City of Kitchener ( ) is a city in Southern
was the Town of Berlin
from 1854 until 1912 and
the City of Berlin
from 1912 until 1916. The city
had a population of 204,668 in the Canada 2006 Census
. The metropolitan
area, which includes the neighbouring cities of Waterloo and
Cambridge, has 451,235 people, making it the eleventh largest
Census Metropolitan Area
(CMA) in Canada and the fifth largest CMA in Ontario. It is the seat of the
Regional Municipality, and is adjacent to the smaller cities of
Cambridge to the south, and Waterloo to the
Kitchener and Waterloo are often referred to jointly
although they have separate municipal governments. Including
Cambridge, the three cities are known as "the tri-cities".
The City of Kitchener covers an area of 136.86 square kilometres.
In 2004, the city celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Kitchener is located in Southwestern Ontario
,in the Saint Lawrence Lowlands
geological and climatic region has wet-climate soils and deciduous
forests. Located in the Grand River Valley, the area is generally
above 300m (1000') in elevation.
is the largest city situated within the Grand
Just to the west of the city is
, in Wilmot Township
. This glacial kame
remnant formation is the highest elevation for
many many miles around. The other dominant glacial feature is the
, which snakes its
way through the region and holds a significant quantity of artesian wells
, from which the city derives
most of its drinking water. The settlement's first name, Sandhills,
is an accurate description of the higher points of the
In 1784, the land that Kitchener was built upon was an area given
to the Six Nations
by the British as a gift
for their allegiance during the American Revolution
; 240,000 hectares of
land to be exact. From 1796 and 1798, the Six Nations sold 38,000
hectares of this land to a Loyalist
by the name of
Colonel Richard Beasley. The portion of land that Beasley had
purchased was remote but it was of great interest to German
Mennonite farming families from Pennsylvania.
They wanted to live in an area that would
allow them to practice their beliefs without persecution.
Eventually, the Mennonites purchased all of Beasley’s unsold land
creating 160 farm tracts. By 1800, the first buildings were built,
and over the next decade several families made the difficult trip
north to what was then known as the Sand Hills. One of these
Mennonite families, arriving in 1807, was the Schneiders, whose
restored 1816 home (the oldest building in the city) is now a
museum located in the heart of Kitchener. Other families whose
names can still be found in local place names were the Bechtels,
the Ebys, the Erbs, the Weavers (better known today as the Webers)
the Cressmans and the Brubachers. In 1816 the Government of Upper
Canada designated the settlement the Township of Waterloo.
Much of the land, made up of moraines and swampland interspersed
with rivers and streams, was converted to farmland and roads.
, which once swarmed by the
tens of thousands, were driven from the area. Apple trees were
introduced to the region by John Eby in the 1830s, and several
(most notably Joseph Schneider's 1816
sawmill, John and Abraham Erb's grist- and sawmills and Eby's cider
mill) were erected throughout the area. Schneider built the town's
first road, from his home to the corner of King Street and Queen
Street (then known as Walper corner). $1000 was raised by the
settlers to extend the road from Walper corner to Huether corner,
where the Huether Brewery was built and the Huether Hotel now
stands; a petition to the government for $100 to assist in
completing the project was denied.
Immigration to the town increased considerably from 1816 until the
1870s, many of the newcomers being of German (particularly
Mennonite) extraction. In 1833 the town was renamed Berlin, and in
1853 Berlin became the County Seat of the newly created County of
Waterloo, elevating it to the status of Village. The extension of
the Grand Trunk Railway
Sarnia to Toronto (and hence through Berlin) in July 1856 was a
major boon to the community, helping to improve industrialization
in the area. On June 9, 1912, Berlin was officially designated a
However, with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 came
anti-German sentiment and an internal conflict ensued as the city
was forced to confront its cultural distinctiveness. There was
pressure for the city to change its name from Berlin, and in 1916
following much debate and controversy, the name of the city was
; named after Herbert Kitchener, 1st
, who died that year, while serving as the
Secretary of State for War of the United Kingdom.
