Cultural and historical landmarks you can visit in KW
When I first toured Laurier as an eager high school student, I fell in love with the campus. I loved the small, tight-knit feeling and I was eager to get as connected with the campus as possible.
What I wasn’t expecting, though, was how much I’d come to love the entirety of the Waterloo region. I’d consider myself a somewhat well-traveled person, but most of the KW region was unfamiliar to me. Finding out about all the cool, new experiences that Waterloo had to offer was eye-opening, to say the least.
While it’s definitely not expansive, this list covers some of the places that are unique to the KW region!
Pretty much everyone knows about St. Jacobs Farmers Market, but not everyone knows about its counterpart, the Kitchener Market. While they’re technically not associated with each other, the Kitchener Market is also a place to get fresh produce, meat and dairy items, bakery items, gifts and other goods from local vendors. They’re also celebrating their 150th anniversary this year on Oct. 5, and will be commemorating it with the community! The market is also a stop on the ION transit system’s route, so getting there couldn’t be easier.
The KW Symphony is the third largest orchestra in Ontario and has been a KW cultural staple for over 70 years. They perform over 220 concerts annually, and will be holding multiple events each month this fall. If you’re interested in becoming a subscriber to the Symphony, they’re holding an information session and preview concert on Sept. 25! Plus, they have a student discount, which is perfect for any Golden Hawks who are keen on refining their musical tastes.
Iron Horse Trail
The Iron Horse Trail was a former Canadian Pacific Railway link that ran between Waterloo and Kitchener. Now abandoned, it was converted into a 5.5 kilometre multi-use recreational trail in 1997. This trail is a part of the Trans Canada Trail which also connects Waterloo Park with Victoria Park and an addition to the trail is being worked on this fall. The Canadian Pacific Railway was a huge innovation during Canada’s confederation, making the history behind this trail so astounding.
The Brubacher House is a historic farmhouse that was built and owned by Mennonites in the 1850s and was purchased and restored by The University of Waterloo in 1965 with the help of Mennonite farmers—in order to reflect the time period and heritage accurately. Because of this, the house is a symbol of Pennsylvanian-German Mennonite heritage, and the contrast between this house and UW’s contemporary campus is striking. The Brubacher House has free guided tours for anyone interested in learning a little bit more about the house’s rich history.
The Huether Hotel isn’t an actual hotel anymore, although it was at one point. It served as a companion hotel to The Lion Brewery, Waterloo’s first brewery which was founded in 1842. The hotel is also assumed to have served as a source of alcohol during Canada’s prohibition. Now, the Huether Hotel consists of a brewery/pub, restaurant and cafe. In the core of Uptown Waterloo, the Huether Hotel remains a historical landmark and hangout spot.