10 Best Things to Do in Waterloo (Ontario, Canada)

The Region of Waterloo is made up of three cities. Waterloo is the smallest of the three. In fact, the city is so small that it is often combined with Kitchener to make Kitchener-Waterloo, which is sometimes called the “Twin-Cities.”

Waterloo is often ranked as one of the top ten places to live in the country. It is also a great place to go on vacation because it has a lot of interesting sights and a lot of festivals and events. You can eat, drink, shop, and enjoy the outdoors in Waterloo. You can also learn about the history of the area.


Let’s look at what’s best to do in Waterloo:

1. Have fun outside and inside

The RIM Park is a city park that is 2 km2 and has both indoor and outdoor activities. On the northeast side of the city, near the Grand River, is where the park is.

Enjoy the outdoors by walking or jogging along the seven-kilometer loop trail, playing beach volleyball, or having a picnic. There are also six ball diamonds, a playground, and 12 fields that can be used for different things.

The Manulife Sportsplex and Healthy Living Centre is also in RIM Park. It has four ice rinks that are Olympic-sized, two gyms, and an indoor field.

2. Go golfing for a round

At the Grey Silo Golf Course, you can do this right in the city. The golf course has 18 holes and is open to the public. It is in RIM Park.

Steve Young made the course, which opened in 2000. It is a beautiful course that the city owns and runs.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic was held at the Grey Silo Golf Course. It also has other tournaments at different times of the year.

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3. Look at pieces of art

Not paintings, sculptures, and photos like many other galleries. Instead, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery shows works of art made from ceramic, enamel, glass, and stained glass.

This is the only art gallery in the country that only shows this kind of art. It has a collection of over 900 pieces. The permanent collection has art from the middle of the 20th century up to the present day. It is spread out over five galleries.

Every year, more than 20,000 people go to the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery to see the beautiful art. After that, go to the gallery shop to buy a beautiful piece of glass or ceramic art to take home.

4. Walk around the Campuses

The two universities in Waterloo, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, are what make the city famous. You can walk around on either of these beautiful campuses.

There are 404 hectares of land where the University of Waterloo is located. The Graduate House is the oldest building on campus. It was built in the 1800s.

In 1911, the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary of Canada, which is now Wilfrid Laurier University, was founded. Even so, there are now a lot of modern buildings mixed in with the greenery and gardens.

5. Take a walk through a historic area

A historic walking tour is a great way to learn more about Waterloo’s past. The Mary-Allen neighborhood and Uptown Waterloo are both great places to do this.

The historic walking tour of the Mary-Allen neighborhood starts at Waterloo Square and goes for 2.5 kilometers. Heritage Park, which was built in the 1800s, the Gothic-style 28 George Street, St. Louis Church, and the Victorian double-house at 222 and 224 King Street South are some of the places that can be seen.

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The historical walking tour of Uptown Waterloo, which is 1.8 km long, starts at the Waterloo Public Library. On this walk, you will see a Tudor-style house at 47 Albert Street, a Federal-style house at 71 Albert Street, a Georgian-style house at 109 Albert Street, and an Arts and Crafts-style house at 73 Dorset Street.

6. Drink like you would in Germany

The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is held every year in Kitchener-Waterloo. It has been going on for more than 75 years, and over 700,000 people go every year.

At Oktoberfest, beer is the main topic, especially during the opening ceremonies. But the well-known festival also has a cultural side to it.

During the 9-day festival, there are things like a barrel race, a 5K Fun Run, and a parade. A Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, Rocktoberfest, and the Oktoberfest Car Show are also held.

7. Go to a shopping mall

Waterloo, like any other city in North America, would not be complete without a big shopping mall. It is Conestoga Mall in this case.

This 63,292.2-square-meter mall has more than 130 stores and services, as well as many places to eat. It also has a museum with more than 10,000 pieces of history.

Some well-known international stores like Old Navy, Apple, H&M, Bench, and The Body Shop are in the mall. There are also stores with well-known names in Canada, such as Sport Chek and Winners.

8. Ride a steam train

At the Waterloo Central Railway, you can learn about the past and ride a real steam train. There are a number of restored heritage cars that people can ride.

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There are three trips a day that start at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market in the Village of St. Jacobs and end in Elmira, Ontario. You can eat popcorn on the train or get something else from the snack bar.

Go one step further and get in the cab with the engineer! Go to the railway museum afterward to learn more about the history of steam engines.

9. Head to the store

Talking about the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, it is also a great place to visit, and a day spent there and on a train ride is a great one. It is Canada’s biggest market that is open all year, and about a million people visit each year.

The market opened in 1975 and has both a farmers’ market and a flea market. It used to be a group of tents, but now it’s a huge 3,200-square-meter building.

At the market, you can buy fresh food grown nearby, handmade arts and crafts, baked goods, jewelry, and a lot more. There are also animal farms and horse-drawn tours at the market.

10. Have a beach picnic

Yes, you can swim, windsurf, canoe, or have a picnic on a beach in Waterloo. In the northwest of the city, in Laurel Creek Park, is where the beach is.

There are also more than 120 campsites in Laurel Creek Park, so you can spend a lot of time outside. The park also has more than four kilometers of hiking trails that go through the woods and around the reservoir.

At the park, there are a boat launch, two playgrounds, a ball diamond, and a gatehouse, among other things.

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