Barrel Yards, Waterloo


This study area is located adjacent to the University of Waterloo and the Downtown, which is designated as an Urban Growth Centre in the Growth Plan.  The Barrel Yards, a former industrial site, is a larger area that extends south east of the study area and is being planned as a mixed-use development that incorporates a hotel, commercial office space, apartments and townhouses and high-rise condominiums.  The older parts of the community are low density, and lack connectivity with amenities and community facilites. 



649 people*
1,515 jobs
68 ha
10 people/ha
32 jobs + people/ha

*based on 2011 data- does not include 3 new condo buildings


Block level density 

561 people
25.3 hectares
22 people/ha


188 people
3 hectares
63 people/ha




Several schools, community centres and child care centres within walking distance 

Barriers between residential areas and community amenities, reduce walkability. 

15 minute walk from Downtown



Local bus stops surround the neighbourhood.

Possible to reach Central Business District, University or Hospital by bus

Lack of bus shelters or benches at bus stops can make taking transit unpleasant 

Difficult for some areas to reach transit



Diverse types of housing 

Retirement community means area has a high percentage of seniors

New high-rise condos may attract more diverse residence

Land available for new development near high-rise condos; policy framework supports growth



Green & Open Spaces

24 h of municipal park space

This is equivalent to  36.9 ha/1000 people 

Lots of green space and park amenities within walking distance supports livability



Amenities concentrated in plaza. 

  • Shopping plaza
  • medical services
  • Office building located in South-West corner
  • Waterloo Recreational Complex 
  • Hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Post office
  • Banks
  • Day care and community centre

Increased density through new condo developments will help to support local amenities and retail



Parking lots dominate the public realm in commercial areas

Old street trees make the residential areas pleasant