On September 17, 1981, the first ever "blue box" recycling
program was launched in Kitchener.
Today, more than 90% of Ontario households have access to recycling
programs and annually they divert more than 650,000 tonnes of
secondary resource materials. The blue box
program has expanded in various forms throughout Canada and to
countries around the world such as the United States, United
Kingdom, France and Australia, serving more than 40 million households
around the world.
benefited from the presence of two universities and a number of
high tech companies, Kitchener has been a more blue-collar
The auto-parts manufacturer Budd Canada
, now known as Kitchener Frame,
continued to employ over 1500 workers until its close in December
2008, due to the ongoing economic crisis. The city is home to four
municipal business parks: the Bridgeport Business Park, Grand River
West Business Park, Huron Business Park and Lancaster Corporate
Centre. The largest, the Huron Business Park, is home to a number
of industries, from seat manufacturers to furniture components. A
number of the old industrial companies of Kitchener have fallen on
harder times: the Kaufman shoe manufacturer closed its factory and
companies like Electrohome
local production in favour of licensing or supply agreements with
overseas makers. Schneider's Foods (a meat producer) has been
bought out by Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, but continues operations
in Kitchener. According to the 2006 Census, 24.2% of the labour
force is employed in the manufacturing sector.
Kitchener's downtown core, though improved in recent years, has
experienced urban decay
, thanks largely
to the decline of industrial jobs in the city and the growth of its
suburbs. Things worsened when urban renewal plans in the 1960s cost
the city its neo-classical city hall and did not achieve its goals
of redevelopment. In the late 1990s, an arsonist began destroying
abandoned and underused buildings in Kitchener's downtown, the
issue of downtown renewal and cleanup of the adjoining Victoria
Park neighbourhood came to the forefront in municipal elections and
has been the focus of city council for the past ten years.
Achievements during this period include
selling off a dying mall and converting it to office space for
Manulife Financial, a major
insurance firm, relocating a theatre downtown, known as the
King Street Theatre
Centre, converting the old Goudies department store to a
Children's Museum, and converting vacant industrial space into
residential lofts and condominiums.
now boasts a new city hall, which opened in September 1993.
Kitchener Market, the modern incarnation of its historic farmers
market, opened in 2004. Other projects include an assortment of
lofts, utilizing old factories and other buildings. Various plans
for 20 floor condo units have been put in place. And although
Waterloo is home to many insurance companies, two universities, and
high-tech industries, Kitchener is hoping to increase demand for
office space by building office towers and inviting companies from
around the golden triangle to move in.
groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Waterloo school of pharmacy and downtown health sciences
campus was officially held on March 15, 2006, and the facility
opened in spring 2009.
The building is located on King
Street near Victoria Street, on the site of the old Epton plant,
across the street from the former Kaufman shoe factory (now
converted to lofts).
Economic and social impacts from the new health sciences campus
that are expected to be felt locally include: the potential for
more family doctors and other health professionals practicing in
the city and region; significant economic benefits associated with
an injection of as many as 1,200 students, faculty and staff to the
downtown core each day and spin off business and industry that will
diversify the economy and bring additional jobs to the area.
The redevelopment of the 'Centre Block' in downtown Kitchener has
its vision set and is planned to start. It will include a 12 story
and an 18 story condominium, more retail spaces, the redevelopment
of the Mayfair Hotel and a central courtyard.
In spring 2009, work began on a major redevelopment of King Street,
which focuses on making the street more pedestrian-friendly with
the addition of wide sidewalks and more aesthetically pleasing
features such as new planters. Parking on King Street will also be
redesigned. The project will extend from Frederick/Benton Streets
to Francis Street. Coinciding with the renovation of King Street is
the complete overhauling of Speaker's Corner at the corner of King
and Benton Streets, and the transformation of a parking lot at the
corner of Charles and Benton Streets into a bright, modern,
multi-story parking facility to accommodate the influx of vehicles
when new businesses open and other parking lots are
The Province of Ontario has committed to building a new provincial
courthouse in downtown Kitchener, on the block bordered by
Frederick, Duke, Scott and Weber streets. The new courthouse is
expected to create new jobs, mainly for the courthouse itself, but
also for other businesses, especially law offices. It is expected
that the new courthouse construction will begin in 2010.
