Waterloo, Canada, is a vibrant city located in the province of Ontario. It is part of the Waterloo Region, along with the cities of Kitchener and Cambridge. Known for its innovative spirit and strong ties to technology and education, Waterloo offers a variety of attractions and activities for locals and visitors alike. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Waterloo:
1. Waterloo Park
This 111-acre park is a popular destination for nature lovers and families. It features beautiful gardens, walking trails, a large pond, and picnic areas. The park also hosts special events throughout the year, making it an excellent spot for leisure and recreation.
2. St. Jacobs Farmers’ Marke
Located nearby in St. Jacobs, this famous farmers’ market is a must-visit. Open year-round, it offers a wide range of fresh produce, local crafts, artisanal foods, and unique gifts. The market’s bustling atmosphere and friendly vendors create an enjoyable shopping experience.
3. Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
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For science enthusiasts, the Perimeter Institute is a fascinating place to explore. It hosts public lectures, workshops, and exhibits that promote a better understanding of physics and scientific research.
4. Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery
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Art lovers will appreciate this contemporary art gallery dedicated to showcasing Canadian artists’ works in clay, glass, and enamel. It offers thought-provoking exhibitions and inspiring collections.
5. Laurel Creek Conservation Area
If you enjoy outdoor activities, head to this conservation area to hike, bike, or have a relaxing picnic. The park features picturesque landscapes, a beach area, and opportunities for wildlife spotting.
6. Explore Uptown Waterloo
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The uptown area of Waterloo is a vibrant hub of shops, restaurants, cafes, and cultural events. Take a stroll along King Street to discover unique boutiques and dine at a diverse range of eateries.
7. Waterloo Region Museum
Learn about the history and culture of the region at this museum. It offers engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and artifacts that showcase the area’s past.
This entertainment complex offers a variety of activities, including a water park, mini-golf, bowling, and an arcade. It’s an ideal spot for family-friendly fun and adventure.
9. Columbia Lake
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Enjoy a day outdoors at Columbia Lake, part of the University of Waterloo campus. It’s a great place for a relaxing walk, a game of frisbee, or to simply unwind by the water.
10. Eby Farmstead
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For a taste of rural life, visit the Eby Farmstead, a living history farm that provides insights into the region’s agricultural heritage.
11. Waterloo Central Railway
Take a scenic train ride through the countryside on a historic steam or diesel locomotive. This is a unique experience that offers a glimpse of the region’s railway history.
12. RIM Park
Sports enthusiasts will appreciate RIM Park’s numerous facilities, including sports fields, ice rinks, and indoor courts. It’s a great place for playing sports or watching local events.
13. Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo
Waterloo is home to two prestigious universities, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. Take a walk around these beautiful campuses, soak in the vibrant academic atmosphere, and visit their libraries, which often host public events and lectures.
14. Waterloo Region Children’s Museum
Perfect for families with young children, this interactive museum offers hands-on exhibits and educational programs that engage young minds in learning through play.
15. Waterloo Public Square
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Located in the heart of uptown Waterloo, the public square is a gathering place for locals and visitors. Throughout the year, it hosts concerts, cultural events, and seasonal celebrations, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere.
16. Max’s Sports World
Golf enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to Max’s Sports World, which features a mini-golf course and a driving range. It’s an excellent place for some friendly competition and outdoor fun.
17. Conestoga Mall
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If shopping is your thing, head to Conestoga Mall, where you’ll find a wide variety of stores, restaurants, and a movie theater. It’s a great spot to spend a rainy day or indulge in some retail therapy.
18. Waterloo Region Art Gallery
This contemporary art gallery hosts thought-provoking exhibitions and art-related events, showcasing local and international artists’ works.
19. Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex
This multi-purpose facility offers various sports and recreational activities, including ice skating, swimming, and fitness classes.
20. Monigram Coffee Roasters
For coffee lovers, a visit to Monigram Coffee Roasters is a must. They roast their beans on-site, offering a delightful selection of specialty coffees in a cozy atmosphere.
21. Grand River
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The nearby Grand River provides opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Take a guided tour or rent equipment to explore the scenic waterway and its natural surroundings.
22. Molson Coors Brewery
Beer enthusiasts can enjoy a tour of the Molson Coors Brewery, where they can learn about the brewing process and the history of this iconic Canadian brand.
23. Victoria Park, Kitchener
Just a short drive away from Waterloo, Victoria Park in Kitchener is a beautiful green space with walking trails, a boathouse, and seasonal events like the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival.
