Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario Real Estate & Community Overview
Kitchener-Waterloo is located in the heartland of Southern Ontario, also called "Canada's Technology Triangle", with over 500,000 area residents. The community is comprised of the urban centres of Cambridge (120,000), Guelph (115,000), Kitchener (204,000, lying to the south), and Waterloo (97,000 people, lying to the north). All these cities are clustered close to each other and Highway 401, the main road artery between Toronto and Detroit.
The city began as a 600,000 acre reserve for Indians loyal to the King in the War of 1812. They sold a block of land, which was then subdivided. The first settlers were German-speaking Mennonites from Pennsylvania who like the farmland. Later in the 1800s more Germans came, who were primarily tradesmen and merchants. The new town was called Berlin.
In 1916, during the First World War, the city renamed itself Kitchener for the famous British General. The community is home to several universities including the University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. Since 1984, the region's economy grew nearly twice as fast as the province overall.
The manufacturing sector employs about 60,000 in the area, in the agri-foods and automotive sectors leading. These days, Kitchener is best known as home to J.M. Schneider (now a division of Maple Leaf Mills) and Blackberry (formerly "Research In Motion") creators of the smartphones. The education sector (especially the science-focused University of Waterloo, and the agricultural-focused University of Guelph) and health care sectors are strong in the region.
Kitchener-Waterloo is famous for its Oktoberfest, modelled after the original one in Munich (that one starts in September), and is the focal point of German multi-cultural activiies in the region each October.
The community is surrounded by several towns within short distances, including Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira, and New Hamburg.
Kitchener is located less than one hour from Toronto, Canada's largest city, and a couple of hours from the American Cities of Detroit and Buffalo via Highway 401. The area's manufacturing serves a population of 120 million people within a day's drive of the region Also within a 500 mile radius of Kitchener are more than 60% of Canada's population, and 40% of the U.S. population.