University of Waterloo: Wikis


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University of Waterloo
Motto Concordia cum veritate
(In harmony with truth)
Established 1957
Type Public
Endowment $214 million[1]
Chancellor V. Prem Watsa
President David Lloyd Johnston
Faculty 1,030 full-time
Staff 2,190
Undergraduates 24,891 full-time, 1,670 part-time[2]
Postgraduates 3,497 full-time, 797 part-time[2]
Location Waterloo, ON, Canada
Campus Urban/Suburban, 4km2 (1000 acres)[3]
Sports teams Waterloo Warriors
Colours Gold, black, and white             
Nickname UW
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, COU, ATS, CIS, CUSID, OUA, Fields Institute, Ontario Network of Women in engineering, CBIE, CUP

Coordinates: 43°28′8″N 80°32′24″W / 43.46889°N 80.54°W / 43.46889; -80.54

The University of Waterloo is a comprehensive public university in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The school was founded in 1957 by Drs. Gerry Hagey and Ira G. Needles, and has since grown to an institution of more than 30,000 students, faculty, and staff. The school is notable for being the first university in North America to create a Faculty of Mathematics,[4] and for having the largest co-operative education program in the world.[citation needed] Waterloo maintains one of the lowest endowments of all large Canadian universities, something officials have been trying to improve over the last 10 years.[5] The school is also known for having more company spin-offs than any other Canadian university, and as such, the university has been called the "Silicon Valley of the North".[6] As of Fall 2009, there were 24,891 undergraduate and 3,497 graduate students, with 1,030 full-time faculty members and 2,190 staff.[7] The school has approximately 140,000 alumni in 141 countries. The university press, @UW and The Boar (Arts Faculty) are members of CUP. Other university newspapers include Imprint (The Official Student Newspaper), The Iron Warrior (Engineering), and mathNEWS (Math).[8][9][10]



The University of Waterloo was originally conceived in 1955 as the Waterloo College Associate Faculties (WCAF), a semi-autonomous entity within Waterloo College (now Wilfrid Laurier University, formerly known as Waterloo Lutheran University). The non-denominational school was founded in 1957 by Drs. Gerry Hagey and Ira G. Needles in Waterloo, Ontario.[11] The Waterloo College of Arts became affiliated with the University of Western Ontario in 1925.

A plaque was erected just inside the entrance to the university on University Avenue West across from Seagram Drive, Waterloo:

The University of Waterloo

In 1956 community leaders, headed by Dr. J. Gerald Hagey, formed the Waterloo College Associate Faculties, a non-denominational corporation, to provide Waterloo with improved educational facilities, particularly in the technical, scientific and engineering fields. A year later about seventy students, attracted by a pioneer programme in co-operative education, attended the institutions first classes. Full university powers were conferred by a 1959 Act and the next year the University awarded its first degrees. St. Jerome's College, a century-old Roman Catholic educational institution, federated with the University of Waterloo in 1960 and within the next year Renison (Anglican), St. Paul's (United Church) and Conrad Grebel (Mennonite) became affiliate colleges of the University.

Today Wilfrid Laurier University emphasizes liberal arts and University of Waterloo, emphasizes engineering and science.[12] The university's first president, Gerry Hagey, gathered teachers of engineering and basic sciences, and also obtained an initial grant of $625,000 from the government. The first 74 students began classes on July 1, 1957, in makeshift temporary buildings on the Waterloo College campus. In 1958, the University of Waterloo established an extension department.

Iron Ring received by Engineering students at the University of Waterloo

In January 1958, Hagey and colleagues purchased 74 hectares (184 acres) of farmland a kilometre west of Waterloo College's main campus in order to meet the growing expansion needs.[13] Soon, construction began of the first academic building on the new site, known as the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Building, later renamed Engineering 1 and now named after Douglas Wright, UW's first Dean of Engineering.[14] Through a series of delicate negotiations which turned into bitter hostilities, the "Faculty of Science and Engineering" broke free from Waterloo College, partly due to the fact that the two campuses were now disjoint. Hagey himself was opposed to the break, as his dream had been to establish a world-class university built on the strengths of Waterloo College's liberal arts strengths and the applied science education of WCAF.

The University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario was incorporated and granted a university charter in 1959.[15] In early 1959, the government established three universities: Waterloo Lutheran University, University of St. Jerome's College, and the University of Waterloo.

The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society.[15] The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the 2 bodies and to perform institutional leadership.[15]

Initially, St. Jerome's and Waterloo Lutheran were both expected to federate with the new UW, but in the end Waterloo Lutheran chose to remain independent. Waterloo Lutheran Seminary is currently an affiliate of the nondenominational Waterloo University and offers several programs at the master's level and a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral counselling and marriage and family therapy. The Waterloo Lutheran seminary established the Institute for Christian Ethics in 1986.[16] UW then quickly created a faculty of arts in order to gain respect as a university. In the same year, arts students joined the science and engineering students in the new campus.

