Idlewood Area in Kitchener
Nestled next to the slopes of noble Chicopee, Kitchener-Waterloo’s very own mountain and ski/snowboard/summer resort, is the neighbourhood of Idlewood. Located in the east of Kitchener, a stone’s throw away from both the Grand River, let me assure you of one thing: Idlewood residents are never idle, if they don’t want to be.
Let’s dive in.
Idlewood’s boundaries are made up by Ottawa Street North in the north; Lackner Boulevard in the east; Fairway Road North in the south (that North bit’s a bit of a misnomer in this instance); and Old Chicopee Drive in the west.
Two advantages of Idlewood are its proximity to some of Kitchener-Waterloo’s most renowned natural attractions, and its ease of access to the rest of Kitchener-Waterloo (through the Conestoga Parkway, primarily, but also arterial roads such as Fairway and King).
Idlewood is a calm, quiet suburb, perfect for people (whether individuals, couples, or families) looking primarily for a place to call home. Prices for detached homes here tend to range between $450 000 to over $1 million, but occasionally semi-detached homes will enter the market for a lower price.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact WRX if you have any questions; we’ll help however we can.
Idlewood is one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s smaller neighbourhoods. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have plenty to offer within its borders. Making up a large chunk of central Idlewood is the sizable Springmount Park, through which Idlewood Creek flows.
Notably, the City of Kitchener has set aside over $1 million to make improvements to the creek. Starting in 2018, the project aims to fight erosion, create several small islands, and make it a more suitable environment for local fish.
Springmount Park has dense, forested areas, as well as a network of trails spreading out in each direction. These trails connect Eby Park in the northwest, down through Idlewood Greenway, all the way to Briarfield Park in the south.
Within Idlewood, residents can make use of a painted soccer field, a baseball diamond, a tennis court, and playground equipment for children. And for eager walkers, there’s always the option of following Idlewood Creek on its path to the Grand River (particularly once the renovations have been completed).
Indeed, the Grand River (and several other nearby attractions) are part of Idlewood’s appeal.
Idlewood residents need only take a short (and quite pleasant) stroll along the trail through Natchen Hill to reach the M. R. Good Family Trailway. This is one of 19 Access Points to the much larger Walter Bean Grand River Trail – truly one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s most impressive attractions.
This trail starts far to the south, at the point where Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries meet. It then winds northward, following the Grand River all the way to the border between Waterloo and the Township of Woolwich.
This beautiful trail is one of the best ways to explore the Waterloo Region, and to get a sense of the stolid grandeur of the Grand River. It’s pretty good exercise, too (for human and dog alike [and if you’re the type of person who takes a ferret for a walk, I’m sure it’s good exercise for them, too]).
As mentioned earlier, Idlewood sits in the shadow of Chicopee Ski Club and Summer Resort. Chicopee opened for business over 80 years ago, when a group of businessmen wanted to take advantage of Canada’s snowy winters.
At first, it was purely a ski club, but today it offers activities for all ages, in both summer and winter. During the winter, guests can enjoy alpine skiing, snowboarding, and tubing (why learn to ski when you can slip down a mountain in an inner tube?).
Chicopee has 11 different trails (of varying difficulties) and several ski lifts. During the summer, Chicopee has facilities for rock-climbing, volleyball, tennis, disc golf, and more. Summer and winter camps are available (for several different age groups), and there are several options for memberships and day passes.
Despite Idlewood’s small size, there is, indeed, a shopping area in the neighbourhood’s northeast corner: the Lackner Centre. Here, residents can dine at Ginos Pizza or Jumbo Dragon Chinese (whatever suits their fancy); do some grocery shopping at Food Basics; take a driving test at the DriveTest Centre (because who doesn’t love a good driving test?); and more.
Near the Lackner Centre are a few other sites of interest to Idlewood residents: the Grand River Arena, with both indoor and outdoor sports facilities; Lyle Hallman Pool (open year round, with swimming lessons, a variety of programs, and even palm trees); and, perhaps most impressive of all, the Heritage Greens Lawn Bowling Club (because who doesn’t love a good lawn bowling session?).
Grand River Stanley Park Community Library, part of the Kitchener Public Library network, is here too. This location, like all KPL branches, has frequent social events and educational opportunities, and a respectable catalogue of books (and more).
If the Lackner Centre is insufficient, the larger Stanley Park Mall is by the neighbourhood’s northwest corner, at the intersection of Ottawa and River Road East. This mall includes a Zehrs, a Walmart, and many more shops and restaurants (including a Tim Hortons, one of the cornerstones of life in Canada).
And if this isn’t enough, Idlewood residents need only drive southwest along Fairway, and they will pass the plethora of restaurants and shops on King Street and Weber, and of course, Fairview Park Mall. Idlewood residents really do have quite a lot at their doorstep.
While there are no schools within Idlewood’s boundaries, there are several quite close by. Students in the public board (WRDSB) who live in the northwest quadrant of the neighbourhood will attend Crestview Public School for Kindergarten to Grade 6, and Stanley Park Public School for Grades 7 and 8.
Both of these schools offer French Immersion, and students living elsewhere in the neighbourhood can attend them if they wish to pursue the program. Students in the WRDSB living in the rest of Idlewood will attend Lackner Woods Public School for Kindergarten to Grade 6, and they will also attend Stanley Park for Grades 7 and 8.
Or high school, they will move on to the nearby Grand River Collegiate Institute (just a couple blocks north of Ottawa Street). You can find out more about Grand River C.I. here, in the WRX article on it.
Students in the Catholic board (WCDSB) will attend Saint John Paul II Catholic Elementary School for Kindergarten to Grade 8, and St. Mary’s High School for secondary school. They will be eligible for bussing to both schools, due to the relative distance.
For a small, quiet suburb, Idlewood certainly has access to quite a lot. And residents here seem to like it that way: there are amenities and attractions nearby, and some nice parks within the neighbourhood, but Idlewood mainly just feels like home.
So if you’re the type who likes to enjoy scenic outings, but then return to the peace and quiet of your familiar street, Idlewood might just be the place for you.
Written by Will Kummer