Clair Hill (Clair Creek Meadows) and Columbia Forest Area
Hello again, and a very warm welcome to the WRX Property Group blog. Today we’ll be diving back into the ongoing series on Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhoods.
The subject of today’s article can be found on the west side of Waterloo: Clair Hills. Sometimes affectionately referred to as the Clair Creek Meadows Area, this is a great part of Waterloo with quite a few perks. Let’s bring some clarity to Clair Hills!
Clair Hills is one of the westernmost neighbourhoods in Kitchener-Waterloo. Its boundaries run to the extreme western limit of the City of Waterloo, where it borders the Township of Wilmot (the community of St. Agatha is a short drive away.
The rough boundaries of Clair Hills are Columbia Street to the north, Erbsville Road to the east, Erb Street to the south, and Wilmot Line to the west (Yes, both Erb and Erbsville… they’re big fans of Abraham Erb [founder of Waterloo] in Clair Hill).
The residential streets north of Columbia Street and around the northern branch of Clair Creek are part of Clair Hill, too. Clair Hill presently has an active Community Association, which is an excellent way to get involved with, and stay informed about, the Clair Hills community. The Clair Hills Community Association organizes fun events, distributes a regular newsletter, and ensures resident’s concerns don’t go unaddressed (and much more).
Clair Hill has been developed quite a bit over the last few years; indeed, many houses in this neighbourhood are less than ten years old. And while houses across the board are modern – and equipped with modern facilities (granite counter tops are fairly common, for example) – sizes (and consequently, prices) can vary greatly.
There are more than 1500 homes in the neighbourhood, and prices can range from around $400 000 to $1.5 million and higher. Please contact WRX Property Group if you’d like to know more.
Is location everything? Well, when it comes to buying a house, it certainly matters quite a bit! So what’s near Clair Hill? As a new development on the far side of the city, some might worry that there aren’t shopping options nearby.
But worry not – at the southern edge of Clair Hill (at the intersection of Erb and Erbsville) is a newly-built, extensive shopping area, with big-box stores like Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mart, banks, food markets, a Starbucks, and more. There’s also a massive Costco warehouse for people who love free food samples (who doesn’t??) and purchasing things in bulk.
And that’s just what’s in the neighbourhood – if you go a little further north, you’ll find a shopping area (including a Food Basics) by Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School. If you go south, you’ll reach the Boardwalk at Ira Needles Boulevard.
This massive, new, open-air shopping centre has just about everything – almost all of the major chains operating in Canada, from a Wal-Mart Supercentre to Bulk Barn and beyond. Beyond the shopping, the Boardwalk has multiple medical facilities in its sizeable Medical Centre, a Movati Athletic health and fitness club, a Landmark Cinemas theatre, and more.
Clair Hill has a lot to offer outdoor-enthusiasts, as well. The Waterloo Golf Academy in the west of Clair Hill has a 9-hole course, a full-length driving range, a family-friendly mini-putt course, and more. Hikers, walkers, and explorers can delight in a few things: firstly, northern Clair Hill has access to the start (and end!) point of the Waterloo GeoTime Trail.
This 4km trail runs in a loop through western Waterloo, with 18 signs along the path providing a fascinating glimpse into Waterloo’s geological history. The GeoTime Trail was created in 2007, to celebrate Waterloo’s 150 th birthday (Abraham Erb would be proud).
Arguably, one of Waterloo’s ‘best-kept secrets’ is Clair Forest (or ‘Forested Hills’), a huge forested area that features the rippling waters of Clair Creek, and over 12 kilometers of trails. It’s beautiful, it’s quiet, and perhaps most importantly to Clair Hill residents, it’s right next door. The Westside Trails, as they’re called, stretch along Clair Hill and Waterloo’s western border.
Amazingly, this is just scratching the surface of what’s available near and in Clair Hill – there’s even more to explore and discover, from the Rhineland SWM Pond to outdoor skating rinks. Clair Hill is truly a wonderful area.
For parents/guardians (and future parents/guardians), it’s important to note what educational facilities are nearby – and what they offer – when you’re moving or buying a new home. Clair Hill residents have great access to several schools. Within Clair Hill’s boundaries is Edna Staebler Public School, located at 450 Bernary Drive.
Having opened its doors in 2007, it’s one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s newest schools. Edna Staebler is part of the public school board (WRDSB), and it serves Kindergarten to Grade 8 (with an option for French Immersion starting at Grade 1).
Over 900 students attend Edna Staebler. Students attending the Catholic school board (WCDSB) are zoned for St. Nicholas Catholic School (also Kindergarten to Grade 8), around 3 kilometers north of Clair Hill in the Laurelwood neighbourhood.
It should be noted that in 2015-16, St. Nicholas tied as the number one elementary school in Waterloo, according to the Fraser Institute. Catholic high school students are zoned for Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, located south of Clair Hill near the Kitchener/Waterloo border (a WRX article on Resurrection, and the other WCDSB secondary schools in Kitchener-Waterloo, is forthcoming).
For increasingly many students, schooling does not end at secondary school. And Clair Hill is well-situated to enable post-secondary education for its residents. The University of Waterloo is a short drive away, off of Columbia Street, and Wilfrid Laurier University is just a little further. A few minutes further still is the Waterloo Campus of Conestoga College.
Clair Hill is close enough to commute to and from the universities or college (by foot, by car, or by public transit [or other, more creative, means of transportation]) yet far enough that it feels separate, and residents need not worry about noise or busy streets.
This is great for post-secondary students, and for anyone interested in working for one of the institutions – they are among the largest employers in Kitchener-Waterloo.
To Clarify and Conclude
Clair Hill residents never need to travel far. Whether it’s schools, shopping, or outdoor activities, they’ve got it all – either within the neighbourhood boundaries, or a short drive/walk/bus ride away. As they say in Clair Hill: ‘life’s a fair thrill at Clair Hill.’ Well, I hope they say that, at least, because it’s true.
Written by Will Kummer