Three more church colleges ended up joining the university. These carried the name of "College" for many years, but this was later changed to the somewhat cumbersome "University College" designation in order to reflect the degree-granting nature of these affiliated institutions. These colleges are: Renison, Conrad Grebel, and St. Paul's. Waterloo created the first Faculty of Mathematics in North America, and the first co-op programs outside of engineering soon followed. The co-op system then was revised in involving four-month terms rather than the initial three-month terms. In 1967, the College of Optometry of Ontario, at the time an independent institution in Toronto, moved to Waterloo and became affiliated with the university as the School of Optometry. In 1967 the world's first Department of Kinesiology was created, which later grew into the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The Faculty of Environmental Studies was created soon after. It was renamed the Faculty of Environment in 2008.

The University of Waterloo launched its program in architecture in 1967. More recently, in 2004, the School of Architecture was relocated to downtown Cambridge in an effort to enhance the school's facilities and strengthen its community ties. The School, located in a former industrial building on the Grand River, is an important part of plans to bolster the economy of Cambridge's downtown area. Additionally, Architecture is now part of the Faculty of Engineering. It formerly fell under Environmental Studies.

In 2001, the University of Waterloo announced its intentions to develop a Research and Technology Park on the university's north campus. The RT Park intends to house many of the high-tech industries in the area and maintain the partnership between university and private-sector innovation. Sybase/iAnywhere Solutions and Open Text Corporation were the first two tenants, and the multi-tenant Accelerator Centre building opened in April 2006. Google has since established an office in the RT Park. The RT Park continues to grow with 2- and 3- storey multi-tenant buildings, again surrounded by ample parking lots. Earlier suggestions to include medium- and high-density residential facilities, with the hope of enabling employees in the RT Park to have the option of not having to commute to suburban detached houses, have so far not come to fruition..


The brutalist Math and Computer Science building, as seen from what was then the B2 Green.
The Student Life Centre courtyard.

The main campus is located along University Avenue in Waterloo, Ontario on what was, until the 1960s, farmland. Since its creation, a considerable level of commercial and residential development has built up around the Waterloo campus, notably with many offices of high-tech firms. This has resulted in a major urban expansion into the surrounding rural areas, with a consequent loss of prime farmland and degradation of natural areas.

The Dana Porter Arts Library, with sculptures by Ron Baird in the foreground

Over a period of five years (2003–2008), the University experienced its second largest building boom since the 1960s. New buildings completed include the Tatham Building (Co-op Education), the Environmental and Information Technologies Building (chiefly Earth Sciences and Electrical Engineering), expansions to Burt Matthews Hall (Applied Health Sciences) and J.G. Hagey Hall, a building for the School of Architecture, a new Solar Technologies Building, a major addition to the School of Optometry Building, and sundry additions to several Engineering buildings. Currently (2010) under construction are the Quantum Nanotechnology Building, the Engineering 5 Building, the Engineering 6 Building, the Math 3 building, and the Environment 3 building.

To commemorate individuals who have made major contributions to the University of Waterloo, some buildings, most notably in the Engineering realm, have been renamed. Three examples include Engineering 4 becoming Carl Pollock Hall, Engineering Lecture Hall becoming Rod Coutts Hall, and the aforementioned Engineering 1 becoming the Douglas Wright Engineering Building. Some buildings, such as the Davis Centre (William G. Davis Computer Research Centre), the J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities, and Ira G. Needles Hall (Administration) were named after people at their time of inception.

The geographical coordinates of the main UW campus, using the NAD 83 datum, are 43°28′14″N 80°32′50″W / 43.47056°N 80.54722°W / 43.47056; -80.54722.

The School of Architecture was relocated to a former mill in Cambridge, Ontario, in 2004.

A new campus for the health sciences program has been built in Kitchener, Ontario and includes a satellite of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy. The building opened in December 2008. The building has unique elements, such as a colourful curtain wall featuring images of medicinal plants and its use of natural materials such as wood.

South entrance to Main Campus. From left to right: Hagey Hall of the Humanities, Tatham Cooperative Education Centre, South Campus Hall.
A panoramic view of the campus from the BMH Green. From left to right: Davis Centre, Math & Computing, Student Life Centre, & Physical Activities Complex.


  1. University of Waterloo Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
  2. University of Waterloo Faculty of Arts
  3. University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering
  4. University of Waterloo Faculty of Environment
  5. University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics
  6. University of Waterloo Faculty of Science

Rankings and reputation

University rankings
ARWU World[17] 201-302
ARWU N. America[18] 100-134
ARWU Engineering & CS[19] 51-77
Newsweek World[20] 84
THE-QS World[21] 113
THE-QS Arts[22] 234
THE-QS Life Sciences/Biomed[23] 114
THE-QS Natural Sciences[24] 56
THE-QS Social Sciences[25] 185
THE-QS Engineering/Tech.[26] 27
Canadian rankings
Maclean's Comprehensive[27] 3

More Canadian high-tech and knowledge-based spin-off companies trace their roots to the University of Waterloo than to any other school, and as such, the University of Waterloo and the Waterloo region has been called the "Silicon Valley of the North".[28]

Great emphasis is placed on furthering the growth of research by quick and steady expansion of resources. The Institute for Quantum Computing, established in 2002, is one of a number of institutes and centres for research established, and has already begun to attract international scientists and a Nobel laureate to the university.[citation needed]


