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Westvale Area in Waterloo
So: you’re interested in Kitchener-Waterloo real-estate. Well, rest assured, you’ve come to the right
place! In today’s entry of the WRX Property Group series on Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhoods, we’ll
be casting our gaze on the southwest corner of Waterloo. Today’s neighbourhood is: Westvale. It may
be the last Waterloo neighbourhood alphabetically, but for many Waterloo residents (and certainly
many Westvale residents) it’s the number one Waterloo neighbourhood in terms of style.
First things first: where exactly is Westvale? The short answer is that it’s the extreme southwest corner
of Waterloo. Its boundaries are made up approximately by Erb Street in the north, Fischer-Hallman Road
in the east, University Avenue in the south, and Ira Needles Boulevard in the east (though some
important parts of Westvale, which we’ll discuss later, lie slightly east of here). Kitchener borders
Westvale directly to the south, and Wilmot Township lies east of Westvale, on the other side of the
Waterloo Cycling Club (WCC) Hyrdrocut Trails (we’ll discuss this later, too). Though not one of
Waterloo’s oldest neighbourhoods, Westvale has been established for several decades. Many of the
houses here were built pre-2000. Prices for a single-family home start around $250 000, and can climb
to $800 000 and higher. If you’d like to know more, or if you have any specific concerns or questions,
please feel free to contact WRX. We’re always happy to help.
Being on the extreme west of Waterloo, Westvale at one point may have felt lacking compared to the
primacy of more central Waterloo, whether it be the historic streets and countless local shops of
Uptown or the variety and convenience of Conestoga Mall. It’s true, Westvale’s fairly far from Conestoga
Mall, and from the Conestoga Parkway (Highway 85). But ever since the early 2010’s, Westvale has
secured its own claim to fame: the Boardwalk at Ira Needle Boulevard. The Boardwalk is a huge
development on the west side of Westvale, and it’s truly a sight to behold. Many a Westvale resident
has walked along the Boardwalk and said aloud, ”This is truly a sight to behold.” The Boardwalk includes
a top of the line medical centre; fitness facilities; a wide variety of dine-in and take-out restaurants, and
much more. Stores here include everything from fashion and shoes to sports and office supplies – over
30 individual shops in total. The large Kitchener-Waterloo Wal-Mart Supercentre here provides
Westvale residents with convenient, one stop shopping (there’s even a hair stylist and McDonald’s in it –
you can dine on a Big Mac while getting your hair done [but don’t actually]). There’s also a sizeable
theatre here: Landmark Cinemas 10 Waterloo. Westvale residents never need to travel far to enjoy a
movie and some popcorn.
But that’s not all in terms of shopping opportunities. Each corner of Westvale has access to multiple
stores, restaurants, and other amenities. In terms of groceries, there’s a Zehrs in the northeast corner,
at the intersection of Fischer-Hallman and Erb, and a Food Basics in the southeast corner, at the
intersection of Fischer-Hallman and University. Beyond these, there are several dentists’ offices,
pharmacies, gyms, and banks, all along the periphery of Westvale. One of the great things about
Westvale is that no matter where you choose to live, you can essentially count on two things: 1) your
immediate environs will feel quiet, comfortable, and peacefully suburban, and 2) you will have no
trouble leaving your suburban home to access the amenities you want and need – everything is nearby,
and for the most part, walking distance (if you’re fond of walking).
Westvale has the benefit of having two elementary schools within its boundaries: one in the public
school board (WRDSB), and one in the Catholic school board (WCDSB): Westvale Public School and Holy
Rosary Catholic Elementary School – not all Waterloo neighbourhoods have schools within their
boundaries, so this is a definite plus for families. Westvale Public School serves Kindergarten to Grade 6,
and offers French Immersion starting in the first grade. After this, students will attend Centennial Public
School (a few minutes north, in the Beechwood neighbourhood), which an exclusively Grade 7/8 school
with a student population of approximately 470 (French Immersion is offered here, too). Holy Rosary
Catholic Elementary School is nearly 30 years old and has a student population of just over 300. It serves
Kindergarten to Grade 8, and it’s conveniently just a kilometer away from its affiliated high school. Upon
graduation, Holy Rosary students will attend Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener: a 13
minute walk away! Public students will be bussed to Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational Institute for high school.
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The southern border of Westvale (University Avenue) serves as a sort of yellow brick road that leads to
the fabled heartland of Waterloo’s universities. Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo
are not very far, whether by bus, bike, or car. So for Westvale secondary school graduates, graduation
need not mean the end of education: with two top tier universities so close by, continuing in your
studies is a great idea. Indeed, Westvale is an attractive option for newcomers to the Waterloo Region,
as it is close to the universities, but far enough to provide a more subdued, suburban lifestyle than in the
immediate environs of the campuses themselves.
First of all, anyone moving to Westvale would do well to get in touch with the Westvale Community
Association – it’s a great way to keep informed about what’s going on, and get involved with the
community. In terms of parks within Westvale, residents have three to choose from: Red River Park,
West Wind Park, and Westvale Park, the largest of the three. Trails run throughout these parks,
connecting to the city’s streets in such a way that you can traverse all three, and the neighbourhood
itself, in a lovely (and informative!) stroll. You’ll find pristinely-maintained fields, baseball diamonds,
playgrounds, and some small bodies of water that are quite pleasing to the eye.
One of the best areas Westvale residents have nearby is the extensive Hydrocut Trails. Lying west of the
Boardwalk, this is a huge system of trails designed for mountain bikes. There are 25 kilometers of
continuous tracks, with a variety of vastly different sections intended to keep things interesting. The
Waterloo Cycling Club designed and began building the trail through the dense forest back in 2002, and
today it stands as one of Canada’s premier mountain bike destinations – certainly one of the very best in
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Westvale is great for just about everybody. The quiet but active community, with access to the bustling,
bounteous Boardwalk, has plenty to offer retirees, families, students, and working men and women
alike. Westvale? More like Bestvale.
Written by Will Kummer