Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of downtown Kitchener historical sites with your host Warren Stauch of Shunpiking Tours.
(Click the video below to start Warren's full-length tour.)
People have lived on the land that is now home to the city of Kitchener for more than 10,000 years, beginning with First Peoples. Five independent Iroquois nations – the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca – were joined by the Tuscarora to become the Six Nations in the 1700s. Following the American War of Independence, Great Britain granted the Six Nations land six miles deep on either side of the Grand River, partly in recognition of being allies to the British during the War.
In the first years of the 1800s, German-speaking people from Pennsylvania, looking for land that would be good for farming and growing families, formed a land company. They purchased large tracts of land along the Grand River in the area that today is Kitchener. By the 1830s, German-speaking immigrants from Europe began to arrive in the area, settling on both the surrounding farmland and in the newly established village of Berlin.
German immigration continued through the century and by the 1870s, the Town of Berlin - renamed Kitchener in 1916 – was bilingual German and English, making the town and surrounding area unique in Canada. Kitchener’s history has been documented in many books.
If you want to know about local history, ask your local library to borrow:
Kitchener (Berlin), 1880-1960, written by Rych Mills, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2002.
Kitchener: An Illustrated History, written by John English and Ken McLaughlin, published by Wilfrid Laurier Press in 1983.
The Children's Choir sings in German, English and a few other languages. We sing various styles of music. Founded in 1873, the Children's Choir is great fun for ages 4+ and we're always looking for new members for all of our choirs! The Children’s Choir is one of the last remaining German Children’s Choirs in Canada. They always have a great core group of kids! They not only sing but have social events that have always been a hit. Under the direction of Angelika Werner.
Join our online community on Facebook and share your Downtown Kitchener photos and memories.
To watch the complete Historical Self-guided Walking Tour by Warren Stauch of Shunpiking Tours, simply click the play > button, on the video above. Take the tour anytime you are downtown Kitchener. Start and stop the video as you take it all in.
One of the best ways to explore and truly experience Kitchener is by walking through our neighbourhoods and visiting the places that have helped shape our city. Self-guided tours allow you to learn about our rich history, vibrant culture, great diversity and modern amenities - at your own pace and in your own time. Learn more.
Take a walk in downtown and follow the Downtown Heritage Walking Tour.
The Downtown Stroll begins at Victoria Park and continues in a clockwise direction to City Hall, the Civic District and King Street East before returning to the downtown core.
Follow the Victoria Park Historical Walking Tour takes you through Victoria Park using the pathways designed to afford scenic views.