Westmount Area in Waterloo
It’s time for another entry in WRX Property Group’s ongoing series on the neighbourhoods of Kitchener-Waterloo. On the docket for today is a neighbourhood that was once referred to as the ‘Tie that binds the Twin Cities’ (sorry, Cambridge – no Tri-Cities for today).
Located in the middle of southern Waterloo, this historic neighbourhood is named Westmount, and it rests right on the border with Kitchener such that you can hop up or down Westmount Road and switch cities without even knowing it. The boundaries of Westmount stretch from approximately the point where University Avenue and Westmount Road meet in the north, with University Ave and Fischer-Hallman serving as the western border, Westwood Drive as the southern border, and Belmont Avenue as the eastern border.
Westmount is widely recognized as one of Waterloo’s finest, most desirable neighbourhoods – and it has been for quite some time. Back in 1912, a local tire company executive by the name of Talmon Rieder decided he’d like to replicate Montréal’s famous Westmount area in his native Waterloo.
So with a little help from his friends, he formed the Westmount Improvement Company and began buying up land. Over the next few decades, Westmount blossomed into a beautiful, upscale suburb, and it became an attractive place to call home for residents of both Waterloo and Kitchener.
When the Westmount Golf & Country Club opened its doors (and greens) in 1931, Westmount’s reputation was solidified.
Because houses were built gradually over the course of several decades (and many of them with individually-hired architects), styles can vary drastically within Westmount. But this is part of Westmount’s charm: particularly in the area known as ‘Old Westmount,’ you can find compact, economical wartime homes, and sprawling estates with sloped, tree-lined lawns and large, stately homes.
On average, this is one of the pricier neighbourhoods in Kitchener-Waterloo, with prices tending to hover around the $500 000 mark, and offerings valued at over $1 million. As always, if you’re interested in finding out more about availabilities in Westmount – or any other areas – please feel free to contact us; we’re happy to help however we can.
Westmount is in a prime location to take advantage of both downtown Kitchener and uptown Waterloo, and all the opportunities both provide – parts of Westmount are essentially equidistant from both. It’s a short jaunt over to either Waterloo Park or Victoria Park, the two lovely green spaces adjacent to uptown and downtown respectively (you can go to alternating parks each weekend).
But it’s not even necessary to go that far: on Westmount’s southern border, on Chopin Drive, is Gzowski Park (a proudly Polish place), and to the southeast are the sizable Monarch Woods and Lynnvalley Parks, both with stunning trails, rippling streams, and dense coverage of tall trees.
Two shopping areas are quite close to Westmount. To the east, at the intersection of University and Fischer-Hallman is Glasgow Heights Plaza, with a dentist’s office and medical centre, Rexall Pharma Plus, Tim Hortons, Food Basics for your grocery-shopping needs, and more.
There’s a larger plaza to the northwest, by Westmount Road and Erb Street, with multiple restaurants, a Pharmasave, a Michaels (for all of your creative needs), a Canada Post, and more. These are both fine, sufficient shopping areas, but one of the true draws to Westmount lies to the west: Belmont Village. Purchased from the city for a single dollar in 1947, Belmont Village has become a fixture of Waterloo life, attractive to businesses, residents, and visitors alike.
It’s located just west of Westmount, along Belmont Avenue: a quaint, historic stretch of the city that features diverse shopping opportunities and more. You can get delicious food and drink; participate in various healthy living activities (yoga, martial arts, and beyond); spend a day at the spa; take advantage of numerous stores (both local and chains); enjoy community events; and much, much more.
One of Westmount’s primary attractions shares its name: the Westmount Golf & Country Club. This private club opened in 1931, and it has attracted many an avid golfer to Waterloo (and Westmount) ever since. It features a sleek, 18-hole course with pristine greens and well-equipped practice facilities.
Indeed, many tournaments have been held here over the years, and it is consistently ranked one of the top 15 golf courses in Canada. Westmount also features curling facilities, clay tennis courts, and a modern, fully-equipped clubhouse for when you’re ready to put down the golf clubs, tennis racquets, or brooms (one of these things is not like the others) and partake in the lost art of conversation.
There area variety of membership options, and the different facilities offer programs for various ages and skill levels.
Waterloo has a reputation for top of the line education, and Westmount exceeds this reputation. Within Westmount itself is Empire Public School. Empire PS has been a proud part of the Westmount community since 1954, and it’s had renovations and additions over the years, including a brand new double gym and an Outdoor Learning Circle.
It has a student population of over 600, serves Kindergarten-Grade 6, and offers French Immersion starting in first grade. Upon completing the sixth grade, students will attend either MacGregor Public School in Uptown (northeast of Westmount), or Centennial Public School in Beechwood (northwest of Westmount) for grades 7 and 8.
Each of these schools offers French Immersion, too. Students in the Catholic Board will attend Our Lady of Lourdes School, right off of Westmount Road South. According to the Fraser Institute, both Empire PS and Our Lady of Lourdes are among the best schools in Kitchener-Waterloo – particularly Our Lady of Lourdes, which has been among the top ten Waterloo elementary schools for the past five years (figures do not exist for MacGregor and Centennial, as the Fraser Institute’s rankings are based on results on tests performed in Grade 3 and 6).
Waterloo’s a prestigious place, with prominent, comprehensive universities; numerous innovative tech companies; forward-thinking transportation initiatives; and more. Within an already lovely city, Westmount stands out as a particularly lovely neighbourhood.
From its earliest stages, over a century ago, Westmount was intended as a beautiful ‘garden suburb,’ with picturesque streets lined by antique streetlamps and beautiful homes. Take a walk through Westmount and you’ll probably agree: it’s a little slice of elegance in an ever-changing region.
Written by Will Kummer