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Kitchener-Waterloo Market Prices

Kitchener-Waterloo is home to over 350,000 people and counting. The population is currently growing due to people moving in for work or education (or seeking to escape the soaring prices of the GTA).

Because of this, the local real estate market has been seeing strong growth for the past years, with prices steadily increasing by 4-6% year over year.

There have been between 5000 to 6000 home sales every year for the past 3 years, and the local board has approximately 2000 active realtors moving the market forward.

A lot of market conditions, such as heavy investment into transportation and infrastructure, point toward KW continuing to grow and develop at a steady pace.

Here is a quick snapshot of the KW market as of November 2019:

 

Average Price

  • $533,495

Median Price

  • $500,000

Average Days on Market

  • 13


If you want to get an approximate value for your home, you can use our free home evaluation tool:

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Common Types of Homes for Sale in Kitchener-Waterloo

Are you looking at houses for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo and beyond? Well, let’s face it: buying a home, or investing in real estate, is a big decision. It can be a very exciting time, but it’s also common to feel the stress of such an important choice.

So WRX Property Group is dedicated to doing what we can to alleviate some of that stress from you, and helping to disentangle the world of real estate for both first time buyers and seasoned sellers alike.

Diving into the real estate market, you’ll notice there’s a lot of terminology floating around that sounds familiar, but you may not know precisely what it’s referring to. Today, we’ll be expanding on some of the most common of these terms: the names of homes for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Are we about to get into some high-definition definitions, you might ask? Oh, most definitely.

 

 

Types of Property

Freehold – In the simplest of terms, this means you own your property (and the land on which it’s located) rather than living there under the terms of a lease. Freehold property is held individually by the owner.

Leases – By contrast, are not owned outright by the occupant; they must follow the terms of the lease, renegotiating a new one when necessary.

Condominium – Condominiums are becoming increasingly popular in large cities, and Kitchener-Waterloo is seeing major growth in this sector. A typical condominium scenario is as follows: you own a specific unit within a larger building, which is generally owned by a corporation.

You own the interior of your specific condominium, but not the overall building, nor the land upon which it all sits. Condominiums sometimes come with a share in the corporation, and there are regularly condo fees that go toward maintaining the property and common areas.

 

 

Types of Buildings

Detached – A detached building means just that: there is nothing attached to it (save for its own garage or shed), and it stands alone. It is surrounded by open space on all sides, and no other building exists above or below it, either.

Semi-Detached – Semi-detached buildings come in pairs: two properties that are attached side by side, or back to back. Save for the attached side, there is open space on all other sides.

Townhouse – Townhouses come in groups of three or more; properties share sides (occasionally back walls) with other townhouses in their overall unit.

Stacked Townhouse – Stacked townhouses are three or four-level buildings with multiple townhouses stacked on one another; these differ from apartment-style condominiums insofar as each has its own separate entrance and front door.

Apartment Unit – Apartment Units are dwellings within a larger building, attached to (side by side, above, or below) other Apartment Units.

Duplex – A Duplex is a larger building that consists of two households or dwellings. Households have separate entrances, but they share a common wall, and it is one distinct property (as opposed to Semi-Detached buildings, which would consist of two distinct properties).

Triplex – A Triplex is the same as a Duplex, but with three households or dwellings. It is a single property, with one building, consisting of three households with individual entrances.

Style of Homes

Bungalow – A Bungalow is typically a Detached, single-family house that is one storey tall.

Raised Bungalow – Raised Bungalows are like Bungalows in all ways but one: their basement levels are not fully submerged into the ground.

Raised Bungalows stand taller, and tend to have front doors higher up, atop a staircase.
Basements in Raised Bungalows tend to serve as more primary living quarters, with substantially larger windows than normal Bungalow basements.

Bungaloft – Bungalofts are sometimes referred to as ‘a storey and a half tall,’ and this is an accurate assessment. Bungalofts are Bungalows (detached, one storey tall, single-family homes) that feature an additional living space.

The loft is often featured above the garage, but sometimes over the main floor.

Backsplit – Backsplit homes are built on two levels; the front of the house looks like a conventional bungalow, but the back of the house is 1.5 to 2 storeys taller, to optimize space and daylight hours.

These are more common on sloped properties. Different levels are connected by small, interior staircases.

