#BestofWR 2015 voting now open

The shortlist (created by you!) is here. Vote for your favourite places, spaces and people in Waterloo Region.

The Working Centre is renovating the former Morning Glory Cafe at 256 King Street East into affordable housing units.

Affordable Housing Needs Investment

Dave Thomas CONTRIBUTOR One in four Canadians spend more than 30 per cent of their income on a place to live.  That means a lot of people may be one pay cheque away from losing their home. In Waterloo Region, there are 3,000 people on the waiting list for subsidized rental units. Some people may…

Rudi Okot. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Gray

We All Come From Somewhere

This region is made up of people from somewhere else, not including our indigenous neighbours. We arrive here for different reasons, but we stay and thrive because of the hospitality shown to us by those who came before.

WR residents discussed challenges and opportunities in the arts, with local #elxn42 candidates at THEMUSEUM's Cultural Exchange 5.0

Don’t Commodify Art, Candidates Told

Art is not a commodity. That was the message leaders in the local arts community had for the 10 Waterloo Region MP candidates in attendance at THEMUSEUM’s event A Cultural Exchange 5.0.



TCE chats with Tina Riddell, owner of Living Fresh Flower Studio & School and Helena Kwiecinski, owner of StylFrugal, to hear how small, independent businesses are fairing during ION construction.


Start-up watch

TCE is launching “Start-up Watch,” a series featuring what the best and brightest technical minds are creating in the region’s backyard.


Plan B Co-operative seeking support

What started out as a longing for a feminist sex toy store has morphed into the desire to create an intersectional trifecta of support. Plan B will focus on creating a space for all members of the queer community to establish roots in the downtown core.


If streets could talk: Forest Heights

Like the ventricles of the human brain, the neighbourhood of Forest Heights is a labyrinth of intertwined strips of pavement, lined on both sides with houses built before the plague of modern residential architecture turned homes into clones made of brick, drywall and shingles.


A letter from the outgoing editor

Allison Leonard shares parting words and welcomes Jesse Bauman as new EIC.


Hamlet drifts into Kitchener

Outdoor theatre is an experience like no other: bringing art into the open air and immersing the audience into the performance. Taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather, Driftwood Theatre Group performed Hamlet in Kitchener’s Civic Centre Park, between Kitchener Public Library and Centre in the Square, on July 28.


We’re hiring a new Editor-in-Chief

TCE is seeking a new Editor in Chief, applications due Friday, August 21.


New tenant in THEMUSEUM storefront

The Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, operators of Bruce Caboose Food Truck and Bruce Restaurant and Lounge will occupy the highly sought-after space in THEMUSEUM’s storefront.


Sexplanations: Judy Blume is my hero

Blume has written about masturbation, birth control, first love, teen sex, death, bullying and racism. All topics adults don’t typically like to speak with young people about. This was especially the case in the 70s when many of her books were written.


Bearface on beer: Stops along the way

Once you’ve piled all your gear and friends/ family into your car, there’s likely a brewery you can visit no matter which direction you’re headed. With a little planning ahead, you can turn a boring drive into a fun brewery road trip and pick up some local beer.


If streets could talk: Chandler-Mowat

Just south of the Expressway in Kitchener, the Chandler-Mowat neighbourhood is a vital and distinct community – a thin, two-kilometre-long expanse that is home to 4,000 people, in one of the most densely populated and diverse areas in the city.


WR under review: Expect empty beds

A quick drive around Waterloo might leave you with the impression that we’re undergoing a major population boom. Whether it be the handful of new condos and apartments being built in the uptown core, or the ongoing forest of student-oriented condominiums sprouting out along University and King, mattress manufacturers should be doing well going forward.


Night\Shift to see third year

“With downtown under construction, people have a lot to complain about in the downtown experience and the landscape. The opportunity to treat it as more of an adventure and
as an exploration space seems more important,” says Eric Rumble, festival organizer.

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The town that ate lard

Cameron Dearlove shares the story of Roseto, Pennsylvania and their unique model for a healthy lifestyle.


That old time rock n’ roll

Growing from wedding song favourites to a sound all their own, Dan Howler anticipates the September release of their hyper-local album, Mayfair Hotel.


Traditional manufacturing rising

There’s a current of optimism about manufacturing in Waterloo Region. We’ve all heard about layoffs and plant closures, but people who make things are positive, whether it’s small-scale, niche production or larger, globally competitive companies marketing their products internationally.


ION dialogues: Jay Walljasper

TCE is sharing an on-going discussion series on ION impacts. This month, we sat down with Jay Walljasper, award-winning community builder, journalist, author, and city collector.


