Waterloo, ON

Population: 118,234 livability score shield

Key findings

  • Waterloo has a Livability Score of 89/100, which is considered exceptional
  • Waterloo crime rates are 7% lower than the Ontario average
  • Cost of living in Waterloo is 13% lower than the Ontario average
  • Waterloo real estate prices are 26% lower than the Ontario average
  • Rental prices in Waterloo are 46% lower than the Ontario average

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      Waterloo, ON

      Waterloo is a small and vibrant city in southwestern Ontario that, along with Kitchener and Cambridge, is a part of the Tri-City region. The Tri-City area has seen significant redevelopment in recent years, which has led to an increase in immigration to Waterloo. The city today is highly multicultural, with a warm and vibrant community that combines the best of big city amenities with a cosy small town feeling. Our Waterloo Livability guide will take you through the best of what the city offers, from business culture and Blackberry to parks and recreation.

      Most Waterloo locals are of ethnic German descent and East Asians, followed by South Asians, account for the largest population of visible minorities. The city is also home to a robust Mennonite presence and as any local will advise, you should head to the farmer’s market to find traditional Mennonites selling the freshest organic produce and homemade local delicacies.

      The city has a strong knowledge and service-based economy and the highest employers are in the technology, finance and educational services sectors. As the home of Blackberry, the tech community in Waterloo is a large and active one. If you work in tech and live in Waterloo, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to the industry in a more personalized way due to the many events and networking opportunities Waterloo offers.

      In addition to being a haven for tech professionals, Waterloo is also ideal for families due to its safe gated communities and number of good public schools. Waterloo is also a popular destination for higher education, as the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University both have campuses in the city. And where there are students you’re bound to find diverse affordable dining and going out options, as well as an efficient transit system. Grand River Transit offers a number of bus routes around the area and there are well-maintained bicycle paths within and between Kitchener and Waterloo. There are also plenty of parks and recreation centres to keep you entertained and in the summer you’ll be able to easily hop off to the towns and beaches on Lake Huron.

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      Source: The Waterloo, ON data and statistics displayed above are derived from Statistics Canada and updated for 2021 by Environics Analytics.