Sidesplit – Sidesplits are like Backsplits, but in this case it’s one side that is elevated from the other, rather than the back from the front.

Again, these are more common on sloped properties. Different levels are connected by small, interior staircases.

1 and ½ Storey – 1 and ½ Storey homes feature a full main floor, and a partial second floor. The second floor is built over a portion of the main floor; it’s primarily designed for smaller bedrooms, and it often has a sloped ceiling, as they’re built into the existing roof structure.

2 Storey – 2 Storey homes have a full height, full second floor. It is as large – or nearly as large – as the main floor, but it is more fully separated than in half storey homes.

2 and ½ Storey – 2 and ½ Storey homes are to 2 Storey homes what 1 and ½ Storey homes are to Bungalows. That is to say, it includes a main floor, a full second floor, and a partial floor on top of that.

The partial storey above the second floor typically has a sloped ceiling, and is often designed as a loft.

3 Storey – 3 Storey homes have a full three floors: a main floor, a second floor above that, and a third above that. Often, houses with more than 2 storeys will simply be referred to as ‘multi-level homes.’ These are larger homes, and it should be noted that 3 Storey homes with comparable overall square footage will often be less expensive than Bungalows of the same size, as it’s more cost-effective to build upward rather than outward.

 

Considerations When Buying or Selling a Home

In this section, we’re going to cover some handy points that might save you some time and headache when it comes to moving. We’ll be focusing primarily on tips and considerations, not so much the full step-by-step process. If you want to read a full guide on either buying or selling real estate, you should check out our Buyer’s Guide or Seller’s Guide.

 

 

Storage and Decluttering

When it comes to moving to a new home, the moving itself might not be the most exciting part. Fear not, however, because if you prepare ahead of time, moving can be a breeze. We spoke with April from Apple Self Storage in Kitchener, and she gave us some great tips for the moving process.

 

As a rule of thumb, when deciding on the size of storage unit to get, something like a 10×15 ft or 10×20 ft storage unit works for people who live in a medium-sized 3 bedroom home. For those living in a medium sized condo unit, a 10×10 ft storage unit should do the trick.

The most effective way to minimize the stress of packing is by making sure you plan ahead. Be kind to your future self, and allow at least one month of lead time before your moving date.

You should start by taking an inventory of what you have, so that you can plan where each item will go.

Once you’ve put items away in boxes, you should label them. It will make carrying, stacking, and ultimately unpacking, a lot easier.

Last but not least, remember that decluttering and storing items away go hand in hand with staging and presenting your home in a good light. If you put unnecessary items away, it won’t just make moving easier on your end, it will also help the sale of your home.

 

Renovations

Renovations can come up either on the buying side or the selling side. Some sellers might opt to repair or spruce up their home before putting it on the market. At the same time, buyers looking at a potential home might have some changes they’d like to make if they decide to purchase it.

If you are not DIY-ing it, you’ll need to pick out an appropriate contractor for the job. We spoke with Heinz Wille, owner of Project X Construction in Kitchener and here is what he told us about deciding on a contractor:

  • There are many types of projects and many types of contractors, so make sure you pick someone who has experience working on the specific types of improvements you’re making.
  • Transparency is key.
  • Most pros out there will take pictures of their work for potential clients to seeIt’s important to assess how readily available a contractor is.
  • Did they answer your phonecall or request promptly? Do they return your calls or messages? This is a strong indicator of the level of customer service they deliver

 

Things To See and Do In Kitchener-Waterloo

Whether you’re new to the area or have been around for a while, Kitchener-Waterloo has no shortage of awesome things to do or interesting places to visit.

In this section, we’ll shine the spotlight on some great local spots and explore their stories.

Let’s begin!

 

Le Prix Fashion & Consulting

Le Prix Fashion & Consulting is a clothing store and fashion consulting service in Downtown Kitchener. It started in 2012, initially as an online store, and has grown to include a full downtown storefront, along with several popup shops around the city.

Robyn brings in clothing and accessories from all over the world to feature in her shop. It’s possible to order online from anywhere, however, she says the magic is when you get to see it in person.

Those who come to the store always have first dibs on the newest items. There is the benefit of being able to see and try on the clothing, and of course, Robyn is there to lend her expertise as a fashion consultant.

