Kitchener Things to Do

  • this becomes an ice rink
    this becomes an ice rink
    by twilightmuse
  • Along Queen Street
    Along Queen Street
    by mikey_e
  • Near the Centre in the Square
    Near the Centre in the Square
    by mikey_e

Most Recent Things to Do in Kitchener

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    Local Architecture

    by mikey_e Written Aug 28, 2009
    Along Queen Street
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    Kitchener may be economically depressed now, but at one time it was a thriving community with a large industrial base and plenty of trade with the surrounding agricultural areas. The result was a fairly large number of stately Victorian buildings that were constructed right around the downtown core that have been maintained well up until today. Many of them are still in use as single family dwellings, and there are intensive efforts underway to ensure that the character of the community and the buildings is not altered by the development of the region. There are plenty of interesting styles and many of them are complimented by beautiful gardens.

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    St. Andrew's

    by mikey_e Updated Mar 26, 2009
    St. Andrew's Church
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    Kitchener has a lot of churches. That may seem like an odd statement, but it is something that really struck me when I first moved here. The vast majority of them are Protestant churches of one form or another (Lutherns, Baptists, Presbyterians, United Church of Canada, etc.), followed by Catholic churches and then Orthodox ones that are inspired by the individual church’s predilection for a specific architectural style. This church, St. Andrews, is right at the corner of Queen and Weber. It’s a large, red bricked Presbyterian church in neo-gothic style, and its spire is pretty easy to spot along Queen or Weber. The church isn’t particularly special, as the Church of the Good Shepherd is, but it is fairly large, is of an interesting style, and has a bazaar around Christmas time.

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    Memorial to the Fallen

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    Memorial to the Fallen
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    The Canadian Forces often draws the larger portion of its recruits from places like Kitchener rather than places like Toronto or Montreal, and so commemoration of the sacrifices of soldiers is a bit deal in Kitchener. The memorial for those residents who died during the First and Second World Wars (when there was conscription) and the Korean War can be found at the northern corner of Frederick and Duke. It is a fairly simple memorial, like most of those dedicated to soldiers in Canada, and it is generally the site of activity only on Remembrance Day (November 11).

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    Waterloo Gaol

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    The Gaol Garden entrance
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    The Waterloo Gaol is still a functioning judicial centre. Of course, this is a heavily residential area, and provincial and federal law, I’m pretty sure, require that penitentiary institutions be located a bit farther from homes and schools than this building is. So, the gaol is no longer much of a jail, but it is (or parts of it) are used as a provincial court. The gaol survives in its late-19th century form, with its stone walls. When it was first built about 150 or 160 years ago, the building’s palisade was made from wood, but was later reinforced with a stone wall to prevent escapes. Today, the historic parts of the gaol are preserved as a tourist/historic attraction, although the interior is a cute little park with artistic sculptures – not shackles and guards.

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    Kitchener Main Library

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    Kitchener Main Library

    The Kitchener Main Library is a typical 1970s structure that does not leave much of a pleasant taste on one’s architectural palate. It is, however, the largest library in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and puts on a number of educational and cultural events throughout the year, most of which focus on skills-building for people in the region. It has a small café in the basement and otherwise offers services (internet usage, ESL classes and material loans) to residents of the region only.

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    Firefighters' Memorial Park

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    The memorial to the firefighters
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    The Kitchener Firefighters’ Memorial Park contains an interesting memorial to those who have died in the line of duty, protecting the residents of Kitchener from fire. The central memorial is in the shape of a large eagle, which has inscriptions commemorating all those who put their lives on the line to protect residents. The names of individual firefighters who have died are commemorated in brass helmets that can be found all around the central monument. This is an interesting monument that catches the eye and is surprisingly expressive and artistic (considering the general level of art employed in other monuments in the city). The park next to it is a favourite for children and also for those looking for a place to sleep during the day, so you may have to fight for a bit of contemplative peace if that’s why you’re visiting the monument.

