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.

  • Larch Street as woonerf

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    31 Mar 2021

    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.