 

 

She is an advocate for style as well as sustainability. Le Prix features sustainably made clothing and zero waste products, while also encouraging environmentally conscious shopping.

Le Prix recently started taking on clothing donations, and has implemented a vintage bin that acts like an ongoing clothing swap.

Minimizing waste is an increasingly important aspect of any industry, and consumers are also turning toward more responsible shopping.

Indeed, downtown Kitchener itself has made great strides toward environmental friendliness. Localized amenities, pedestrian-centred designs, and community events are some of the primary examples.

Robyn is tuned into that, and as a proud member of the downtown community, she is here to create an excellent blend of elegance and sustainability.

 

 

Twice is Nice & Twice The Man Clothing

Twice the Man, Twice is Nice Clothing, and Fab Favourite Boutique can all be found inside the Atrium in Uptown Waterloo.

Together, they form a store that fuses a clothing shop, consignment shop, and accessory boutique all into one.

We spoke with Debra, owner and serial entrepreneur. She has built this business and developed it for 26 years and counting.

Her favourite part of the store is the fact that you never know what’s going to come in next. Their consignor database boasts over 10000 entries, and bringing in a fascinating variety of high quality items.

 

Having been a part of Uptown for years and also working as part of the Uptown Business Association’s marketing committee, Debra has seen the changes Waterloo has been through.

She mentions an interesting parallel, having seen the implementation of a light rail transit system while working in Calgary. It’s the kind of development that can make a city more international, more diverse, and overall more refined.

Indeed, it looks like Waterloo is becoming more cosmopolitan as well. There are items being brought into consignment from all around the world, with brands of higher and higher quality.

There is an increase in younger consumers seeking out unique items, as well as an increase in environmentally conscious shopping as opposed to fast fashion.

If you’re in Waterloo, you can stop to enjoy either of the three flavours of Twice is Nice, or you can take a tour of the Atrium and see some great local shops that the Uptown core has to offer.

 

Thrift on Kent

Thrift on Kent is a chic, community-conscious thrift store located in downtown Kitchener. They opened in 2013 on Kent Ave, and have since grown to be a lovely boutique full of great finds.

Thrift on Kent is a non-profit organization. They are volunteer driven and work hard to fund poverty relief and restorative justice programs for the Mennonite Central Committee, both in Ontario and globally as well.

They feature a wide selection of unique items, from vintage fashion and jewelry you can find in store, to limited edition guitars or works of art you can get at silent auctions.

 

 

Shopping at thrift stores means you can stumble upon interesting or rare items. It also means giving products a second life, which promotes waste-reduction and a more eco-friendly mindset.

Part of Thrift on Kent’s contribution to the community is promoting re-use of fabulous products who are looking for their next owner. This is especially important when it comes to clothing, which is an industry where a lot of avoidable waste occurs.

Their green initiatives don’t stop there, however. The entire building at 50 Kent Ave was designed and equipped to be highly efficient and environmentally friendly. The most notable features are the rainwater collection system and the 200-kilowatt solar panel array.

You can catch them at the intersection of Charles and Kent, in the bright, slick turquoise building, right across from the LRT track.

 

 

About Kitchener-Waterloo


The Waterloo Region is nearly 1,400 km2 in size (the Region shape roughly resembles the 2012 London Olympic logo), and more than half a million people live here. Most of the population lives in one of the ‘Tri-Cities’ (Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge).

Let’s dial our investigative lens and take a look at the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo.

Kitchener – has a population of around 230 000. The Grand River runs along Kitchener’s eastern border, and to the west are fields and rolling hills, the tallest of which are called the Bade Hills.

When you’re choosing where to live, you need to know that you’ll be able to make your livelihood. And in that regard, Kitchener (and indeed, the entire Waterloo Region) has plenty of opportunities.

Historically, Kitchener has been a prominent manufacturing centre, stretching back to the furniture factory and sawmills of its earliest days.

Manufacturing remains an important part of Kitchener’s economy (and a significant employer, with 20% of the work force), but the city has become increasingly economically diversified over the years.

Beyond manufacturing, Kitchener has plenty of job opportunities – large health care facilities and three hospitals, Conestoga College, multiple elementary and secondary schools, tech companies, municipal jobs, and countless retail and service opportunities (including Fairview Park Mall, the largest mall in the region).

