Waterloo a city in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is one of three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (formerly Waterloo County). Waterloo is situated about 94 km (58 mi) west-southwest of Toronto. Due to the close proximity of the city of Kitchener to Waterloo, the two together are often referred to as "Kitchener–Waterloo", "K-W" or "The Twin Cities".

While several unsuccessful attempts to combine the municipalities of Kitchener and Waterloo have been made, following the 1973 establishment of the Region of Waterloo, less motivation to do so existed, and as a result, Waterloo remains an independent city. At the time of the 2021 census, the population of Waterloo was 121,436.


According to the 2016 Canadian Census, Waterloo has a median household income (after tax) of $72,239. This is significantly higher than the national median of $61,348. The unemployment rate in Waterloo (6.9%) is lower than the national rate of 7.7%. The median value of a dwelling in Waterloo ($399,997) is higher than the national median of $341,556. The Intelligent Community Forum named Waterloo the Top Intelligent Community of 2007.

Waterloo has a strong knowledge and service-based economy with significant insurance and high-tech sectors as well as two universities. The city's largest employers are Sun Life Financial, the University of Waterloo, Manulife Financial, BlackBerry, Sandvine and Wilfrid Laurier University.

The city is also home to three well-known think tanks – the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, an advanced centre for the study of foundational, theoretical physics and award-winning educational outreach in science; the Institute for Quantum Computing, based at the University of Waterloo, which carries out innovative research in the computer, engineering, mathematical and physical sciences; and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, an independent, nonpartisan think tank that addresses international governance challenges.

The city is part of Canada's Technology Triangle (CTT), a joint economic development initiative of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and the Region of Waterloo that markets the region internationally. Despite its name, CTT does not focus exclusively on promoting technology industries, but on all aspects of economic development.

Waterloo has a strong technology sector with hundreds of high-tech firms. The dominant technology company in the city is BlackBerry, makers of the BlackBerry, which has its headquarters in the city and owns several office buildings near the University of Waterloo's main campus.

Arts and culture

Kitchener–Waterloo Oktoberfest is a nine-day Oktoberfest celebration held in both Kitchener and Waterloo. It is the second largest Oktoberfest celebration in the world, and the largest outside of Germany. In 2013, CBC reported that the festival receives over 700,000 annual visitors, has 1,780 volunteers, was broadcast to 1.8 million national television viewers, and generated an estimated $21 million of economic activity. Tri-Pride is a non-profit LGBT pride festival held annually during Pride Month in the "tri-cities" of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.

The Kitchener–Waterloo Symphony is located in Kitchener. According to their website, they perform over 222 concerts annually to an audience of over 90,000, both in the concert hall and across the Waterloo Region. The Waterloo Busker Carnival is a busking festival held annually in August in Waterloo public square. Admission is free, and the festival has been operating since 1989. The Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival is an annual LBGT film festival which screens at Princess Twin Cinemas in Uptown Waterloo.


Waterloo was part of Waterloo County until 1973 when a restructuring created the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, which consists of the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge, and the townships of Woolwich, Wilmot, Wellesley, and North Dumfries. The Region handles many services, including paramedic services, policing, waste management, recreation, planning, roads and social services. The Waterloo Award, established in 1997, is the highest civic honour a person can receive from the City of Waterloo.

Waterloo City Council consists of a mayor and seven councillors, each representing a ward. The number of wards was increased from five to seven in the November 2006 elections. As of 2022, the mayor of Waterloo is Dorothy McCabe, elected in October 2022. The current Waterloo councillors are as follows, as of 2022, listed by ascending ward number: Sandra Hanmer (Southwest Ward), Royce Bodaly (Northwest Ward), Hans Roach (Lakeshore Ward), Diane Freeman (Northeast Ward), Jen Vasic (Southeast Ward), Mary Lou Roe (Central-Columbia Ward), and Julie Wright (Uptown Ward).

In politics, Waterloo is within the federal electoral district of Waterloo, and within the provincial electoral district also named Waterloo.


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