Waterloo Region named a new hotspot for millennials


Photo by Luke Sarazin

In the coming years, the Region of Waterloo may see a steady increase of millennials deciding to buy homes and settle down in this thriving city.

According to real estate website Point2Homes, the city of Waterloo ranks number seven overall out of 85 Canadian cities as an up-and-coming millennial hot spot for 2018. Quebec City took the number one spot, followed by Victoria, Guelph, Halifax and Ottawa.

To determine the overall attractiveness of a city for this generational demographic, nine individual factors were weighed. These included: education, climate, crime rate, health care, unemployment rate, home price, income, percentage of millennials in the given population and overall life satisfaction.

Shane Kinsella, event organizer for the City of Kitchener, recently made the move from Toronto and purchased his first home in Waterloo.

“A lot of people seem to be moving out here,” Kinsella said.

“The housing market in Waterloo is growing at one of the best rates across Canada. What you get for your money in terms of a home is substantially different than what you would be looking at in Toronto.”

Data compiled from Point2Homes indicates that the average home price for Waterloo comes in at $456,198, compared to Toronto’s extremely high cost of living with the average home selling price of $818,201.

Aside from affordability, there is growing opportunity for talented graduates to launch their careers at a multitude of tech-start up companies in the surrounding area. The KW Region’s expanding technology hub is also home to massive multinational corporations such as Google, Blackberry and Shopify.

“We have a youthful, hot-job creating economy here,” Dave Jaworsky, mayor of Waterloo, said.

“Millennials not only want jobs but also a progressive city and that’s really what we offer.”

Another big attraction is the top-notch educational institutions situated in Waterloo. These include Laurier, University of Waterloo and Conestoga College.

“All of these schools are growing their international reputations and what is even more wonderful is that they complement each other,” Jaworsky said.

Waterloo ranked in at number four out of all 85 cities across Canada based on level of education – the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or above.

“We are Canada’s education city,” Jaworsky said.

“No other city of our size has a student to permanent population ratio higher than ours. The people who live in Waterloo have a thirst for knowledge and a thirst for continuing their knowledge creation” Jaworsky said.

“Moreover, the economy and jobs of the future are dependent on people having a life-long learning habit. The City of Waterloo and our institutions are prepared to provide that.”

Additionally, the public transportation system is undergoing momentous development with the launch of the Light Rail Transit system this year.

“The LRT will be a zero-emission, environmentally friendly transit system,” Jaworsky said. “It is going to displace 22 diesel-spewing buses.”

This is expected to create a more accessible and convenient mode of transportation for residents. The implementation of this system will work to meet growing travel demand and contribute to prospering community development in the Waterloo Region.

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