City of Waterloo Museum

Our city museum is a heritage portal where visitors connect with Waterloo's past, building shared experiences and enhancing culture. Connect with the museum on Facebook or Instagram, or by calling 519-885-8828.

City of Waterloo Museum logoLocation, hours and admission

We're located at 550 King Street North, beside the food court at Conestoga Mall. Regular hours are:

  • Tuesday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • The last full weekend of every month (September to June): Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • March Break, Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Admission is free.

Current exhibit: A Taste of Science

A Taste of Science text with a moldy strawberry and bacteria close upHave you ever wondered why food spoils? A Taste of Science highlights the role science plays in delaying food decay and keeping food nutritious and safe for us to eat.

In this engaging experience, immerse yourself in an oversized “pantry” and discover what makes food spoil, and different food preservation techniques. You’ll find lots to feed your mind and imagination on the menu!

 

Upcoming exhibit: KIX 2020

University of Waterloo student curated exhibitions based on the UN Sustainable Development goals. The exhibition runs March 28 to May 29.

Outreach, special events and education

If you would like to bring a group into the museum, or have us come to you, we have a number of options as described below.

For more information, contact 519-885-8828 or libby.walker@waterloo.ca.

Guest speaking 

Museum staff are available as guest speakers.

We have a series of illustrated presentations that include 'show and tell' with complementary artifacts from our collection. Topics include:

  • the history of Waterloo
  • early mayors
  • rebels and mavericks
  • story of the Seagram empire
  • prohibition in Canada
  • tales from the barrel warehouse
  • sports in Waterloo
  • early school days in Waterloo
  • Christmas past in Waterloo

If you have a different topic, we can also do custom presentations. Our contact info is at the top of this page. We charge $50/one hour presentation.

Special events

In the Mall 
Event

Date

Time

From Moo to You! with the Ontario Dairy Educators (beside Sport Chek)

Saturday February 22

1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

March Break
Event

Date

Time

Vermicomposting with All Things Preserved

Tuesday March 17

1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Pickles and Preserves with Steckle Farm

Wednesday March 18

1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Bread Matters Science! Thursday March 19 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Fermentation Friday! Friday March 20 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Education 

We offer curriculum-directed programming at the museum for school classes or other community groups, based around our exhibits.

We also have curriculum-based outreach programming available for presentations in schools. See contact information above for times and fees.

Collection

Our mandate is to preserve, protect and exhibit our collection of over 10,000 artifacts. It's guided by the Museum Strategy, completed in 2015.

The collection includes the signature Seagram collection related to early manufacturing and the service of distilled spirits. Original prints, paintings, photographs, craft, manufacturing artifacts, books, and pamphlets tell the story of Waterloo's fascinating past.

Donations

Our collection is continually being enhanced through additions from the community. If you are interested in sharing a piece of your Waterloo history, contact museum@waterloo.ca or call 519-885-8828.

All objects proposed for acquisition will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. Condition: the physical condition of artifacts will be considered as well as the extent to which conservation or restoration treatment is required and any costs associated with said treatments. Objects in poor condition will not be accepted unless they are rare or of particular significance to the collections.
  2. Relevance: Artifacts will be assessed based on how well they ‘fit’ with the museum’s collections both in terms of how well they support the museum’s mission, and how they compare to other artifacts in the collections. Objects will only be acquired if they meet the requirements of the City of Waterloo Museum’s collections mandate.
  3. Documentation: Consideration will also be given to the provenance of an object, as well as any contextual information or other known details regarding the fabrication and function of the object, as this information is critical to collections management.

If we're unable to accept your donation, we will attempt to refer you to another museum or archive that may be interested in acquiring your object.