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The City of Kitchener is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada. Located approximately 100 km west of Toronto, Kitchener is the seat of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. Kitchener was the Town of Berlin from 1854 until 1912 and the City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916. The city had a population of 219,153 in the 2011 Census. The Kitchener metropolitan area, which includes the neighbouring cities of Waterloo and Cambridge, has over 500,000 people, making it the tenth largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Canada and the fourth largest CMA in Ontario] The city is adjacent to the smaller cities of Cambridge to the south, and Waterloo to the north. Kitchener and Waterloo are often referred to jointly as “Kitchener-Waterloo” (K-W), although they have separate municipal governments. Including Cambridge, the three cities are known as “the Tri-Cities”.
Kitchener is located in Southwestern Ontario, in the Saint Lawrence Lowlands. This geological and climatic region has wet-climate soils and deciduous forests. Located in the Grand River Valley, the area is generally above 300m (1000′) in elevation.
Kitchener is the largest city situated within the Grand River watershed, and the largest city on the Haldimand Tract. Just to the west of the city is Baden Hill, in Wilmot Township. This glacial kame remnant formation is the highest elevation for many miles around. The other dominant glacial feature is the Waterloo Moraine, which snakes its way through the region and holds a significant quantity of artesian wells, from which the city derives most of its drinking water. The settlement’s first name, Sandhills, is an accurate description of the higher points of the moraine.
Waterloo is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is the smallest of the three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is adjacent to the city of Kitchener.
Kitchener and Waterloo are often jointly referred to as “Kitchener-Waterloo”, “KW”, or “the Tri-City” (to include the City of Cambridge), although they have separate city governments. There have been several attempts to amalgamate the two cities (sometimes with the city of Cambridge as well), but none have been successful. At the time of the 2011 census, Waterloo had a population of over 98,000.
Waterloo’s city centre is located near the intersection of King and Erb streets. Since 1961, the centrepiece has been the Waterloo Town Square shopping centre, which underwent a thorough renovation in 2006. Much of the mall was torn down and has been replaced by buildings that emphasize street-facing storefronts.
Residents refer to the Waterloo city centre as “uptown” (often capitalized), while “downtown” is reserved for the Kitchener city centre, as Kitchener had been the dominant centre, and Waterloo was a small town on the KItchener’s north side. Waterloo surged into a significant City in the middle of the 20th Century, due in large part to its role as a college town. It has also benefited with the growth of Insurance companies. Waterloo has prospered with the relationship between the Tech Sector, which has blossomed, and the University of Waterloo whose Tech Graduates have excelled. Blackberry, formerly Research In Motion is the best example.
The city centre was once along Albert Street, near the Marsland Centre and the Waterloo Public Library. The town hall, fire hall, and farmers’ market were located there. Amidst some controversy, all were demolished between 1965 and 1969.
Cambridge (2011 population 126,748) is a city located in Southern Ontario at the confluence of the Grand and Speed rivers in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is an amalgamation of the City of Galt, the towns of Preston and Hespeler, and the hamlet of Blair.
Galt covers the largest portion of Cambridge, making up the southern half of the city. Preston and Blair are located on the western side of the city, while Hespeler is in the most northeasterly section of Cambridge.
Cambridge began as a composite city in 1973, when the City of Galt, Towns of Preston and Hespeler, and the hamlet of Blair were amalgamated.
There was considerable resistance among the local population to this “shotgun marriage” arranged by the provincial government and a healthy sense of rivalry had always governed relations among the three communities. Even today, though many residents will tell the outside world that they call Cambridge home, they will often identify themselves to each other as citizens of Galt or Preston or Hespeler. Each unique centre has its own history that is well documented in the Cambridge City Archives.
As Cambridge has developed and the open spaces between the original municipalities have been filled in, a fourth commercial core, entirely modern in its construction, has emerged. The Macdonald-Cartier FreewayHighway 401 runs through its midst.
In 1988, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada opened a plant in Cambridge, which employs approximately 4,500 people and is the city’s largest employer. Several other industrial companies also have locations in Cambridge, including Rimowa, Gerdau, ATS Automation Tooling Systems, Loblaw Companies Limited, Frito-Lay Canada (formerly Hostess), Babcock & Wilcox, Rockwell Automation and COM DEV International in addition to service companies such as Coronation Dental Specialty Group.
The village of Ayr, Ontario, Canada is a settlement located within the Township of North Dumfries in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in Southwestern Ontario. Ayr is located south of Kitchener and west of Cambridge.
Major highways in the area include Highway 401. Ayr was originally an agricultural centre and maintains several businesses related to agriculture in the present. The community is rapidly expanding as sub-divisions are added to provide housing for people working in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.
