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Laurentian Area in Kitchener

Welcome to the WRX Property Group website! We’ve gone through most of the neighbourhoods of Kitchener-Waterloo; feel free to peruse the articles about each of the distinct neighbourhoods in their respective sections. Today, and tomorrow, we’ll be looking at two broader areas of Kitchener and Waterloo comprised of several neighbourhoods: Laurentian in Kitchener and Beechwood in Waterloo. So for today, let’s head just south of the Conestoga Parkway in central/western Kitchener, and find out the key details of the Laurentian area!

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The Laurentian area of Kitchener stretches from east to west, starting at the rough middle point of Kitchener to its western border. The broader Laurentian area’s boundaries are approximately as follows: the Conestoga Parkway in the north; Courtland Avenue East and Manitou Drive in the east; Bleams Road in the south; and Trussler Road in the west. Trussler Road serves as the western border of the City of Kitchener with the Township of Wilmot. The neighbourhoods within the broader Laurentian area are: Activa; Alpine Village; Country Hills; Laurentian Hills; Laurentian West; and Williamsburg (each neighbourhood has its own article on their individual pages). Because Laurentian is such a large area, prices for homes will vary, but houses typically range from around $300 000 to around $800 000, depending on size and location. Typically, homes closer to the central part of Kitchener (and in the vicinity of downtown) are older, and as you travel further to the south and the west, homes are newer. This mostly holds true for Laurentian: homes in Alpine Village and Laurentian Hills (and most of Country Hills) date back primarily to between the 1960s and 1980s – they are established neighbourhoods with mature trees, and plenty of post-war model architecture. Laurentian West, and particularly the Williamsburg Community, are much newer – many of the homes here were built after 2000 – and major development of the eastern part of Country Hills (Country Hills East) also started after 2000.

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Shopping

Laurentian residents have access to some of the best shopping in all of Kitchener-Waterloo. There are quite a few smaller plazas and shopping areas throughout the area, but we’ll highlight a few of the most impressive shopping opportunities for you here. In Laurentian West is the Sunrise Shopping Centre: over 500 000 square feet of retail space, with plenty of options for clothing and footwear, a wide variety of restaurants, several large chain stores (including a Walmart Supercentre and Canadian Tire), and more. In Laurentian Hills is Laurentian Mall: part of the SmartCentres group, there are numerous big box stores here, including a Zehrs and a Staples, quite a few restaurants (including Montana’s and Boston Pizza), and several smaller shops. South of here, between Laurentian Hills, Alpine Village, and Country Hills, is the Forest Glen Plaza. This is a fine plaza, with a No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, and several shops and restaurants (including the lovely, local Debrodniks Donuts). Another perk of the Forest Glen Plaza will be mentioned in the next section (it’s also worth noting that it’s quite close to the Country Hills Community Centre). Finally, just east of Country Hills East is the popular Fairway Road shopping area (Courtland Avenue turns into Fairway Road; it’s easy enough to get to from other parts of the Laurentian area). Fairway Road has a very wide variety of shops and restaurants of all different shapes and sizes (it has, among other things, the only Nando’s in Kitchener-Waterloo – great for when you have a craving for Portuguese, South African chicken). Fairway Road also leads to Fairview Park Mall, the largest enclosed mall in the Waterloo Region – for even more shopping opportunities, and shelter from the cold during the winter.


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Transportation

One of the biggest benefits of living in Laurentian is the area’s excellent access to the Conestoga Parkway. Highway 8 runs along the northern border of Laurentian, and residents can follow it north to Highway 7 (which leads to eastern Kitchener, and eventually to Guelph) and Highway 85 (which serves Waterloo and the area north of it [such as St. Jacobs]). Alternatively, you can follow Highway 8 south to southern parts of Kitchener (such as Doon, and its Conestoga College campus) and Cambridge. This section of Highway 8 also links up with the 401, one of Ontario’s most vital highways (it stretches from Windsor, through Toronto, to Cornwall). Several bus routes travel through the Laurentian area (including the iXpress 201), and the major transit hub at Fairview Park Mall is not too far away. Perhaps most importantly, though, is the satellite terminal at Forest Glen Plaza: several different bus lines converge here, and its convenient location near the centre of the Laurentian area means residents can easily take advantage of it (check out the layout, and the routes, here). Finally, the Block Line station stop on the forthcoming LRT service will be on the extreme northeast edge of Laurentian.

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Activities

There are numerous parks throughout the Laurentian area. Laurentian West has a large swathe of forested land, as well as the rural landscape of Wilmost to the west. There are so many great green areas, but one of the highlights is McLennan Park. One of the larger parks in Kitchener-Waterloo, McLennan Park is located in Laurentian Hills; it features a sprawling Great Lawn, a dog park, a splash pad, and much more. The Laurentian community is served by the Country Hills branch of the Kitchener Public Library; it’s located on Block Line Road, near Alpine Village and Country Hills East, and it’s a great place to spend time and participate in a variety of social events. Also in this area is the massive Activa Sportsplex, which boasts facilities for a variety of sports (including full-size ice rinks).
Depending on which neighbourhood you live in, different Neighbourhood/Community Associations (or their equivalents) are available to you. It may be helpful to check out this map, which outlines the rough territories served by each official, currently active Neighbourhood Association: click here. The Laurentian Area includes the Alpine Community Neighbourhood Association; the Chandler-Mowat Neighbourhood Association; the Country Hills Recreation Association; and the Williamsburg Community Association. WRX Property Group has done a profile on the Williamsburg Community Association; check it out here to discover what they’re all about. In general, though, Neighbourhood Associations organize fun events throughout the year and strive to build connections between neighbours.


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Conclusion

The Laurentian area is suburban in feel, but it has great shopping options throughout, amazing access to the Conestoga Parkway (and thus, quick access to the rest of Kitchener-Waterloo and the Waterloo Region), plenty of parks and activities, and more. It’s a great place for singles, couples, and families. There are several schools in the area; check out the individual neighbourhoods’ articles to find out more about school zoning. All in all, Laurentian is a gem of an area in Kitchener-Waterloo – its central location makes it easy to get to other parts of the TriCities, but you won’t need to too often since Laurentian has so much to offer on its own!

Written by Will Kummer

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