade coffee – everything tastes good, and you can feel
good about supporting a local business, and the food (and coffee) producers themselves. I can’t express
enough that this is just a small sampling of what can be found in Uptown – there’s everything from
specialty shops to international chains, and from banks and big box stores to barbers and bars. Indeed,
there are over 400 businesses in Uptown alone!


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For those who like doing their groceries (and other shopping) at larger locations, Sobeys Bridgeport
(open 24 hours) and the Bridgeport Wal-Mart Supercentre are just a few short minutes east of the
Uptown core. If you follow King Street North north (believe it or not, that isn’t a typo), you’ll reach
another large shopping area with a Chapters, a Canadian Tire, and enough restaurants to try something
new each day (if you are so inclined). Further north along King is Conestoga Mall, the largest mall in
Waterloo, which has stores, restaurants, and even a museum in its spacious facilities (as well as the
benefit of a roof, and air-conditioning in the summer, and heating in the winter – never fear the weather

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the natural wonder right next to the Uptown core: Waterloo Park.
This huge, gorgeous green area has a network of intertwining trails, allowing visitors to enjoy the grass
and trees in the west, the parking lot (who doesn’t love a nice parking lot?), the sports facilities (four
baseball diamonds, a skatepark, tennis courts, a soccer field, a cricket pitch, and more),an adorable
animal farm (Eby Farmstead), a fun-filled splash pad and playground, and, of course, the sleek,
shimmering surface of Silver Lake, a large body of water with a dock and a penchant for solemnity. On
the outskirts of Waterloo Park is the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery – if natural beauty isn’t enough for


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Education and Transportation


Public students are zoned for Elizabeth Ziegler Public School (Kindergarten-Grade 6), and then
MacGregor Senior Public School (Grade 7-8), both of which offer French Immersion. MacGregor is within
the boundaries of Uptown. Students in the Catholic board are zoned for Our Lady of Lourdes School, just
a few minutes east of the Uptown core. High school students in the public board will be zoned for either
Waterloo Collegiate Institute (read about it in our article here) if they live north of Erb Street, or
Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School (read about it here), if they live south of Erb Street.
Note that students interested in one of the WRDSB’s magnet programs are eligible to transfer to a
school outside of their boundaries. The magnet program is discussed in further detail in the articles
linked, as well as those for the other public secondary schools, but it is essentially specialized programs
offered at specific schools within Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge. WCDSB high school students are
zoned primarily for Resurrection Catholic Secondary School (article forthcoming).
Another of the major benefits of Uptown Waterloo is its proximity to Waterloo’s two universities:
Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. They are two of the most important
institutions in the region, and they’re a major part of why the region grew to be so large and
prosperous. Within Uptown Waterloo’s boundaries are several other educational institutes, including
the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Premier Institute for Theoretical Physics.


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In addition to these, Uptown residents are located perfectly to reap the benefits of the Waterloo
Region’s public transportation network. Grand River Transit runs numerous bus routes through and
around the Uptown Core, including the speedy 200 iXpress route – travelling around Waterloo, and even
to the other parts of the Waterloo Region, is simple and quick. Once the LRT is completed – hopefully by
mid-2018 – Uptown Waterloo will have even better transit links, with the sleek ION electric cars zipping
up and down from Conestoga Mall to Fairview Park Mall (and further on to Cambridge, in the years to

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Kitchener-Waterloo’s a great place to live; there are many amazing neighbourhoods and communities,
each with its own character and history. But Uptown Waterloo very much stands out – trust me when I
say that we barely scratched the surface. Within its boundaries (or very nearby) are many of the things
that make Waterloo great, but perhaps more importantly, it has many of the things that makes
Waterloo unique. From historic buildings and art exhibits to locally-owned shops and a bustling public
square, Uptown Waterloo is distinct and distinguished, and a great place to call home. There’s always
something great to see or do here, no matter what your interests are: art and film, sports and the great
outdoors, coffee-sipping and fine dining – whatever you want. And finally, to wrap things up, pick a pun:
1) You know what’s up: Uptown Waterloo; 2) Great things go down in Waterloo’s Uptown.


Written by Will Kummer


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