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.

Interested in working with us? See positions available for current openings.


  1. Mar. 27, 2020Coronavirus update

    Stay up-to-date with the latest information and advisories on the coronavirus.

    Faculty members are also available to comment in media on various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Aug. 7, 2020Bryan Smale honoured by Community Indicators Consortium
    Bryan Smale.

    Professor Bryan Smale, Director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, was honoured by the Community Indicators Consortium with a Hall of Heroes Leadership Award, recognizing a leader who has had significant, long-term impact on the indicators field and the improvement of community conditions and well-being. 

  3. June 25, 2020Kimberly Lopez receives Emerging Scholar Award
    Kimberly Lopez

    Kimberly Lopez, a professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, has received the 2020 Emerging Scholar Award from the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies (CALS).

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