Affordable Housing in Beechwood

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This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s): An icon representing the Region's strategic focus area Healthy, safe and inclusive communities.Aerial view of land parcel with boundaries highlighted.

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!



This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s): An icon representing the Region's strategic focus area Healthy, safe and inclusive communities.Aerial view of land parcel with boundaries highlighted.

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!



  • Survey Still Open

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    The survey for providing input into the design of 555 Beechwood Drive will remain open until this Friday, September 17. You still have time to submit any last minute feedback you may have.

    The notes from the Beechwood Community Outreach Meetings held in August have been posted in the Documents to Download section of the webpage.

  • Community Outreach Meeting Presentation Video and Survey

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    The developer team for 555 Beechwood Drive held two community outreach meetings on August 19th and received helpful feedback on their proposed design.

    To hear the information shared at the meeting, you can watch the video of their presentation.

    There's still time to provide your feedback on the design. To provide your input, you can complete the survey.


  • Site work and parking request meeting

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    MTE consultants have been and will continue to be on site to do some geotechnical investigations to assess the impact that the soil and rocks below the surface might have on a construction project. This is required for any development.

    On June 28th the City of Waterloo Council will consider a request from the Region of Waterloo to reduce parking requirements for the affordable units at 555 Beechwood. The Agenda is on the City of Waterloo’s webpage.

  • Upcoming Neighbourhood Meetings

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    The development of 555 Beechwood continues and we would like to invite you to hear about the work that has taken place so far to design these new homes in your community. We are hosting two virtual neighbourhood meetings where Nicholson Sheffield (the architect) and Southside Construction Ltd. (the developer) will showcase their draft designs for the property. During these meetings, there will be an opportunity for you to provide feedback on building design and site features.

    The meetings will be held on the following date and times:

    Thursday, August 19, 2:30pm (afternoon session)

    Thursday, August 19, 6:00pm (evening session)

    If you would like to attend one of the virtual neighborhood meetings, please email: info@nicholsonsheffield.ca

    In your email include include the following:

    1. your name
    2. your postal code
    3. your email address
    4. the session you wish to attend - afternoon or evening

    After receiving your email, Nicholson Sheffield will send you a Zoom link to the meeting.

    We are arranging to record the meeting and will post that on Engage for those who may not be able to attend the virtual meetings. We are also creating a survey to allow those who cannot attend the meeting to provide their feedback. The link to the survey will be sent out through Engage in August.

    If you have questions about the meeting, do not have a computer, or need other accommodation to attend the meeting(s) please connect through the following email or phone number:

    Beechwood@regionofwaterloo.ca

    519-575-4400 x3442

    Leave a message and someone will call you back.

    We look forward to hearing your feedback and questions!

  • A Clean Site and a Developer

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    • The Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks has accepted the Record of Site Condition (RSC) for the 555 Beechwood Site. No environmental contaminants exist that would prevent the site from being used for homes. If you are interested in looking at the specifics of the RSC, please send an email to the Beechwood address (Beechwood@regionofwaterloo.ca) and we will forward a link.
    • The Request for Proposal evaluation team is ready to recommend a developer. The report to recommend the developer will go to Regional Council on March 24, 2021. The report will be public on the Council Agenda one week before the meeting at the following link:https://calendar.regionofwaterloo.ca/council
    • After the developer is approved, they will begin to gather feedback from the community on the specific site design options. Stay tuned to this site for more details.
  • Site design options are being created

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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.

Page last updated: 20 October 2021, 13:06