(includes multiple responses)
At the time of the Canada 2006
, the population of Kitchener was 204,668. By gender,
49.2% of the population was male and 50.8% was female. Children
under five accounted for approximately 6.0% of the resident
population of Kitchener, compared to 5.5% in Ontario, and 5.3% for
Canada overall. Some 11.7% of the resident population in Kitchener
was of retirement age, a smaller proportion of the population
compared to 13.6% in Ontario, and 13.7% in Canada. The median age
was 37 years, younger than the 39 years for Ontario, and 40 years
for Canada. In the five years between 2001 and 2006, the population
of Kitchener grew by 7.5%, higher than the growth rates for both
Ontario (6.6%) and Canada(5.4%). Population density of Kitchener
was 1,495 people per square kilometre.
According to the 2006 Census, 15.4 percent of the population
claimed to be members of a visible minority. The largest visible
minority groups are: Black
: 3.1%, Latin American
: 2.2%, Southeast Asian
: 2.0%, Chinese
: 1.4%, and Others 
From the 2001 census, 78.85% of the population adhered to various
Christian denominations. Due to the higher concentrations of
has a greater percentage
(41.32%), followed by Roman Catholic
(32.44%), while the remaining 5.07% follow other Christian groups
such as Eastern Orthodox
, the New Church
etc. Other religions include
: 2.24%, Hindu
1.00%, and other including Judaism
, and Buddhism
Kitchener is governed by a council of six councillors, representing
(ordistricts), and a mayor.
Council is responsible for policy and decision making, monitoring
the operation and performance of the city, analyzing and approving
budgets and determining spending priorities. The residents of each
ward vote for one person to be their city councillor; their voice
and representative on city council. Kitchener residents also elect
four councillors at large to sit with the mayor on the council of
Municipality of Waterloo
. The next election is scheduled for
2010, and elections will be held every four years moving
The current mayor of Kitchener is Carl
, who was re-elected to his fourth term in November 2006,
after first being elected in 1997 and then re-elected in 2000 and
2003. Before that, he sat as a municipal councillor from 1985-1994.
See Kitchener City Council
for a complete list of councillors.
In 1976, residents of Kitchener voted almost 2:1 in favour of a
ward system. The first municipal election held under the ward
system occurred in 1978. The city is currently undergoing a ward
boundary review. A consultant is studying boundaries for a 10 ward
system for the 2010 municipal election which means that there will
potentially be 4 additional councillors/wards depending on his
The current Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Kitchener
Centre is John Milloy
. Other MPPs
include Leeanna Pendergast
(Kitchener-Conestoga) and Elizabeth
(Kitchener-Waterloo) who both represent small portions
of the city in addition to adjacent areas. The federal and
provincial electoral boundaries are now aligned and the federal
Members of Parliament (MPs) as follows: Stephen Woodworth
(Kitchener-Conestoga) and Peter Braid
has several public high schools, with Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and
Vocational School, founded in 1855, being the oldest.
1950s and 1960s several new schools were constructed, including
Collegiate Institute in the southern part of the city in 1956, Forest
Heights Collegiate Institute in the Highland Hills part of the city in 1964,
Grand River Collegiate
Institute in the northeastern Heritage Park area in 1966, and
Cameron Heights Collegiate
Institute in the Downtown core in 1967. In 2006, Huron Heights Secondary
School opened in southwest Kitchener, which opened with a
limited enrollment of only 9th and 10th grade students, and has
since expanded to full capacity in the 2008-2009 school
The oldest Catholic high school in the city is St. Mary's High School
which opened in 1907. Originally a girls-only Catholic school, it
was transformed into a co-ed
1990 after the closure of the neighbouring St. Jerome's High
School, which had been a boys-only Catholic school. The same year,
a second Catholic high school, Resurrection Catholic
, opened in the west of the city. In 2002, St.