The town has three elementary schools. Built in 1890, the Ayr Public School was the original site and the town’s only school for nearly a century. In the 1990s, St. Brigid Catholic School (whose problems with mold necessitated a partial demolition), and Cedar Creek Public School have been added to service the town’s growing population. The town does not have a secondary school, so students attend Southwood Secondary School or Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge. Despite its rapid recent growth, there is still no bus service in Ayr to/from the larger cities.
Paris, Ontario (2011 population, 11,763) is a community on the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. The town was established in 1850. In 1999, its town government was amalgamated into that of the County of Brant, thus ending 149 years as a separate incorporated municipality.
The town was first settled on May 7, 1829, when its founder, Hiram Capron, bought the land for $10,000 and built a mill on the present townsite. The town of Paris was officially established in 1856. Since the late 1990s, Paris has experienced substantial population growth, which may be in part attributed to the rising popularity of rural communities among GTA bound commuters (see bedroom community) and the completion of Highway 403 between Hamilton and Woodstock.
Paris was named for the nearby deposits of gypsum, used to make plaster of Paris. Paris is referred to as “the cobblestone capital of Canada” (in reference to a number of aged cobblestone houses). Paris, Ontario is located at.
Paris is also the transmitter site for a number of broadcast radio and TV stations serving the Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo areas. The actual tower site is 475 Ayr Road, just south of the town of Ayr, and it was erected and owned by Global Television Network in 1973 for CIII-TV. It was officially the main transmitter for the southern Ontario Global network until 2009, when its Toronto rebroadcaster (which had been the de facto main transmitter, given that the station was and still is based in Toronto) was redesignated as the main transmitter. Global leases space on the Ayr tower for broadcast clients including Conestoga College’s campus radio station CJIQ-FM as well as local rebroadcasters of the CBC’s Toronto-based outlets.
The town hosts an annual Fall Fair which takes place over the Labour Day weekend. The Fair features over 100,000 rural lifestyle exhibits, a midway complete with carnival games, rides and great food. Canada’s #1 demolition derby attracts drivers from across Ontario. The Fair is also host to country music nights and have included big name acts such as Montgomery Gentry, Gord Bamford, Emerson Drive, Chad Brownlee, Deric Ruttan and Kira Isabella.
Paris is also the northernmost community to participate in Southern Ontario’s Green Energy Hub.
Brantford is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada, founded on the Grand River. Modern Highway 403 connects it to Woodstock in the west and Hamilton in the east; and Highway 24 connects to Cambridge to the north and Simcoe to the south. It is the seat of Brant County, but it is politically separate with a government independent of the county.
Brantford is sometimes known as the “Telephone City”: former city resident Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone at his father’s home, the Bell Homestead. In 1876 he conducted the first long-distance telephone call, making it from Brantford to Paris, Ontario.
Brantford is also the birthplace of hockey player Wayne Gretzky, comedian Phil Hartman, as well as Group of Seven member Lawren Harris. Brantford is named after Joseph Brant, an important Mohawk chief during the American Revolutionary War and later, who led his people in their first decades in Upper Canada. Many of his and other First Nations citizens live on the neighbouring reserve of Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, the most populous reserve in Ontario.
The city developed at the deepest navigable point of the Grand River. Because of existing networks, it became a railroad hub of Southern Ontario. The combination of water and rail helped Brantford develop from a farming community into an industrial city with many blue-collar jobs, based on the agriculture implement industry. Major companies included Massey-Harris, Verity Plow, and the Cockshutt Plow Company. This industry, more than any other, provided the well-paying and steady employment that allowed Brantford to sustain economic growth through most of the 20th century.
By the 1980s and 1990s, the economy of Brantford was in steady decline due to changes in heavy industry and its restructuring. Numerous companies suffered bankruptcies, such as White Farm Equipment, Massey-Ferguson (and its successor, Massey Combines Corporation), Koering-Waterous, Harding Carpets, and other manufacturers. The bankruptcies and closures of the businesses left thousands of people unemployed and created one of the most economically depressed areas in the country. It took a long time for the economy to recover and rebuild in new directions. In the early 21st century, an influx of new companies moving to the area has brought the unemployment rate down to 7.4%, which is below the national rate.
The Brantford to Ancaster section of Highway 403 was completed in 1997, in part to create an increased incentive for businesses to locate in Brantford because of easy access to Hamilton and Toronto. This was along the quickest route through southern Ontario between Detroit and Buffalo. In 2004 Procter & Gamble and Ferrero SpA chose to locate in the city. Though Wescast Industries, Inc. recently closed their local foundry, their corporate headquarters will remain in Brantford. SC Johnson Canada has their headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Brantford, connected to the Canadian National network. On February 16, 2005, Brant, including Brantford, was added to the Greater Golden Horseshoe along with Haldimand and Northumberland counties.
