Why People Really Want to Move to Waterloo Region

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Kitchener City hall Waterloo Region
Another popular event outside Kitchener's City Hall.
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Comprising 3 cities and 4 townships, the Region of Waterloo, located in the heart of Southern Ontario, offers a seamless blend of rural and urban landscapes, and modern and traditional living. Housing is inexpensive, while salaries and wages are comparable to big cities such as Toronto and Ottawa, and the cost of living is competitive.

Waterloo Region is home to premier universities and colleges and has the infrastructure to cater to a large and diverse student community.The region supports over 30 minor sports organizations and a host of others that promote music, arts, drama, history, and culture.

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The driving force of Waterloo Region’s future is its merged classical and contemporary living, easy transportation and housing, access to top-class learning, job creation, and an active lifestyle. Here is an overview:

Getting in and Getting Around

Home to the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) and within an hour’s drive from both Downtown Toronto as well as the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), getting in and out of the Region of Waterloo is fast and simple.

Grand River Transit operates a network of conventional buses, express buses, busPLUS community routes, and a door-to-door specialized vehicle service for riders with disabilities to ensure that getting around within the region is smooth and efficient.

ION, the Region of Waterloo’s rapid transit system that includes Light Rail transit (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit, is already underway and will be operational in 2018.

Waterloo Region is at the heart of the Grand River waterway, one of the best managed waterways in the world. Numerous milestones and relics along the Grand River have had a role to play in the development of the region.

With more than 500 kilometres of on-road bikeways and off-road multi-use trails, it is easy and safe to ride bikes within the neighbourhood as well as for commuting to work.

Development and Infrastructure

A strong base of manufacturing and finance companies contributes to Waterloo Region’s economic prosperity and infrastructure development. Additionally, the region’s vast talent pool, cutting-edge research practices, and entrepreneurial spirit has become a magnet for technology companies that are driving employment in this area. Over 30,000 Information Technology professionals currently work in Waterloo Region, which is fast evolving into a global tech and innovation corridor. It is no surprise that it has been dubbed ‘The Silicon Valley of Canada’.

The Region is home to 3 world-class hospitals, over 170 public and Catholic schools, and close to 20 private schools.The region also offers access to 3 top-tiered learning institutions, University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, and Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as one of Ontario’s premier colleges, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Currently, around 70,000 students across these 4 institutions are being groomed into bright and talented professionals.

Lifestyle and Recreation

Waterloo Region offers an exciting outdoor lifestyle with over 3,000 acres of parks, 6 conservation areas, and over 20 golf courses.You can enjoy sports and recreation activities that range from dragon boat racing, to fishing on the Grand River, to skating, skiing, and ice hockey. A large majority of residents live within a 30-minute drive to work, allowing a healthy work-life balance and a reasonable amount of time for socializing and community living.The region’s cities and townships host over 60 arts, culture, and heritage festivals all year round. One of its most popular festivals, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, has evolved into the world’s 2nd largest Bavarian festival, next only to the Oktoberfest held in Munich, Germany. The region celebrates various genres of music through festivals such as TD Kitchener Blues Festival, Sunlife Financial Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, and Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound, amongst many others. Strong and diverse communities promote culture and performing arts, including the KW Symphony, Centre in the Square performing arts centre, Drayton Festival Theatre, and Dunfield Theatre Cambridge.

With exciting jobs, access to and innovation of the latest technology, affordable housing, top learning institutions, and a vibrant lifestyle, the Region of Waterloo is emerging as a preferred base, for young professionals and families to live, work and play.

Read the full Perspective Waterloo feature here.