Help Us Be Better, Maybe Win Some Art: Fill Out TCE’s Readership Survey

We have not surveyed you, dear readers, for some time. And, as you know, a good relationship requires honest communication, understanding, and bubble baths. Our bathtub is full of newspapers, but we aim to be an understanding, honest communicator.

We just need a bit of your help. Help us!

We’ve put together a readership survey. If you fill it out, you could win a painting by a local artist. You’ll also, you know, support independent community media in these dark times of corporate media consolidation. No no, we’re not playing games, don’t feel guilty.

But seriously, please fill out the survey. It only takes a couple minutes.


Web Sneak Peek: Owen Pallet Interview

TCE sat down for a long conversation with Owen Pallett this month, in anticipation of his show, tonight, November 29, at the Starlight Social Club. Pallett shared about the intersection of community, identity, and art, among other things. Here’s an excerpt of that interview.


The Berlin: A “Kitchener” Restaurant in the Making

Downtown Kitchener will soon be home to a new restaurant at 45 King Street West. The Berlin, slated to open late November, is co-owned by Head Chef Jonathan Gushue and General Manager Ryan Lloyd-Craig. The two are currently hard at work transforming the space, which formerly housed Peter Martin’s The 41 Gastro Pub. Their vision is for a simple, laid-back restaurant that focuses on sustainability and the basics of cooking.


A Grand Orgy

“How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town” is more than a provocative title, and viewers will be drawn, delightfully, into Jeremy LaLonde’s latest indie film. The story delves deep into what happens behind closed doors in a close-minded town, and questions society’s treatment of sexual empowerment.



Night\Shift makes it clear that no amount of cold, rain or costume parties to attend will stop our community from keeping downtown vibrant.


Boring Beer Pays Off

Craft beer is theoretically the antithesis of these macro-brewing corporations. They’re the little guys, brewing interesting beers with heart. When one of them starts to get bigger, it’s like when Rudy finally gets on the football field. They’re still not getting major percentage point shares of the industry, but they’re doing well. And that’s happening more and more often.

Someone's family, courtesy of Flickr's Creative Commons.

A Full House

My three millennial children are presently living at home. This has not always been the case, as they have come and gone for various periods of time, for school or work in other cities. We don’t know how long we will be living this way, but for now we are choosing to create a home life that is rich in memory making and is leaving us deeply connected to each other.


Start Up Watch, November

Medella Health // Palette Gear // Plum


The Morning After Voting Strategically

The so-called Anyone But Conservative campaign also attracted a great deal of criticism. Now that we are on the other side of the election, TCE checked in with voters, to see how the process made them feel. Here are select responses, edited for clarity, along with each person’s riding.


Region Behind on Energy Efficiency

Many of us are concerned about environmental issues like climate change, but don’t know what, personally, to do. I am often overwhelmed by the severity and complexity of the issues, which causes me to question whether all my composting, biking and farmer’s market shopping are really helping to create a greener human population that this planet can sustain.


Music to our ears – Music for our souls

Waterloo Region is alive with the sounds of music. Whether you’re taking in a concert, streaming hits on your smartphone, singing in the shower or learning to make music, rhythm, harmony and melody are everywhere


On Maker: The Film, and The Culture

Viewing this film is a bit like opening up a scattershot family photo album jammed full with scads of cousins, nieces and nephews; it may not always clear how all these snapshots are related, but getting to know each one is an enjoyable moment in itself.


Time For Craft Brewers To Go Local

I love to think about what it would look like to work within the confines of local—by using only local unaltered water, local malt and grains, local hops, local yeast, and any other possible local ingredients—to create a style that is true to our region and climate.

Many Ontario breweries are already incorporating local hops into their beers, and a few brave ones are using local malts, which have a long way to go before they can match the quality and consistency of those from the Prairie Provinces and Europe.

In the meantime it is up to beer lovers to continue supporting local craft breweries, and to ask the brewers what exactly makes their beer “local.” In time, maybe Ontario will be home to its own unique beer style.


Wear Out There: First Impressions Count

First impressions count. Research shows it takes seconds for individuals to form an opinion about a person’s characteristics and traits, and once formed, those initial conclusions are hard to change. This year’s federal election has brought the psychology behind first impressions to the forefront as candidates travel the country looking to spark support for their idea of a better Canada. With governance on their minds, candidates are using all available tools to ensure they appear confident and credible. This includes presenting a polished and professional look.



There’s no shortage of real problems in this country, and in this community. And there’s no shortage of smart people with good policy ideas to tackle them. What’s in the way, however, isn’t just politics – it’s the attitudes that each of us hold about what’s important.

Politicians build off of those perceptions and feed them right back to us. So perhaps it’s time for all of us to stretch our necks and look beyond our backyards. Rather than simply thinking about how a particular policy might help our pocketbooks, it would be nice if more of us could remove our heads from the sand and think about how we keep a great place like Canada great.


Strategically Voting For Change

Derided by many as cynical and imprecise, the strategic voting movement nonetheless makes it clear that many in Canada still care deeply about the democratic process.


Pure & Local: Rose Water

Rose water is my favorite of all hydrosols, or floral waters, and with good reason. Gentle, with many skin-enhancing benefits, it can help hydrate, refresh, soothe and even cleanse your skin. Plus it smells simply divine!

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Tech Makes Big Impact on the Stage

Elizabeth McFaul CONTRIBUTOR Different technologies have shaped Kitchener-Waterloo’s landscape in different ways, from Iroquoian farming practices to roundabouts and start-up incubators. IMPACT 15, Kitchener’s biennial international theatre festival and conference presented by MT Space, showed us how technology is also changing the language of live performance. Across the six day festival’s 50 shows was a…


Poll Numbers Show Your Vote Matters

In 2008, the winner in what is now the Waterloo riding won by just 17 votes, and if you study the polling data, publically available from Elections Canada, you will see just how close most of the polls were. Many were tied or had less than 10 votes separating candidates. The significance of every vote is clearly shown in the Poll results. Your vote counts!


Review: Kitschy Goodness at the Mercury Cafe

Nestled in the corner of Duke and Ontario Streets is the surprisingly large Mercury Cafe. The cafe opened at the end of August and has already started garnering a reputation for fresh, delicious, locally-sourced food.
Four double americanos out of five double americanos.


Sexplanations: Truffle Butter

Stacey Jacobs COLUMNIST I was recently asked by a friend if I knew what truffle butter was. I immediately began to imagine the delightful tastes of truffle and butter becoming one. I had heard about such delicacies on the Food Network and I was excited to learn more. And then my bubble burst. My friend…

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Unbuilt WR: The TD Tower(s)

The iconic postmodern Toronto Dominion tower at King and Ontario Streets graces the city’s skyline with its unique, stepped profile, sturdy marble façade, and ornamental pediments, domes and clock faces. The construction of the tower alongside City Hall in the early nineties ushered in a new sense of architectural opulence in the downtown cityscape but…

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An independent community newspaper like this one can and should be many things: speaker of truth to power; teller of stories, big and small; and, through those and other functions, builder of community. It depends also on your participation, and input.

Throw-way-back Thanksgiving Photo: Welcoming Refugees from Russia, 1924

Following the Russian revolutions starting in 1917, many Mennonites were caught between passionate peasant movements, and violent national armies. In his book A Russian Dance of Death, Dietrich Neufeld includes excerpts from recovered diaries from that time, including the following, from October 23, 1919: “we feel as if we have been condemned to death and…


Affordable Housing Needs Investment

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 have to wait six years for a unit to become available.

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.


#BestofWR 2015 voting now open

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


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.

LRT Construction alt


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.

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