24. Festivals and Events
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Throughout the year, Waterloo hosts various festivals and events that showcase the city’s diverse culture and community spirit. From Oktoberfest celebrations to music festivals, there’s always something exciting happening in the city.
25. Waterloo Central Trail
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Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the picturesque Waterloo Central Trail, a multi-use trail that stretches through scenic landscapes and connects to neighboring towns.
26. Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
If you appreciate classical music and live performances, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a concert by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. They regularly host concerts featuring renowned guest artists and a diverse range of musical compositions.
27. Waterloo Pioneers Memorial Tower
A historical landmark, the Waterloo Pioneers Memorial Tower offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. It commemorates the area’s early settlers and is a great spot for a scenic hike.
28. Brubacher House Museum
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Step back in time and visit the Brubacher House, a living history museum that showcases the daily life of the Mennonite settlers who lived in the region during the 19th century.
29. Waterloo Region Hall of Fame
For sports enthusiasts and history buffs, the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements of local athletes and sports figures who have made significant contributions to their respective fields.
30. Evan’s Contemporary
Art lovers looking for cutting-edge contemporary art should visit Evan’s Contemporary, an art gallery that features innovative and thought-provoking works by emerging and established artists.
31. Waterloo Public Library
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If you’re a bookworm or just seeking a quiet spot to read, the Waterloo Public Library offers a wide selection of books, digital resources, and cozy reading areas.
32. McCrae House National Historic Site
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History and literature enthusiasts will find interest in McCrae House, the birthplace of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, the author of the famous war poem “In Flanders Fields.”
33. Waterloo Region Food Tours
Embark on a guided food tour through the city to savor the diverse culinary offerings. Sample delicious dishes from local restaurants and learn about the region’s culinary history.
34. Grey Silo Golf Course
Golfers can enjoy a round of golf at Grey Silo Golf Course, which offers challenging fairways and scenic views of the Grand River.
35. Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex
In addition to its sports facilities, the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex also hosts various community events, craft fairs, and exhibitions.
36. Explore St. Jacobs Village
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Just a short drive from Waterloo, St. Jacobs is a charming village known for its Mennonite heritage, unique shops, and farmers’ markets. Explore the quaint streets, shop for artisan crafts, and sample local treats.
37. Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery
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Return to the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery during special exhibitions and events, as they often bring in new and exciting collections from artists around the country.
38. Waterloo Architecture Walking Tour
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Explore the city’s architecture on a guided walking tour to discover a mix of historic and modern buildings that showcase Waterloo’s evolving urban landscape.
39. Waterloo Region Craft Breweries
Craft beer enthusiasts can hop on a brewery tour to taste a variety of locally brewed beers and experience the region’s thriving craft beer scene.
40. Waterloo Park Miniature Railway
Take a ride on the Waterloo Park Miniature Railway, a charming train that winds its way through the scenic landscapes of Waterloo Park. It’s a fun activity for families and train enthusiasts of all ages.
41. Waterloo Brewing Company
Beer aficionados can tour the Waterloo Brewing Company, one of the oldest craft breweries in Ontario. Learn about the brewing process and sample a variety of their signature beers.
42. Waterloo Region Nature Trails
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For nature lovers and hikers, the Waterloo Region offers an extensive network of nature trails. Explore trails like Laurel Creek Conservation Area Trail, Huron Natural Area, and RIM Park Trails, which showcase the region’s natural beauty.
43. Waterloo Region Museum Doon Heritage Village
Step back in time and experience life in the 1914 Doon Heritage Village, a living history museum that recreates a rural village complete with costumed interpreters and historic buildings.
44. UpTown Waterloo Food Tour
Embark on a culinary journey through UpTown Waterloo with a guided food tour. Indulge in a variety of delicious dishes from local restaurants and eateries.
45. Button Factory Arts
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This arts and performance space hosts various events, workshops, and exhibitions featuring local artists and performers. It’s an excellent place to immerse yourself in the local arts community.
46. Waterloo Ice Dogs Hockey Game
If you’re a sports enthusiast or just enjoy the excitement of a live game, catch an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) match featuring the Waterloo Ice Dogs at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.
47. The Clay & Glass Studio
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Unleash your creativity and take a pottery or glassblowing class at The Clay & Glass Studio, where you can learn to create your own unique art pieces.
48. Waterloo Skate Park
Skateboarders and BMX riders can head to the Waterloo Skate Park to practice tricks and enjoy some adrenaline-pumping fun.
Places and Things To Do