Computer Science and Mathematics

In the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, Waterloo students have won championships in 1994 [29] and 1999[30]. They have also won gold medals in 2000,[31] 2001,[32] 2002[33] and 2005.[34]

Even though Waterloo was established in 1957, its teams have accumulated the sixth most top-five finishes in the Putnam competition ahead of Berkeley, Cornell, Stanford, Duke, Chicago, WUSL, Yale, Columbia and Carnegie Mellon among others.[35]


As one of the most competitive engineering schools in the country, and with students and alumni consistently placing in the top tier of international competitions such as ChallengeX, the University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering is widely considered by industry and academics to be the foremost engineering school in Canada. With more than 6000 applicants annually, the school is one of the most selective in the country with mean averages of admitted students above 90 per cent in most programs.[36] The school also holds the world record for the longest distance travelled by a solar car. Out of 24 participants in the 2008 North American Solar Car Challenge from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany, the University of Waterloo finished 4th overall and was the top Canadian team in the competition.[37]

Students can choose to study in the following disciplines: Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geological Engineering, Management Engineering, Management Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Nanotechnology Engineering, Software Engineering and Systems Design Engineering.[38]

School of Accounting and Finance

The University of Waterloo School of Accounting and Finance offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs. Its Masters of Accounting graduates are well prepared for the UFE exam for Chartered Accountants. Its Honours Mathematics/Chartered Accountancy and Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy are among the most competitive programs in Canada[citation needed]

International rankings

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2009, the University of Waterloo was ranked 113th overall, 27th in the world for technology, 56th in the world for the natural sciences, and 114th in the world in life sciences and biomedicine.

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the University of Waterloo was ranked 201-302, 100-136 in North America, and 76-107 in Engineering Technology/Computer Science.[39]

Globe and Mail Canadian University Report Card

In the annual Globe and Mail Canadian University Report Card, Waterloo was ranked first or tied for first amongst large universities in three categories. Waterloo received the highest grades for career preparation, quality of education, and academic reputation. Waterloo also ranked third in student satisfaction category and second on course availability/variety.[40]

Maclean's rankings

Waterloo prides itself on its high performance in Maclean's magazine's Canadian university rankings. The university routinely places in the top three in the numerical Comprehensive ranking,[41] and in the reputation survey it placed first as best overall 13 out of 15 times that the ranking was published.[42] Maclean's describes the university as "strong in math, engineering and computer science," as well as being "internationally recognized for the unparalleled success of its more than 100 undergraduate and graduate co-op programs."[43]

Co-operative education

Waterloo is famous for being a groundbreaking proponent of co-operative education in Canada and currently maintains the largest co-op program in the world with over 10,000 co-op students per year.[citation needed]

Ties with industry

Through its large co-op program (the largest in the world) and many spin-off companies, the University of Waterloo maintains close ties with the high-tech industry.

UW has a long-standing intellectual property policy[44] that leaves ownership rights with the inventor, rather than the university, which has helped create many spin-off companies that maintain a good relationship with UW. In particular, it has a strong connection with Research In Motion, the makers of the Blackberry, that goes beyond its close physical proximity. Co-founder and CEO Mike Lazaridis was a UW student before he started RIM, and was the chancellor of the university. RIM hires hundreds of UW co-op students each term and a large proportion of its employees are UW alumni.

During his visit to Waterloo in October 2005, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stated, "Most years, we hire more students out of Waterloo than any university in the world, typically 50 or even more."[45]

Agreement with Microsoft

Bill Gates at the University of Waterloo

The university announced a controversial agreement with Microsoft in 2002.[46] As part of this agreement, the University of Waterloo was to receive $2.3 million in funding from the Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance and would introduce Microsoft's C# programming language in its Electrical and Computer Engineering programs (also known as ECE.) The university came under harsh criticism for this agreement to develop Engineering courses using Microsoft's .NET Framework.[47] The university administration asserted that this agreement would not jeopardize academic integrity at the institution, although the university president acknowledged making mistakes in announcing the deal.[48]

The School of Computer Science was not part of this agreement, and currently offers Scheme and a choice of C or Python in its introductory courses.[49]


Several companies have roots in, or have been spun off from the university. (The large number of spin-offs from UW is in part due to the University's long-standing policy of allowing creators to retain all the rights to their inventions.) Some of the most notable spin-offs include:

Notable companies founded by alumni

Future plans

With a lake and a conservation area on campus, Waterloo is home to a variety of vegetation and wildlife.
The fields just north of the University of Waterloo, before the development of the technology park.

The Faculty of Engineering, citing a shortage of space compared to the undergraduate and graduate enrollment and number of faculty members, is planning a $150M expansion between 2008 and 2012 in the form of three new buildings. Two are to be located outside Ring Road and linked back to the main campus by a walkway, while one will be built inside Ring Road in proximity to the current Engineering side of campus. The Iron Warrior reports that the Faculty has secured funding and received approval for the first of these three buildings, to be called Engineering 5, which will house a Student Design Centre showcasing the Waterloo Engineering student teams, along with space for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, and the Department of Systems Design Engineering. The latter's original hopes for an exclusive building just for Systems are now dead according to Dean of Engineering Adel Sedra, as they were not able to locate the sufficient funds.[14]

The university and the City of Kitchener are constructing a health sciences campus, including a School of Pharmacy, in the central Kitchener warehouse district. The project will cost $34 million for the first phase. The Honours co-operative Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program began in January 2008. Preliminary operations, including staffed medical and optometry clinics, are based out of the former Victoria Public School in Kitchener's downtown.