Mary's abandoned its downtown location in favour of a new one in
the city's southwest. The former St. Jerome's High School currently
houses the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work from Wilfrid
It opened at this location in 2006,
bringing 300 faculty, staff and students to downtown Kitchener. The
former St. Mary's High School building, meanwhile, has been
transformed into both the head office of the Waterloo Catholic
District School Board
and the Kitchener Downtown Community
neighbourhood, formerly a separate village but now part of
Kitchener, is home to the primary campus of Conestoga
College, one of the foremost non-university educational
institutions in the province.
For nine consecutive years,
Conestoga has earned top overall ranking among Ontario colleges on
the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) surveys, which measures
graduate employment rates and satisfaction levels, and employer and
student satisfaction. It is one of only seven polytechnical institutes
of Waterloo is proceeding with opening a School of Pharmacy in
the downtown area.
The City of Kitchener has contributed $30
million from its $110 million Economic Development Investment Fund,
established in 2004, to the establishment of the UW Downtown
Kitchener School of Pharmacy. Construction began in 2006, and the
pharmacy program was launched in January 2008 with 92 students. It
is operating out of a temporary location pending the completion of
construction on the downtown campus.
The school is expected to graduate about 120 pharmacists annually
and will become the home of the Centre for Family Medicine, where
new family physicians will be trained, as well as an optometry
clinic and the International Pharmacy Graduate Program.
Construction on the $147 million facility was largely finished in
provincial government has also announced that the University of
Waterloo's (UW) Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus will be
the site of a new satellite campus of McMaster
University's School of Medicine.
The Michael G.
DeGroote School of Medicine is expected to train 15 doctors a year,
primarily through distance learning
The training of medical professionals in downtown Kitchener include
developments such as:
- In 2007, the UW School of Pharmacy began admitting 120
pharmaceutical students each year.
- Eventually, the UW School of Pharmacy campus will evolve to
become the UW Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus, offering
more programs and bringing hundreds of faculty, staff and students
to the downtown core
- There are plans for an Integrated Primary Health Care Centre on
the UW site that will provide as many as 12 more family physicians
locally, as well as training for many more medical doctors.
- The Centre for Family Medicine, which is already up and running
in the former Victoria School Centre in downtown Kitchener, is
slated to move to the UW campus sometime after it opens. Currently,
there are six practicing family physicians in the Centre and plans
are to boost that number to as many as 14 family physicians.
- New physicians trained either at the new Integrated Primary
Health Care Centre or the Centre for Family Medicine will learn in
and create holistic health care models of the future.
- In September 2006, the Wilfrid Laurier Faculty of Social Work
opened in the former St. Jerome's High School building on Duke
Street adding yet another dimension to the "health care" theme in
Health care in Kitchener
Kitchener-Waterloo is served by three
River Hospital (which is a system of two hospitals), St. Mary's
General Hospital, and Cambridge Memorial.
Grand River treats
patients with a wide range of problems and houses the psychiatric
unit, trauma centre, women's and children's services, and the
Regional Cancer Care Centre. St Mary's houses the Regional Cardiac Care
Centre, serving a population of nearly one million from Waterloo
Region, east to Guelph, north to
Sound/Tobermory, south to Lake Erie, and west to Ingersoll.
It also houses a respiratory centre. Both
hospitals have emergency departments and intensive care units.
Cambridge Memorial is a general hospital, treating primarily
patients from Cambridge and south Kitchener.
rehabilitation and physiotherapy is addressed at the Freeport
Health Centre, at the south of the city.
as a tuberculosis sanatorium and home for the terminally ill, its
last link with that past is the palliative care unit. It nestles
along the banks of the Grand River, and is part of Grand River
Family doctors are in short supply in K-W, and a source of great
concern among residents. The Chamber of Commerce runs a waiting
list for people looking for a doctor, but as of 2006 the wait is
over two years. Two urgent care centres cater for much of the
routine services for thousands of people without a family doctor,
from routine immunisations and health screening, to repeat
prescriptions and referral on to specialist services. A third
urgent care centre is being added to a renovated supermarket
development in the desirable Forest Heights area of the city.
