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Kitchener Waterloo – Random Facts

KitchenerHere are some random facts about Kitchener Waterloo

Until 1916 Kitchener was called Berlin. Adanac – Canada spelled backwards was one of the proposed name choices. Corona was another. Just a few votes made the difference to be called Kitchener.

Many people don’t know that there is a museum just outside the food court at Conestoga Mall. Those who do know that it’s there, probably don’t know it’s free.

Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge comprises the 11th largest metropolitan area in Canada and the 5th largest in Ontario. The population is about 450,000.

Herbert Kitchener was the UK’s Secretary of State of War. It was after him that Kitchener was named.

Weber Street and King Street are parallel streets that cross four times, thrice or twice depending on how you look at it.

Waterloo was named the Top Intelligent Community in 2007

Kitchener is the largest city within the Grand River watershed.

Kitchener was the first city to launch the “blue box” recycling program. That was in 1981.

Kitchener is one of the few places in Ontario where settlers arrived before government surveyors. That explains why our roads aren’t exactly grid pattern.

Uptown is Waterloo. Downtown is Kitchener. This is a relatively new distinction. Kitchener also has the Tannery District, and the Civic District.These are also new.

The University of Waterloo was founded in 1957. There are about 30,000 students. Wilfred Laurier University was founded as Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in 1911. About 12,000 students attend.

Beaver University was among the proposed names for Wilfred Laurier University when it changed its name in 1973 (from Waterloo Lutheran University)

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is its (new) official name. But we just call it Conestoga College.  It was established along with many other Ontario community colleges back in 1967. It is one of the best colleges in Ontario, respected, and award winning.

There are five campuses: Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge and Stratford. Kitchener’s Doon Campus is the largest. The college spans the 401 (by bridge) with its Cambridge expansion.

Every year, about 36,000 people (including me – I just love learning) join Conestoga’s Continuing Education program where courses are offered on evenings and weekends, and online. According to their website, almost 40% of the local population has taken a course at Conestoga College.

Kitchener Waterloo have some notable residents. This isn’t a complete list. There have been far too many to mention. Many, many hockey players and boxers, business leaders and musicians/artists have called Kitchener Waterloo home. These are only some Kitchener-Waterloo’s past residents that I personally think are interesting (and didn’t know were from here before I moved here).

Walter Zeller, the founder of the discount retail chain Zellers was born in Waterloo County. His great grandfather settled in Breslau Ontario after arriving from Germany.

William Lyon McKenzie King was the longest serving prime minister in British Commonwealth history. He spent 21 years as PM. He was born in Kitchener in 1874. Did you know McKenzie King never married?

Ross Macdonald is one of my father’s favorite authors. He grew up in Kitchener. Macdonald is best known for a highly acclaimed series of hard-boiled novels set in Southern California featuring private detective Lew Archer.

Lennox Lewis was the undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion for four years. He grew up in Kitchener. He won a gold medal for Canada in the 1988 Olympics.

Howie Meeker, former right-winger in the National Hockey League and television sports announcer was born Kitchener in 1923. He beat out Gordie Howe for rookie of the year 1946-1947. He was also MP for Waterloo South riding 1951-1953.

Demographics about Kitchener

By the year 2021 we will have 30% more people living here than in 2001. By the year 2031, we’ll have almost 50% more!

Where do we live?

59% live in single detached homes

27% live in apartments or condos

7% live in semi-detached homes

3% live in townhouses

2% live in duplexes.

1% lives in a shelter

1% lives in some other types of dwelling, (maybe a trailer or a yurt).

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