Kitchener neighbourhoods radiate outward from the core from oldest to newest. The earliest structures are typically from the turn of last century. Suburban growth in the city is blocked to the east by the Grand River and to the north by Waterloo. New development is mostly concentrated in the south west end and along the western bank of the Grand River. Over the past decade there’s been a big push towards greater densification in the core, resulting in many fantastic condominium developments. The city has a wide range of neighbourhoods to suit every taste and budget. Individual neighbourhood pages can be found at the bottom of the page.
Kitchener’s roots go back to the years not long after the American Revolution. Mennonites from Pennsylvania were the first settlers of what was Sandhills, later to be known as Berlin. Throughout the 1800’s Berlin saw a continual influx of Mennonites from the United States later followed by Germans of all denominations. Berlin had grown to a modest 400 by the 1840’s and swelled to 15,000 by the turn of the century.
Anti-German sentiment during WWI led to Berlin’s renaming to Kitchener, but the population to this day has a strong component of German ancestry. The Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest is the second biggest in the world.
Kitchener is a big city now at over 230,000 people. It’s long been known as an important manufacturing center in SW Ontario. This sector of the economy has declined somewhat in recent decades but still involves some 20% of the workforce.
Kitchener’s core was in decline and a major initiative was enacted in 2004 to change this. The downtown has seen a major rebirth with the new LRT, condo developments, improvements to King St., and the addition of the UW School of Pharmacy and McMaster Medical School’s satellite Waterloo Regional Campus. Repurposing the Tannery District was a huge move as well. This brought Google, Desire2Learn and Communitech among others making Kitchener one of Canada’s most innovative cities.
Here’s a map view of Kitchener-Waterloo showing all the neighbourhoods:
Click below for more neighbourhood info:
Country Hills West
East Ward-Civic Centre
Grand River North and South
Highland West/Beechwood Forest
South Ward-Cedar Hill
West Ward-Cherry Hill
West Ward-Victoria Park