January 2006 was the inauguration of a new School of Medicine
attached to the University of Waterloo.
From 2007, 15 new family doctors will be
trained each year in new premises being constructed in the downtown
core on rehabilitated industrial lands along the railway.
In 2009, the mental health unit is slated for relocation from the
downtown core to an unused floor at the Freeport site. By this,
patients needing mental health care shall gain options for local
long term care and monitoring. The current site for the unit is in the
basement of the downtown hospital in an area in dire need of
renovations and the absence of options for local long-term mental
care forces the transfer of such patients to neighbouring London,
After renovations, the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program will
be moved from a small 9-bed wing to the downstairs in place of the
current adult mental health unit. Once moved in 2009, upwards of 26
beds shall be available to this program.
Kitchener's cultural highlights include CAFKA
The Open Ears Festival, IMPACT theatre festival, the Multicultural
Festival, and Blues, Brews & Barbecues and the Expressions of Social
, many of which are free to the public.
Kitchener is also home to venues such as Homer Watson House &
Gallery, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, JM Drama Alumni
and The Centre in the
Square. Live music by popular artists can be heard at venues such
as the Centre in the Square and The Aud. The Kitchener Public Library
Kitchener-Waterloo's Oktoberfest celebration is an annual nine-day event.
the original German Oktoberfest, it is billed as Canada's Greatest Bavarian Festival.
It is held every October,
starting on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving
and running until the Saturday
after. It is the largest Bavarian festival in the world outside of
While its best-known draws are the beer
celebrations, other family and cultural events also fill the week.
The best-known is the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade
held on Thanksgiving Day; as it is the only
major parade on Canadian Thanksgiving, it is televised
Another icon of the festival is Miss Oktoberfest. This position was
formerly selected in a televised beauty pageant, with the
applicants coming from across North
. The position is now selected by a closed committee of
judges from a panel of local applicants; community involvement and
personal character form the main criteria under the new system. A
ribald spin-off of the Miss Oktoberfest pageant is celebrated in
some local high schools, in which all participants are male, but
dressed as women.
City parks and trails
Kitchener's oldest and most important outdoor park is Victoria
Park, in the heart of downtown
Numerous events and festivities are held in this park.
A cast-bronze statue of Queen Victoria
is located in
Victoria Park, along with a cannon. The statue was unveiled in May
1911, on Victoria Day (the Queen's birthday) in the tenth year
after her death. The Princess of Wales Chapter of the IODE
the $6,000 needed for the monument.
The city has announced the construction of a new Gaukel Street
entrance to Victoria Park. Gaukel Street is to be used as a corridor
linking Victoria Park to City Hall.
The new entrance will include a complete
streetscape upgrade on Gaukel Street with new lighting, stamped
concrete, and other features. The new entrance to the park itself
will include stone masonry gates, walkways, new lighting, flower
gardens, a pond complete with waterfalls, and a sculpture created
by artist Ernest Daetwyler.
Another significant beauty spot in the city is Rockway Gardens.
Adjacent to the Rockway golf course, the gardens occupy a long
narrow strip of land alongside King Street as it rushes down to
meet the Conestoga Parkway and become Highway 8. Here there are
many fountains and rock grottoes. It is a popular site for wedding
photos in the summer months.
Kitchener has an extensive and safe community trail system. The
trails, which are controlled and run by the city, are hundreds of
kilometres in length. Due to Kitchener's close proximity to the
River, several community trails and paths border the
This convenient access to the Grand River
has drawn nature-seeking tourists to the city. However, Kitchener's
trails and especially natural areas remain underfunded by city
council and as a result, many are not adequately maintained.
