The City of Kitchener is in Southern Ontario, Canada. It was the Town of Berlin from 1854 until 1912 and the City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916. The city had a population of 204,668 in the Canada 2006 Census.
The metropolitan area, which includes the neighbouring cities of Waterloo and Cambridge, has 451,235 people, making it the eleventh largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Canada and the fifth largest CMA in Ontario. It is the seat of the Waterloo Regional Municipality, and 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 also the seat of the Waterloo Region.
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 (K-W), or "the twin cities", 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.
The reported population for the city can vary depending on how temporary residents at Waterloo's two universities are counted. At the time of the 2006 census, Waterloo had a population of 97,475. That number as with all populations counts nationally does not include post-secondary students who are temporary residents. The city's total population at the end of 2006 with over 20,000 non-resident post-secondary students included was 114,700. As of 2009 the City of Waterloo reported the population including temporary residents to be 121,700 on their website.
City of Kitchener History
Kitchener's history dates back to 1784, when the land was given to the Six Nations by the British as a gift for their allegiance during the American Revolution. From 1796 and 1798, the Six Nations sold 38,000 hectares of this land to a Loyalist, Col. Richard Beasley.
The portion of land Beasley had purchased was remote but it was of great interest to German Mennonite farming families from Pennsylvania. They wanted to live in an area that would allow them to practise their beliefs without persecution.
Eventually, the Mennonites purchased all of Beasley's unsold land, creating 160 farm tracts. By 1800, the first buildings were built; and over the next decade, several families moved north to what was then known as the Sand Hills. One of those families, arriving in 1807, was the Schneiders, whose restored 1816 home - the oldest building in the city - is now a downtown museum.
In 1816, the Government of Upper Canada designated the settlement the Township of Waterloo. Much of the land, made up of moraines and swampland interspersed with rivers and streams, was converted to farmland and roads.
Immigration to the town increased considerably from 1816 until the 1870s - many of the newcomers being of German (particularly Mennonite) extraction.
In 1833, the area was renamed Berlin; and in 1853 Berlin became the County Seat of the newly created County of Waterloo, elevating it to the status of village.
The extension of the Grand Trunk Railway from Sarnia to Toronto - and hence through Berlin - in July 1856 was a major boon to the community, helping to improve industrialization in the area.
On June 9, 1912, Berlin was officially designated a city. However, with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 came anti-German sentiment and an internal conflict ensued as the city was forced to confront its cultural distinctiveness.
There was pressure for the city to change its name from Berlin; and in 1916 - following much debate and controversy - the name of the city was changed to Kitchener after Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, who died that year while serving as the Secretary of State for War of the United Kingdom.Source: City of Kitchener Website
City of Waterloo History
Waterloo was built on land that was part of a parcel of 675,000 acres (2,730 km2) assigned in 1784 to the Iroquois alliance that made up the League of Six Nations. Almost immediately—and with much controversy—the native groups began to sell some of the land. Between 1796 and 1798, 93,000 acres (380 km2) were sold through a Crown Grant to Richard Beasley, with the Six Nations Indians continuing to hold the mortgage on the lands.
The first wave of immigrants to the area were Mennonites from Pennsylvania. They bought deeds to land parcels from Beasley and began moving into the area in 1804. The following year, a group of 26 Mennonites pooled resources to purchase all of the unsold land from Beasley and discharge the mortgage held by the Six Nations Indians.
The Mennonites divided the land into smaller lots; two lots initially owned by Abraham Erb became the central core of Waterloo. Erb is often called the founder of Waterloo, as it was his sawmill (1808) and grist mill (1816) that became the focal point of the area.
In 1816, the new township was named after Waterloo, Belgium, the site of the Battle of Waterloo, which had ended the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. After that war, the area became a popular destination for German immigrants. By the 1840s, German settlers had overtaken the Mennonites as the dominant segment of the population. Many Germans settled in the small hamlet to the southeast of Waterloo. In their honour, the village was named Berlin in 1833 (renamed to Kitchener in 1916). Berlin was chosen as the site of the seat for the County of Waterloo in 1853.
Waterloo was incorporated as a village in 1857 and became the Town of Waterloo in 1876 and the City of Waterloo in 1948.