The Kitchener site will also host a satellite campus of McMaster University's medical school, bringing 21 first-year medical students to Waterloo Region each year to study. They will remain until the end of the three-year McMaster program, and have the option of continuing as a resident in the area.

On October 16, 2006, President Johnston announced that the university has entered discussions with the City of Stratford and the Stratford Festival of Canada exploring the possibility of establishing a satellite campus in Stratford. On the same day, Stratford City Council unanimously endorsed a memorandum of understanding to continue exploration of the issue. This was clarified further on March 26, 2008, following a funding commitment in the previous day's provincial budget; the campus is to specialize in digital media and global business, and also has a funding commitment from Open Text corp.[50]

With donations by alumni and matching contributions from government, the university announced in April 2004 the founding of the Institute for Quantum Computing.[51][52]

Construction began in September 2008 for the Quantum-Nano Centre, a massive building which will house the Institute for Quantum Computing as well as the new Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. The building will be located in the centre of campus and its cost will exceed $100M. It is planned to be opened in September 2010.[53]

Though in preliminary discussion there also has been talks for the initiation of a law program.[54]

The university is currently planning for its sixth decade (2007–2017) with an "ambitious plan".[55] According to the plan's documentation, some objectives are benchmarked by the following targets:

  • By 2017, at least 12 UW academic programs will be the best in North America
  • By 2017, at least 12 out of 44 departments/schools will be ranked top 12 in North America
  • By 2017, at least 20 UW departments/schools will be ranked top three in Canada
  • Each department/school will participate in a doctoral program
  • All departments/schools will be ranked top 25% in Canada

UW has opened, in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology, a satellite campus in Dubai; the UAE Dubai Men's College campus. During earlier media releases of the Dubai plans, the campus had come under scrutiny for its perceived lack of transparency in the planning stages, as well as issues regarding the labour used, as well as UAE laws restricting the conventional Canadian freedoms of female and homosexual members of staff. In particular, debate has come up in both the student Senate, the university's Board of Governors over possible violations of policy 33, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.[56][57][58][59]

Supported by the recent Knowledge Infrastructure Program, funded by the government, University of Waterloo have broken ground for three new buildings: Engineering 6 (sited right next to the current constructing Engineering 5), Mathematics 3 (sited at the green in between Photovoltaic Research Centre and the Davis Centre bridge) and Environment 3 (sited both next to and on top of Environment 2). All three buildings are scheduled for completion at March 2011.[60]

Rebranding Controversy

The old logo (left) versus proposed new logo (right)

In late July 2009, news of a possible remodeling of the university logo surfaced.[61] With a Facebook group reporting over 4000 members just three days after its creation and an article released in the National Post, the new logo has gathered somewhat large student and media attention[61]. The key points offered by those opposing the new logo are that it lacks professionalism, does not portray Waterloo as the academic institution it claims to be, as well as the lack of student consultation in designing the new logo. Those for the new logo believe that it offers a look into the future of the University of Waterloo, capturing its ingenuity and ability to remain ahead of the times[61].

The three new logos being considered (right)

In the light of the rebranding controversy, the University of Waterloo administration has released several other designs and opened the floor to community feedback.[62] After considering the feedback, Waterloo's new visual identity will not incorporate a new logo. Instead, the wordmark will be used on marketing materials, and the traditional seal used where a link to tradition is required.[63]


King Warrior, the athletics mascot
  • The University's athletics mascot is a lion named King Warrior. The Warriors are the University's sports team and King Warrior's initials, K-W, reflect a common nickname for the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo.[64]
  • The mascot for the undergraduate students' Mathematics Society (MathSoc) is the Natural Log (see natural log), which is a wooden log about 60 cm (two ft) long, often mistaken as the Faculty's mascot.[65]
  • The mascot for the Faculty of Mathematics is a 12.2 m (40 ft) long and 3.4 m (11 ft) wide pink tie, often mistaken as MathSoc's mascot.
  • The mascot for the Engineering Society is a 60" (1.5 m) pipe wrench called The TOOL[65], often mistaken as the Faculty's mascot. It was formerly the RIDGID Tool, because it was donated by the Ridge Tool Company in 1968. This mascot was stolen by University of Toronto Engineering students in 1982 and returned encased in a 45 gallon drum of concrete. Engineering students worked tirelessly for 6 hours using sledgehammers to free it.[66][67]
  • The mascot for the Faculty of Arts is a statue of a boar which was donated to the University of Waterloo Math Faculty in 1978, and in turn donated to the Arts Faculty. It is one of several copies of Italian sculptor Pietro Tacca's (1577–1640) "Il Porcellino" statue. Some students claim that rubbing the Boar's nose brings luck.[68]
  • The mascot for the Faculty of Environmental Studies is The Big Banana.
  • The mascot for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences is a Kangaroo.
  • The mascot for the Science Society (SciSoc) is Arriba the Amoeba, a giant human-sized amoeba dressed in a lab coat.
  • There is also a pair of 14 ft goggles which the Faculty of Science will be introducing for orientation week 2009, and potentially there will be an ongoing theme of goggles as science's mascot. Long term storage for the massive goggles has not yet been decided.
  • Arts Students also find solidarity through a recognizable pair of sunglasses that all first-year students to the Faculty receive.