A newly constructed bike park located at McLennan park in the
city's south end has already been hailed as one of the best city
run bike parks in Southern Ontario
and mountain biking
enthusiasts. The bike park
offers a four-cross
section, a pump track
section, a jump park
, and a free-ride
Highways and expressways
Highway 8 as seen from Franklin Street
Kitchener was very proactive and visionary about its transportation
network in the 1960s, with the province undertaking at that time
construction of the Conestoga
from the western boundary (just past Homer Watson
Boulevard) across the south side of the city and looping north
along the Grand River to Northfield Drive in Waterloo.Subsequent upgrades
took the Conestoga west beyond Trussler Road and north towards
Jacobs, with eight lanes through its middle
The Conestoga Parkway bears the provincial highway designations of
. King Street becomes Hwy 8 where it meets the
Conestoga in the south and leads down to the 401, but Old King
Street survives as the street-route through Freeport to the Preston
area of Cambridge. Up until construction of the Conestoga,
Highland Road through Baden had been the
primary highway to Stratford. Victoria Street was then and remains the
primary highway to Guelph but this is
slated to be bypassed with an entirely new highway beginning at the
Wellington Street exit and running roughly north of and parallel to
the old route.
There are two interchanges with Highway 401
on Kitchener's southern
border. In addition to the primary link where Hwy 8 merges into the
Hwy 401, there is another interchange on the west side with Homer
In order to reduce the congestion on Highway 8, a new interchange
has been proposed on Highway 401 at Trussler Road, which would
serve the rapidly growing west side of Kitchener. Although this
proposal is supported by the Region of Waterloo, the MTO has no
plans to date to proceed with an interchange at Trussler
Unlike most southern Ontario cities whose streets follow a strict
British grid survey pattern, Kitchener's streets are laid out in a
complex radialpattern on the Continental models most familiar to
the German settlers.
There is good historical reason for this. Kitchener was one of the
few places in Ontario where the settlers arrived in advance of
government surveyors. The Mennonites who had banded together as the
German Company to purchase the township from Richard Beasley simply
divided their vast parcel of land by the number of shareholder
households and then drew random lots to confer title on individual
farms. There was no grid survey done—no lines, no concessions, no
right-of-way corridors for roads. When it came time to punch roads
through the wilderness, the farmers modelled the road network on
what was familiar to them, which was the pattern of villages in
Switzerland and southern Germany.
This is a Continental Radial pattern and the result was major
streets extended through diagonals cutting across the grid of
smaller streets and converging at multiple-point intersections
which, as the communities became more prosperous and if the
automobile had not displaced the horse, might someday have become
decorated with circular
gardens, fountains or statuary in the style of European cities.
Five-point intersections created by converging diagonals are legion
in the older areas.
In 2004, roundabouts
were introduced to
the Region of Waterloo. Besides improving traffic flow, they will
help the region lower pollution from emissions created by idling
vehicles. In 2006, the first two were installed along Ira Needles
Boulevard in Kitchener. Roundabouts are ideal for intersections in
this region because of the aforementioned historical growth along
Continental radial patterns versus the British grid systems.
For forty years, there has been a sharply controversial plan to
extend River Road through an area known as Hidden Valley, but the
pressure of traffic and the absence of any other full east-west
arterials between Fairway Road and the Highway 401 is now forcing
this development ahead.
streets that cross the municipal boundary between Kitchener and
Waterloo retain the same street name in both cities.
However, several streets which are divided into east and west
sections in Kitchener shift to a north-south division in Waterloo.
This primarily affects Weber
Streets and Westmount
Road. Since these roads do not actually change their primary
directional alignment significantly, the shift in labelling can
create confusion, since each of the aforementioned thoroughfares
bears the labels north, south, west, and east on certain segments.
However, it also reduces the potential confusion that would result
from having separate west and east segments of the same street
existing simultaneously in both cities.
