Best Areas for Families in Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener-Waterloo is without a doubt, a great place to live and raise a family. As with any city, there are some areas that are more amenable to family life than others. In this article, we outline a few of our top picks for family-friendly neighbourhoods in the KW area.

We have taken the following criteria into account when choosing our suggestions; proximity to reputable schools, crime rates, access to green space, and proximity to commercial centres.

We have included rankings from the Fraser Institute for the schools found in our chosen neighbourhoods. The number you see following each school is a general score out of 10, based on averages taken from student report cards. We have also included crime rate data from Statistics Canada, illustrating the safety of the neighbourhoods.

Please read on to see our best areas for families in Kitchener-Waterloo!

Huron Park in Kitchener

Huron Park is an area of Kitchener located at the south end of the city. Minutes from Highway 401, Huron Park is bursting with new development, and is home to several reputable schools, which include; Jean Steckle Public School (6.1), Janet Metcalfe Public School (5.3), and
Huron Heights Secondary School (6.5).

Huron Park is a safe area with lower than average crime rates. According to Statistics Canada 2020, Huron Park ranks 23% below the total national crime rate, 20% below the national rate for violent crime, and 24% below the national average for property crime.

The Huron Natural Area is perhaps the biggest draw when it comes to reasons for moving to this neighbourhood. Spanning 264 acres, this natural park contains forests, wetlands, meadows, and many hiking trails. The trails connect directly to residential areas, Huron Village, for example, making it easy for residents to step out into nature.

When it comes to proximity to shopping and commercial centres, Huron Park is an up-and-coming area. Many retailers and services are springing up in the neighbourhood as expansion continues. Historically home to more industrial-type outlets, Huron Park now has more coffee shops, convenience stores, take-out food, dental services etc. As the area expands, large grocery and big-box-type stores are under construction.

Lackner Woods Kitchener

With its proximity to Highway 7&8 and Chicopee Ski Hill, Lackner Woods is a desirable family neighbourhood located in northeast Kitchener. Popular elementary schools in the area include; Lackner Woods Public School and Chicopee Hills Public School.

Lackner Woods is a very safe area, with Statistics Canada reporting a total crime rate of 45% below the national average, 43% below the violent crime rate, and 46% below the national average for property crime.

Bordered by the Grand River, this neighbourhood is very close to trails and other river-related activities. For something a bit closer to the residential areas, Lackner Woods Natural Area provides ample greenspace and trails for residents to enjoy.

Lackner Woods is just a short drive away from grocery stores and pharmacies. Zehrs Stanley Park is a popular, nearby option for groceries as is Costco, which is accessible just off Highway 7&8 and Fairview Shopping Mall is also close by.

Laurelwood in Waterloo

Laurelwood is a very popular location for families looking to make the move to the KW region. Located on the western edge of Waterloo, Laurelwood is one of the newer areas in the city.

Home to Laurelwood Public School, the neighbourhood has bragging rights over this high-ranking elementary school (9.1)! Vista Hills Public School (7.5) is another elementary school in the area and for secondary school students, Laurel Heights Secondary School is the closest option (7.2).

The Laurelwood area boasts impressively low crime rates. Residents can feel safe with a 63% lower than the national average rate for total crime, a 61% lower rate for violent crime, and a 63% lower than average score for property crime.

Residents of Laurelwood have the good fortune of being close to Laurel Creek Conservation Area and Laurel Creek Reservoir. Here one will find all sorts of outdoor activities for the family to enjoy. These include; camping, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, hiking, cycling, swimming, and winter programs. The conservation area is also home to a boat launch and public washrooms.

Living in Laurelwood, one will never be far from retail necessities. Located central to several grocery stores, banks, and services, this neighbourhood is close to it all, including Costco on Erb. St. W.

Eastbridge in Waterloo

Eastbridge is a family-friendly neighbourhood in Waterloo. Located on the northern tip of the city, heading toward Conestogo, this area has a rural feel while maintaining proximity to the important amenities.

Reputable schools in Eastbridge include; Lester B. Pearson Public School (7.5), and Millen Woods Public School (8.0). Grand River Collegiate Institute (6.4) is the nearest secondary school to the Eastbridge area.

The Eastbridge area of Waterloo also has extremely low crime rates, similar to those of Laurelwood. With a 63% lower than the national average for total crime, a 62% lower average for violent crime, and a 64% lower average for property crime, Eastbridge is a safe neighbourhood for families.

Residents of this area can take advantage of Eastbridge Green, a large greenspace adjacent to Lester B Pearson Public School, a perfect spot for dog walking or a soccer game. Also in close proximity is the Grand River. With easy access to its many trails and related activities, those living in Eastbridge are only minutes away from this terrific natural resource.

Eastbridge is also close to Conestoga Mall.


Choosing the right neighbourhood is a big decision for any family. Many factors come into play as we all want the best when it comes to the health and happiness of our loved ones. Kitchener-Waterloo is a great place to set down roots and enjoy all the region has to offer, especially for families.

We hope this article has been helpful and are happy to answer any questions you may have about moving to Kitchener-Waterloo. We are here to help!