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Victoria Park Area in Kitchener

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of WRX Property Group’s ongoing series on the neighbourhoods of Kitchener-Waterloo. We’ll get into the neighbourhood analysis shortly, but first: when you’re alone, and life is making you lonely, where can you go? A place where the lights are brighter, and you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares? That’s right! As Petula Clark famously informed us in 1964, you can go downtown! All this is a roundabout way of saying today’s neighbourhood is another one of Kitchener’s downtown region – in case you weren’t aware, downtown Kitchener is subdivided into several neighbourhoods, which loosely affiliated under the Kitchener Downtown Neighbourhood Alliance but still individually distinct. And so, without further ado, today’s neighbourhood is: Victoria Park!
Victoria Park’s boundaries are approximately Victoria Street South in the northwest; Joseph Street in the northeast; Queen Street South in the southeast; and West Avenue and Highland Road West in the southwest. You’ll find some of the most historic, refined properties in all of Kitchener-Waterloo here in Victoria Park: two or three storey homes built around the turn of the century (the twentieth-century, that is) are not at all uncommon. In addition to these detached homes is a mix of medium and high-rise buildings, as well as a growing number of condominiums closer to the downtown core (some of which are converted from historic industrial buildings. Prices for homes typically range between $400 000 to over $1 million. If you have any questions, please reach out to WRX – we’re always happy to help, and we take your concerns seriously.

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Location

There are many great things about the Victoria Park neighbourhood, but to me, the best part of the neighbourhood is right there in its name: Victoria Park itself. Victoria Park is one of the largest, and most beautiful parks in all of Kitchener-Waterloo, and dating all the way back to 1894, it’s also Kitchener’s oldest park. A lovely network of trails runs through Victoria Park, passing by its lush green grass and mature trees, as well as its major attractions (such as the Victoria Park Pavilion; the playground; the OLG Clocktower Stage; and of course, the famous, historic clocktower that adorns Kitchener’s flag). The centrepiece of Victoria Park, though, is (arguably) Victoria Park Lake. Its serene, still blue waters, with its green, tree-filled islands, and the handsome, wooden footbridges that cross it at various points – all of it is quite precious, and Victoria Park residents don’t need to think twice about heading over to enjoy all that it has to offer, no matter what the season.

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Victoria Park has great access to shopping, fine dining, bars, cafés, and more. Being right downtown really means that Victoria Park residents can see, eat, drink, or do just about anything they could want to, within a few minutes’ walk. Highlights include the famed Kitchener Market (the second floor has a wide variety of international food vendors, including fair trade coffee and El Salvadorian cuisine, as well as an area for children, from Tuesday to Saturday; the main floor’s Farmers’ Market runs only on Saturdays); THEMUSEUM, a fantastic museum with fresh, fascinating exhibits; and the primary, downtown branch of the Kitchener Public Library (a fantastic place to sit and read or chat, enjoying a hot or cold beverage from Hacienda Coffee in the lounge area, or even taking part in one of the many, many events hosted here). Finally, another of Victoria Park’s greatest assets is its active, enthusiastic Neighbourhood Association – the Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association (VPNA). They work hard to keep the community happy and engaged; you can read all about them, the fun activities they organize, and more about the neighbourhood in WRX Property Group’s feature on the VPNA here.


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Transportation

On the one hand, you might think transportation doesn’t matter as much to Victoria Park residents, as they’re close to everything: a short walk from one of the most beautiful, active parks in Kitchener-Waterloo, and right next to the bustling downtown core, with its shops, restaurants, and amenities. But sometimes, you’ve got to travel, whether it be for work, family, a trip to a larger grocery chain, or anything else. And Victoria Park is incredibly well-equipped to provide for your transportation needs. The neighbourhood is right by the Charles Street Transit Terminal – one of the primary transit hubs in the Waterloo Region. Here, residents can access local buses (the Grand River Transit network) heading just about anywhere in the TriCities and beyond; and intercity services such as Greyhound, Megabus, and GO, which offer several destinations and multiple departure times for Toronto. Once the LRT is operational (hopefully by mid 2018), Victoria Park residents will also be mere minutes from multiple ION stops (including the Central Station and Victoria Park stops), meaning it’s a breeze to get as far as Conestoga Mall to the north, and Fairview Park Mall to the south (the largest malls in Kitchener-Waterloo). Within a few years, the LRT is planned to extend to Cambridge (and for the time being, there will be bus service departing from the Fairview Park station), meaning Victoria Park has incredible access to each of the TriCities.

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Education

For Kindergarten to Grade 6, Victoria Park students in the public board (WRDSB) are zoned for J. F. Carmichael Public School if they live southwest of Jubilee Drive, and King Edward Public School if they live northeast of Jubilee Drive. Only J.F. Carmichael offers French Immersion, though, so students who weren’t otherwise zoned for it are eligible for transfer. For Grades 7 and 8, all Victoria Park public students will attend Courtland Avenue Public School. The high schools nearest to Victoria Park are (in order of proximity): Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute; Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School (KCI); and Eastwood Collegiate Institute (ECI). The Waterloo Region has implemented a ‘Magnet Program,’ which means certain schools offer specific, specialized courses and programs; as such, students have some flexibility in transferring to a school they aren’t zoned for. You can read more about each of these schools in their WRX articles: Cameron Heights; KCI; and ECI. Students in the Catholic board (WCDSB) are zoned for St. John’s Catholic Elementary School (a few minutes to the northwest) for Kindergarten to Grade 8, and Resurrection Catholic Secondary School for high school. Resurrection is several blocks west, near the border with Waterloo, and thus students are eligible for transportation by bus.


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Conclusion

A walk along any of Victoria Park’s streets is a delight; its historic houses and mature trees make for pleasant views, and it should be noted, living here is pleasant indeed. With Victoria Park at your doorstep, and all of the excitement and opportunities of Downtown just down the street (not to mention all the transit options you could need) – a home here might be the perfect thing for you.

Written by Will Kummer

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