Kitchener-Waterloo German Walk

Welcome to our virtual Kitchener-Waterloo German Walk! 

Are you using a smartphone or are you "walking" from your desktop computer?  Please choose the appropriate link depending on the device you are using:

smartphone user (© dpa/picture alliance)

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desktop user (© dpa/picture alliance)

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We would like to take you on a journey on the trail of German-Canadian history in the region of the twin cities Kitchener-Waterloo, more popularly known as K-W.

K-W boasts a diverse history and culture built by its settlers—German-speaking Mennonite families who immigrated from Pennsylvania in the early 1800s. In search of an area where they could practice their culture and religion without persecution, they moved to this then remote region. From 1833 until 1916 Kitchener was called Berlin. Ever since, the cultural diversity of K-W has been shaped by immigration from all parts of the world. But as you will see, you can still find many places in K-W with a German connection.

At the time of the Canada Census 2006, the population of Kitchener was 204,668 with 25,2 % of the population claimed to be of German origin. Local place names still bear witness to German immigrants with names such as the Schneider, Bechtel, Erb, Weber, and Brubacher. Furthermore, K-W is home to the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany.

We have set out to highlight the landmarks that link Germany and ‘Canada’s former German Capital’. Whom better to ask to help us in this task than the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, a centre that engages with German-Canadian heritage.

The result of our cooperation is this web application that features many places in K-W with German connection.

Please note that our ambition has not and cannot be to establish a complete and scientifically correct list of places with a German pedigree in K-W. But if you find errors or think another German landmark should be included, please contact us:

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But first of all: Viel Spaß beim K-W German Walk!

Sabine Sparwasser
Consul General of Germany in Toronto

Mat Schulze
Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies

Waterloo University and CGES and CSS (© Waterloo University)

Kitchener-Waterloo German Walk