Another key benefit of Kitchener is its proximity to Toronto. Businesses are connected to Canada’s largest city, with all the opportunities that provides, as well as Toronto Pearson International Airport. Click here to read more about the City of Kitchener.

 

Waterloo – Waterloo is the smallest of the Tri-Cities, but it’s still got a fairly sizable population at just over 100 000. Kitchener borders Waterloo to the south, Wilmot, Wellesley, and Woolwich Townships surround it to the north and east (that’s a lot of ‘W’s), and the Grand River runs (or flows, to be more accurate) along the east.

One of the defining characteristics of Waterloo is its top of the line education. Put simply, Waterloo has excellent schools, for every age. Waterloo is served by both the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB).

Both have schools throughout the Tri-Cities, and several in the surrounding areas, but there is a common theme amongst them. Typically, the schools in Waterloo itself are the highest performing in the entire region (and many of them are ranked among the best in all of Ontario).

Indeed, for many parents, moving to a particular area of Waterloo in order to ensure their children are zoned for a specific school is a significant factor in choosing a new home.

The Laurelwood Neighbourhood (read about it in our ongoing series on Waterloo Neighbourhoods) specifically has excellent elementary schools, including Laurelwood Public School and St.Nicholas Catholic School, tied for top school in Waterloo according to the Fraser Institute in 2015-2016.

With an educated, motivated population, Waterloo has many technology and service-based job opportunities. Major employers in the city include both universities, the Catholic and public school boards (WCDSB and WRDSB), Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial, many start-ups and tech companies, as well as several think tanks.

And of course, we would be remiss not to mention one of Waterloo’s most widely known exports, and one of the largest employers: BlackBerry. BlackBerry is nearly synonymous with Waterloo, with its ties to the University of Waterloo stretching back to the mid 1980s.

The legacy of Research in Motion (RIM), as it used to be called, looms large in the ‘Loo, and the company carried the torch (and continues to serve as a beacon of light) for the burgeoning tech movement in Waterloo.

Waterloo is served by Grand River Transit, which has bus routes running throughout the region. By 2018 the LRT route should be operational, which will see ION electric train cars running from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo past the universities, uptown Waterloo, downtown Kitchener, and all the way to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. Click here to read more about the City of Waterloo.

 

Spotlight on Westvale with Red River Early Learning Centre

We spoke with Natasha, Waterloo resident and owner of Red River Early Learning Centre, about her thoughts on Westvale as a neighbourhood families can consider.

Red River Early Learning Centre started in 2013, based out of Natasha’s home in Westvale. They feature early learning programs for kids 1-3 years old, as well as school age programs for kids between 3 and 8.

Natasha’s programs are child-centred, focusing on providing resources and guiding children’s inner drive to pursue what they find captivating. She jokingly (and fittingly) calls it “unschool.”

Natasha talks about how everything just clicked when she first saw her current home. The neighbourhood strikes a great balance, featuring a peaceful and green suburban setting, while also being close to amenities.

Westvale has Red River Park, West Wind Park, Westvale Park, and the Hydrocut Trail all within reach. The Boardwalk stretches along Ira Needles Boulevard as the area’s main centre for shopping and entertainment.

This is complemented by community resources and family-oriented events offered by the Westvale Community Centre, along with proximity to elementary schools from both Waterloo and Catholic school boards (Westvale Public School and Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School respectively)

For a more in-depth look at Westvale, you can read our full article here.

 

Spotlight on Downtown Kitchener with Triad Office Interiors

We had the chance to speak with Nitika, from Triad Office Interiors about what it’s like being a business in the downtown core.

Triad Office Interiors specializes in office design and carries a range of office furniture.

The advantage about being downtown is all in the proximity. You get to be near so many things, and as the city develops, the list can only grow from there.

Triad has been working alongside Manulife in developing the office space for their Innovation Hub, while also tackling creative eco-friendly furniture projects like the Generation Chair, an office chair made out of 100% recycled material.

Nitika says you can see that office culture is changing and in the process of modernizing itself. Companies are making a push to upgrade, and you can see workspaces from as far back as the 70s and 80s now being switched to a more modern setup.

It’s interesting to note how companies are using space differently now versus before. The trend is to opt for less space, but make better use of it. Squarefootage per person is reduced compared to previous decades, more than one person may use the same desk or spot, and access to power outlets is now more important than ever.

