Seven things that make great neighbourhoods great

dream neighbourhood
dreaming of great neighbourhoods

What makes great neighbourhoods great?

A lot or real estate advertising and marketing focuses on attributes of homes and the agents selling them. Homebuyers going through real estate websites and magazines will encounter professional photography showing off homes’ best features as well as numeric listing data about homes for sale. 

More and more, information about the neighbourhoods where the home for sale is located is also provided. The website “” was a pioneer in providing information not only about what amenities are within a reasonable walking distance but also transit information and then information about biking, and renting.  

And took the hint and added information about demographics and schools. We’ve come a long way in term of access to information regarding homes and neighbourhoods. But the question remains, “what makes great neighbourhoods great?”  

What makes great neighbourhoods great?

A recent survey of more than 2,000 respondents revealed what homeowners really want in their neighbourhoods.

Seven things that make great neighbourhoods great.

1. Grocery stores

I hear this all the time in regard to downtown Kitchener neighbourhoods, “When are we going to get a downtown grocery store”? In UpTown Waterloo, we have the ValuMart and in MidTown there is the Central Fresh Market. Both are walkable from hundreds, maybe thousands of homes. But DTK does not have anything as good (yet).

2. A place to park

Waterloo Region is improving. Our reliance on automobile transportation to get to work and back, as well as other daily and weekly tasks is slowly becoming less so. We have very good public transportation and more and more bike lanes. But (overnight) street parking is still something that many residents would welcome.

3. Schools in great neighbourhoods

Great schools and great neighbourhoods go hand in hand. Check out the Fraser Institute to research local schools. We have some really great ones.

4. More food

It makes sense that as human animals we want ready access to food. Beside supermarkets being high on the neighbourhood wishlist of want-to-have, restaurants of all varieties and farmer’s markets also rank high.

5. People

We are social animals so we like to be around other people. Depending on who you currently are, you will like to be in a neighbourhood with lots of children, lots of young adults and/or lots of cultural diversity.

6. Public amenities

Libraries, public transportation, bike lanes and paths, public pools and parks and even street festivals and street parties rank high as neighbourhood wants and likes.

7. Other amenities great neighbourhoods

Finally, those places that we sometimes visit were mentioned in the survey as “would be nice to have” items. These include things like gyms, museums, bars, music venues, theatres, and places of worship. 


Look for items mentioned in the above seven categories when you are searching for your next home and you will find yourself in a great neighbourhood. 

And if you are selling your current home, also keep these things in mind as they are selling features of the neighbourhood.

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Which is the best Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhood for you.

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