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Veterans' Green

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Veterans' Green

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A neighbourhood project
Veterans Green compilation of black and white images of neighbourhood, poppy graphic
Over one-million Canadians enlisted for military service during the Second World War. For those who returned home, housing shortages were widespread. Recognizing the need for housing locally, the Town of Waterloo and Housing Enterprises Canada Ltd. announced in September 1946 one of Ontario’s first housing projects for returning veterans. In the rural north end of Waterloo, 50 terrace units were built for rent as part of the Hillcrest Development between Dearborn (now University Avenue) and Hill (now Hickory) streets. A second phase of construction in 1948 produced 83 1½-storey houses that veterans could purchase along Hazel, Beech, Fir and Hickory streets.

As families settled in this neighbourhood, a sense of community produced a yearly skating rink, a horseshoe pit in the back of Maple Court and community garden plots on Albert Street. Local children attended school at Northdale, MacGregor, St. Michael, St. David or Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Family block parties were celebrated in the 1970s and neighbourhood reunions rekindle the memories of growing up in this area. Gradually, over the years this community became home to many university students attending Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.

This website was created in conjunction with the redevelopment of the Veterans’ Green parkette in 2005, the Year of the Veteran, to commemorate and honour this area’s first residents and their families.
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