Kitchener

Overview

Kitchener is a city rich with culture, entertainment and amenities. If you’re looking for something to accelerate your heart rate, Kitchener offers many options. The climbing gym in downtown Kitchener is sure to speed up anyone’s pulse or if golf is a bit more your scene, choose from several courses for a day of relaxation and fun.

Kitchener offers many festivals throughout the year. Anyone who loves music would find the Kitchener Blues Festival a special treat. With four stages and four days of music, this summer festival is sure to satisfy any music lover’s craving.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is one of the highlights of the fall season. A nine day celebration that includes the only televised Thanksgiving Day parade in Canada. Rich in German culture and festivities, this is the largest Bavarian festival outside of Germany. Kitchener offers so many unique experiences for all who frequent. Find out what it has in store for you.

Recreation

Kitchener is the ideal place for anyone who loves the outdoors. With hundreds of kilometres of trails, you can walk, run, or cycle along The Grand River, taking in picturesque views and enjoying the wildlife that surrounds you. If you prefer a leisurely stroll, Rockway Gardens is for you. Listen to the birds sing while following the path along its manicured gardens. McLennan Park is a great spot for bikers - deemed one of the best city run bike parks in Canada. While you’re there you can also take advantage of the splash pad, toboggan hill, beach volleyball and basketball courts, and leash free dog area. McLennan Park has fun for the whole family!

During the colder months, Kitchener offers the Chicopee Ski Club which include junior and adult alpine ski racing teams. Whether you wish to beat the competition to the bottom or enjoy the hills at a relaxed pace, Kitchener provides skiing opportunities for everyone.

Even rainy days are full of adventure in Kitchener. Attend the theatre and enjoy a musical, play or concert. Take in one of the art galleries for a day of culture or expand young minds at THEMUSEUM children’s museum. There is fun for everyone to discover in Kitchener.

History

Looking for a place to practice their beliefs in peace, German Mennonite farming families bought the land and created the first settlement in Kitchener. In 1816, it was designated the township of Waterloo by the Government of Upper Canada. At this time, grist, saw, and cider mills were all built in the area. Apple trees were introduced in 1830s. Because of its large German population, the area was renamed Berlin in 1833. Berlin continued to grow and in 1853 was named the county seat of the County of Waterloo – this lead to it being deemed a village.

The Grand Trunk Railway was extended in July 1856. This extension included Berlin and lead to a population boom for the village.

On June 9, 1912, Berlin was designated a city. Shortly afterward, in 1916, the city was renamed Kitchener and much of the city’s German heritage was abandoned because of the Anti-German sentiment of World War I. The Pennsylvania Dutch roots were promoted instead, forming a new heritage for the city.

To bring back some of this lost heritage, in 1969 Kitchener began an annual 9 day Oktoberfest celebration that runs to this day. It is the largest Bavarian Festival in the world outside of Germany.

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