Unlike a metropolis such as Toronto, it is relatively quick and easy to get from one point to another by car because the distances aren't far, and the traffic isn't too busy. Traveling by public transit is much more challenging. Bus schedules are available at ;alternatively, you can acquire them piecemeal on buses or all at once at either of the universities.
A look at a map of Kitchener-Waterloo will show a confusing tangle of streets and street names. Kitchener and Waterloo are two separate cities that have grown until they met each other. Many of the streets do not follow a grid pattern, but curve and wiggle in surprising patterns (though the west-end suburbs tend to be somewhat understandable). For example, there are two streets, King and Weber, which are parallel for most of their length, but cross each other 4 times. King Street is the main street that travels roughly North-South through the downtown of Kitchener and Waterloo. In Waterloo, it is labeled King St. North and South, with the transition at Erb Street. In Kitchener, it is labeled King St. East and West, and at one point jogs fifty feet to the left where it becomes "Old King".
University of Waterloo. Established in the 1950's, UW is one of Canada's youngest universities. It is well known for its co-operative education program and for fostering innovation. Several spin-off companies are well-known, such as Research in Motion and Open Text. It was also the starting point of Engineers Without Borders. Visitors might be interested in the Games Museum in the BMH building, the Earth Sciences Museum in the CEIT building, and the Optometry Museum in the Optometry building.
Wilfred Laurier University, 75 University Ave W (corner of King and University). WLU is best known for its School of Business and Economics, one of the best (though one of the smallest) in Canada; its Music, Geography, Political Science and Kinesiology programs are also well-known. The School of Music hosts at least one concert per week, admission to which is often free.
There is a small airport, but almost no one uses it other than the regular service to Detroit. People usually come into Waterloo by train, car or bus. The Via Rail train station is located in Kitchener. Cars usually take the 401 highway, unless they are coming from the north. The closest large airport is Toronto's Pearson International Airport, which is approximately a 70 minute drive, depending on traffic. Airways Transit offers scheduled and pre-arranged pickups from the airport to Waterloo. However, the cheapest route is to take public transit to downtown Toronto, take the Greyhound to Kitchener, then take a Grand River transit bus to Waterloo. Buffalo/Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, NY is an alternative to Toronto. It is about 90-100 minutes away and requires a border crossing, but is often much cheaper to fly out of, particularly if your destination is in the US or Caribbean.
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Started by a $100 million donation by local entrepreneur, Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM).
Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, 25 Caroline Street North, 746-1882. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Located in Uptown Waterloo. The collection is small enough to be seen in an hour. Donations requested.
St. Jacob's Farmer's Market. This market attracts locals and tourists, with fresh produce, baked goods, ethnic foods, clothing, refurbished phones, etc. The market is just north of town; it runs Thursdays and Saturdays 7:00 am - 3:30 pm, with Tuesdays 8:00 am - 3:00 pm being added in the summer (June until Labor Day).
Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema. THE one and only film festival for animated feature films from around the world.
Oktoberfest. Bavarian festival held annually in October; said to be the largest in the world outside of Germany.
CAFKA. The Contemporary Arts Forum | Kitchener and Area is an annual arts festival that usually runs for about 10 days in September. A major arts event in Ontario that attracts international artists, as well as national and local ones.
Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre. A community theatre group with shows occurring for two week runs about once every 2 months, generally located at the Registry Theatre in downtown Kitchener. Company made up of mostly university students and young adults. Affordable ticket prices. 2004 ticket prices $11-$13/show.
Waterloo Stage Theatre. A ~250-seat stage theatre remodeled from a cinema with shows generally occurring for one-month runs about once every two months. Rents to professional groups, musicians, amateur and semi-pro theatre companies, and has in-house productions as well. 2004 ticket prices $10-$30/show.
The King Street Theatre Centre. A ~380-seat stage theatre located in downtown Kitchener with shows generally occurring for one-month runs about once every two months. Home to Theatre & Company, with occasional rentals by other groups. 2004 ticket prices $10-$30/show.
Waterloo Buskers' Carnival. Held annually in August.
Starlight Night Club. A great venue for a plethora of bands. Past performances include: The Sadies, Hawksley Workman, Cowboy Junkies, and Snow Patrol. DJ Charles is a must see. Affordable and great atmosphere. for upcoming shows
The Turret Nightclub. Concert venue for Wilfred Laurier Students and Alumni, guests and friends. for more information
Wilf's Pub. Excellent smaller venue (285 capacity) for concerts, popular among Canadian artists. Recent performances include The Trews, Bedouin Soundclash, and the Blackwater Trio.
Waterloo is a university town, which means restaurants full of cheap, horrible food. Going Uptown (the King/Erb area) will provide expensive, acceptable food. It was one of the first cities in Canada to pass a by-law prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants.
You can find a critical review of Kitchener-Waterloo restaurants at http://db.uwaterloo.ca/~plragde/food/kw-rests.html. Many restaurant reviewers on the Internet source this page. Another excellent resource is the restaurant review page of the Yellow Pages Dinner Club. Another excellent source of reviews and a map of all the restaurants reviewed can be found at Sapphire Martini with the map on CommunityWalk
Ethel's Lounge, 114 King Street North (just south of WLU), 725-2361. "No live entertainment; one TV." Ethel's serves up Mexican and roadhouse fare in a cool retro-chrome-diner atmosphere. Don't be intimidated by the surly-sounding menu; the staff and patrons here tend to be a personable, if outlandish, bunch. Entrees $5-10.
Noodle Hut, 230 King Street North. A little hidden, but well worth the find. A wonderful family run place that is super cheap and filling. A great variety of food, including great vegetarian selection. $5-7, max, which includes a soup and a HUGE entre.
Maharaja Palce THE BEST place to get authentic food. There is a super cheap all you can eat lunch buffet, for under $10. The owners are also nice, and can cater to any food allergies. The non buffet menu is also a great bargain, especially the Royal Feast, which is big enough to feed two. mmmmmm
Lotus Tea house 79 Regina street North. A lovely calm Buddhist vegan restaurant, with home made teas that will leave you wanting more. Great student prices. A huge lunch is $4 for students and $5 for non-students. Its an amazing deal. A great place to relax and let the stress melt away. A bit hidden, but well worth the find.
Mongolian Grill, University Shops Plaza (on University Ave, just across the tracks from UW), 747-4400. Grab a bowl and fill it with your choice of meats, veggies, sauces and spices. Then, give it to the grillers, who will chop, fry, and thrash your meal into shape right before your eyes on a huge round grill (3m/9' across, temp 300C/600F). $17 for all you can eat, including rice and tortillas to go with your stir-fry. Be forewarned: there's often a wait in the evenings, especially on weekends.
Jane Bond 7 Princess St. A wonderful vegetarian restaurant with great atmosphere. They make wonderful martinis and have a great selection of wines and beer as well. They also have live entertainment some nights. Right across the street from Princess Cinema.
Solé, 83 Erb Street West (in Uptown Waterloo) . Offers updated versions of classic Italian and Canadian cuisine.
King Street Trio, 65 University Ave. E. . Upscale dining with live jazz every Wednesday through Saturday night.
Waterloo is within easy driving distance of many southern Ontario locations, such as London, Guelph, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Stratford. Towns on the shore of Lake Huron, such as Kincardine or Goderich, are great places to enjoy the beach in the summer.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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