The Kitchener-Waterloo region offers plenty of opportunities and amenities for work and play and everything in between. But there are often situations where work, school, or something else requires a regular commute into the provincial capital city of Toronto.
If you’re looking to get away from the prices of the Toronto market, or if you’re already in Kitchener-Waterloo and making a regular Toronto commute, or are about to start doing so, you’ve got options in the K-W area!
Here are the best areas in Kitchener-Waterloo for commuting to Toronto
Situated on the west end of Kitchener, Laurentian West resides on the south side of the Conestoga Parkway, numerically designated Highway 8. This location gives quick access to the highway system, with a drive of about fifteen minutes to reach Mcdonald-Cartier Freeway, numerically designated Highway 401, which gives direct access to Toronto.
Big box store shoppers in Laurentian West can find the Sunrise Shopping Centre just off Highway 8.
The area boasts plenty of green spaces and schools for the family-conscious or outdoorsy types. The area is home to Williamsburg Public School, WT Townsend Public School, and John Sweeney Catholic Elementary School.
The Laurentian Wetlands are a nature preserve measuring 2.12 kilometres across that provides green scenery although it has no designated public lookouts. In the northwest end, the Trussler Greenway extends along the highway, and just south of it are the Trussler Woods.
The Hydro Corridor Trail is located on Laurentian West’s south side and is the beginning of the Laurentian Trail, which is a mostly paved path that stretches for three kilometres from the west to east ends of Kitchener. It follows several hydro corridors, connecting through many different schools and parks, and is quietly separated from the bustle of the streets and roads.
8 Markwood Dr, Kitchener, N2M 2H4
8 Markwood Dr, KitchenerMore
138 THICKSON RD N, Whitby, L1N3R2
138 Thickson Road, Whitby, Ontario L1N3R2More
51 OAKDALE Court, Kitchener, N2P2S9
51 OAKDALE Court, Kitchener, Ontario N2P2S9More
580 BEAVER CREEK Road Unit# 266, Waterloo, N2J3Z4
580 BEAVER CREEK Road, Waterloo, Ontario N2J3Z4More
6 KRON DR, Guelph, N1G3E2
6 Kron Drive, Guelph, Ontario N1G3E2More
150 WATER Street N Unit# 1010, Cambridge, N1R0B5
150 WATER Street, Cambridge, Ontario N1R0B5More
125 MILL Street E, Elora, N0B1S0
125 MILL Street, Elora, Ontario N0B1S0More
6 KRON Drive, Guelph, N1G3E2
Guelph, Ontario N1G3E2More
The Rosemount neighbourhood was developed in the 1950s and 1960s, so it shows a little more age than somewhere like Laurentian West. However, it provides quicker access to McDonald-Cartier Freeway via Conestoga Parkway with the drive clocking in at just over ten minutes.
And for those longer trips, Region of Waterloo International Airport is just over ten minutes drive to the East, on the other side of the Grand River. The airport provides flights to limited destinations in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Rosemount is also a smaller area compared to other subdivisions but it contains all the necessities, and neighbouring sections of the city provide anything else that Rosemount itself might lack. For the school-aged, both Smithson Public School and Ecole David St. Jaques are situated within Rosemount, and just across the Conestoga Parkway to the west are St. Anne’s Catholic School and Sheppard Public School.
Victoria Street runs along the neighbourhood’s north side and is loaded with fast food or restaurant dining options, various shopping options, and gas and automotive stops on both sides of the street. On the subdivision’s opposite end to the south, Stanley Park Mall includes shopping at anchor stores Zehr’s Market, Dollar Tree, LCBO, Shopper’s Drug Mart and includes a TD Bank branch.
Away from the busy concrete rush is the Stanley Park Conservation Area. It covers almost all of the area’s east boundary with lush green space, which includes a nearly three-kilometre stretch of trail that takes just under an hour to complete at an easy and welcoming difficulty level.
Residents are welcome to go for a run, bike ride, or stroll through the Park’s natural beauty. Indoor activities are just to the south at the Stanley Park Community Centre, which includes a triple gym.
The gyms are available to rent for up to ten people at a time for a nominal fee. The centre also includes adult exercise programs such as yoga, cardio, pilates, and Zumba.
For the kids or teens, they offer a less-strenuous section with music lessons and arts & crafts. For some fresh air, you can try the Centre’s outdoor skating in the winter months or basketball courts in the sunshine of the summer.
Unlike Laurentian West and Rosemount, this area is located on the Waterloo side of Kitchener-Waterloo, and is the furthest North of the three. It encompasses the largest square area of any of the three and is neighboured by Lakeshore North which offers access to even more amenities.
Despite its further location from the 401, it doesn’t suffer from being a much longer commute thanks to the Highway 7 expressway which makes the connecting drive approximately 25 minutes long.
Alternatively, two LRT stations run through Lakeshore, with the track running north-south through the neighbourhood. Northfield Station is up on the north end, while Research & Technology Station is situated in the south.
There are four public school options in Lakeshore, as it is home to NA MacEachern Public School, Cedarbrae Public School, and Winston Churchill Public School. Sir Edgar Bauer Catholic Elementary school provides the option for Catholic students.
For higher learning, the University of Waterloo main campus is directly south of the Lakeshore boundary on the south side of Columbia Street. The University’s North Campus is in the southwest corner of the subdivision.
Grocery shopping options directly within Lakeshore are Farm Boy fresh food market, Dollarama, and Onkar Foods & Spices. Across the north boundary into Lakeshore North is Northfield Sobeys, and nearby Conestoga Mall includes a Zehrs.
For a more farm-to-table grocery experience, the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market is eight minutes drive north and offers fruit & veggies, dairy & eggs, and meat & seafood.
Lakeshore’s proximity to the University of Waterloo gives it unique access to nature activities. The North Campus of the University has constructed the man-made Columbia Lake, which is open for public use.
The lakefront includes two public-use fire pits, as well as a four-kilometre walking trail around the water’s perimeter. The area is popular for bird watching and includes a few off-leash areas for dogs. It also includes a Disc Golf Course maintained by the University, but it requires University Membership or the purchase of day or season passes for access to use.
For those interested in taking in the local sports fare, just east of Columbia Lake and within walking distance is Warrior Field, a 5700-person capacity stadium that is home to the Waterloo Warriors football, field hockey, and soccer teams.
Kitchener-Waterloo provides plenty of living options for those that need to make the regular commute to and from Toronto. Mainly, it still provides the conveniences of city living with all the amenities but leaves out the congestion of the big city and its expensive housing prices.
With great options for schooling, active living spaces, and green spaces, as well as all the necessary shopping choices, the K-W region provides all the comforts of home even if commuters need to spend some time in Toronto.
Contact us if you have any questions!