Best Areas For Students To Live In Waterloo, ON

Waterloo, ON is known as a university town – every September, students flock there to attend the local universities. These are Wilfrid Laurier (WL) and the University of Waterloo (UW). They both have excellent reputations in their own fields. This makes them an attractive school to attend. In addition, Waterloo is host to Conestoga College, a community college with campuses in nearby KitchenerGuelph ON, and Cambridge

The Universities

WL and UW appeal to different people. WL, founded as Waterloo Lutheran, a Lutheran university, has a reputation for religious/theological studies and other social sciences. According to CWR. It ranks 30th in Canada.

Waterloo University is best known for its hospitality and leisure management as well as computer science and engineering programs. However, it recently gained international notice when one of its faculty members, Donna Strickland, won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. She is the third woman in the history of this award to do so.  Some research groups indicate the UW ranks as high as 13 globally in its hospitality and leisure management program and stands at 31 in its computer science and information studies. MacLean’s Magazine, Waterloo ranks third among the top comprehensive schools while WL is sixth. However, as far as reputation, the Magazine ranked Waterloo as second overall with WL at 25th.


Both universities have on-campus housing, and some would say these are the best places to live. After all, being located close to classes and the library, they are extremely convenient. Yet, others prefer to live off-campus. They cite affordability and freedom as two major reasons for doing so. Those who want to live off-campus say the best places/streets to live, depending upon your taste, budget, and general lifestyle preferences are:

· Ezra Avenue: This is for students who do not mind living in rental homes subjected to massive street parties at homecoming and on St. Patrick’s Day. Ezra Avenue also has several apartment structures dedicated as student apartments

street parties

· Columbia Street West: Close to the East Campus of UW

· University Avenue West: Close to UW and WL

· University Avenue East: Close to WL

· Regina:

Some companies, including Rez-One, have introduced the concept of luxury student apartments. They are found located close to the campuses and provide a different experience for students. It has its supporters and nay-sayers. While this particular student-dedicated company has not been found at fault – some have for failing to have the building completed in time for occupancy. This has led to major issues as well as a warning issued to all potential student renters by the Waterloo Undergrad Student Association (WUSA) to not sign a lease for a building that is yet to be completed.

Alternative Housing

While most students like to live close to their educational facilities, some do not. They find it just as easy to commute from nearby communities such as Guelph ON, Breslau, Cambridge, or Kitchener. This helps to expand the number of different types of student housing currently available. However, since Guelph has its own University, the University of Guelph, as well as the Ontario Veterinarian College and Conestoga College, competition for places to stay in that particular city is high. With a good transportation system, a good choice is nearby Cambridge; the better choice is Kitchener, Waterloo’s twin city.

Ontario Veterinarian College

Planning to Attend?

If you plan to attend WL or UW, be sure to attend an open campus. During your initial visit, check out the types of housing available both on and off-campus. Be sure to be thorough. Ask questions at student housing. Make time to explore all your options.

If this is your first time away from home or you are not familiar with Waterloo ON, maybe the best place for you, as a student, to live for the first semester or term is on campus. You can then spend time adjusting to life at University. In whatever time you have leftover, you can consider perhaps finding a compatible roommate and, together, locate the right place off-campus.

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