Waterloo is a small, vibrant city situated in southwestern Ontario, 70 miles (113km) west of Toronto. The city is part of the Waterloo Region, which is comprised of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, and four townships – Wellesley, Woolwich, North Dumfries and Wilmot. These cities are commonly referred to as KW or the Tri-City (which includes Cambridge).
Kitchener-Waterloo has a cosmopolitan community. Kitchener was originally known as Berlin (reflecting its Mennonite and German origins) but was renamed for Field Marshall Lord Horatio Kitchener in 1916 at the height of World War I. Waterloo was named after a place just south of Brussels, Belgium, where the Allied armies defeated Napoleon and the French army in 1815.
Expats moving to Waterloo will find it safe and welcoming. In fact, the wider Waterloo area is regarded as being one of the safest regions in Ontario.
Waterloo and its neighbouring cities in the Tri-City area have seen a significant level of development in recent years. Many expats moving to Waterloo take up employment in the technology, financial and manufacturing sectors.
Those moving to Waterloo with children will be pleased to learn that there are a number of good public schools in the city, which their children can attend at no cost. There are, however, no international schools in the city, so expat children may have to contend with the challenge of adjusting to a new school curriculum. Waterloo is also a thriving university town, home to both the Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.
Finally, when it comes to leisure time in Waterloo, expats will find plenty of activities to keep themselves busy. The city has lovely parks and waterways, and offers easy access to the towns and beaches on Lake Huron. Those looking for a livelier party scene can head to the bright lights of Toronto.
►Learn more about the city's housing market in Accommodation in Waterloo
►Find out more about the job market in the city in Working in Waterloo
Are you an expat living in Waterloo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Waterloo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.