Your KW Host Blog
Here are some resources to enhance your orientation to Waterloo Region and all we have to offer.
Kitchener-Waterloo has so much to offer new recruits moving to the city.
That doesn’t always come out in the hiring process, though, when job candidates spend their time between the hotel, the office, and the airport. READ MORE
MORE THAN A PLACE TO WORK – HERE’S WHY WE OFFER WATERLOO’S WARMEST WELCOME!
WHEN YOU’RE CONSIDERING A MOVE TO A NEW CITY, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO? read more
You probably start with a little research online.
Maybe you’re looking for a good place to stay. Delicious restaurants to enjoy. Sights to see, and activities to do. But a couple of days searching online won’t tell you what it’s really like to live somewhere, to walk down the streets and soak up the authentic local flavour. To help facilitate fully informed awareness I envisioned and created Your KW Host.
Attracting talent from around the globe.
With so many jobs available in our Region’s cities, people from all over the world are drawn to the opportunities here. Before uprooting a family, leaving friends behind, and making a big move away from their current life, people want to know whether they’re going to fit in in their new community. After all, it shouldn’t mean giving up the things they love most.
I’m dedicated to showing visitors exactly how they’ll fit in, and that there’s so much our community has to offer to match their lifestyle. Just ask some of our guests, like Becky from the United Kingdom. “[Angela] certainly made the area an exciting prospect as a new home and made us all feel as though we would be extremely welcome,” she says.
It’s great for local businesses looking to attract global talent to their ranks, too. “Whether that is gaining a sense of communities, housing, schools, or arts and culture, Angela helps,” says North, formerly Thalmic Labs. “This kind of help is a big comfort for a family coming from another country.”
We plan everything, from “hello” to “see you soon!”
Each customized tour actually starts well ahead of time with a one-on-one call to figure out what’s important to each visitor. Then, I get to work planning the perfect tour to hit all the highlights about what’s important to each person’s lifestyle.
That might mean paying a visit to a local museum or the local symphony, walking some of our beautiful parks and trails, checking out a festival, touring schools from elementary to university, even looking at real estate – whatever they want to see. RIM Park, University of Waterloo, Victoria Park, Centre in the Square and the Kitchener Market are some popular tour stops.
I personally organize each and every tour. On top of being an experienced guide, I’m also a City Councillor with deep roots in the Region of Waterloo. Add my passion for the community, and you get a tour that’s as welcoming and informative as it is entertaining.
What can a personalized tour do?
It can show people what it’s like to be part of our community, well beyond what they can find by browsing online. It can connect them with local activities and amenities that make them feel at home. It can shine a light on our local culture, from yesterday’s history to today’s festivals. It can introduce them to new neighbourhoods, from the quiet suburban cul-de-sac to the bustling streets of the core. But most of all, it can help people realize there’s a place for them here – and that they’re welcome. After all, whether they’re here for business or pleasure, I want visitors to have one thought in mind when they go back home. “I had a great time, in a great community. I’d go back again – I might even move there if the opportunity arose.”
Looking for an introduction to the Kitchener-Waterloo region? Want a tour of a potential new home? Your KW Host is here to help. Get in touch with me today for Waterloo’s warmest welcome.
Should I Rent Downtown? Buckle Up for Quick Tour!
If you’re considering a move to the Kitchener-Waterloo area, you probably have one burning question. read more
Where would I live?
It’s something I hear a lot on my tours. Moving is a really big deal after all, and people are looking for a home, not just a house. Here’s the great thing about our area: we have a lot of options.
Life in the heart of KW
With millions of dollars pouring into the uptown and downtown cores, it’s no surprise that our condo market is booming. With it, newcomers can find great short- or long-term rentals in the hottest areas at a price tag of around $2,000/month.
Here’s a peek at what you can expect:
Each building is different, but you don’t need to look far for top-of-the-line services and amenities built right in. Theatres, party rooms, libraries and roof-top entertaining are a few of the features you’ll find. Many have commercial space on the main floor where local businesses, restaurants and cafes have set up shop.
Restaurants and food
Speaking of restaurants, some of the region’s best food is located in the city centres. From tacos to Thai (and everything in between) you’ll satisfy any craving within a short walk. The Kitchener Market is one of my favourite locations to tour, since it’s a great place to grab ingredients or a meal and has a bustling farmer’s market each Saturday. If you feel like grabbing a drink, you have your choice of lively or low-key pubs and bars as well.
Festivals and events
Living in the core means easy access to events happening right on the street or in Victoria Park and Waterloo Park. The Kitchener Blues Festival, the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, the Waterloo Busker Carnival, Ribfest, our famous Oktoberfest parade, Brews Fest, the KW Multi-Cultural Festival and the Royal Medieval Faire are just a handful of examples – you really can find something for every interest and age group, just minutes from your front door.