Fight song

Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement, convocation, and athletic games are: University of Waterloo Seagrams! Seagrams! Vat 69. Warriors, Warriors, Hold that Line! and 'The Black and White and Gold,' with words by K.D. Fryer and H.F. Davis and music by Alfred Kunz.[69]

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the University of Waterloo was granted in 1987. The shield's blazon is as follows [70]:

Or, on a chevron Sable between three lions rampant Gules a chevronel Argent.

The full blazon of the arms (rarely used) continues:

Above the Shield is placed a Helm suitable to an Incorporation (a Salade proper lined Gules) with a Mantling Sable doubled Or, and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest between two maple branches in saltire a trillium displayed and leaved all Proper, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "CONCORDIA CUM VERITATE".

Representing Waterloo's location in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, the double-chevron is taken from the coat of arms of Earl Kitchener, and the red lions are taken from the symbol of Arthur, Duke of Wellington, the victor at the Battle of Waterloo.


See also

Histories of the university

  • James Scott 'Of Mud and Dreams: University of Waterloo 1957-1967' (Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1967)
  • Paul Axelrod 'Scholars and Dollars: Politics, Economics, and the Universities of Ontario 1945-1980' (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, September 1, 1982)
  • Professor Brian McKillop, 'Matters of Mind: The University in Ontario, 1791-1951' (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press © 1951)
  • Dr. Kenneth McLaughlin 'Enthusiasm for the Truth: An Illustrated History of Saint Jerome's University', (Waterloo: University of Waterloo Press © 2002)
  • Dr. Kenneth McLaughlin 'Waterloo: The Unconventional Founding of an Unconventional University' (Waterloo: University of Waterloo Press © 1997)
  • Dr. Kenneth McLaughlin 'Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy: Waterloo @ 50' (Waterloo: University of Waterloo Press © 2007)
  • Flora Roy 'Recollections of Waterloo Lutheran University 1960-1973' (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, September 25, 2006)


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  60. ^ "'Funded: math/eng and environment". Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  61. ^ a b c
  62. ^ University of Waterloo
  63. ^ University of Waterloo Daily Bulletin
  64. ^ "Canada Day Schedule (Right Side)". UW News Release. 26 June 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  65. ^ a b "Goodbye to another Waterloo tradition, hello to a week off". Imprint. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  66. ^ "The Tool: 40 Years Old and Still Ridgid". Iron Warrior. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  67. ^ "Wrenching 40". Imprint. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  68. ^ During Orientation Week Porcellino is guarded by a group of Orientation Leaders known as "the Boar Tribe". Boar Tribe is present 24-7 during the week to protect the Boar against any potential attacks or vandalism.Celebrating the Boar | Display | Library | University of Waterloo
  69. ^ Fight Songs
  70. ^ - ECE Undergrad Studies, section Coat of Arms

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Waterloo (Ontario) article)

From Wikitravel

Waterloo[1], Ontario, is one of three neighbouring cities, together with Kitchener, and Cambridge, forming a tightly-integrated metro area within the larger Region of Waterloo in Southwestern Ontario. Waterloo is known internationally for its two Universities: Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.


Waterloo is part of Canada's Technology Triangle, and many companies such as MKS, Research In Motion (RIM), Maplesoft, Open Text, Google and Sybase are either based or have branch offices here. Technology companies thrive due to the convenience of the University of Waterloo, which boasts the largest math and computer science undergraduate program in the world. The university is also very famous for its psychology program. Waterloo pioneered university co-op such that today it has the largest co-op undergraduate enrollment in the world.

Waterloo was once known as the "Hartford of Canada" due to the large number of insurance companies that once had their headquarters here. Insurance is still a major industry in Waterloo due to the presence of Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial.

Farmland is quite close outside the city limits, and many Mennonites live close by. St. Jacobs is a small village immediately to the north of the city, with markets and stores that have come to be very popular.

The city of Kitchener is located immediately to the south of Waterloo. These two cities, often referred together as "Kitchener-Waterloo" (abbreviated to "K-W"), are separate municipalities, but share a long, seamless border. If visiting Waterloo, take Kitchener's attractions into consideration as well. Waterloo's central business district is referred to as "Uptown", in contrast to Kitchener's, which is referred to as "Downtown". Note, however, that Uptown Waterloo is not particularly large compared to neighbouring cities' downtowns; Waterloo is essentially a suburban city. The distributed nature of the city does mean that Uptown Waterloo has maintained a small-town atmosphere (for now; plans to intensify the Uptown are afoot).

Get in

By car

From Highway 401, take exit 278 (if coming from the west) or 278A (if coming from the east). Take Highway 8 North to Highway 85 North (the Conestoga Parkway). There are four exits in Waterloo:

  • For Uptown Waterloo, exit Bridgeport Rd.
  • For universities, exit University Ave. West.
  • For destinations in north Waterloo, exit King St. N.
  • The Northfield Dr. exit is used mainly by local traffic.

