Kitchener and Waterloo were pioneered by Mennonites from Pennsylvania, Cambridge by British, principally Scots, in the early 19th century. Once named Berlin, Kitchener was re-named in 1916 after British military hero Lord Kitchener. Since the 1950's when Waterloo attained city status, Kitchener and Waterloo have been known as the 'Twin Cities', or K-W. Cambridge is a 1970s merger of the older City of Galt with the neighbouring Towns of Preston and Hespeler, and the village of Blair. Now, more and more, Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are being hypenated as the 'Tri Cities'.
Immigration, beginning with Germans and Central Europeans in the 19th century and continuing to the present from Central and South America, the Near East, Far East and Asia have created a broad-based multi-cultural population. Kitchener and Waterloo, in 'North Waterloo' exhibit a strong German heritage, celebrated most notably in their 8-day Oktoberfest, the largest outside of Munich. Cambridge, in 'South Waterloo', has a sizeable Portuguese population, from the Azores, and a large constituency of Newfoundlanders, relocated from Belle Isle, Newfoundland, in the 1960s.
Kitchener-Waterloo Cambridge are 'on the 401' one hour west of Toronto, one hour east of London, three hours east of Windsor-Detroit.
For Kitchener, Exit 295 to Hwy 8 North, becomes King St. to downtown Kitchener.
By air, NorthWest Airlines offers three-a-day flights to and from Detroit via Region of Waterloo International Airport. Otherwise, the principal airport is Toronto's Pearson International, with Airways Transit providing local ground service to and from Pearson.
By rail, ViaRail to/from Toronto, Guelph, London, and Sarnia;
Within Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, Grand River Transit, provides local bus service, with an 'iXpress' interurban service
By car, with a local map: where other cities are laid out more or less on a grid Kitchener streets are not, rather follow their own complex patterns with frequent twists and turns, many continuing into adjoining Waterloo.
Likewise, street directions are designated E, W, N, and S, but only one major cross street, Lancaster, is true to the compass. King, Weber and Westmount are the principal EW streets in Kitchener (at Union Street, they become King, Weber and Westmount in Waterloo, where they are designated N/S). Queen, Frederick, Victoria, are the principal NS cross-streets.
There is a an express route, known locally as the Conestoga Parkway, but not signed as such, which loops traffic on Highways 7&8 traffic through Kitchener South and Highway 85 traffic through Waterloo North.
Addresses number EW from Queen, NS from King.
Historically, in Kitchener,
See Cambridge Tourism .
See Nightlife, the weekly entertainment supplement published Thursdays by The Record, the area's daily newspaper, for its calendar of what's on in clubs, concerts, movies, stage, art, and kids stuff.