Uptown Waterloo: Where Your Business Thrives
Waterloo is a developing city that forms part of the second fastest growing Canadian Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) made up of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo. One of the defining features of Waterloo is its Uptown – primarily a commercial, cultural and tourism hub. The Uptown is also a major transit station area (e.g. has several bus stops and three ION light rail transit stops) and forms part of the larger Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor intensification strategy to attract jobs and talent to Waterloo Region.
Uptown Waterloo Snapshot
Today Uptown Waterloo has over 500 businesses which include: 89 retail stores, more than 70 medical / holistic offices, over 60 tech and digital media companies, more than 45 financial service companies and the Delta Hotel.
This diverse and vibrant ‘city centre’ has also transformed into a major learning (discovery) and entrepreneurial hub of creative jobs. Uptown is home to Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) – two world-class research institutes and several new and notable technology companies like Faire, Tangam Systems and Ride Co.
With a robust housing market Uptown Waterloo is the focus of numerous new mixed-use housing developments that are intensifying and growing the population in Uptown. Close to 3,700 new residential units have recently been built in Uptown (or are proposed soon) that are projected to add up to 6,500 new residents to Uptown.
Uptown Waterloo is part of the Region of Waterloos startup ecosystem. Startup Genome’s annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report has recognized Toronto-Waterloo as the top tech ecosystem in Canada, #8 in North America and #17 globally.
Diversity of Businesses
The City of Waterloo, Uptown Waterloo BIA and several Uptown property owners believe in the importance of having business diversity and are working on a plan to attract more retailers and offices to the core.
Parks and Trails
Uptown Waterloo contains many outdoor public spaces, cycling corridors and walking trails that help improve the livability and vibrancy of Uptown and connect Uptown Waterloo to the Universities and other parts of the City.
Uptown Waterloo is footsteps away from the Ion Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The LRT system delivers passengers from North Waterloo to South Kitchener, featuring 19 stops along the way.
The Ion allows delivery of more people to Uptown through the central transit corridor and connects Uptown to major inter-city transit Go and Via rail services. Businesses along the route have greatly benefited from expanded amenities and increased visibility due to rapid transit. In addition, employees have increased access to job opportunities and in turn, employers have access to an expanded workforce.
Uptown Waterloo continues to experience urban intensification projects including the Barrel Yards, Bauer Lofts, and 144 Park street. These projects have added new residents, workers and vitality to the area. See below for further urbanization projects that will continue to support the Uptown business ecosystem.
The Barrel Yards
The Barrel Yards community is well underway, with two segments of the development now complete: two 26-storey towers and two 22-storey towers.
Further construction is planned on three additional buildings.
217 King St. S
Planned construction for two 24-storey towers with 347 residential units and a three-level underground parking garage, pushing intensification beyond the city’s stated ceiling of 750 bedrooms per hectare.
Office and Retail Space
The City of Waterloo has the largest office market in Waterloo Region (50%+ of office supply in cities of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo). Uptown’s office market occupies approximately 1.7 million square feet, about 23% of the City’s office supply.
Uptown Waterloo is anchored by many financial service organizations including Sun Life Financial, the largest property owner. Following notable tech company announcements in 2015, Uptown has experienced increasing demand for urban office space. Since 2008, over 300,000 square feet of space has been absorbed (including new office construction, restoration and conversion, and, leasing activity).
“We chose to locate Score Pizza in Uptown Waterloo for a varity of reasons. Uptown is extremely close to the student population of three Canadian recognized schools. This allows for a diverse group of businesses to thrive in uptown as well as feed off the vibrant student population who reside year round. Uptown is also home to lots of office space and large tech businesses who often stop in for lunch or dinner.”
“In five years, I see Score Pizza being an institution for the Uptown Waterloo community. Hopefully, within that timeline the residents and workers of Uptown Waterloo will be very familiar with our business and we look forward to serving them in those years to come.”
— Gabrielle Arvanitis, Director of Operations
“We moved out of our original location with hopes to expand our space. We had a number of different areas in Kitchener-Waterloo we were considering, but ultimately decided on Uptown because of the unique environment and vibrancy it offers.”
— Jill Sadler, Owner
Engel & Völkers
“Uptown gives your business direct exposure to local tourism, students from three institutions, and the residents of Waterloo. I believe the environment uptown creates is the ideal location for businesses in all industries.”
“I see a long relationship with our business and Uptown Waterloo. In five years, we hope to be expanding beyond our space as well as building on what we already own here.”
— Dennis Mehravar, License Partner, Broker of Record
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