By bus

Greyhound[2] has express buses connecting the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University with Toronto, and also provides rush hour services to the Sun Life building, a five minute walk south of Uptown.

The Charles St. Terminal in downtown Kitchener is better served by inter-city bus, with Greyhound, Coach Canada[3] and Cherrey Bus Lines stopping there regularly, so many people coming to Waterloo by bus take the bus to Kitchener, and then catch a Grand River Transit[4] bus to Waterloo.

Grand River Transit is the transit authority in the Region of Waterloo. If coming to Waterloo from Cambridge or Kitchener, the iXpress, a limited-stop express bus connecting the three cities, is fast and direct. Other routes that connect Kitchener to Waterloo are routes 7 (runs along King Street), 8 (runs in a loop along Westmount Road, University Avenue, and Weber Street) and 12 (runs along Fischer-Hallman Road, Keats Way, and University Avenue, then through suburbs in eastern Waterloo). All four routes serve the two universities and (except for the route 8) Conestoga Mall, and Uptown is served by the iXpress and route 7.

By plane

Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) [5] is serviced by a limited number of airlines. Recently WestJet [6] has begun regular domestic service to Calgary, AB, and Northwest has regular flights to its Detroit hub. For travelers coming from afar, Airways Transit [7] offers shuttle bus service between Toronto Pearson International Airport [8] and Kitchener/Waterloo. Pearson Airport provides flights to and from a large number of destinations, and is located approximately 1 hour away from Waterloo by car in good traffic conditions. Buffalo/Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, New York is an alternative to Toronto. It is about 90-100 minutes away and requires a border crossing, but is often much cheaper to fly out of, particularly if your destination is in the US or Caribbean.

By train

VIA Rail[9] provides regular service to Kitchener. Regular rush hour service is available on weekdays between Kitchener and Toronto, with reduced service on weekends. As the station is closed between 1:00PM and 5:00PM (between train arrivals), guests may not always find the ticket counter open and should consider booking online. To reach Waterloo from Kitchener station, the easiest option is to take a cab (there are usually some to be found at the station around train time); cheaper options involve walking two blocks, either westward to King Street or eastward to Margaret Avenue, and catching a route 7 or 8 bus, or even walking north along Weber Street (Waterloo's city limits are a 15-minute walk to the north).

Get around

Unlike a metropolis such as Toronto, it is relatively quick and easy to get from one point to another by car because the distances aren't far, and the traffic isn't too busy. Looking at a map of Kitchener-Waterloo, one of the first things visitors from other parts of Ontario will notice is that, far from forming a grid pattern, the streets are not straight, curving and wiggling in surprising patterns. For example, there are two streets, King and Weber, which are parallel for most of their length, but cross each other 3 times in K-W. The irregular road pattern dates to the earliest settlement in K-W; unlike most Ontario townships, whose roads were laid out in a grid pattern, Waterloo Township was laid out without road allowances, allowing settlers to build roads where they were needed.

King Street is the main street that travels roughly North-South through the downtown of Kitchener and Waterloo. In Waterloo, it is labelled King St. North and South, with the transition at Erb Street (in Kitchener, it is labelled King St. East and West).

Grand River Transit is the transit authority for the Region of Waterloo. Students at the two universities have a GRT bus pass included in their student fees and so many of the people riding buses in Waterloo are students. Therefore, the main routes in Waterloo are those that run near the universities, namely the 7, 8, 12, and iXpress, described above, and the route 9, which travels between Conestoga Mall and the two universities via the Lakeshore subdivision. These routes offer 15 minute service during the day, at least at peak times, and 30 minute service on evenings until around 1:00AM and on Saturdays and Sundays. These routes are probably the only ones a casual traveller needs to take, as together they run near most of the city's attractions, hotels, shopping centres, etc. There are several other routes, which generally serve outlying subdivisions, but most of them have 30 minute service on weekdays, reduced evening and Saturday service, no Sunday service, and not-always-convenient connections. Bus schedules are available at [10]; alternatively, you can acquire them piecemeal on buses, or all at once at either of the universities.

There are three taxi companies that serve Waterloo and the surrounding area:

  • Waterloo Taxi (519-886-1200)
  • United Taxi (519-888-9999)
  • City Cabs (519-747-7777)

Waterloo is reasonably bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, so travelling by bicycle or on foot is reasonable for shorter trips. Uptown Waterloo and the two universities are within walking distance of each other.

