About the University of Waterloo
The best and brightest are drawn to the University of Waterloo for its renowned academic programs, its world-leading co-operative education program, and its teaching and research excellence. The university embraces the opportunity to collaborate with — and be elevated by — a world-class peer group.
Waterloo champions a culture of curiosity, exploration, risk-taking, entrepreneurship, global stewardship and leadership. Waterloo brings bold ideas and brilliant minds together — inspiring innovations with global impact today and in the future.
- 41,000 full- and part-time students cumulatively between undergraduate and graduate programs
- More than 9,400 degrees granted in 2020
- 48,000+ enrolments per year in online undergraduate and graduate courses (2018/19)
- A 1,000-acre main campus, 100+ buildings with six faculties
- 7,100+ co-op employers — the largest of any university in North America — that allow students to explore different careers and sectors, and to earn money to pay for their education while building their network and gaining relevant employment experience
- Number one for computer science, mathematics and engineering according to Maclean’s 2021 university rankings
Beyond Tradition — A documentary about the University of Waterloo and its early days in CS research and application
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Ken McLaughlin has spent his career uncovering and shaping the stories of our local communities into urban portraits that breathe with the life of great biographies.
Take a walk through time as he uncovers some of Waterloo’s most historic legacies, including the introduction of co-operative education, early entrepreneurial ventures that lead to revolutionary spin-off companies, and the integration of computers and computer science in the post-secondary world.
The video captures key moments in Waterloo’s history, and at ~6:40 it recounts our early days in computer science research and application, pioneered by Wes Graham, a professor and the first director of the university’s computer centre.
About Waterloo Region and the City of Waterloo
Waterloo is a dynamic urban centre well known for its cultural diversity and high-tech savvy.
Often rated as one of the top 10 cities to live in Canada, Waterloo attracts business talent and students from around the world, advancing its reputation as one of the country’s smartest communities.
The cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge are known as the tri-cities. Over time, they have grown so that their borders are no longer distinct and now share several services, such as bussing, through the larger Region of Waterloo.
The City of Waterloo’s population in 2019 was 146,000. The Region of Waterloo, made up of the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, and four surrounding townships, is the 10th largest community in Canada with a population of 618,000. The region is targeting to reach 742,000 by 2031.
According to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors, in January 2020 the following were the average prices for housing in the area:
- Detached homes — $671,000 Cdn
- Townhomes — $440,000 Cdn
- Semi-detached homes — $484,000 Cdn
- Condominiums — $382,000 Cdn
The University of Waterloo is within commuting distance from several nearby towns and cities. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to drive across Kitchener-Waterloo.
Based on Google Maps, the following are the approximate drive times to nearby cities and points of interest:
- Pearson International Airport: 60 minutes
- Toronto, Ontario (provincial capital): 90 minutes
- Niagara Falls, Ontario: 90 minutes
- Buffalo, New York: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Detroit, Michigan: 3 hours
- Ottawa, Ontario (capital of Canada): 6 hours
If you are interested in moving to Waterloo, the following links should give insight into what the city offers.
Note: Some of the links are associated with realtor or commercial business sites. This is not an endorsement or recommendation, but the information presented may be useful. These resources have been marked with an asterisk.
General information about the region
The following links give overviews of why Waterloo is a great place to live.
- City of Waterloo Open Data, a free and open data sharing portal where anyone can access and use data relating to the City of Waterloo
- The 2018 Waterloo Economic Development profile document of the region: Executive summary, with infographics and the full report
- Maclean’s Best Community Rankings allows you to compare Waterloo to other communities, and see individual rankings
- Why Waterloo, a website maintained by Communitech, the technology incubator
- New to Waterloo, a great overview of the city written with the newcomer in mind
- Crazy Tourist: 15 things to do in Kitchener
- Crazy Tourist: 15 things to do in Waterloo
- Waterloo Region Living*
- Waterloo Region Visitor’s Guide: the 2019/2020 visitor’s guide to the region
Neighbourhoods, schools and multicultural services
Kitchener-Waterloo is made up of several distinct neighbourhoods. The following links will help you understand the neighbourhoods and find the one that’s best for you.
Ontario has two publicly funded school boards — the public school board and the Catholic school board. In addition to these boards are a variety of private schools that may meet your family’s educational needs.
- Region of Waterloo: Education and Schools
- Waterloo Region District School Board
- Waterloo Catholic District School Board
- Listing of private schools
Waterloo is proud of the diversity of its population. The following sites can help you find a community within your new community.
- Immigration Waterloo Region
- Directory of Ethnocultural Groups Waterloo Wellington
- Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre
Getting around the Region of Waterloo
Waterloo Region has invested heavily in modes of alternative transportation. From the new Ion Light Rail system to get you around the city, a GO station to help you commute to Toronto, and a network of well-maintained bike trails, Waterloo wants you to get around in the way that best suits your needs.
- Ion Light Rail information
- Grand River Transit
- GO Train
- Waterloo Region Cycling Guide
- Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)
If you are moving to work at the University of Waterloo, the following sites may be great resources to help others who move with you to find work.
- Work in Tech
- Indeed jobs: Kitchener-Waterloo
- Glassdoor: Kitchener
- Glassdoor: Waterloo
- University of Waterloo staff postings
Entertainment, kid activities and restaurants
If you are interested in live entertainment, the Centre In The Square features one of the best acoustic performance areas in the world and is home to the KW Symphony. The Aud in Kitchener is home to the Ontario Hockey League's Rangers and, like the Centre In The Square, also plays hosts to a variety of entertainment acts.
Waterloo Region is a great place for families. From nontraditional camps to house-league sports, you can find an activity that suits anyone’s interest.
- KW Kids
- Stuff to do with your kids in Kitchener Waterloo
- Trip Advisor: Things to do in Kitchener with Kids
- Waterloo Region Living: Family and Children’s Activities*
- Waterloo Recreation and Leisure
- Kitchener Activity Guide
Looking to try a new place to eat? The following links are a good start to learn about the variety of dining options in the city.