Semi-detached Kitchener home sells for $300K, highlighting surging local real estate market

A semi-detached home in Kitchener’s Laurentian West neighbourhood sold for $300,000 over the asking price.

It was listed at $500,000. After 53 offers, it sold for $801,000.

Neighbours in the area said they weren't surprised, saying they've noticed a hot market in Waterloo Region.

"I knew this would cause some disruption in real estate in our region, for the sole fact that it's a semi-detached home," said Dan Porlier, the broker behind the sale.

Statistics Canada said Waterloo Region had the fastest growing population in Canada in 2020 as more people looked to move out of big, urban areas.

Waterloo Region enters back into the red tier as stay-at-home order lifts

Waterloo Region re-entered the province's red "control" tier on Tuesday as the provincial stay-at-home order came to an end.

The region fell into the red "control" tier, which is the highest a region can be before entering the grey "lockdown" tier.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is also in the red tier. Brant County Health Unit and Huron Perth Public Health have both been placed in the orange "restrict" tier.

Some of the province's red tier framework include social gatherings limited to five people indoors or 25 outdoors, religious services or ceremonies limited to 30 per cent indoor capacity and 100 people outdoors, and restaurants would also have to have indoor capacity limits as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

Despite the decrease in lockdown measures, officials are reminding the public to continue to be careful.

Local school boards to start doing asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, but plans are still being worked out

School boards in Waterloo Region and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph are still working on plans to perform targeted COVID-19 tests at their schools.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education said school boards would need to test five per cent of schools, or two per cent of its student population, each week, starting on Monday.

The Waterloo Region District School Board said it will use existing assessment centres and pop-up sites to start.

Following that, the WRDSB plans to use private vendors. They're working to decide dates, locations and times with prospective vendors.

School staff in Waterloo Region can also get asymptomatic COVID-19 tests at participating pharmacies in the region.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board and the Upper Grand District School Board also said they'll be using a vendor for targeted testing.

The school boards said they would communicate plans with staff, students and families as they become available.

Family forced to put down five-month-old puppy, warns others to do research

A family who had to put down their five-month-old puppy because of a health issue is warning others to do research before their purchase.

They bought the dog from a farm in Waterloo Region. His health quickly deteriorated after he came home and he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which is a terminal illness in dogs.

Kathrin Delutis, the executive director of the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth, said there are important questions that should be asked before bringing a puppy home.

"How often has the mom been bred? How many litters have you actually had? At what point do you return this pet?" Delutis said.

The Ministry of the Solicitor General said Animal Welfare Services is investigating the matter, but wasn't able to provide any further details.

Cambridge company has millions of masks in storage due to red tape

A Cambridge company that pivoted to create millions of masks during the pandemic now has millions of products in storage.

Steve Mai, CEO and president of Eclipse Innovations, said there's international interest in the products, but they're dealing with red tape and gaps in the supply chain closer to home.

His N95 masks were temporarily certified by Health Canada, but that certification expires next month. He said N95 masks are typically certified by an organization in the U.S. However, his company is only a third of the way through that process for certification because of delays.

"I think we should have a body in Canada that looks into determining the standard, which is something that the Canadian Standards Association is forming," said Ravi Selvaganapathy, a professor at McMaster University and the director of the Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment.

The Ontario government committed $1.4 million to help ramp up production at the Cambridge facility in July.

The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade said it's important to be able to secure the necessary personal protective equipment needed in the province's COVID-19 response, and that bolstering domestic manufacturing of PPE is a key step.