The problem with giving streets in Waterloo Region compass-based
labels, and attempting to divide each of the cities into quadrants
comes from the radial layout of the roads, and the historical
patterns of development. Waterloo's quadrants, created by the
intersection of King and Erb Streets, roughly correspond to compass
directions, but Kitchener's quadrants, delineated by King and Queen
Streets, do not resemble compass directions whatsoever. A notable
case is that of Lancaster Street, which runs almost exactly
north-south, but is designated as east-west, since it crosses Queen
Street, which divides the "east" and "west" halves of the city, yet
follows a northeast-southwest orientation itself.
Since 2000, public transport throughout the Region of Waterloo
has been provided by Grand River
, which was created by a merger of the former
. GRT operate a number of bus routes in
Kitchener, with many running into Waterloo and two connecting to Cambridge.
In September 2005, GRT added an express bus
from downtown Cambridge through Kitchener
to north Waterloo.
In 2003, Regional Council unanimously adopted the Regional Growth
Management Strategy. As a response, proposals were put forth
regarding a rapid
serving the downtown cores of all three cities.
Environmental Assessment was completed in 2009 which recommended a
light rail transit route starting
Mall in north Waterloo and ending at the Ainslie Street
bus terminal in Cambridge.
In June 2009, Regional Council
voted nearly unanimously for the recommendations in the EA.
Regional staff are currently negotiating funding agreements with
the provincial and federal governments, to cover the estimated
$790-million cost for the system.
on October 31, 2009, GO Transit will
service Kitchener with regional bus service from Charles
Street Terminal to Mississauga, Ontario (Square One Bus Terminal) on weekdays and weekends.
Passenger rail service has long been a point of frustration for
residents of Kitchener and its neighbouring cities. Two main lines come
westward out of Toronto and then meet up again in London.
northern line passes through Guelph, Kitchener
and Stratford to London. The southern line goes along the
heavily-populated lakeshore to Oakville, then Brantford, then Woodstock, and then to London.
This southern line is
the primary rail corridor for CN, while the northern line through
Kitchener is owned by a short-line railway called the
Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR). The track and signalling conditions
on the north and south route are very different which allows trains
on the southern route to operate more frequently and more quickly,
whereas trains on the northern route take an 1 hour and 40 minutes
on average to get from Kitchener to Toronto and with a single track
in use often need to pull into sidings to let oncoming trains pass.
Consequently, Kitchener, with a regional population base equal to
London and situated much closer to metropolitan Toronto, gets less
than one third the frequency of passenger rail service.
Passenger service is provided by VIA Rail
trains in each direction travelling between Sarnia and Toronto stop at the Kitchener
railway station daily.
The station is slightly to the
northeast of the city's downtown on Weber Street near its
intersection with Victoria Street.
GO Transit does not currently serve Kitchener;
the nearest GO Train station to Kitchener is Milton
station, GO Transit has announced bus service to start in
Kitchener on October 31, 2009 connecting to the Milton GO Station
and Mississuaga City Centre GO Terminal.
and public petitions have called for the extension of GO Train
service to the Region of Waterloo. On September
2008, GO Transit announced a feasibility study into extending
GO train service on the Georgetown
line through Guelph to
Kitchener, with service beginning in 2011 contingent on a source of
Freight trains in Kitchener are operated by the Goderich-Exeter Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
These railways serve several customers (including ThyssenKrupp Budd
), many of which are located
in industrial parks in southern Kitchener.
