Blair House is a 21-storey student-housing building with 1 floor dedicated for retail and another for amenities. It is located across from the University of Waterloo grounds and 10 minutes from Wilfrid Laurier University. It accommodates residents in shared suites of 3, 4, or 5 bedrooms with private ensuite washroom facilities. Blair House is also wheelchair accessible.
Common areas include a lounge with a fireplace and flat-screen TV, a large quiet shared study area, a fitness centre, WiFi, open-view security controlled laundry facilities in the main lobby, and even a small movie theatre! Underground parking and secure bicycle storage are available.
Outside our four-tower complex, residents can enjoy use of a basketball court, open patio deck, benches and paths for relaxing and staying active with friends and neighbours. Ground floor retail areas are directly accessible by elevator to Blair House residents, and the entire premises are monitored and controlled by security personnel and a 24-hour concierge desk.
Blair House draws its name from local Waterloo history. Waterloo County in the 1800’s was a vast wilderness without roads, canals and railways to provide communication and the transportation of goods. Pioneering on all of Canada’s frontiers was quite a challenge for survival; cloth for blankets and clothing, carpets to cover wood floors, pails, and children’s toys were all homemade. The first pioneers to move to Canada were the Mennonites that purchased lots on both sides of the Grand River. Young Deacon Jacob Bechtel came with his loyalist family to settle in Blair. Jacob’s son Henry was a miller, and his house and sawmill are still in Blair, near the junction of Old Mill Road and Blair Road.
Persistence, optimism, thrift, resourcefulness and the acceptance of unremitting hard work became character traits valued by succeeding generations of pioneers. Rev. Joseph Baumann was a relative latecomer when he arrived in the area in 1816. He bought old Samuel Betzner’s farm on Old Mill Road and built a sawmill. This is the first sign of industrialization which promised progress and prosperity to the pioneering community. Joseph’s son Samuel, later known as Miller Sam, built a four-story flower mill which is still in business as the Blair Mill.
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