If you want to read more about the downtown area in Kitchener, you can see our in depth article here.

 

Spotlight on Westmount with Contrabean Roasting Company

Taking a closer look at the Old Westmount neighbourhood, we spoke with Ron from Contrabean Roasting Company.

Contrabean sources and roasts beans from around the world, searching for the highest quality, while also ensuring they were produced ethically and sustainably.

Ron is an advocate for fair wages and ethical production practices in coffee communities. He has built his business on this model, striving to support production that has a positive social and environmental impact.

What’s interesting, however, is the fact that it’s based out of Ron’s home in Kitchener. The home-based approach helps him lower overhead substantially. This, in turn, allows him to invest more into the quality of his product, as well as into the vetting process for the coffee suppliers he works with. This all helped shape Contrabean’s unique story within the coffee industry.

Ron knew exactly what he was looking for when he built his home in the Westmount area, and was attracted by the lifestyle it could offer. A home at the meeting point of Kitchener and Waterloo, with solar panels and ample studio space was the perfect fit for Ron and a company like Contrabean.

You can read more about the Westmount neighbourhood here.

 

Spotlight on the 401 with Dimensions in Dance

One of the advantages of Kitchener-Waterloo is in it’s positioning along the 401.

Easy access to the GTA has not only helped Kitchener-Waterloo grow, but also gave it the best of both worlds. It’s a big city with a small town feel, bringing together the advantages of large urban centres with the community spirit of smaller towns.

We spoke with Kimberly from Dimensions in Dance, who has been teaching dance for over 3 decades in the area.

Dimensions in Dance takes on all ages and all skill levels, featuring both casual programs as well as an internationally recognized competitive program.

Kimberly’s goal is not only to teach dance, but to nurture a long lasting appreciation for the performing arts. Her students have gone to have careers on television and on stages across Canada and beyond.

Kimberly told us about how her business has grown along with KW. Her studio is strategically located in the Fairview area, close to the 401. This not only made her business more accessible within town, but also allowed her to branch out and attract students as far as Hailton, Burlington and the GTA.

You can read more about local highway routes (and see listings with great highway access) by reading our article here.

 

Spotlight on King East with Elite Training Facility

Continuing our journey through Kitchener-Waterloo, we stopped to speak with Dorothy and Clint from Elite Training Facility.

Their gym offers a range of training programs, including individual sessions, group classes, and massage therapy as well.

Elite Training Facility is located in quite a special place in Kitchener. While the Western stretch of King St. encompasses most of downtown for now, new developments are steadily moving eastward into King St. East.

The Eastern side of King St. is a fascinating cross-section of growing businesses, buildings being renovated or repurposed, and fresh construction, mixed with residential areas featuring charming old brick homes.

As both KW residents and business owners, Dorothy and Clint have seen this town change over the years and are excited for what the future brings.

You can read our full article on the eastern side of King St. here.

 

Spotlight on Northfield with Waterloo Kung Fu Academy

We spoke with David from Waterloo Kung Fu Academy about his story in the Northfield area in Waterloo.

Waterloo Kung Fu Academy is a fulltime school that teaches the art of Shaolin Kung Fu. They have programs for kids, teens, and adults, focused on training as well as instilling the discipline and mindset of Kung Fu.

They also have a competitive team and a Chinese lion dance team that perform at various events in the community.

The school moved to its current location in 1997, and has seen great changes happen to the region since.

The Northfield area used to be mostly fields back then. Over time, as Waterloo expanded, and especially with the appearance of Research in Motion, the Northfield area became heavily developed.

Northfield now has great access to both universities, the Conestoga Mall Shopping Centre, RIM Park, as well as the David Johnston Research and Technology Park.

You can check out homes currently for sale in the Northfield area here.

Are Kitchener and Waterloo Different Cities?

You’ll often see this stretch of cities referred to as Kitchener-Waterloo, or the TriCities, and sometimes even Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge (though that name’s a bit more cumbersome). As time marches on, the cities have begun to form one contiguous unit.

They are still individual cities, certainly, but they are connected in many ways. True amalgamation of the TriCities, and the Region of Waterloo, has come up in the past.

The model for this process is Toronto: in 1954, Ontario’s provincial government merged Toronto with its 12 surrounding communities into a two-tiered metropolitan government (similarly, five municipalities surrounding Toronto were dissolved and amalgamated into the City of Toronto in 1998).

