Living in Waterloo

Waterloo is a dynamic urban centre well known for its rich cultural diversity and high-tech savvy.

Often rated as one of the top 10 cities to live in Canada, Waterloo attracts top business talent and students from around the world, advancing its reputation as one of the country’s smartest communities.

The cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge are known as the tri-cities. Over time, these three cities have grown so that their borders are no longer distinct and now share several services, such as bussing, through the larger Region of Waterloo.

Waterloo at a glance

As of 2021, The population of Waterloo is currently 121,440 (Source: 2021 Census).  The Region of Waterloo, made up of the Cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and four surrounding townships with a population of 587,165 (Source: 2021 Census). The region is the 10th largest community in Canada targeting to reach a population of 835,000 by 2041 (Source: Region of Waterloo).

According to the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors, in April 2024 the following were the average prices for housing in the area:

  • Detached homes $965,000 CDN
  • Townhomes $660,000 CDN
  • Semi-detached $670,000 CDN
  • Condominium $484,000 CDN

The 2020 median family income for the region was $92,000 (Source: StatsCan), and as of December 2022 the Region's unemployment rate was 6.3% (Source: StatsCanada).

Located in Southwestern Ontario, the University of Waterloo with its central location can be a commuter destination from several nearby cities. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to drive across Kitchener-Waterloo (Source: Google Maps). 

Based on Google Maps, the following are the approximate drive times to nearby points of interest: 

  • Pearson International Airport: 60 Minutes
  • Toronto (capital of Ontario): 90 Minutes
  • Niagara Falls, Ontario: 90 Minutes
  • Buffalo, New York: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Detroit, Michigan: 3 hours
  • Ottawa (capital of Canada): 6 hours

If you are interested in moving to Waterloo, the following links should give you a good insight into what the city offers. 

Note: Some of the links are associated with relator and/or commercial business sites. We do not endorse or recommend these businesses but have found the information presented to be useful. These resources have been marked with a *.


The following links give general overviews of why Waterloo is a great place to live.

Neighbourhoods, schools and multicultural services

Kitchener-Waterloo is made up of several distinct neighbourhoods. The following will help you understand the neighbourhoods and help you find the one that best fits you.

Ontario has two publically funded school boards, the public board and the Catholic board. In addition to these boards, there is a variety of private schools that may meet your family's educational needs.

Waterloo is proud of the diversity of its population. When you are new to any community it is sometimes hard to find people who have the same cultural background. The following sites should help you find your community within your new community.

Getting around Waterloo Region

Finding work

Entertainment, Kid Activities and Restaurants

From the world-class exhibits that come through THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener to the arthouse movies shown at the Princess and Apollo Cinemas, the region offers a wide range of entertainment. If you are interested in live entertainment, The Centre In The Square features one of the best acoustic designed performance areas in the world and is home to the KW Symphony. The Aud in Kitchener is home to the Ontario Hockey League's Rangers and like the Centre In The Square is also plays hosts to a variety of entertainment acts.

Waterloo region is a great place for families. From non-traditional camps to house league sports, you can find an activity that suits anyone's interest.

Looking to try a new place to eat? The following is a good start to learn about the variety of dining options in the city and on-campus.