  • Waterloo Park, Young St. West. Waterloo Park has something for everyone. Contains the Eby Farm (a display of farm animals), a Victorian Gardens, a beautiful lake adjacent to a replica grist mill, several sports fields, picnic areas, trails, and more. Special events are often held in the park.  edit
  • Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline Street North, [11]. Started by a $100 million donation by local entrepreneur, Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM). The institute presents several free lectures that are open to the public (usually held at Waterloo Collegiate Institute on Hazel Street) and also hosts the occasional concert (admission usually around $20). The ticket office is at the Old Post Office on the corner of King Street North and Dupont Street West.  edit
  • Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, 25 Caroline Street North, 519-746-1882, [12]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Located in Uptown Waterloo. The collection is small enough to be seen in an hour. $5 adult admission.
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, [13]. Together with Kitchener, Waterloo hosts this Bavarian festival, held annually in October. It is the largest in the world outside of Munich, Germany. The following two Festhalle are located in Waterloo: Heidelberg Haus (located at the Moses Springer Community Centre), and Ruedesheimer Garten (located at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, 101 Father David Bauer Dr.). As well, there is a free Oktoberfest Luncheon at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex the day before Oktoberfest officially starts, family-friendly activities on King Street in Uptown Waterloo on the first Saturday of Oktoberfest, and the Oktoberfest parade (which occurs on the Thanksgiving Monday) passes through Waterloo.
  • Laurel Creek Conservation Area, 625 Westmount Rd. N., [14]. This conservation area, centred around a reservoir, offers camping, as well as a beach and other water activities. Trails are available for hiking as well as cross country skiing during the winter. (-80.569,43.492) edit
  • RIM Park, 2001 University Ave. Waterloo ON, 519-884-5363, [15]. Waterloo's largest and most modern community centre and sports complex is host to many recreational youth and adult sports leagues and contains:
    -4 olympic size ice pads used for organized team activities as well as public free skates
    -1 large indoor turf field which can be divided into 3 fields for recreational soccer
    -2 NBA size Gymnasiums
    -700 person banquet hall
    -several meeting rooms
    -food services facility
    Most of the above facilities can be divided to serve a larger number of teams or groups. Several organizations use the facilities for trade shows and special events such as career fairs. The property is on 500 acres of land which includes the Grey Silo golf course and several trails and outdoor sports fields.
  • Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, [16]. Held every year in July, Waterloo funds a free jazz concert showing various styles and talent throughout jazz.
  • Waterloo Buskers' Carnival, [17]. Held annually in August. Celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2008.
  • Waterloo Central Railway, 10 Father David Bauer Drive, [18]. A tourist railway that runs a train consisting of historic passenger cars and a historic diesel between Waterloo and St. Jacobs on market days. Offers special runs during Oktoberfest. $12 (students and seniors $10, children $8).  edit
  • Waterloo Public Square, [19]. An open-air event and gathering space at the corner of King Street N. and Willis Way in the heart of UpTown. Year roung programs include festivals, markets, concerts, activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Ballroom dancing.
  • University of Waterloo. Established in the 1950's, UW is one of Canada's youngest universities. It is well known for its co-operative education program and for fostering innovation. Several spinoff companies are well-known, such as Research in Motion and Open Text. It was also the starting point of Engineers Without Borders. Visitors might be interested in the Games Museum in the BMH building, the Earth Sciences Museum in the CEIT building, and the Optometry Museum in the Optometry building. [20]
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Ave W (corner of King and University). WLU is best known for its School of Business and Economics; its Music, History, and Kinesiology programs are also well-known. The School of Music hosts at least one concert per week, admission to which is often free. [21]


Being mainly a suburban city, you'll find strip malls and the like at just about every major intersection. If you're looking for somewhere more inspiring to shop, there is:

  • The Atrium, 33 Erb St. W. (Uptown Waterloo). This mall is a small but quaint house-like building close to both Waterloo Town Square and King Street, with various restaurants and stores to enjoy, including The Cobblestone Gallery, a store that sells unique arts and crafts from over 200 Canadian artists and artisans, Englert's, a religious card, book, souvenir and gift shop, and others.  edit
  • Conestoga Mall, 550 King St. N. (just north of King St. interchange), [22]. Waterloo's largest shopping mall.  edit
  • King Street in Uptown Waterloo. Waterloo's city centre contains a large number of unique shops.  edit
  • Waterloo Town Square, 75 King Street South (Uptown Waterloo). Recently been renovated and consists primarily of upscale stores.  edit


Going Uptown (the King/Erb area) will provide traditional and cultural foods for many price ranges. Waterloo Region was one of the first municipalities in Canada to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars.

