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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. Sep. 11, 2018IN THE MEDIA: Alumna Allison Holmes on tourism in the NWTAllison Holmes in front of a wooded lake

    Tourist behaviour has often been a bone of contention for local residents around the world. Such was the case in the Northwest Territories recently, when five kayakers went over Alexandra Falls. The stunt was not only dangerous and costly, with two of the kayakers getting hurt and having to be rescued, but it also disrespected sacred land, say the traditional Dene land users.

  2. July 27, 2018Another ranking firm places Waterloo's leisure studies first in Canada

    The University of Waterloo has once again clinched top spot in Canada in the hospitality and tourism management subject rankings compiled by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) subject rankings (Shanghai). The Department held the same spot last year and remained at number 23 in the world for the second year in a row. 

  3. June 14, 2018Bryan Grimwood research team receives $278,000 SSHRC grantBryan Grimwood

    Bryan Grimwood and co-investigators (including Lori Campbell and Lisbeth Berbary at UWaterloo), have secured a $278,000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight grant for a project called Unsettling Tourism: Settler Stories, Indigenous Lands, and Awakening an Ethics of Reconciliation.

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  1. Nov. 24, 20182018 Waterloo West Neighbourhood FestStudent and participant colouring at the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest

    The seventh 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.

  2. Nov. 30, 20182018 Shaw-Mannell Lecture: Leisure studies, ego involvement, and the dodo Shaw-Mannell Award Presentation

    Gerard Kyle will receive the Shaw-Mannell Leisure Research Award, for innovative, creative, and courageous research, and will provide a personal commentary reflecting on his observations of leisure research within the United States over the past 20 years 

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