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Kitchener, ON City Review

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Reviewed by:
An contributor
September 17, 2010

I was visiting a friend in Toronto a few years ago when, at the end of my trip, I came across a delightful surprise, the city of Kitchener, Ontario. The city was originally called Berlin (from 1854 through 1916.) The population is just over 450,000 when you include Cambridge and Waterloo. Following World War I there was a call to change the city's name. In 1916 the city was renamed Kitchener. The name came from Herbert Kitchener who had died that year and served as Secretary of State for War for the United Kingdom.

I came across Kitchener in early fall. The first thing that struck me was the awesome beauty of the city this time of year. The people were very friendly. One thing I hate is feeling like a tourist and being treated like one when I visit a place I have never been before. I did not get that feeling in Kitchener.

Doing a little exploring, I came across Kitchener Market. I was amazed at the size of this store. There was an incredible amount of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats to choose from. It turns out this market has been there for 130 years. While not showing it's age, I was definitely impressed with the wide selection of food available.

Then I discovered Victoria Park. A beautiful spacious park with trails and a picnic area as well as ponds with ducks. The leaves were just starting to fall from the trees at this time. The air had a slight early fall chill. Temperatures were in the 50s, from my best guess. There is a restaurant there by the lake where I had some delicious apple cider and a sandwich. The park also has basketball courts and a skateboard park as well as walking, riding and horse trails. There is a clock tower that reminded me of the famous one from the "Back to the Future" movie. There are also events that take place at the park, such as the Kitchener Blues Festival. It was not going on at the time, but it is an added incentive to come visit again.

I did get to enjoy the Maple Syrup Museum of Ontario, located in Kitchener. I know when you say Canada, maple syrup is a cliche, which may have been part of what attracted me to it, but it was a fun place to visit. Again, the people were very friendly, answering all questions, no matter how silly they were.

There are also many art galleries in the city. I didn't get to visit any, but some of them include Cambridge Galleries and The Cube. I was told by some locals that I had just missed The Word on the Street, a one-day national magazine and book festival that takes place annually. I was only in town for a day, but I would love to come back and enjoy more of what the city of Kitchener has to offer.

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Kitchener Demographics

Kitchener Population
Population 2006451,00013,167,000
Population density50113
Land area (square km)827917,000
Median age of the population35.337.2
Population 15 years and over79.5%80.4%
Population change (2001 to 2006)8.7%15.4%
Kitchener Marital Status
Kitchener Languages & Place of Residence
English only77%71%
French only1%4%
Both English and French1%1%
Canadian-born population77%72%
Foreign-born population22%27%
Non-permanent residents1%1%
Kitchener Education
Population 15 years and over in school full time12%12%
Age group 15-19 attending full time6%6%
Age group 20-24 attending full time3%3%
Population 15 years and over in school part time5%5%
Age group 15-19 attending part time1%1%
Age group 20-24 attending part time1%1%
Kitchener Earnings & Household Income
Average earnings, all persons (2010 est.)$45,880$47,500
Average earnings, worked full time (2010 est.)$60,703$63,854
Average household income (2010 est.)$77,874$78,123
Kitchener Transportation
Car, truck, van, as driver81%73%
Car, truck, van, as passenger8%7%
Public transit4%12%
Walked or bicycled6%7%
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