  • Benny's Family Restaurant & Lounge 183 Weber Street North. This is one of the best places in the region for breakfast, served until 2PM. A good breakfast with three eggs, a side, hash browns, and pancakes for under $10. A short drive away from the universities.
  • Noodle Hut, 230 King Street North. A little hidden, but well worth the find. A wonderful family run place that is super cheap and filling. A great variety of food, including great vegetarian selection. $5-7, max, which includes a soup and a HUGE entre.
  • Lotus Tea house 79 Regina St. N. A lovely calm Buddhist vegan restaurant, with home made teas that will leave you wanting more. Great student prices. A huge lunch is $5 for students and $6 for non-students. Its an amazing deal. A great place to relax and let the stress melt away. A bit hidden, but well worth the find.
  • Just N Pita 150 University Ave W. Egyptian pitas. They may have a silly name, but the food is tasty, and it's good for lunch or a smallish dinner. A pita will cost you $5-8. Not great when in a rush though—service is friendly but not always quick.
  • Kismet Restaurant 150 University Ave W. Indian food. The naan is very good there, they prepare it on the side of their clay oven. The butter chicken is amazing. The decor is bland, but the food is good. Around $10 for the curry dishes, and it comes with either naan or basmati rice.
  • Mel's Diner, 140 University Ave. W. (University Shops Plaza). Has a '50s diner atmosphere and good prices. Open 24 hours on the weekend. Quite popular with university students and others, so expect a wait during peak hours.  edit
  • Hot Pot and Bubble Tea King and Hickory. Chinese Hot Pot. Hot Pot is amazing, don't let the appearance of this place fool you. All you can eat for under $15. Freshest food in Waterloo.
  • Mongolian Grill, University Shops Plaza (on University Ave, just across the tracks from UW), 747-4400, [23]. Grab a bowl and fill it with your choice of meats, veggies, sauces and spices. Then, give it to the grillers, who will chop, fry, and thrash your meal into shape right before your eyes on a huge round grill (3m/9' across, temp 300°C/600°F). $17 for all you can eat, including rice and tortillas to go with your stir-fry. Be forewarned: there's often a wait in the evenings, especially on weekends.
  • Jane Bond 5 Princess St. [24]. A wonderful vegetarian restaurant with great atmosphere. They make wonderful martinis and have a great selection of wines and beer as well. They also have live entertainment some nights. Right across the street from Princess Cinema.
  • The Rude Native Bistro and Lounge, 15 King St. S., 519-886-3600. The Rude Native features an eclectic mix of international cuisine.  edit
  • Symposium Cafe 4 King Street North [25]. A restaurant with a bit of a modern-art touch. Great food and a groovy, relaxed atmosphere.
  • Ennio's Pasta House, 384 King St N, 893-0543, [26]. At Ennio's you will find authentic Italian cooking at its best. The love of fine cuisine!
  • Solé Restaurant & Wine Bar, 9 Father David Bauer Dr. (in Uptown Waterloo), 519-747-5622, [27]. Offers updated versions of classic Italian and Canadian cuisine.  edit
  • Janet Lynn's Bistro.  edit
  • King Street Trio, 65 University Ave. E. [28]. Upscale dining with live jazz every Wednesday through Saturday night.
  • Failte Irish Pub, King Street North, Waterloo at King & Bridgeport Streets, The building itself just looks like a authentic Irish pub from the old country. Serving good pub food and the best Guiness around. Live music most nights.
  • Ethel's Lounge, 114 King Street North (just south of WLU), 725-2361. "No live entertainment; one TV." Ethel's serves up Mexican and roadhouse fare in a cool retro-chrome-diner atmosphere. Don't be intimidated by the surly-sounding menu; the staff and patrons here tend to be a personable, if outlandish, bunch. Entrees $5-10.
  • Fubar, 140 University Ave. W..  edit
  • Huether Hotel, [29]. Uptown restaurant rebuilt from from an old hotel. The restaurant boasts great food and serves locally brewed beer from the Lion's Brewery.
  • Morty's Pub, Boasts best wings in Waterloo since 1982.
  • Starlight Night Club. A great venue for a plethora of bands. Past performances include: The Sadies, Hawksley Workman, Cowboy Junkies, and Snow Patrol. DJ Charless is a must see. Affordable and great atmosphere. See [30] for upcoming shows.
  • The Vault Lounge, 8 Erb St. W..  edit
  • Destination Inn, 547 King St. N., 519-884-0100.  edit
  • Comfort Inn, 190 Weber St. N., 519-747-9400, [31].  edit
  • The Waterloo Inn, 475 King St. N. (on service road just south of Highway 85 interchange), 519-884-0220, [32].  edit
  • Hotel Laurier, 519-884-0710 ext. 2771 (email:, [33]. Wilfrid Laurier University rents out empty residence rooms in the summer under the pseudonym "Hotel Laurier". Single rooms come in as low as $40 per night; there are reduced rates for weekly or monthly stays, and further discounts for seniors, groups, and WLU staff and students.
  • Waterloo Hotel, 1-877-885-1890 or 1-519-885-2626 (email: An 1890 hotel with modern amenities, this hotel is in the centre of Uptown Waterloo, on the corner of King and Erb Sts.

Get out

Waterloo is within easy driving distance of many southern Ontario locations, such as London, Guelph, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Stratford. Towns on the shore of Lake Huron, such as Kincardine or Goderich, are great places to enjoy the beach in the summer.

Waterloo is the gateway to Mennonite country, being located just to the south of St. Jacobs. Immediately to the north of the city is the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, which attracts locals and tourists, with fresh produce, baked goods, ethnic foods, clothing, refurbished phones, etc. The market runs Thursdays and Saturdays 7AM-3:30PM, with Tuesdays 8AM-3PM being added in the summer (June until Labour Day). Three kilometres to the north is St Jacobs, the ideal place to shop for gorgeous jewellery at Radianze, clothing at Le Creme, quaint quilts and household items at St Jacobs Mennonite Quilts, antiques at Arcitects, little treasures at Angel Treasures etc. Besides shopping, there are excellent choices for dining and staying including Benjamin's, the Gardenia and Jakobstettel.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

The University of Waterloo is a school that you attend after high school. It is located in the West of Ontario.


The University of Waterloo holds many contests in mathematics for students in high school. Some contests let you choose the correct answer out of many wrong answers ( multiple choice ), and for other contests you must write the whole answer and how you found it. Anybody in Canada can take these contests. Each contest is named after famous mathematicians, such as Galois or Fermat.



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