Even though I’ve lived in Kitchener-Waterloo for over two years now I’m still discovering new places, new nukes and crannies in the area. During my Master’s at the University of Waterloo, I mainly situated myself around the university and so didn’t have the motivation to explore much further. I still remember the first time I visited Waterloo town square (in Winter 2012 I believe) and later on when I first visited Downtown Kitchener for an Improv group that was meeting down there (and it still took me another year to find Victoria Park in Kitchener, which is ironically right next to the bus terminal in downtown). And then further south, Fairview Park, Conestoga College, and even Cambridge. There is certainly a lot to explore in this area between the three cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge.
Up until now, however, I have mainly been keeping myself within the interior of the cities and didn’t see a lot of the natural side to it. Now, however, I’ve been investigating into such things and discovering other neat gems in the area. There are a lot of tucked away natural areas here. I’ve gone on a couple of hikes in southern Kitchener along the Grand River, which has a bit of nature to it. There is also a trail that runs along the Grand River starting from Conestoga College called the Walter Bean Trail, which crosses the river on a nice pedestrian bridge and weaves along with the Grand River through a lot of nature. It’s also good exercise and a good way of bonding with people (one of the hikes was with a friend I made from Laurier and another one suggested we bicycle together this summer).
The Grand River transit bus system for getting to these areas is great as well, especially given it is free for students. The transit also goes as far as Cambridge, a place I also find very nice. The Grand River runs through the Galt area in Cambridge with pedestrian paths, parks, and at least a couple of really nice bridges.
I’m also learning about places that I currently do not have access to (specifically because right now it’s winter and I can’t bicycle right now). For example, there is the Elora Gorge and Elora Quarry to the north-east, which is a beautiful gorge with a river that runs right down the centre where you can go tubing in the summer. The quarry is a lake with a small beach with beautiful rock cliffs as well where you can go swimming.
I’m really grateful all these areas exist! It’s all about making the most of it.