Changes to Waterloo’s Skyline


Waterloo is raising its skyline with City Council-approved additions to proposed and existing buildings.

The City Council has approved changes to the zoning by-law to allow proposed residential towers at 145 Columbia Street West to add additional storeys. The buildings are now set to be 23 storeys high, instead of the originally planned 20. 

The addition will add 100 one-bedroom units, including part of the city’s affordable housing grant program. In total, the buildings will have 535 units with 545 bedrooms, along with retail space on street level.

The council has also approved additions to the building at 316 King Street North. Raising it from its existing ten storeys to 14, increasing its current 25 units to 123 and its 123 bedrooms to 193.

“Waterloo is one of the many Southwestern Ontario cities witnessing a rapid growth in population. To support this rapid growth, the addition of high rise residentials will ensure adequate housing availability and further, will keep rental costs in control for the general population and for university students looking for accommodation in the central core of the city,” Sukhwinder Virk, CPA, CGA, a controller at a Toronto-based construction company, said.

Updates to Waterloo’s land-use rules that were approved in 2018 aim to add more housing options in high-rise buildings, increasing the population density in certain areas and discouraging people from driving. The changes to the land-use rules are based on the 2012 plan for growth in the city. 

The high-rise buildings will give students in the KW region access to more housing options, “I think the addition of high-rise buildings in Waterloo is great for UW students,” Joseph Wirawan, a first-year Accounting and Financial Management student, said. “I know that everyone, including myself, is eager to come to campus, and when that happens, the new high-rise buildings will give us more options for a living space.”


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