closest airport to Kitchener is the Region of
Waterloo International Airport in nearby Breslau, but while it is a thriving
general-aviation field, it is not
heavily-served by scheduled airlines. Most air travellers
use Toronto's Lester B. Pearson
Although there are no permanent public
transport links from Kitchener to any of these airports, Northwest Airlines
has three flights
daily to Detroit's Wayne County Metropolitan Airport and Westjet
to Calgary respectively. Mesaba Airlines
, using Saab 340
twin prop aircraft, is the regional
carrier affiliated with Northwest and operates under the name
Northwest Airlink. Westjet uses their 737-700 aircraft from their
Calgary hub. They started service out of Waterloo
International Airport on May 14, 2007 for the summer season and then
decided they will fly year-round due to strong passenger
demand. Bearskin Airlines
started offering service in the fall of 2007 with three flights
daily between Kitchener and Ottawa using a Fairchild Turboprop
aircraft. Strong demand has resulted in Bearskin Airlines
adding a fourth flight
on Fridays. During the winter vacation period Dec. 2005 to March
2006, Sunquest Vacations and Signature Vacations started flights to
Mexico and the Dominican Republic, using Airbus A320 Aircraft. Both
Signature and Sunquest have returned for the 06-07 and 07-08 winter
seasons along with the addition of Sunwing with services to Punta
Cana and Puerto Plata, DR, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Recent
upgrades to the runways, approach lighting and terminal building
are permitting larger aircraft to use this airport. Air Canada
has been in talks with the Region with
an eye on starting flights to Montreal and WestJet is considering
Officially there are 6 wards, and 53 planning communities or
neighbourhoods. There are also 30 neighbourhood associations
recognized by the city. At the next city council elections, (2010)
there will be ten wards, as recently voted at council, in order to
better represent the residents of Kitchener. Boundaries are yet to
Kitchener-Waterloo has an exceptionally strong real estate market.
Housing prices have been rising steadily, and a report released by
Re/Max in 2006 predicts that 2007 will see a modest 5% gain in home
prices for the Kitchener-Waterloo area. It is expected that
Kitchener-Waterloo will lead the country in sales growth for 2008
at 7%, while also seeing the average house increase in value by
5-13% in 2008. Real estate in the Hidden Valley area is the most
expensive in Kitchener.
Sports teams and leagues
Notable Kitchener natives and residents
- David Forsyth, Royal Commission on industrial training 1910.
Principal Berlin High School 1901-1921
- James G. Mitchell, computer scientist
Athletics and sports
- Don Awrey, ice hockey player
- Don Beaupre, ice hockey player
- Vivian Berkeley, World Champion
blind Lawn Bowler and 1996 Paralympic silver medalist
- Walter Wells Bowman, soccer player
- Brian Bradley, ice hockey
- Solomon Brubacher, soccer player
- Christopher Chalmers,
- Gary Cowan, golfer
- Gary Dornhoefer, ice hockey
- Woodrow Wilson Clarence
"Woody" Dumart, ice hockey player
- David Edgar, soccer
- Wayne Erdman, judoka
- Alexander Gibson, soccer player
- John "Jack" Gibson, Hockey Hall of Fame, soccer player
- Grandmaster Pan, Kung-Fu Master
- Grandmaster Ron
Williamson, Kung-Fu Master
- Chris Johnson, boxer
- Lennox Lewis, boxer
- Peter Mackie, soccer player
- Scott Manning, football player and
- Howie Meeker, ice hockey player and
Hockey Night in
- Moe Norman, golfer
- Sarah Pavan, volleyball player
- Paul Reinhart, ice hockey
- Jason Reso, professional
- Steven Rice, ice hockey player
- Jim Sandlak, ice hockey player
- Milt Schmidt, ice hockey player,
coach, and general manager
- Frank J. Selke, ice hockey general manager
- Darryl Sittler, ice hockey
- Scott Stevens, ice hockey
- Fitzroy "The Whip" Vanderpool, former
World Boxing Council and
World Boxing Association
- Mike West, backstroke
- Dennis Wideman, ice hockey
Music, entertainment, and the arts
- Raffi Armenian, conductor,
- Brian Barlow, comedian
- Kristin Booth, actress
- Mel Brown, blues musician
- Pedro Fernandez,
- Helix, a heavy metal band
- Jill Hennessy, actress
- Paul MacLeod,
- Lois Maxwell, actress
- Messenjah, reggae band
- Danny Michel, musician
- Jeremy Ratchford, actor
- Mike Shannon, techno
- Homer Watson, landscape artist
- Dawud Wharnsby Ali,
singer-songwriter, poet, and performer
- Alana Zimmer, international