Larch Street - Waterloo's first living street!

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The city's Northdale Streetscape Master Plan included a recommendation to convert Larch Street (from Balsam Street to Hickory Street) to a woonerf street. A woonerf street is a living, shared street designed to emphasize walking and cycling and to be a social space where people can meet and interact.

The Northdale Streetscape Master Plan was inititated to develop design concepts and strategies for this neighbourhood's public spaces as well as reconstruction of its city streets. The preferred designs incorporate pedestrian and cycling facilities, on-street parking where needed, more public realm landscaping space, opportunities for lighting (both street and pedestrian) and underground infrastructure upgrades. The study's direction is based on the city's vision for a vibrant neighbourhood with more attractive streets and public spaces. During the master planning process, input from the community indicated a strong preference for more active transportation options in the Northdale community.

Larch Street will integrate all users (automobiles, cyclists and pedestrians) within the same right-of-way and without boundaries separating the users. As part of the reconstruction, all underground municipal infrastructure will be replaced, including sanitary sewer, storm sewer, watermain and sanitary and water services up to the common property lines. Surface works will include new road structure and landscape features (planters, bike racks, posts, benches, waste receptacles, etc.)


Next steps:

Construction is expected to begin in April 2021 with completion expected by the end of August, 2021. During this time, it will be necessary to close the street to through traffic. Notice will be provided to property owners in advance of construction beginning. Pre-construction information is now available with construction details for residents, including the technical drawings.

The city's Northdale Streetscape Master Plan included a recommendation to convert Larch Street (from Balsam Street to Hickory Street) to a woonerf street. A woonerf street is a living, shared street designed to emphasize walking and cycling and to be a social space where people can meet and interact.

The Northdale Streetscape Master Plan was inititated to develop design concepts and strategies for this neighbourhood's public spaces as well as reconstruction of its city streets. The preferred designs incorporate pedestrian and cycling facilities, on-street parking where needed, more public realm landscaping space, opportunities for lighting (both street and pedestrian) and underground infrastructure upgrades. The study's direction is based on the city's vision for a vibrant neighbourhood with more attractive streets and public spaces. During the master planning process, input from the community indicated a strong preference for more active transportation options in the Northdale community.

Larch Street will integrate all users (automobiles, cyclists and pedestrians) within the same right-of-way and without boundaries separating the users. As part of the reconstruction, all underground municipal infrastructure will be replaced, including sanitary sewer, storm sewer, watermain and sanitary and water services up to the common property lines. Surface works will include new road structure and landscape features (planters, bike racks, posts, benches, waste receptacles, etc.)


Next steps:

Construction is expected to begin in April 2021 with completion expected by the end of August, 2021. During this time, it will be necessary to close the street to through traffic. Notice will be provided to property owners in advance of construction beginning. Pre-construction information is now available with construction details for residents, including the technical drawings.

  • Construction update June 2021

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    Construction is progressing well, and we are heading into the most challenging part of the work – the surface finishing. This road is being paved with concrete and interlocking stone, and to allow for this, vehicle access to Larch Street will be heavily impacted beginning June 28, 2021.

    Those affected should have received notices on how to register any vehicles for temporary parking on the Wilfrid Laurier parking lot north of Larch on Hickory Street. We urge you to register and move your vehicles as early as possible, and to keep your vehicles there until we provide notice that the work has been completed. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    We will do our best to work with residents to provide access for vehicles whenever possible, but there will be times when no access will be permitted. Any vehicles left in driveways or parking lots on Larch Street may be stranded as the work progresses. Pedestrian access will be maintained as much as possible, though pedestrians may be temporarily redirected to Balsam or Hickory Streets, depending on the destination along Larch. We will work with those requiring the access as much as we can, while maintaining everyone’s safety and our work production.

    If you have not received the notice by noon on Friday the 25th of June, please email kyle.bossie@waterloo.ca and provide your mailing address and you will be sent the notice as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your patience as we work through this challenging time on our way to something great!

  • Larch Street as woonerf

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    As part of the City of Waterloo’s asset management and road rehabilitation programs, road and sewer improvements have been scheduled on Larch Street from Balsam Street to Hickory Street West. These improvements are scheduled to begin in April 2021 with an estimated completion by end of August 2021. The works include the following:

    • reconstruction of the road as a woonerf
    • replacement of the existing sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and watermain
    • CCTV video inspection sanitary laterals to the houses where pipe material is unknown
    • replacement of the existing sanitary and water services from the new mains to the property line (or to the building if “black pipe” is encountered)
    • replacement of the curb and gutter, asphalt, and sidewalks
    • replacement of driveway ramp entrances
    • restoration of disturbed areas


    Details on the construction and potential impacts to residents are included in our public information package and technical drawings.

    What will the woonerf look like?

    A woonerf is a living, shared street designed to emphasize walking and cycling and to be a social space where people can meet and interact. The road will be paved in a combination of coloured concrete and unit pavers. Larch Street will integrate all users (automobiles, cyclists and pedestrians) within the same right-of-way and without boundaries separating the users. Surface works will include installation of new landscape features such as bike racks, planters, posts, benches, waste receptacles etc.

Page last updated: 25 June 2021, 08:30