Life in Waterloo

Are you looking for a city that boasts a thriving multicultural community with safe streets, plenty of green space, top-tier entertainment, museums, restaurants and shopping? Welcome to the region of southwestern Ontario centred by the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo - an integral part of Canada's "technology triangle."

With a population of just approximately 330,000, the community combines the advantages of a small city with easy access to metropolitan Toronto, Stratford's Shakespearean Festival and the sandy beaches of the Great Lakes. Waterloo is known for its charming blend of urban and rural, so don't be surprised if you see cornfields and Old Order Mennonite buggies just minutes away from busy streets.

Getting around Waterloo

Grand River Transit

Travelling around Kitchener-Waterloo is often trouble-free. Being a smaller city, traffic jams are rare in Waterloo and there is usually enough parking for everyone. Or hop on a Grand River Transit bus or the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system to get from point A to B. Flying out to visit family or taking a vacation? Toronto's Pearson International Airport is just an hour from Waterloo. For those flying to destinations such as Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary or other Canadian cities, the Region of Waterloo International Airport offers hassle-free air travel just minutes away.

Graduate housing

Columbia Lake Villiage Residence

Located within walking distance to campus, Columbia Lake Village is a great place to call home. This residence community offers graduate students and those with families a comfortable, safe, and convenient residence while studying at University of Waterloo. As well, there are many off-campus options in Kitchener-Waterloo to meet your needs and budget.

What can I do in Waterloo?

Uptown Waterloo

Starting or continuing your graduate studies sometimes means moving to a new city. Why not jump in feet first and take advantage of all the things Kitchener-Waterloo has to offer?

  • Buy local apples, tomatoes, or artisanal cheeses at one of the many nearby farmers' markets
  • Watch mainstream and foreign films at the Princess Cinemas
  • Snowboard or ski at Chicopee Ski Club when cold weather hits
  • Spend a Saturday afternoon shopping at Conestoga Mall or trendy boutiques in Uptown Waterloo
  • Ice skate at the outdoor rink in downtown Kitchener
  • Plan a weekend camping trip with friends or family at one of the many provincial parks
  • Take a walk through Waterloo Park or hop on your bike and ride the trails
  • Get dressed up and meet friends for dinner and dancing at Caesar Martinis
  • Check out live bands at University of Waterloo's Graduate House or at the Fox and the Fiddle
  • Hop on a bus to Toronto, Niagara Falls, or Stratford
  • Throw on some lederhosen (or not), grab a beer stein and some schnitzel and make some noise at Oktoberfest

Four-season climate

Canadians love to talk about the weather. And for good reason. It's always changing. Southern Ontario's climate has four distinct seasons: cold, but not severe winters; cool springs; hot summers; and crisp, colourful autumns. The average temperatures during the winter months can range from -11°C to 0°C. Average summer temperatures range from 10°C to 30°C. So don't forget to pack a winter coat - and sunscreen!