school picture


With 493 students, and lots of excited staff, Northlake Woods Public School opened in the fall of 1996.

Located in the Waterloo Region, our school was beautifully designed and wonderfully landscaped to provide a happy, safe, and environmentally connected learning space for the children in this community.


When first opened, classes ranged from Kindergarten to Grade 7. By the second year our grade 8 classes were added, and we have been a Composite Grade K to 8 school ever since. The first principal, Mr. J. Spinak, and his vice principal, Mrs. F. Lootsma, watched NLW grow over the next few years. At one point we were over 650 students and had portables in the back school yard. Northlake Woods is 27 years old now. We have changed in some ways, but at the same time, remained very similar to our early look and feel. We continue to value the close community feel that comes from a dedicated and caring group of staff, students, and parents, always ready and willing to do their best.

The Architect

The architect who designed our school was from Snider, Reichard and March Architects. Northlake Woods was the 100th elementary school, at the time, and was the last building designed by the architect in charge, before his retirement. As a result, special attention was given to the details around the design of the school and the building materials chosen for it. It was clear that he put a very special touch into the design of our school. It seems as though his heart and soul poured out into designing the building and the special care he took in having its design value and promote a connection between people and their natural environment. A key feature to our school’s design is the preservation of the large naturalized woodlot that is on our school property. Recent enhancements to this area have enabled it to continue to be a valuable, extended outdoor classroom for our students. On a daily basis, students and classes explore and learn in this unique outdoor learning space.

The Physical Layout

In the Northlake Woods archives sits an old yellowing rolled up sheet of blueprints for our school. Just from one glance, on the first page, you can see how well this school was designed and planned out. One step into the school lets you appreciate how that planning came together with a wide variety of natural building materials. Many visitors comment about the ‘cottage’ feel they get when they walk into the large, brick and wood panel lined entrance to the school. It definitely reflects the warmth that comes from a closely connected and supportive community school.


Written by Kerris (Grade 8, 2014/15)