I have lived in Waterloo for six years now, and for four of those summers was here the whole time. I love this city in the summer, for a variety of reasons. This post should more aptly be titled “Five Things I’m Going to Miss About..” since I’m leaving this city in approximately 22 days but that would stray from my theme!
1. Patios, everywhere.
Uptown Waterloo as well as along the University strip has no shortage of patios. You can have a beer on a patio or drinks on a patio or food on a patio or coffee on a patio — there are patios everywhere. One of my favourite patios is at the Heuther Hotel in Uptown, where you can climb the metal stairs to have drinks up overlooking some of the city on a pseudo-rooftop patio. Another favourite is Molly Blooms, where the choice of alcohol is abudant and the single serving of nachos is perfect for one.
2. Students are calmer
I know the student vs. permanent resident issue is a contentious one in Waterloo, where there is an influx of approximately 45 000 students every fall. However, this post is not about those issues but about the fact that the students who remain in summer usually are in school studying hard because summer semesters tend to be shorter, or working full time to pay for school, and since 30 000 or so of the students head home or abroad for the summer, it is a little bit quieter everywhere. The long summer days outside tend to tire anyone.
3. The abundance of wildlife.
Even in the heart of the city you can explore wildlife to your hearts content. Waterloo Park has their petting zoo but also this time of year is when the baby ducklings and baby goslings are born and you can see them to your hearts content. There are also many trails scattered throughout the city — and running around Columbia Lake is one of my favourites.
4. St. Jacobs Market and Town
I wait all year for the market to open its full time hours. Not only is there a train you can take into St. Jacobs that is an old steam engine, but to be able to wander the fresh fruit and veggie stands and spend an afternoon eating delicious apple fritters and seeing the ponies is such a wonderful break. I have to drive ten to fifteen minutes to get to the market and another five or six into the town of St. Jacobs, and it is always an amazing experience. And if you do not try an apple fritter from Apple Fritter Co. in the market well then shame on you. For a dollar its totally worth it.
5. The Sombrero Hot Dog Man (and UptownWaterloo)
For the most part, people in Waterloo are a lot friendlier in the summer. There is almost always something happening in Waterloo Square in Uptown Waterloo, and if you’re there in the afternoon the sombrero hot dog man probably is too. His hot dogs are delicious and he without fail provides excellent quality street meat every day all summer long. If you’re lucky a music student from the university will be busking in the town square, and if its raining you can always head over to the Princess Cinema for a unique movie at a very old and unique theatre.