About Kitchener

Suburbs

Kitchener's history dates back to 1784, when the land was given to the Six Nations by the British as a gift for their allegiance during the American Revolution. From 1796 and 1798, the Six Nations sold 38,000 hectares of this land to a Loyalist, Col. Richard Beasley. 

The portion of land Beasley had purchased was remote but it was of great interest to German Mennonite farming families from Pennsylvania. They wanted to live in an area that would allow them to practice their beliefs without persecution.

Eventually, the Mennonites purchased all of Beasley's unsold land, creating 160 farm tracts. By 1800, the first buildings were built; and over the next decade, several families moved north to what was then known as the Sand Hills. One of those families, arriving in 1807, was the Schneiders, whose restored 1816 home - the oldest building in the city - is now a downtown museum.

In 1816, the Government of Upper Canada designated the settlement the Township of Waterloo. Much of the land, made up of moraines and swampland interspersed with rivers and streams was converted to farmland and roads.

Immigration to the town increased considerably from 1816 until the 1870s - many of the newcomers being of German (particularly Mennonite) extraction.

In 1833, the area was renamed Berlin; and in 1853 Berlin became the County Seat of the newly created County of Waterloo, elevating it to the status of village.

The extension of the Grand Trunk Railway from Sarnia to Toronto - and hence through Berlin - in July 1856 was a major boon to the community, helping to improve industrialization in the area.

On June 9, 1912, Berlin was officially designated a city. However, with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 came anti-German sentiment and an internal conflict ensued as the city was forced to confront its cultural distinctiveness.

There was pressure for the city to change its name from Berlin; and in 1916 - following much debate and controversy - the name of the city was changed to Kitchener after Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, who died that year while serving as the Secretary of State for War of the United Kingdom.

Kitchener Highlights

Kitchener offers an endless amount of choice when it comes to filling your days with new, intriguing experiences.

For a touch of culture, catch a show at one of our many theatres or galleries; or immerse yourself in the action by attending one of our many festivals and special events. Most of them take place outdoors -- with plenty of amazing food and entertainment. Fun for the whole family!

Or, if you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, consider exploring our many parks, trails and natural areas - a combination of scenic and serene.

Kitchener is also home to many memorable attractions, offering a glimpse into our heritage -- as well as one-of-a-kind experiences you won't want to miss!

Our city will be the highlight of your holiday!

Orientation

Kitchener is a vibrant, confident and cosmopolitan community, located in the Region of Waterloo.

In the heart of southwestern Ontario, we are 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.

Kitchener is approximately the same distance, less than a two-hour flight, from the other major North American financial centres Montreal, Chicago and New York.

More than 60 percent of Canada's population and 40 percent of the U.S. population live within a 500-mile radius of us.

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