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. Summer hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Admission is free.

Note that museum will be closed on Sunday, August 11 for a special event.

Current exhibit: The Sublime Mr. Seagram

Mr. Seagram overlayed on the Seagram buildingWaterloo has not forgotten its founding innovator. Just who was Joseph E. Seagram? We aim to answer this question with this exhibit, marking the 100 anniversary of his death. We will examine his legacy and impact on the community of Waterloo by looking at specific areas of his life: politics, business, horse racing, family and local community engagement. Prepare to be amazed by the man behind the name.

 

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

Mount Hope Cemetery tours 
Event

Date

Time

Seagram and Co.

Thursday July 18

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Seagram and Co.

Sunday July 21

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Dealers in Death

Thursday August 15

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Dealers in Death

Thursday August 18

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Seagram and Co.

Sunday September 22

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Sunday October 27

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Pop-up museum
Event

Date

Time

Picnic in the Park

Wednesday August 7

6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Open Streets

Saturday August 17

Noon to 5:00 p.m.

J.E. Seagram - The Legacy of Waterloo's First Innovator

Bus tour with City of Waterloo Museum curator Karen VandenBrink. On Friday September 20 the bus departments from the museum at 1:00 p.m. Tickets

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.