Kitchener-Waterloo is the furthest east and the furthest south I’ve ever lived. I really liked it. We had an affordable yet safe apartment on Westwood Drive in Kitchener and lived a quiet, peaceful life. We knew we would only be there for a couple years while my husband did a postdoctoral fellowship so we didn’t really settle in or make any lasting friendships, but people did make an effort to make us feel welcome and we had a wonderful time exploring the surrounding area. There’s so much to do and see in southwest Ontario!
We made day trips to places like Goderich, Stratford, and of course Niagara Falls. I’d seen pictures of Niagara Falls many times, but you really have to be there in person to truly get the magnificence of it.
The only thing I really didn’t like about southwest Ontario was the weather. When I lived in Regina and Prince George, the winters were harsh, but at least the summers were nice. But in Kitchener, the winters were extremely harsh with a lot of snow and ice and dangerous driving conditions, and then the summers were unbearably hot and humid. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and trying to kick the blanket off me, only to realize there was no blanket, it was just the heaviness of the humidity weighing down on me.
Also, Kitchener is where I first became asthmatic, and it only eased up after I moved back to BC, which is similar to what later happened when I lived in and moved away from Regina.
I think the weather would have been a lot more bearable if we’d had more money and had been able to afford a place with air conditioning and more adequate heating, as well as a better car.
I would live in Kitchener-Waterloo again if I had the opportunity, especially if we could make decent money there.
Things I miss:
- King’s Buffet in Stratford, a really great place for Chinese food
- Walking around Waterloo Park
- The charming aesthetic of King Street in Waterloo
- Having lots of different places to go on day trips
Things I don’t miss:
- The weather
- The air quality
- The scary winter driving