University COVID-19 update

The University of Waterloo is constantly updating our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions about buildings and services? Visit the list of Modified Services.

Please note: The University of Waterloo is closed for all events until further notice.

About Waterloo, Waterloo and Waterloo

About the University of Waterloo

The best and brightest are drawn to the University of Waterloo for its renowned academic programs, its world-leading co-operative education program, and its teaching and research excellence. The university embraces the opportunity to collaborate with — and be elevated by — a world-class peer group.

photo of the University of Waterloo

Waterloo champions a culture of curiosity, exploration, risk-taking, entrepreneurship, global stewardship and leadership. Waterloo brings bold ideas and brilliant minds together — inspiring innovations with global impact today and in the future.

  • 41,000 full- and part-time students cumulatively between undergraduate and graduate programs
  • More than 9,400 degrees granted in 2020
  • 48,000+ enrolments per year in online undergraduate and graduate courses (2018/19)
  • A 1,000-acre main campus, 100+ buildings with six faculties

photo of Waterloo's Peter Russell Rock Garden

The Peter Russell Rock Garden at the University of Waterloo was created in 1982 to commemorate the university’s 25th anniversary. Voted best outdoor space, this educational and beautiful landmark in the heart of campus has grown steadily over the years to contain more than 70 large specimens of rocks and minerals.

The rock garden is a few minutes away by foot from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science (SAS).

Beyond Tradition — A documentary about the University of Waterloo

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Ken McLaughlin has spent his career uncovering and shaping the stories of our local communities into urban portraits that breathe with the life of great biographies. 

Take a walk through time as he uncovers some of Waterloo’s most historic legacies, including the introduction of co-operative education, early entrepreneurial ventures that lead to revolutionary spin-off companies, and the integration of computers and computer science in the post-secondary world. 

About Waterloo Region and the City of Waterloo

Waterloo is a dynamic urban centre well known for its cultural diversity and high-tech savvy.

Often rated as one of the top 10 cities to live in Canada, Waterloo attracts business talent and students from around the world, advancing its reputation as one of the country’s smartest communities.

The cities of WaterlooKitchener, and Cambridge are known as the tri-cities. Over time, they have grown so that their borders are no longer distinct and now share several services, such as bussing, through the larger Region of Waterloo.

The City of Waterloo’s population in 2019 was 146,000. The Region of Waterloo, made up of the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, and four surrounding townships, is the 10th largest community in Canada with a population of 618,000. The region is targeting to reach 742,000 by 2031.

According to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors, in January 2020 the following were the average prices for housing in the area:

  • Detached homes — $671,000 Cdn
  • Townhomes — $440,000 Cdn
  • Semi-detached homes — $484,000 Cdn
  • Condominiums — $382,000 Cdn

The University of Waterloo is within commuting distance from several nearby towns and cities. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to drive across Kitchener-Waterloo.

Based on Google Maps, the following are the approximate drive times to nearby cities and points of interest: 

  • Pearson International Airport: 60 minutes
  • Toronto (capital of Ontario): 90 minutes
  • Niagara Falls, Ontario: 90 minutes
  • Buffalo, New York: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Detroit, Michigan: 3 hours
  • Ottawa, Ontario (capital of Canada): 6 hours

Ontario is home to some of the nation's stunning national parks, to learn more visit the Ontario Parks website or the Parks Canada website. 

If you are interested in moving to Waterloo, the following links should give insight into what the city offers.

Note: Some of the links are associated with realtor or commercial business sites. This is not an endorsement or recommendation, but the information presented may be useful. These resources have been marked with an asterisk.

General information about the region

The following links give overviews of why Waterloo is a great place to live.

Neighbourhoods, schools and multicultural services

Kitchener-Waterloo is made up of several distinct neighbourhoods. The following links will help you understand the neighbourhoods and find the one that’s best for you.

Ontario has two publicly funded school boards — the public school board and the Catholic school board. In addition to these boards are a variety of private schools that may meet your family’s educational needs.

Waterloo is proud of the diversity of its population. The following sites can help you find a community within your new community.

Getting around the Region of Waterloo

Waterloo Region has invested heavily in modes of alternative transportation. From the new Ion Light Rail system to get you around the city, a GO station to help you commute to Toronto, and a network of well-maintained bike trails, Waterloo wants you to get around in the way that best suits your needs.

University of Waterloo Ion station

The University of Waterloo Ion station provides easy access for students, staff and faculty from the university’s main campus. The station is between Engineering 5 and the Davis Centre on main campus, running along the Waterloo Spur and next to Ring Road.

Finding employment

If you are moving to work at the University of Waterloo, the following sites may be great resources to help others who move with you to find work. 

Entertainment, kid activities and restaurants

From the world-class exhibits that come through THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener to the art house movies shown at the Princess and Apollo Cinemas, the region offers a wide range of entertainment.

If you are interested in live entertainment, the Centre In The Square features one of the best acoustic performance areas in the world and is home to the KW SymphonyThe Aud in Kitchener is home to the Ontario Hockey League's Rangers and, like the Centre In The Square, also plays hosts to a variety of entertainment acts.

Waterloo Region is a great place for families. From nontraditional camps to house-league sports, you can find an activity that suits anyone’s interest.

Looking to try a new place to eat? The following links are a good start to learn about the variety of dining options in the city.