Enhancing the quality of individual and collective lives

From visionary beginnings in 1968 and buoyed by a consistent record of innovation, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies has long enjoyed a reputation for excellence placing it among world leaders in the field.

The University of Waterloo offered one of the first undergraduate degree programs in recreation and leisure studies including the first co-operative education program, as well as the first MA and PhD programs in recreation and leisure studies in Canada.

Our students are mentored by leading experts and have the opportunity to apply theory to practice as they are introduced to the study of recreation and leisure as a phenomena as well as the planning, delivery and evaluation of recreation and leisure services.

Woman curling at community rink.Through focus on community, environment, health and well-being, identity and diversity, and service and policy, our research strives to critically evaluate leisure in its diverse forms with a goal of enhancing quality of individual and collective lives.


  1. Nov. 4, 2019Larissa McLeod receives U SPORTS Gail Wilson Award
    Larissa McLeod with her award

    Fourth-year Recreation and Sport Business student and varsity field hockey player Larissa McLeod received the U SPORTS Gail Wilson Award last Thursday, October 31 at the U SPORTS Field Hockey award gala in Victoria, B.C. This award is given to a player who has contributed greatly to her sport, academics and greater community.

  2. Oct. 1, 2019Two graduate students receive Mitacs Globalink research abroad awards

    Congratulations to PhD student Haley Baxter and MA student Jordana Milne who received Mitacs Globalink Research Awards. The $6,000 award provides opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdorctoral fellows at Canadian universities to build international research networks and undertake research for 12-24 weeks at a university abroad.

  3. Apr. 26, 2019Experiential learning grants received

    Three faculty members who recently participated in the Waterloo ExL Institute - an intensive two-day retreat focused on the integration of experiential learning into courses and programs - received grants of up to $5,500 to assist with the implementation of experiential learning into their upcoming courses.

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  1. Nov. 23, 20192019 Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest
    Student and participant colouring at the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest

    The eighth Annual Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest is a free, drop-in event organized and delivered by University of Waterloo students in partnership with the Stork Family YMCA and Harper Branch Library. The event is designed for families with young children and offers a variety of fun-filled themed activities the whole family can enjoy, such as crafts, amazing races, science experiments, and active games. 

  2. Dec. 5, 20192019 Shaw-Mannell Lecture: Daniel Dustin
    Shaw-Mannell Award Presentation

    Daniel Dustin will receive the Shaw-Mannell Leisure Research Award, for innovative, creative, and courageous research, and will provide a personal commentary in honour of researchers Sue Shaw and Roger Mannell.

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