Guelph (2011 Census population 121,668) is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Known as “The Royal City”, Guelph is roughly 28 kilometres (17 mi) east of Waterloo and 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of downtown Toronto at the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 7. It is the seat of Wellington County, but is politically independent of it. Because of its low crime rates, clean environment and generally high standard of living, Guelph is consistently rated as one of Canada’s best places to live. Guelph has been noted as having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country throughout the 2008–2012 global recession, and has ranked at the bottom of Canada’s crime severity list since 2007.
Downtown Guelph is situated above the confluence of the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, which have numerous tributaries. The Speed River enters from the north and the Eramosa River from the east; the two rivers meet below downtown and continue southwest, where they merge with into the Grand River. There are also many creeks and rivers creating large tracts of densely forested ravines, and providing ideal sites for parks and recreational trails. The city is built on several drumlins and buried waterways, the most notable being an underground creek flowing below the Albion Hotel, once the source of water used to brew beer.
Guelph is the fifth fastest growing city in Canada with a population growth rate of about 2% per year. According to the Ontario Places to Grow plan, Guelph’s population is projected to be about 144,500 by the year 2021. Population varies throughout the year because of variations in the University of Guelph student population.
is the sixth largest city in Canada. Situated in Southern Ontario, it lies on the shores of Lake Ontario, located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, in the central part of the Greater Toronto Area, to the west of Toronto. Mississauga has a population of over 700,000 and is Canada’s sixth-most populous municipality.
Initially developed as a suburb of Toronto, Mississauga’s growth is attributed to its proximity to that city. It is the largest suburb in Anglo-America by population. In recent decades, the city has attracted a multicultural population and has plans for developing its downtown core. Residents of the city are called Mississaugans or Saugans. Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s busiest airport, is located in the city, and it is the location of many major corporate headquarters for Canada.
Mississauga is bounded by Oakville and Milton to the west/southwest, Brampton to the north, Toronto to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south/south-east. Halton Hillsborders Mississauga’s north-west corner. With the exception of the southeast border with Toronto (Etobicoke Creek), Mississauga shares a land border with all previously mentioned municipalities.
Two major river valleys feed into the lake. The Credit River is by far the longest with the heaviest flow, it divides the western side of Mississauga from the central/eastern portions and enters the lake at the Port Credit harbour. The indented, mostly forested valley was inhabited by first nation peoples long before European exploration of the area. The valley is protected and maintained by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVCA).
Etobicoke Creek forms part of the eastern border of Mississauga with the city of Toronto. North of there it passes through the western limits of Pearson Airport. There have been two aviation accidents, in 1978 and 2005 where aircraft overshot the runaway and slid into the Etobicoke creek banks. In 1954, heavy flooding resulted in some homes along the riverbank being swept into the lake after heavy rains from Hurricane Hazel. Since that storm, houses are no longer constructed along the floodplain. The creek and its tributaries are administered by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
Toronto Ontario is the most populous city in Canada, the provincial capital of Ontario, and the centre of the Greater Toronto Area, the most populous metropolitan area in Canada. Toronto has a population of over 2,000,000 making it the fourth most populous city in North America, after Mexico City, New York City, and Los Angeles. An alpha global city, Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is widely recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Aboriginal peoples have inhabited the area now known as Toronto for thousands of years. The urban history of the city dates back to 1787, when British officials negotiated the Toronto Purchase with the Mississaugas of the New Credit. They established the Town of York, and later designated it as the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by U.S. troops. York was renamed and incorporated as the City of Toronto in 1834, and became the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867. The original borders of Toronto were expanded through amalgamation with surrounding municipalities at various times in its history, the results of which can been seen in the 140 independently unique and clearly defined official neighbourhoods that make up the city.
Located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is situated on a broad sloping plateau intersected by an extensive network of rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest. It anchors the Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated region surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario that is home to 8.7 million people, or around 26% of the entire population of Canada. The demographics of Toronto make it one of the world’s most diverse cities, with about 50% of residents having been born in a country other than Canada, and over 200 distinct ethnic origins represented among its inhabitants. The vastly international population of the city reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. While English is the primary language spoken by the majority of Torontonians, there are over 160 different languages spoken in the city.
Toronto is a prominent centre for music, theatre, motion picture production, and television production, and is home to the headquarters of Canada’s major national broadcast networks and media outlets. Its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, are key attractions to the over 25 million tourists that visit the city each year. Toronto is well known for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower. As Canada’s commercial capital, the city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, business services, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism. Toronto is placed among the Global Leaders in the Global Financial Centres Index, and is also consistently rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.