This hasn’t happened in the Waterloo Region, and there are many voices opposed to official amalgamation – different areas have different needs, for example – but the TriCities are nonetheless bound in numerous ways. Since 1997, the Waterloo Region has been governed by a 16 member Waterloo Regional Council, consisting of the Mayors of each city and Township, a Regional Chair, and additional councillors from each of the TriCities.

Additionally, public transit between Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge was combined in 2000.

 

The TriCities are interconnected by roadways, the Grand River, and their shared public transit service. To start with the first, Kitchener-Waterloo shares numerous arterial roads, and getting from one city to the other is incredibly easy.

Indeed, sometimes you won’t even notice when you’ve crossed the dividing line between them. Cambridge is a bit more geographically separate from its fellow TriCities, but it’s still incredibly close and easy to get to.

Just to give you an idea, you can start taking King Street East in northwest Cambridge (specifically, downtown Preston) into Kitchener, passing through the bustling Sportsworld Crossing area and beyond without ever needing to change lanes.

The TriCities really feel interconnected, and this connection is bolstered in no small part by the Conestoga Parkway. The Conestoga Parkway encompasses three connected highways: Highway 8 runs northwest from Cambridge into Kitchener and serves the lower part of the city; Highway 7 runs from Kitchener up to Waterloo (and east toward Guelph); and Highway 85 runs from southern Waterloo up to Woolwich Township beyond.

The Conestoga Parkway makes navigating between the disparate parts of the TriCities quick and easy.

Another major way the TriCities are connected is through their forward-thinking public transit operator. Grand River Transit (GRT) serves all of the TriCities, with lines running from north of Waterloo (including service up to the famous St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market) down to southern Galt (the southernmost part of Cambridge).

You can take a bus from anywhere in the TriCities, get a transfer, and head anywhere else within the TriCities easily with just one fare.

There are direct routes between Kitchener and Cambridge, and Kitchener and Waterloo, and a variety of iXpress Routes that provide rapid service between some of the TriCities’ most popular spots.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, GRT has added a brand new rapid transit service in the region, consisting of the LRT and the ION.
To reiterate: the TriCities are connected!

As of the 2016 Census, the TriCities have a cumulative population of 468,128 (Kitchener with 233,222, Cambridge with 129,920, and Waterloo with 104,986).

The figure you’ll often see for the area, however, is 535,154; this number is in reference to the broader Regional Municipality of Waterloo.

Included in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo are the TriCities along with the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich (and their various, constituent communities). In any case, one thing is clear: there are a lot of people living together in this one region.

In fact, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo is presently the tenth largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in all of Canada (the TriCities on their own would be the twelfth largest).

And on top of this, the Waterloo Region (and especially the TriCities) has consistently ranked as one of the most rapidly growing areas in all of Southern Ontario.

By 2030, the region is projected to have over 700,000 people living within it! So there are the facts and figures… Now let’s look into what they mean.

 

Is Kitchener-Waterloo a Good Place to Live In?

That’s a great question. Choosing where you live is one of the most important, and sometimes difficult, decisions you’ll have to make in your life. So many things depend on it, and not everyone is the same.

What one may consider a positive trait, another may consider a deterrent. This makes it difficult to decide where you’re moving based on someone else’s opinion. For that reason we will be presenting you with the facts of living in Kitchener-Waterloo, and you can decide for yourself if it makes Kitchener-Waterloo a good place to live.

Rankings

Let’s start off by looking at some straightforward and concrete rankings. According to the MoneySense 2016 ranking of Canada’s best places to live we ranked as follows:
-Waterloo is 10th
-Kitchener is 64th

Out of 219 places ranked Kitchener-Waterloo ranks right near the top. That’s great, but what does that really mean? This ranking is a statistical ranking based on 35 different categories. The categories include demographics, income, housing affordability, weather, commute times, taxes, etc.

The list is a great way to help you pick out some cities you may be interested, but we would not recommend choosing solely based on the city’s ranking.

While the ranking is great statistical insight into the region, it does not account for some important elements such as the nearness of family, how friendly the neighbourhoods are, or lovely sunsets. These are categories you would have to use your own judgment on when deciding if it makes Kitchener-Waterloo a good place to live.

