Waterloo, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Waterloo, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Waterloo is a city in Southern Ontario. The Conestogo Parkway and Highway 8 connect Waterloo with Kitchener, Cambridge, Highway 7/8, and Highway 401. Waterloo shares several of its north-south arterial roads with neighboring Kitchener.

Waterloo was built on land that was part of a parcel of 675,000 acres assigned in 1784 to the Iroquois alliance that made up the League of Six Nations. Almost immediately, the native groups began to sell some of the land. Between 1796 and 1798, 93,000 acres were sold through a Crown Grant to Richard Beasley, with the Six Nations Indians continuing to hold the mortgage on the lands.

The first immigrants to the area were Mennonites from Pennsylvania. They bought deeds to land parcels from Beasley and began moving into the area in 1804. The following year, a group of twenty-six Mennonites pooled resources to purchase all of the unsold land from Beasley and discharge the mortgage held by the Six Nations Indians.

The Mennonites divided the land into smaller lots; two lots initially owned by Abraham Erb became the central core of Waterloo. Erb built a sawmill on Beaver, now Laurel, Creek in 1808 and in 1816 built the area’s first grist mill which farmers from miles around used to grind their wheat into flour, a very important staple.

In 1816, the new township was named after Waterloo, Belgium, the site of the Battle of Waterloo, which had ended the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. After that war, the area became a popular destination for German immigrants. By the 1840s, German settlers were the dominant segment of the population. Many Germans settled in the small hamlet to the southeast of Waterloo. In their honor, the village was named Berlin in 1833 (renamed to Kitchener in 1916). Berlin was chosen as the site of the seat for the County of Waterloo in 1853.

The inhabitants established Waterloo as an important industrial and commercial center. The village had a council chamber, fire hall, post office, library, and four steam-powered factories, including the Granite Mills and Distillery which became the Seagram Company.

The Grand River flows southward along the east side of the city. Its most significant tributary within the city is Laurel Creek, whose source lies just to the west of the city limits and its mouth just to the east, and crosses much of the city’s central areas including the University of Waterloo lands and Waterloo Park; it flows under the uptown area in a culvert. In the west end of the city, the Waterloo Moraine provides over 300,000 people in the region with drinking water. Much of the gently hilly Waterloo Moraine underlies existing developed areas.

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

50 Albert Street – 1903 – Snyder-Seagram House – Edwardian Classical in parged concrete – superposed sets of Palladian windows and bay windows projecting over both storeys; curved, wraparound verandah with classical columns – Waterloo Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

47 Albert Street – a Tudor Revival (Arts and Crafts) style house built in 1924 by the manager of the Globe Furniture Company, a world leader in furniture manufacturing especially church and school furnishings and religious carvings – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

54 Albert Street – built in 1891 in the late Victorian Queen Anne style for Dr. Charles Noecker, the Medical Officer of Health; buff brick walls have been painted – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

57 Albert Street – Colonial Revival style – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

65 Albert Street – Gothic Revival, gable with pointed window, Stucco over brick house built in 1866 by Elias Snider – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

157 Albert Street – built c. 1846 by Joseph Good – Georgian style – molded trim, shutters, eared window pediments, blind attic window, cornice return on front gable; modified by Allan Shantz in 1896 – semi-circular verandah with newel posts topped by cannon ball finials, stained glass parlor window – give late-Victorian appearance – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

88 William Street West – 1880 – Victorian – 2½ storey projecting rectangular bay, cornice return on gable, bay window with cornice brackets, wraparound verandah, stained glass windows – Waterloo Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

172 King Street South – the original portion, the first homestead in Waterloo, was built about 1812 by Abraham Erb; subsequent additions – white clapboard; wings on either side of center section and second-storey balcony added 1855; 6-over-6 arrangement of window panes is a Georgian characteristic; symmetrical front porch between two wings with latticework, Gothic barge board and Doric columns reflects a Regency influence. – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

227 King Street South – The head office of The Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada (now head office of Sun Life Financial’s Canadian operations) was completed in 1912. The Renaissance Revival style building is ornamented with features such as the two-storey fluted paired Ionic columns supporting a large segmental arch above the main doors, elaborate window surrounds, and a parapet with a balustrade. It is clad in light brown and yellow Roman brick, and embellished with projecting pedimented bays and quoins. Many of the decorative details on the façade are made from imported English terra cotta. Situated within a Beaux Arts designed landscape, the building is a unique and iconic corporate pavilion. The monumental scale of the building and its rich ornamentation symbolize the importance and stability of Waterloo’s first life insurance company and reflect the town’s early twentieth century prosperity and sense of civic pride. – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

73 George Street – 1882 – Victorian style with Italianate details – fancy brackets under eaves, wood trim below the eaves, bay window; arched windows in the attic of the projecting bay; other windows have rounded corners; double front door; keystones over windows decorated with a motif consisting of a bunch of grapes – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

53 Allen Street East – new rectory – 1928 – Period Revival Style – medieval influences – the gables have loopholes, found in medieval architecture as a place for launching arrows – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

27 Euclid Avenue – Gothic Revival – Waterloo Book 3