Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Waterloo: three schools located in the region of Waterloo. It's no wonder Waterloo has become – at its core – the ultimate student town.
I've lived in Kitchener (Waterloo's next-door neighbour) my whole life but it wasn’t until I started looking into universities that I became more familiar with everything the region had to offer its significant student population. It was in my first year when I really started to explore the places and events around the city that cater to students, and came to appreciate the student-friendly culture of Waterloo.
Here are a few things that I believe make Waterloo the ultimate student town.
Community events year-round
The Busker festival, for example, runs every summer at the end of August in Uptown Waterloo. It's an awesome way to get out and see some performances, while also exploring the uptown shops and eateries. Events like the Busker festival, attract not only the locals but those students who have school during the summer and it is a great way to get out and see the culture of Waterloo.
If you're not planning to be around during the summer, fear not! There truly are events happening all year. Here are a few others that might interest you:
- Oktoberfest: Waterloo is home to the world’s largest Bavarian festival outside of Germany!
- KW Multicultural Fest: Celebrate your heritage and that of others at this festival, complete with performers, food, a marketplace and more!
- Canada Day: Celebrate Canada’s birthday without leaving campus! Enjoy free concerts, food trucks, fireworks, and more!
- Elmira Maple Syrup Festival: Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest single-day maple syrup festival!
The abundance of locales
Whether you’re looking for a place to study or go out with your friends, Waterloo has it all! There are tons of restaurants and cafés that will keep you and your friends fed and caffeinated.
- DVLB: Death Valley's Little Brother is one of many craft coffee shops in Uptown Waterloo.
- Mozy’s Shawarma: A favourite among many students, Mozy’s is one of many shawarma restaurants in Waterloo.
- Huether Hotel: Started by brewery owners, the Huether is best known for their apps and liquid menu.
- Morty's: It's all about the chicken wings. Mondays and Thursday are Wing Nights!
- Shawarma Royale: Waterloo has become something of a haven for shawarma lovers – and this one ranks among the top!
- Poke Box: Delicious boxes and burritos for a good price.
- Ethel's Lounge: Another favourite among Waterloo students and locals alike, Ethel's is best known for their breakfasts and optimal snacking hours (they're open until 2 a.m.).
Get fresh air – and get out of residence for a day
- Waterloo Park: With 111 acres of land, Waterloo Park is a beautiful space and is great if you ever want to throw the ball around with friends or even just go for a walk, and don’t forget to check out the animals!
- Uptown Waterloo: Uptown Waterloo is a quick bus ride from campus and houses over 400 different shops, businesses, and restaurants as well as a town square that becomes an ice rink in the winter!
- St. Jacob's Farmers Market: Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market is a great destination to find local produce, ready-to-eat food, crafts, and more!
- Conestoga Mall: If you are running out of clothes, this mall is only a short bus ride away and has all your favourite stores.
At night, Waterloo has you covered.
- Games on Tap: This board game café is a great way to have fun with friends. Games on Tap has over 700 games to choose from and a selection of food and drinks!
- Beta: This nightclub hosts many live music nights with popular DJ’s and artists. If you like electronic and dance music this might be the place for you.
- Brixton Social: If you like to dress up, Brixton is the nightclub for you. Many Waterloo students love to put on their fancy outfits and dance the night away on Thursday student night.
Waterloo has become a perfect student town. You'll never find a shortage of things to do and it has everything you would ever need to be a student. Whether you’re looking for a place to get coffee or need a place to kick back with your friends, Waterloo has it and its all only a short bus ride or walk away.