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Is It OK to Buy a Home Near the Airport?

Pre-Flight Instructions

WRX Property Group is proudly located in Kitchener-Waterloo, and we operate primarily in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, the Waterloo Region Townships, Guelph and Wellington County. As such, we’ll be speaking with one particular airport in mind: the Region of Waterloo International Airport (though it’s worth noting there’s also a much smaller airport near Guelph).

 
So the place names and neighbourhoods we discuss will specifically refer to the Region of Waterloo International Airport, but the ideas herein could be applied to other airports, too. Let’s prepare for takeoff!
 
Where Is the Region of Waterloo International Airport?
 
Before we can really get into whether you should buy a home near the airport: just where is the Region of Waterloo International Airport? In short, it lies immediately east of Kitchener-Waterloo’s easternmost border, but still well within the Waterloo Region. Located at 4881 Fountain Street North, it’s considered part of Breslau, one of Woolwich Township’s communities.
 
Access to Kitchener-Waterloo from the Region of Waterloo International Airport (and vice versa) is quite simple. Bridges over the Grand River can be found a short way north (the Victoria Street North [Highway 7] bridge) or south (Fairway Road North) of the airport. The former is particularly convenient for travellers looking to access the Conestoga Parkway.
 
The Perks of Purchases Peripheral to Ports
 
Sometimes homes in the vicinity of major transit corridors can get a bad reputation. Recurring critiques include fears of busy streets, and nosy skies. And yes, homes in areas close to major transit hubs can have more white noise than a property standing alone in the country – but how much of an impact will it have on day-to-day life? In addition to assessing the cons to a home near the airport, we’ll look at their specific benefits.
 

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In general, the people most concerned about the noise of living near an airport tend to be the people who’ve never lived near an airport. There’s a great deal of variation from airport to airport, and every person has a different idea of what’s bothersome, but anecdotally speaking (and also drawing on several online discussions’ worth of research), the consensus is that it’s simply something you get used to.
 
It’s worth it to take a trip to the neighbourhood near an airport that you’re considering during an arrival or a departure – this way you’ll be able to see firsthand just how noisy it might be. Chances are, it’ll be less than you expect. Furthermore, it’s worth bearing in mind that once you’ve settled in, aspects that at first stood out will begin to simply blend in with your daily routines.
 
Another major factor to consider are the size, and popularity, of the airport itself. The Region of Waterloo International Airport is incredibly convenient to residents of the Waterloo Region and Guelph/Wellington County: being able to quickly get to western Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Toronto (and from there, just about anywhere) in an airport without the frenetic pace of a place like Pearson is a major boon. That said, it is quite small, as international airports go.
 
Three airlines fly out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport: FlyGTA Airlines, Sunwing Airlines, and WestJet Airlines. FlyGTA runs three flights to and from Toronto (Billy Bishop Airport), Monday-Friday, year-round; Sunwing only operates between December and March, with one flight weekly, direct to Punta Cana; and WestJet provides daily service to Calgary (and from there to other destinations). Note that other planes will be taking off and landing here fairly regularly, including flight school and charter flights (though these will often be smaller aircrafts).
 

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All in all, despite having great service, and having annual passenger totals typically ranging between 100,000 – 150,000, it’s not a particularly busy airport. By comparison, Toronto Pearson International Airport had nearly 50 million passengers last year, and even the nearby John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport had over 725,000.
 
A final point: the Region of Waterloo International Airport is equipped to accommodate aircrafts of no more than 180 passengers, so no Jumbo Jets (noisier than their smaller counterparts) will be taking off from or landing here. Indeed, many of the flights leaving and arriving will be substantially smaller; the FlyGTA service is in an 8-passenger plane!
 
In summary: any noise that there is, most people will have little difficulty in getting used to. As someone who lived in the flightpath of Heathrow (80 million passengers last year), I actually ended up enjoying the sounds of the flights overhead, and only sometimes when out for a stroll would I even become aware of them.
 
And to reiterate, the Region of Waterloo International Airport is decidedly not a particularly noisy airport, but as noted earlier, the best way is to go and see (or hear) for yourself whether you find it overly burdensome. You can read more on the YKF ‘Noise’ page, too.
 

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Areas to Consider

Of course, you won’t be able to find any properties for purchase directly adjacent to the Waterloo International Airport. But you don’t need to travel too far to find a few potential homes. Farmland stretches out to the north, east, and south of the airport, with intermittent properties, and the small community of Kossuth lies directly to the east. The nearest sizable community, however, is Breslau.
 
As noted, Breslau is part of the Township of Woolwich – the largest of the Waterloo Region’s four Townships. Breslau is a lovely place to call home, with quiet, residential streets (many with brand new homes – areas surrounding Kitchener-Waterloo continue to expand); parks, sporting facilities, and community opportunities (notably the Breslau Community Centre); Breslau Public School; and a handful shops and restaurants.
 
One of the distinct benefits of Breslau is that it offers a small-town feel to its residents while also having incredible access to the major cities nearby. Kitchener-Waterloo stretches out directly to the west, of course, but Breslau also has a direct path to Guelph, following Highway 7 east. The Region of Waterloo International Airport being mere minutes away further bolsters Breslau’s connectivity. Breslau residents get an alternative to the big city, while not giving up any of the convenience.
 
The next nearest area is actually in Kitchener itself: the neighbourhoods of Grand River South and Grand River North. In fact, much of the overall Stanley Park area (including neighbourhoods like Chicopee and Idlewood) might be considered ‘near’ to the airport, but it is really those first two that lie a mere stone’s throw away.
 

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As the neighbourhoods’ names imply, they are right next to the Grand River. And it is the Grand River alone that separates them from Breslau (and Woolwich) and the Region of Waterloo International Airport (hence the two bridges mentioned earlier). These are lovely neighbourhoods, with great communities and unfettered access to nature – if you’d like to know more about them specifically, be sure to click the links on their names.
 

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Conclusion

The Region of Waterloo International Airport connects Kitchener-Waterloo, and the surrounding areas, to the outside world. If you’re someone who commutes regularly to and from Toronto for business, you have the swift convenience of FlyGTA. If you have family on the west coast, WestJet has got you covered. And if you love going to a warm destination during the winter months – well, Punta Cana’s just a short flight away.
 
There are a few extra elements to consider when you’re looking at a property near an airport (namely, noise and busyness), but for most people, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Waterloo Region or Guelph, please don’t hesitate to contact us. That’s all for today – we hope you’ve enjoyed the flight*!
 
*If you read this while flying. Otherwise, we just hope you enjoyed the article.
 
Written by Will Kummer
 
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