Affordable Housing in Beechwood

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Welcome to the 555 Beechwood EngageWR page. The Region is starting to plan for an innovative housing project in this community that will provide affordable homes to individuals and families. Visit this page for updates, information, and virtual opportunities to provide feedback on the project as it moves forward. You can also subscribe to this page and will then receive updates by email.

There is a growing need for affordable housing across our region. In Waterloo, more than 11,000 families with low incomes may find it difficult to obtain safe, adequate, and affordable housing. Of these families, two-thirds spend 30% or more of their household income on shelter, which means they have limited means to meet their other basic needs.

We have an opportunity to make a difference! 555 Beechwood is the first parcel of surplus land owned by the Region of Waterloo being planned for affordable housing. Creating affordable homes is a priority identified by the community and formalized in the 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, the Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan, and the City of Waterloo Strategic Plan.

Our intention is that this project will fit within the current official plan and zoning permissions for 555 Beechwood. The property is designated as Mixed-use Medium Density Residential in the City’s Official Plan. The maximum that the current zoning allows for is a building height 20 metres or six storeys.

As of August 2020 , we plan to seek proposals from the private and non-profit housing sectors for a welcoming and innovative mixed-residential development. To help make this project a success, the Region and the builder will engage the Beechwood community in the design process. We will look to you for feedback on things like green space, green building features and design features and will keep you informed through key steps in the development.

Thanks for your interest, and we look forward to engaging with you in this exciting new development!



Welcome to the 555 Beechwood EngageWR page. The Region is starting to plan for an innovative housing project in this community that will provide affordable homes to individuals and families. Visit this page for updates, information, and virtual opportunities to provide feedback on the project as it moves forward. You can also subscribe to this page and will then receive updates by email.

There is a growing need for affordable housing across our region. In Waterloo, more than 11,000 families with low incomes may find it difficult to obtain safe, adequate, and affordable housing. Of these families, two-thirds spend 30% or more of their household income on shelter, which means they have limited means to meet their other basic needs.

We have an opportunity to make a difference! 555 Beechwood is the first parcel of surplus land owned by the Region of Waterloo being planned for affordable housing. Creating affordable homes is a priority identified by the community and formalized in the 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, the Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan, and the City of Waterloo Strategic Plan.

Our intention is that this project will fit within the current official plan and zoning permissions for 555 Beechwood. The property is designated as Mixed-use Medium Density Residential in the City’s Official Plan. The maximum that the current zoning allows for is a building height 20 metres or six storeys.

As of August 2020 , we plan to seek proposals from the private and non-profit housing sectors for a welcoming and innovative mixed-residential development. To help make this project a success, the Region and the builder will engage the Beechwood community in the design process. We will look to you for feedback on things like green space, green building features and design features and will keep you informed through key steps in the development.

Thanks for your interest, and we look forward to engaging with you in this exciting new development!



  • Site design options are being created

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    01 Dec 2020
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    The Region of Waterloo project team has an affordable housing developer they are planning to recommend for 555 Beechwood Drive. However, proposed site designs are being revised so that they more fully incorporate input previously provided by the Beechwood community. This is expected to take a few weeks to complete. The report with the recommended developer will go to Committee of the Whole and Regional Council for final approval in early 2021. After this time, the community will have an opportunity for feedback on the specific site design.

  • Proposals are being reviewed

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    05 Nov 2020


    The Region of Waterloo received three proposals for developing affordable housing at 555 Beechwood Drive. They are currently being evaluated. More time is required to review the proposals. The report with the recommended developer will go to Committee of the Whole December 8th and Regional Council December 16th for final approval. After that time, design options from the approved developer will be shared on this page to obtain feedback from the community.


  • Deadline for Proposals has been extended

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    06 Oct 2020
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    Based on requests from many of the teams submitting proposals, the deadline for submissions has been extended until October 14th. A team of staff from relevant departments, including housing and finance, will then evaluate the proposals according to the design guidelines approved by Council. The guidelines were informed by community input and include considerations around where the building(s) will be located, how the building will be oriented, how it will blend with the existing buildings, and how landscaping and amenity areas will be included.

    Because the deadline has been extended, the dates for Committee and Council approval have changed. The recommended proposal will go to Committee of the Whole on November 17th and Regional Council on November 25th for final approval.

  • Environmental Assessment Timeline

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    25 Sep 2020
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    As part of the environmental assessment, all soil and water samples have been collected from the site and the results of their analysis will be sent to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks for review this week. The review will take four to six weeks. Once it is complete, and if no additional samples are needed, the Ministry will deem the property safe for housing development and a notice of this will be made public. The blue barrels on the site are the storage containers for the samples. They will be removed from the site as soon as the Ministry finishes its review.

  • Request for Proposals has been posted

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    08 Sep 2020
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    The Region of Waterloo is now accepting proposals for the development of 555 Beechwood Drive. Developers will incorporate feedback from the community into their proposals for alternative housing. The deadline to submit a proposal is October 7th. View the Request for Proposal document here.

  • Environmental Assessment update

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    19 Aug 2020
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    During the week of August 17th to August 21st an environmental consultant, MTE, will be visiting the 555 Beechwood site to collect groundwater samples from the monitoring wells installed on July 31. If you have questions, please feel free to call 519-575-4400 x3442 or email Beechwood@regionofwaterloo.ca.


  • Preliminary Design Feedback and Next Steps

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    11 Aug 2020

    The feedback we received from you through email and the Town Hall meetings on the design of the 555 Beechwood property is now posted on this Engage page in the "Documents for Download" section. This feedback, along with best practices for urban design, has been incorporated in the proposed design guidelines (pg. 135 of Committee Agenda) that will be presented to the Community Services Committee (CSC) on August 11th. If approved at CSC, they will go to Regional Council for final approval August 20th.

    You can continue to call the Beechwood line (519-575-4400 x3442) or email Beechwood@regionofwaterloo.ca if you have questions or feedback.

    The developer for this project will be chosen in early November. They will be required to share the drawings of their proposed concepts for the site with the community. We will provide an opportunity through Engage for you to provide feedback on the concepts before moving forward to ensure that your concerns are addressed.