waterloo-ontario-canadaThank goodness for persistent Pennsylvanians!

If persistence helps make a mark in history, then it is a worthwhile virtue. That’s what Abraham Erb went out to prove when he and his wife left their Pennsylvania home and settled in a marshy and swampy lot in Upper Canada. Decades later, this swampy lot gave birth to the village of Waterloo. Even his brother, John tried to persuade him to move to the Grand Speed River region, but Abraham said no and chose to stay, convinced that he could clear the land in time.

And he did. By 1808 Abraham built a saw mill and less than ten years later constructed a grist mill. The swamp land that he settled in was soon turning into a valuable area. Developments were on the upswing. From swamp land to sawmill town to village, Waterloo before the 1870s was becoming a retail and commercial centre.

Today, Waterloo “is at its best” – that’s what the city chose as a slogan and it isn’t difficult to justify that claim.

Waterloo is an hour’s drive from Toronto (about 65 miles) and six hours from Montreal, Quebec. For reaching US border crossings, it is a three-hour drive from Detroit and about an hour and a quarter’s drive from Niagara Falls.

Like Festivals? Come to Waterloo

The city can’t promise to host a festival every week, but what if we said it has one just about every month? And what if we also said that attending these merry gatherings were “toll-free”? That sounds like a deal isn’t it? Mind you, for a town of 110,800 people, you’d think that it would be more low key.

Not Waterloo. It is alive with activity and as the municipality reminds us, this is Waterloo…at its best!

For samplers – February is Ice Dogs Month. You’re treated to every conceivable activity relating to ice – ice sculpture displays and dog sled contests. April is a tribute to Earth Day so there are awareness programs for the entire family. May is Mothers’ month, so Waterloo has scheduled the Waterloo County and Area Quilt Festival while June will welcome the French association of Kitchener-Waterloo for St. John the Baptist festivities. The Jazz Festival is on for July and for beer lovers, Oktoberfest in October. BUT – for non-drinking families, the Spas’ N Spiel festival will make teetotalers feel at home nevertheless. …also Arts and Crafts Waterloo has got it all planned. For all taste buds, for all budgets, Waterloo has something to please everyone, resident and visitor. If art and history are your consuming passion, visit the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery on Caroline Street. The University of Waterloo is not only teeming with students, but is also the venue for the Earth Sciences Museum, the Peter Russell Rock Garden and the Optometry Museum of Visual Science. Let’s not forget the Brubacher House Museum. For more art and history possibilities. Campsites as well for those who like to sleep under the stars!