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King East Area in Kitchener

Welcome to the latest installment of WRX Property Group’s Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhood analysis extravaganza! Today we’ll be venturing once more to Downtown Kitchener, which holds the distinct appeal of being both one of the most established, historical parts of the region, while also being one with the most recent renovations and developments. Downtown Kitchener is subdivided into several individual neighbourhoods. And although initiatives and groups like the Kitchener Downtown Neighbourhood Alliance of Neighbourhood Associations (DNA) help instill a sense of interconnectedness here, each of the downtown neighbourhoods has its own unique charms. Today, the neighbourhood we’ll be looking at is: King East.
King East’s boundaries are made up by Cedar Street North in the northwest (though bylaws regulating neighbourhood boundaries are being revised, which will extend the neighbourhood northwest to Scott Street); Weber Street East in the northeast; Ottawa Street North in the southeast; and King Street East (naturally) in the southwest. Prices for detached homes tend to range between the mid $200 000s up to over $1 million. As always, if you’d like to know more, please contact WRX and we’ll happily address any questions and concerns you might have.

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Location

The streets of King East are elegant and alive, and the homes are historical and each feature distinctive architecture. King East has a lot going for it, but one of the top reasons that it’s a great place to live is its location – its access to all that downtown Kitchener has to offer. Let’s start off with the options available within the neighbourhood’s boundaries, shall we? First and foremost is the historic Kitchener Farmer’s Market. Dating back to a small gathering of locals selling goods from the region in 1839, the Farmer’s Market is one of Canada’s oldest, continuously-running markets. It was founded with its first permanent building in 1869 by local resident Jacob Shantz, and it has been on King Street ever since (though it’s been rebuilt several times, and relocated slightly in order to accommodate larger numbers of patrons). There’s almost no end to the wonders you can find within – all sorts of local food and art – and it’s a popular place with locals and tourists alike (Saturday is its busiest day, so you may want to arrive early). The Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m., and the vast array of dining options are open Tuesday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. (you can enjoy everything from authentic Caribbean cuisine from the Caribbean Kitchen to a fine cup of Fair Trade coffee and a scone from Serrinia Café and Roastery).

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King East has some local shops, restaurants, and chains within its boundaries, including BandT Food, Sushi Star, and Nova Era Bakery. Along the neighbourhood’s southern border are a wide variety of options, including several restaurants, the Healthoholics Wellness Centre, and two (that’s right, two) Tim Hortons within a couple blocks of each other. Once the neighbourhood’s boundaries get pushed to Scott Street, there will be even more available, with quite a few distinctive, local restaurants, boutiques, and cafés, as well as the New City Supermarket, a popular Asian grocer with fresh wares you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere in the region (including durians, the fruit you either really love, or really hate [personally, I love them]). The point is this: even within its neighbourhood boundaries, King East has plenty of variety, with a wide range of shops, dining establishments, and services. And as great as this is, there is so much more just past the neighbourhood itself, and around the downtown core. Victoria Park is a huge, stunning natural area, with many attractions, trails, a sizable lake (with a sturdy wooden bridge running over it), and more. The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (and the ample grounds surrounding it) provides facilities for multiple sports and a variety of other events (including concerts by such Canadian icons as the Tragically Hip and Michael Bublé), and it serves as the home of the Kitchener Rangers, Kitchener’s OHL team (Ontario Hockey League). These are just a few examples – there is a lot more to see and do in Downtown Kitchener.


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Transportation

Highlights close to King East include the Charles Street Transit Terminal, one of Grand River Transit’s (the public transit provider for the Waterloo Region and the TriCities [Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge]) two central stations. This bustling hub of activity has buses running throughout the Region, including rapid iXpress lines, as well as service from Greyhound, MegaBus, and GO. Once the LRT is up and running, there will be a station near the Charles Street terminals, as well as several other stations throughout the downtown core (the Kitchener Market and Borden LRT stops are right beside the King East neighbourhood – hopping on one of the sleek, futuristic ION electric cars will be a breeze for residents).

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Activities

King East is a tight-knit, community-centric neighbourhood, and it has been for years. Residents can look forward to weekly potlucks, family fun, organized events, and an overall sense of engagement and connection (to name but a few). The King East Neighbourhood Association (KENA) is a huge factor in this: ever since its formation a couple of years ago, it has worked tirelessly to promote King East and ensure its residents can truly feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. We have an article that delves much more deeply into the King East Neighbourhood Association, so if you’re interested in moving to the neighbourhood (or would simply like to learn more) you can read it here and find out what KENA is all about.


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Education

Students in the public board (WRDSB) will attend Suddaby Public School if they live north of Cameron Street North, and Sheppard Public School if they live south of here. Both of these schools serve Kindergarten to Grade 6, and both offer French Immersion. All King East students of the WRDSB are zoned for Courtland Avenue Public School for Grades 7 and 8. For high school, they are zoned for Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute – one of the Waterloo Region’s largest schools – which is located just outside of the neighbourhood’s boundaries. If you’d like to know more about Cameron Heights C.I., check out the WRX article on it here. Students in the Catholic board (WCDSB) will attend St. Anne Catholic Elementary School, which is located a few blocks northeast of King East (at the intersection of East Ave and Pandora Ave N.). For high school, they will attend St. Mary’s Catholic High School; bussing is available for students due to the distance from King East to St. Mary’s.

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Conclusion

Downtown Kitchener is dynamic and diverse. There is no shortage of unique, local shops and attractions, and the City of Kitchener’s investment in revitalizing its urban core really shows. King East has access to all of this and more – its location really is amazing. Some may worry that an urban neighbourhood could feel overly busy, or impersonal, but King East does not. Through the neighbourhood’s well-established roots, and the recent efforts of KENA, the mix of established residents and new arrivals belong to a true community. King Easy offers the best of both worlds: the activity and opportunity of the city centre, with the comfort and warmth of home.

Written by Will Kummer

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