Arts and culture
The Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts is the home of the region’s own symphony orchestra. Centre in the Square boasts live performances from music to ballet to children’s shows and educational series. THEMUSEUM boasts a variety of programming from art exhibitions to maker workshops and speaker series. The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery hosts contemporary visual arts (including some great work from local artists). The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery is the only gallery in Canada dedicated to ceramic, glass, enamel and stained glass artwork.
Parks and outdoor space
All that excitement is great, but what if you want to relax a little… or play outside? Victoria Park in downtown Kitchener sits on a stunning lake surrounded with beautiful nature. There you’ll find walking trails, sports facilities, public art and a splashpad for the kids. Waterloo Park is its counterpart in Uptown Waterloo, where you can stroll the boardwalk along the shore of Silver Lake, with many of the same amenities. There’s also public space at Waterloo Public Square and Kitchener City Hall – complete with ice skating in the winter.
Living in the core means you can walk to most, if not all, of this on foot. And when you do need to travel, there are lots of options that don’t require a car. The region has a solid network of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, along with a reliable bus system. We’re also welcoming a new light rail system, ION, which will connect the two cities from north to south (and later on, Cambridge).
You’ve got to see it to believe it
As much as a description can help paint a picture, there’s nothing like getting out and seeing it in person (which is exactly what we do at Your KW Host). Having a local perspective will tell you more about becoming a local than any internet search will. That’s why I’m always happy to answer questions about moving to the area.
I’m so proud to call Kitchener-Waterloo my home. I know others coming to the region will feel the same way, too.
BEFORE YOUR DREAM HOME, FIND YOUR DREAM NEIGHBOURHOOD.
What do you look for in a perfect neighbourhood? read more
Finding a home that fits a list of needs and nice-to-haves is one thing, but finding a community where your interests and inspirations can flourish is quite another. That’s why neighbourhoods are a big part of my tours.
Here are a few questions I ask to narrow down the best neighbourhoods for my clients – and they’re ones you should ask yourself before making your own decision, too:
Do you have or want to have children?
If so, a neighbourhood with great schools should top your list. Some neighbourhoods offer lots of choice in terms of number and type of schools – from elementary to post-secondary, French immersion to Catholic.
Nearby libraries, parks, skating rinks and other family-oriented amenities also provide entertainment away from the television.
What activities do you enjoy?
Do you love hopping on your bike or strapping on those runners for a trek through nature? Zero in on neighbourhoods with green space and trail systems. More into gardening and landscaping? Look for areas with larger lawns and maybe a community garden or two.
You don’t want to live too far from the things you love to do regularly, or you’ll find getting there is a barrier.
Where are you most comfortable?
Think about where you feel most relaxed, or what gives you energy, inspiration and motivation. If you love being where the action is, you’ll want something closer to the city core. If serene is your scene, seek tree-lined boulevards and open green spaces.
It’s also important to feel safe in your neighbourhood, so scope out what emergency services are nearby and dig into crime stats if it’ll help you sleep better at night.
How do you want to get around?
Getting to and from work is an almost-daily task for many of us, so plan out how much time you want to spend on the road. That includes driving, bussing, biking or walking.
The same goes for schools, day care, grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants and anywhere else you go on a regular basis.
Don’t forget to check the walkability score of areas you’re interested in to see what’s within range and answer the question, “What’s in the neighbourhood?”
What kind of home do you want?
Condo or townhouse? Semi-detached or fully detached home? Think about the space you need, what you can afford and the variety available in each neighbourhood.
The closer to the city centre you get, the more likely you are to find condos and older homes, while areas farther out tend toward single family homes with newer features.
How engaged do you want to be?
Some neighbourhoods go all-out with community events like BBQs, street sales, fireworks and movies in nearby parks. Others are fairly quiet.
Check to see if the neighbourhood has a neighbourhood association, community centre or library branch that hosts events for residents. They’re all great ways to get to know your neighbours and build community spirit.
Finding your spot in Kitchener-Waterloo
So, what’s available in our region? Let me share two examples that demonstrate the diversity of our neighbourhoods:
Kitchener’s Chicopee neighbourhood
Waterloo’s Lakeshore area (this is my neighbourhood)
Both Kitchener and Waterloo make building great neighbourhoods a priority. Kitchener’s #LoveMyHood initiative puts the spotlight on residents, what they love about where they live and what we can improve. Waterloo’simplementinga neighbourhood strategy with the goal of being a city of caring, vibrant, engaged neighbourhoods where everyone belongs.
You can find lots of information online, which is a great place to start your search, but getting out to see a few neighbourhoods in person is the best strategy (and that’s exactly what we do at Your KW Host). There’s nothing better than getting a local’s insider perspective, so if you want to know more about moving to the area, let me know!
Start with a Customized Tour!
Are you are recruiting new employees, impressing clients, or entertaining visitors? Your KW Host will create a custom tour that shows the very best of what the Region has to offer. Maybe you are considering moving to our community and would like to learn more about what makes it so awesome. We can design a tour that is tailor made to your interests and the needs of your family. We plan it all from start to finish.
Contact Your KW Host today to talk about your customized tour. We'll take it from there!