Summer bucket list: Watch, read and listen

Big budget spectacles fill the theatres, page-turning novels keep us up at night, and music is played and sung along to loudly – summer is a great time for pop culture. TCE reviews the season’s got-to-check-it-out experiences.


Freshest from farm to table

The traditional economies – building a barn rather than a web page, incubating eggs rather than startups – continue to plow through the seasons, supplying refrigerators across the region.


What gives, WR? Apparently, not you.

Regular household in Waterloo Region has nearly $10,000 more in gross income than our neighbours in Toronto. You’d think this above-average financial situation would make us more charitable. Unfortunately that’s not the case.

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Mapping the stories of the streets

TCE has been penning stories about WR’s neighbourhoods in the series “If streets could talk.” We’re compiling them here!


Side street scenes

When the game of Kerplunk is five feet tall, it’s pretty hard to walk past without stopping to stare. That’s okay. In fact, it’s ideal on Ontario Street.


The changing course of the Iron Horse

How the City of Kitchener and the University of Waterloo are collaborating to develop the Iron Horse Trail into an inclusive and equitable community asset.


A letter from the editor: On the response to nudity

Following a month of discussion and controversy surrounding “Live nudes,” including copies of TCE being pulled from stands in some locations, EIC Allison Leonard reflects on nudity, on media and on Waterloo Region.

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Every month, TCE will be sharing a conversation with someone affected by LRT construction. To start, we caught up with Kimberly Moser, manger of community relations for the ION.


Smoke and soul at Hogtails

Partners Darryl and Sarah Haus took over the popular restaurant known for its authentic southern style barbeque last year. And while BBQ will still feature prominently in the restaurant’s future new southern influence is on the menu, too.


Remixing traditions with Lemon Bucket

Self-described Balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super band the Lemon Bucket Orkestra celebrated the release of their sophomore album “Mookra” at Boathouse on April 22.


Waterloo’s development dialogue

TCE caught up with Ryan Mounsey, urban planner, economic developer, and Manager of Business and Retention Services for the City of Waterloo to talk about the vision for Waterloo’s development.


Live nudes

Allison Leonard sheds clothing and preconceptions alike at THEMUSEUM.


Walking with Jane in Waterloo

Waterloo Region is one of the most active centres of Jane’s Walk activity. This year the Region hosted 23 completely different walks.


Of brick and beam

The Community Edition set out to find the frames that withstood industry and time, the brick and mortar laid for generations to come. In a city of development, what historic buildings are candidates for renovation?


If streets could talk: Albert-MacGregor

From the less travelled to the less-appreciated, TCE is exploring the good, the bad and the evolving neighbourhoods of Waterloo Region.


Book review: The Bear, by Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron’s “The Bear” deftly handles issues larger than the page span should allow.

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Delivering music through mixed media

Thousands of bands both new and old are posting music daily, and they’re all vying for the commodity most precious to them, your ears’ real estate. The Famines, who recently played Princess Cafe are taking a new approach.


Secret, simple, savoury

The Savoury, hidden in uptown Waterloo is offering traditional English fare from shortbread to pot pies.

Alistair MacLellan

The makings of a maker culture

“For me, and some people might disagree, to be a maker you have to do more than just make something or craft. Being a maker is also about rejecting aspects of modern consumer culture.”


10 ideas to change Waterloo Region

An awareness-raising campaign? A community art project? A neighbourhood party? Whatever your idea to better Waterloo Region, we want to hear it.


Finding community in comics

Andy Brast, owner of Carry-On Comics in uptown Waterloo, breaks away from our interview to greet two customers who have just walked through the door. They exchange greetings of familiarity while he catches up with them and instinctually reaches for their weekly haul of comics behind the counter.


Bridging history through arts

Four pylon-style gas lights have appeared atop Weber St. bridge, donned in art work representing the industrial heritage of the area.


Warming up to winter in Waterloo Region

Can’t we simply outwit and outwait winter – sitting indoors basked in the warm glow of the screens that provide a safe and protected window onto our world? Of course we can. But I, for one, am skeptical of this long hibernation. Comfortable as it is, it comes at a cost.


Waterloo Region under review: Complexities of healthcare

Waterloo was noted as one of the country’s jewels, rating highly on most metrics, and coming out as one of the most attractive cities in the country – unfortunately, healthcare was not one of the city’s most charming qualities. Dan Herman explores the complexities of healthcare provision in Waterloo Region.


The view from upstream: Unearthed poverty

On the eastern edge of downtown, near an expressway onramp, under streets and residential properties, lie the remains of some of Kitchener’s poorest citizens.

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