 

Strong and Diverse Economy

One of the main things Kitchener-Waterloo is known for in terms of economy is our tech sector. While being the Silicon Valley of the north is definitely one of the region’s strong points, part of what makes Kitchener-Waterloo’s economy so strong is how diverse it is.

Our economy boasts several industry clusters including education and knowledge creation, industrial parks, traditional downtown small businesses, and of course the high-tech enterprises and startups.

The diverse economy is the reason the region continued to thrive even after one of the biggest employers, BlackBerry, failed, and makes Kitchener-Waterloo a great place for both investors and those seeking employment.

As a result Kitchener-Waterloo enjoys an extremely low unemployment rate of 5.1%, and a median income of $80,278. For those looking at settling down in the region there is no shortage of opportunities or resources.
https://www.wrxpropertygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/uptown-waterloo-leisure.jpg

 

There are three strong growth factors for the Tri-City area:

1. It’s quite close to the Greater Toronto Area
2. It’s a major hub of technological innovation
3. It’s got great educational opportunities

Let’s dissect these points a little further. In terms of proximity to Toronto, each of the TriCities is around an hour and a half’s drive away from downtown Toronto (of course, traffic can vary during rush hour).

There are also public transportation options like weekday GO Train service and Mega Bus routes. The fastest commute time is provided by FlyGTA’s service from the Region of Waterloo International Airport – less than 20 minutes from take-off to touchdown!

So commuters, businesses with ties to Toronto, and people who love to visit the big city but not live there can all benefit from settling in the TriCities, while still having access to the GTA.

In terms of tech, the TriCities have a well-earned reputation as Canada’s leading light in the tech industry.

This reputation is driven by downtown Kitchener’s transformation into an innovation hub (Google has a bustling headquarters here, as well as the massive Communitech presence in the converted Tannery building), the overall startup culture pervading the TriCities, the proliferation of brand new neighbourhoods to support new residents and expanding families (Hespeler, in Cambridge, and southwest Kitchener are two examples of rapid growth), and the University of Waterloo (UW).

 

 

Speaking of UW… The TriCities abound with opportunities in education. As a growing region, the two major school boards have a lot of resources to work with, in order to provide a great educational environment.

Both the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) have many fantastic elementary and secondary schools spread throughout the TriCities, making this area a great place for families.

And as a rapidly growing school board, it’s also a great place for jobs in education (teachers, support staff, and beyond). There’s even some overlap with the tech aspect: the WRDSB recently launched the Chromebook 1:1 Initiative, in which students entering Grade 9 will be given their very own Chromebook until graduation.

Chromebooks are small, highly portable, battery-efficient laptops that run Google’s Chrome OS, and make use of the various Google applications (such as Google Docs) and cloud storage (Google Drive).

There are also three excellent post-secondary education opportunities in the TriCities: University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College.

Each of these institutions has a sterling reputation, and each excels in specific fields – they also serve the entire Region (for example, Conestoga has major campuses in Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo). You can find out more in our articles about them!

The great thing about the TriCities is that they all have access to each of these benefits, yet they’re all distinct enough that you can pick the one that suits you best. You can easily live in Cambridge, go to school in Waterloo, and work in downtown Kitchener if that’s what you want.

Schools

Kitchener-Waterloo offers a broad range of Catholic, public, and private schools. The schools range from new-build modern and contemporary to unique historic buildings.

There are a total of 9 Public Secondary Schools in Kitchener-Waterloo:

In the region there are also three main post-secondary institutions, all recognized worldwide for their top-notch training and they are all accessible from anywhere in Kitchener-Waterloo:

 

Health Care

As Canadians the thing we are most proud of is our free health care system, and Kitchener-Waterloo does not fall short of those expectations. We have two major city hospitals (Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital) that provide top-notch medical care for the city. Included in the Grand River facilities are a major cancer treatment centre, and a cardiac care centre.

Not that any of us particularly want to spend time at the hospital, it’s important to know that it is there in times of need. Given the current state of some health care centres across Canada, we are happy to have such great service in our region.

 

Conclusion

Well, there you have it! Yes, this is just a sampling of what you’ll encounter when venturing into Kitchener-Waterloo, but it covers all of the important points to get started.

Hopefully the next time you’re looking up homes for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo, things will be a little bit clearer!

Written by Will Kummer