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Upper Beechwood Area in Waterloo

Hello, again, and welcome once more to WRX Property Group’s series on the neighbourhoods of Kitchener-Waterloo. Today, like yesterday, we’ll be looking at one of Waterloo’s neighbourhoods: the final neighbourhood with the prestigious ‘Beechwood’ moniker. Let’s get acquainted with: Upper Beechwood!
Upper Beechwood’s boundaries are made up approximately by Columbia Street West in the north; Fischer-Hallman Road North in the east; Keats Way in the south; and Erbsville Road in the west. It borders Beechwood on the east, and Beechwood West to the south, with Clair Hills and Laurelwood to the west and north. Like the other Beechwood neighbourhoods, Upper Beechwood is an upscale neighbourhood located fairly centrally within Waterloo. Most of the homes here were built between the 1980s and 1990s (making it slightly newer than neighbouring Beechwood), and they are typically quite spacious, with large lawns and beautiful brick facades. On average, the homes in Upper Beechwood are more expensive than other areas of Kitchener-Waterloo, but there is a range of prices available. On the lower end of the spectrum, houses can start in the low to mid $300 000s, and climb to over $800 000 – the average price in Upper Beechwood is around $700 000. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact WRX, whether by email, phone, or our handy chat feature – we’re happy to help however we can.

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Location

Upper Beechwood isn’t quite on the extreme western border of Waterloo (where the city begins to transition into the rural landscapes of the neighbouring Townships of Wilmot and Wellesley), but nor is it part of the hustle and bustle of Uptown, the university campuses, or Conestoga Mall. Upper Beechwood is a place to plant roots: a sophisticated, active neighbourhood with high property value (meaning investing in a home here is a safe investment). Several Grand River Transit (GRT) bus routes pass Upper Beechwood along its major, border streets, including two iXpress lines (201 and 202). Getting to and from the universities, Conestoga Mall, and the Boardwalk (for example) is quite easy. Upper Beechwood is relatively far from the Conestoga Parkway, but its arterial roads (particularly Fischer-Hallman) mean getting around is fairly simple.

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Shopping

Many of Upper Beechwood’s shopping needs are satisfied quite close to home. Located by the northeast corner of the neighbourhood, by the intersection of Columbia and Fischer-Hallman, is the Laurelwood Shopping Centre. This open-air shopping area features a Sobeys (with groceries, flowers, a pharmacy, a Canada Post branch, and more); a few restaurants (including Domino’s Pizza); a Starbucks; a couple banks; a gas station; and more. It certainly covers the basics, but if you’re looking for more variety, the best options are Uptown Waterloo to the east, or the Boardwalk to the southwest. We discussed Uptown in an earlier article (read it here), and the Boardwalk comes up frequently, as well: it’s one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s newest shopping destinations, and it truly has a bit of everything. Upper Beechwood isn’t exactly close to the major shopping areas of Kitchener-Waterloo, but it has enough to get by, and it’s certainly kept quieter by not being a major hub of activity.


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Parks

The major green space within Upper Beechwood is Regency Park. Located in the southeast of the neighbourhood, Regency Park features beautiful, tree-lined trails, a playground, and a painted soccer field, and it has access to two baseball diamonds. Paved trails spread from Regency Park throughout the neighbourhood, meaning that wherever you live, you’ll only be a short walk away from one of them. The large and lovely Clair Lake (and the extensive park surrounding it) is quite close, just on the east side of Fischer-Hallman in Beechwood. And further north is the even larger (and perhaps even lovelier) Laurel Creek Conservation Area, which features trails, attractions, and activities for all ages. Upper Beechwood is served, like Beechwood West, by two Neighbourhood Associations: Upper Beechwood #1 and Upper Beechwood #2. They each provide residents with wonderful recreational facilities, including pools, tennis and basketball courts, ice rinks, and more. Check out their websites here: Upper Beechwood #1 and Upper Beechwood #2.

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Education

There is only one school within Upper Beechwood’s boundaries (Mary Johnston Public School), but several more are nearby. Zoning for students in Upper Beechwood is as follows: students in the public school board (WRDSB) will attend Mary Johnston for Kindergarten to Grade 6. It’s located just north of Keats Way and is one of the WRDSB’s highly ranked elementary schools, according to the Fraser Institute. For Grades 7 and 8, Upper Beechwood public students are zoned for Centennial Public School, east of Fischer-Hallman in Beechwood. Both Mary Johnston and Centennial offer French Immersion. Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School (SJAM) serves as the high school for Upper Beechwood students; it’s also consistently one of the top three schools in the WRDSB. You can read all about SJAM in its WRX article here. Students in the Catholic board (WCDSB) will attend St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School for Kindergarten to Grade 8. St. Nicholas, located north of Upper Beechwood in Laurelwood, is one of the top schools in all of Kitchener-Waterloo – indeed, St. Nicholas tied as the best school in the entire region (in both WCDSB and WRDSB) in the 2015-16 school year, according to the Fraser Institute. For high school, Upper Beechwood Catholic students will attend Resurrection Catholic Secondary School. Resurrection is the newest Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener-Waterloo; it opened in 1990 to replace St. Jerome’s. It’s located just south of the border with Kitchener. Because both Catholic schools are not local to Upper Beechwood, students are eligible for transportation by bus.

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As noted, Upper Beechwood residents have access to great schools. Indeed, a big part of Waterloo’s reputation as a wonderful place to live is the excellent education students can receive here. So of course, we must mention Waterloo’s two universities: the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Upper Beechwood is quite close to the University of Waterloo – getting there is as easy as driving east along Columbia Street (or, if you’re feeling adventurous, taking Keats Way to the aptly-named University Avenue West). Wilfrid Laurier is not too far, either – just a few minutes past UW. Upper Beechwood is nice in that it offers a quiet, settled, suburban lifestyle, but it’s quite close to the energetic enthusiasm of the university campuses. It’s worth noting that Waterloo has a campus of Conestoga College, as well. The opportunities for post-secondary education and employment in Waterloo make it an excellent city for people of all ages.


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Conclusion

Upper Beechwood is an upscale, attractive neighbourhood located in the heart of Waterloo. Whether you’re working, raising a family, or enjoying retirement, its particular offerings may make it the perfect place for you.

Written by Will Kummer

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