115 ALLEN Street W, Waterloo, N2L1E8
115 ALLEN Street, Waterloo, Ontario N2L1E8
539 BELMONT Avenue Unit# 302, Kitchener, N2M0A2
539 BELMONT Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario N2M0A2
539 BELMONT Avenue W Unit# 506, Kitchener, N2M0N2
539 BELMONT Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario N2M0N2
82 NORMAN Street, Waterloo, N2L1G5
82 NORMAN Street, Waterloo, Ontario N2L1G5
142 UNION Boulevard, Kitchener, N2M2S2
142 UNION Boulevard, Kitchener, Ontario N2M2S2
144 PARK Street Unit# 1805, Waterloo, N2L0B6
144 PARK Street, Waterloo, Ontario N2L0B6
Greetings! Welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog. Today we have in store for you another entry in our series on the many neighbourhoods and regions of Kitchener-Waterloo. Today’s neighbourhood, Belmont Village, is one of the most distinctive in the entire city: it’s got character, it’s got charm, it’s got history, it’s considered one of the Region’s finest places to live… and it’s time to take a closer look!
Where Is Belmont Village?
It’s quite common to see the term Kitchener-Waterloo used in reference to the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. No matter how interconnected and symbiotic they are, though, Kitchener and Waterloo remain separate cities, each with its own municipal government. When we’ve discussed neighbourhoods in the past, they typically fall either in Kitchener, or in Waterloo.
When it comes to Belmont Village, however, it’s a bit of a different story. If any neighbourhood is part of Kitchener-Waterloo, rather than Kitchener or Waterloo, then it is Belmont Village. Indeed, the Belmont Village stretches from the very south of Waterloo to the very north of Kitchener, passing through several neighbourhoods along the way.
Belmont Village is not a precisely delineated area, per se, but it essentially radiates outwards from Belmont Avenue West, with Union Boulevard and Highland Road West serving as very rough northern and southern borders. Homes that are part of Belmont Village technically fall into the neighbourhoods of Uptown Waterloo and Westmount in Waterloo (two historic neighbourhoods in their own right), and Victoria Hills and Cherry Hill in Kitchener.
Where (And When) It All Began
When the Great Depression hit Canada (and the Waterloo Region) in the 1930s, work and money were scarce, and many a Kitchener-Waterluvian was keen to find employment. One of the City’s solutions was an ambitious new construction project, which included everything from sewer systems to new roadways (with streetlights!). An effort was made to preserve plenty of green spaces, as well as a wide street in the centre: Belmont Avenue.
For several years, the area remained paved but unpopulated, and full of unrealized potential. Enter: Claude Musselman, who purchased the whole lot for $1 in 1947 ($22 in 2018 money; Musselman must have been quite a negotiator). Musselman commissioned a brick plaza, and a variety of stores began opening in the area.
From the ‘50s onward, Belmont Village really began to take shape. It was an eminently walkable neighbourhood, with a wide range of shops and restaurants, close proximity to urban centres, and a grid-shape. As car-centric suburbs began popping up around the edges of Kitchener-Waterloo in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Belmont Village maintained its distinctively self-contained and self-sufficient nature: residents had everything they could want just a short walk away.
The Heart of Belmont Village
Simply walking through the more residential segments of Belmont Village is enough to understand that the neighbourhood has its own unique vibe. But if you want to check out the most iconic segment of Belmont Village, head to the strip between the intersections of Belmont Avenue and Union Boulevard, and Belmont Ave. and Glasgow Street. The street is at its widest here, and very pedestrian and bicyclist-friendly.
You’ll find a wide range of shops and restaurants, ranging from quirky to cool to classy. This part of Belmont Village is also where some fantastic events take place every year: first of all, there’s the new Belmont Local Food Market, an honour-system farmers’ market. Car enthusiasts will love the ‘Cruise into Belmont Village’ event, which features classic cars. Christmas in the Village, on the other hand, has horse-wagon rides, great shopping opportunities, and the jolly man himself: Santa Claus.
All in all, there are over 70 businesses in Belmont Village – quite impressive for such a relatively small area. Included among Belmont Avenue’s businesses are health and fitness locations, a wide variety of unique restaurants (including Vegan, Thai, and Indian fare), cafés, spas, fashion hotspots, specialty shops, and so much more.