Waterloo, then and now

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
by Noma Abdulrahem, Nicole Bennett, Laryssa Li, University Relations

For 60 years, the University of Waterloo has inspired new generations of students and new waves of innovation and discovery. At the heart of it all is a dynamic, constantly changing campus.

After seeing archival photos of landmark University sites, our co-op team was inspired to re-shoot those historic images against a modern-day backdrop. Watch for more then-and-now photos, or submit your own on social media at #UWaterloo60.

Photo of Davis Centre from 1988 in front of Davis Centre in 2017

William G. Davis Computer Research Centre, November 1988

Students gather at the opening of the William G. Davis Computer Research Centre, housing the Institute for Computer Research. The building was named for the former Ontario premier and education minister — a strong supporter of the University of Waterloo. Its design is intended to resemble the motherboard of a computer.

photo of Dana Porter in 1968 in front of Dana Porter in 2017

Dana Porter Library (formerly known as Arts Library), February 1966

Here the Dana Porter Library (then known as the Arts Library) stands at only seven storeys high. The dedication and naming of the building took place the in 1967, honouring Dana Porter, Ontario’s Chief Justice, who served as Waterloo’s chancellor from 1960 to 1966. Construction of floors eight, nine and 10 was completed in 1970, giving the library its distinctive look — known to students as “the sugar cube.”

photo of Mathematics and Computer building in 1968 in front of Mathematucs and Computing building in 2017

Mathematics and Computer, February 6, 1968

Officially opened in 1968, Mathematics and Computer housed Canada’s first Faculty of Mathematics. Today, it remains one of only a few standalone math faculties in the world — and has earned a global reputation. In conjunction with the University’s 60th anniversary, the Faculty of Mathematics celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017.

photo of graduating class in 1965 in front of Modern Language in 2017

Modern Languages (formerly known as Arts), October 23, 1965

Students exit Modern Languages (then known as the Arts building) during the University’s 11th convocation. Pictured second from left is Dana Porter, Ontario’s Chief Justice who served as Waterloo’s chancellor from 1960 to 1966.

photo of Health Services in 1968 in front of Health Services in 2017

Health Services, October 25, 1968

Completed in 1968, Health Services was built  to provide on-campus medical care to a population of 9,000 students. As the University grew to a population of more than 36,000 students, a major expansion opened in 2013.

Photo of Student Life Centre in 1977 in front of the Student Life Centre in 2017

Student Life Centre (formerly known as Campus Centre), 1977

The Student Life Centre (formerly known as Campus Centre) was built in 1968 and has since undergone expansion. The centre houses many of campus shops and services and is a hub for student activity and extracurriculars. Plans are in place for further expansion, with completion set for Fall 2018.

The University of Waterloo campus has undergone significant growth and change in its first six decades. One can only imagine how new generations of students, ideas, innovation and disruptive technologies will change the campus in the next 60 years.