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Waterloo, Ontario

The City of Waterloo, Ontario is the smallest of the tri-cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is adjacent to the larger city of Kitchener. Kitchener and Waterloo are often jointly referred to as Kitchener-Waterloo (K-W), or the Twin Cities, although they have separate municipal governments. There have been many attempts in the past to amalgamate the two cities, but none have been successful. According to popular polls, if the cities were joined most residents of the region would prefer to name the new city "Waterloo".

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law/Government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Companies based in Waterloo
6 Demographics
7 Sites of Interest
8 Events
9 Colleges/Universities in city
10 External Links


Waterloo was founded by Mennonites from Pennsylvania in 1804, including Abraham Erb, considered to be the founder of Waterloo because the two lots of land he owned later made up the core of Waterloo. In 1816, the new town was named Waterloo after the site of the famous battle involving Napoleon in Europe the previous year. By the 1840s the area was a popular destination for German settlers. The Germans settled mostly in the area to the south-east of Waterloo, which in 1833 was called Berlin, although it was later renamed to Kitchener.


The current mayor of Waterloo is Herb Epp, who was elected mayor in November,2003. The Waterloo city council is made up of the mayor and 5 councillors, each elected in his or her "ward" (sometimes called "riding"). The City of Waterloo itself (which includes municipal workers, city offices, libraries, recreational facilities, etc.) was voted one of the top 100 employers in Canada in 2003. The local law enforcement body is the Waterloo Regional police force.


There are five main parks in the city. The largest is RIM park, which occupies 500 acres and is home to a wide variety of indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, including an eighteen hole gold course, and the heritage 'Martin Farm House'. Waterloo Park is in Uptown Waterloo, and contains historical buildings and a bandshell. Bechtel Park occupies 109 acres and has many outdoor sporting facilities along with wetlands, meadows and hardwood forest. Hillside Park and Lexington are smaller facilities. Laurel Creek Conservation Areas lies in the north of the city.

The Grand River, which is popular with canoeists, flows southward along the East side of the city.

The centre (or 'uptown') of Waterloo is located near the junctions of King and Erb streets. The centrepiece is the now rather old Waterloo Town Square shopping centre. Several proposals have been made to upgrade or replace this, but none have yet come to fruition. The historical centre of the city was once along Albert Street, near the Marsland Centre and the Waterloo Public Library.


Through the years breweries and distilleries have been a significant industry in the Waterloo area, until 1993 when a Labatt-owned brewery was shut down. Now the only major brewery is Brick brewery. Waterloo was also the original home of distiller Seagram. Insurance companies have also had a strong presence in Waterloo, as several Waterloo-based insurance companies appear on the Financial Post's listing of the largest insurance companies. At the present time, the largest industries in Waterloo are high-tech based industries. Waterloo has even become the centre of the "Canadian High-Tech Triangle", made up of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, and Guelph (Waterloo-Kitchener are often considered as the same city, hence the three points to make up the triangle).

Companies based in Waterloo




The official population of Waterloo is 102,300. Many locals are of German descent. There is also a strong Mennonite presence, thanks to the region's history. The city has a cosmopolitan ethnic makeup thanks to its universities.

Sites of Interest


An annual Jazz Festival is held in July, and a Busker's Carnival in August. Waterloo joins with Kitchener in the largest celebration of Oktoberfest outside of Germany, which takes place at Canadian Thanksgiving in October. The Royal Medieval Faire takes place in September.

Colleges/Universities in city

Waterloo has two major Canadian universities, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University. The University of Waterloo is famous for having the first co-op program in Canada, and it regularly performs well in Macleans Magazine's annual comparison of Canadian universities and colleges. Spinoffs from the University of Waterloo have contributed to a large number of high-tech companies in the area. Waterloo is also home to a campus of Conestoga College.



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See also: Canada, Canadian provinces and territories, List of communities in Ontario

External Links