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    Walper Terrace Hotel

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    The Walper Terrace Hotel
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    The Walper Terrace Hotel is a Kitchener landmark. When I stayed in Kitchener on a trip in high school, we stayed in the Delta Chelsea, so I have to admit that I don’t actually know what the interior of the hotel is like. It is one of the historic buildings in the centre, and survives from the period in which the city was known as New Berlin (Queen Street used to be called Walper Street). There an elegant café (well, elegant for the city) on the first floor that is open to all patrons and not just those who stay in the hotel. Everything is done to ensure that the hotel’s historic character is maintained, including the tobacconist’s on the ground floor, which has adds to the image of the hotel and the town in its days as an important urban centre in a thriving agricultural area.

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    The Church of the Good Shepherd

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    Church of the Good Shepherd
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    The Church of the Good Shepherd is quite remarkable. An Anglican Church, it was established 175 years ago and is a beautiful example of traditional Canadian architecture in the midst of many houses that have also preserved their Canadiana character (which, to be honest, was never really challenged by a new style or trend in this area). The church has some pretty stained glass windows that can be seen from the outside as well as the inside, and is otherwise a fine example of neo-Gothic architecture in grey brick stone, which makes it rather different from the darker, more brooding churches of the same style in places like Toronto. This is a fully functional church with services on a regular basis. I’m sure that you can visit the interior of the church, especially on Sundays, when mass is said several times – whether or not you’re allowed to take pictures inside, I’m not sure.

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    Centre in the Square

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    The Centre in the Square
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    The Centre in the Square is Kitchener’s premier performing arts centre – largely because the historic theatres of King Street have died out. It is a rather ugly 1970’s style construction that sticks out in all of its massive proportions, which are contrasted by the older, traditional-style Canadian homes that surround it. The Centre houses an art gallery featuring local artists (mostly naïve art) and also offers performances of various natures, including skating shows, concerts and plays. I haven’t been to anything at the Centre, but, living across from it, I often see its line-up, and it is largely in line with the line-ups of other suburban performing arts centres in North America.

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    The Farmers' Market

    by mikey_e Written Mar 25, 2009
    Farmers' Market
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    The Kitchener Farmers’ Market is probably the biggest draw for tourists who come to the city, in part because of it’s long history and, in part, because it is pretty much the only thing to do in Kitchener proper. The market used to be located in the Market Square shopping mall, as did a Hudson Bay Company store, but a long economic decline has hit Kitchener hard and both the Bay and the Market have deserted the mall. The market is in a new barn-like structure just down King Street from the mall. When it is warm enough, there are stalls outside in the loading area where local farmers sell their fresh produce, including vegetables, eggs, honey and the like. Inside there are permanent stalls, many of which offer baked goods, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, dairy products and fish and meats. While some of the products are local, many are not quite so local. There are a number of local Mennonite stalls offering organic produce and some very good German bakeries (Stohl’s is the best). The upper level has a food court with international foods on offer (Croatian, Romanian, Jamaican, Indian, Mexican) and a set of tables. This is a big draw for locals and tourists, but if markets and quaint local artisans aren’t your thing, you’re likely to be disappointed.

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    Ode to the Queen-Victoria Park

    by sunshinegrin Written Jul 18, 2007
    a quiet stroll in Victoria park
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    Victoria park is a great place to take a stroll, or bring your kids to the play ground.

    The winding paths lead you around the water and over bridges. Lots of benches for you to stop and watch the ducks...or people.

    At the far end of the park is the Clock tower. Take your lunch and sit on the steps..or read a book. This clock tower graces the city of Kitchener's logo.

    A pleasant relaxing place for a daytime walk.

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    Outdoor Ice Skating

    by twilightmuse Written Jun 22, 2011
    this becomes an ice rink

    Each winter city hall creates an outdoor ice rink in their fountain. It's free and there are so many cafes nearby that this makes a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening.

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Kitchener Things to Do

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