Waterloo Park

Known as the jewel of the city, Waterloo Park has a lake, animal farm, picnic areas, splashpad, sport fields, playgrounds and more.

Download the park map (PDF) for more detail.


On this page


Park location, hours and directions

Waterloo Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The main entrance to the park is at 50 Young Street West.

Free vehicle parking is available from the Young Street West and Westmount Road North entrances to the park. Follow roads into the park and watch for signage. There is also free three-hour street parking along Father David Bauer Drive.

Bike parking racks are available by the splashpad and Park Inn concession on the park's east side, and beside the interactive play area on the west side.

Amenities, attractions and rentals

The park is known as the ‘jewel of the city' and sits on 111 acres in uptown Waterloo. Many areas are available for rent

There are accessible washrooms on the east and west sides of the park, open daily from May 1 to Thanksgiving Day. The east side washrooms are open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during winter.

Propane BBQs are permitted in rented picnic areas, with the exception of the east gazebo and Lions Lagoon. Charcoal BBQs are not permitted per the city's open air burning bylaw.

General amenities

General amenities and attractions include:

  • forests, trails and large green spaces (view city trail map for details)
  • picnic shelters and gazebos
  • Silver Lake and Laurel Creek
  • interactive playground, swings and a splash pad
  • farmstead with variety of animals
  • four baseball ball diamonds and a cricket pitch
  • single net basketball court
  • one rugby field and two soccer fields
  • skatepark
  • Victorian-style gardens
  • Abraham Erb's Grist Mill
  • Park Inn concession stand
  • Waterloo's first schoolhouse
  • Public Art and large harvest-style picnic tables

Lions Lagoon splash pad 

Lions Lagoon splash pad opens the first weekend in June and closes on the Sunday of the Labour Day weekend. It's open daily from from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., warm weather permitting.

The last day of service for 2019 is Sunday September 1.

There are washroom facilities, a nearby concession stand, playground, shade structures and picnic area. Admission is free. Pets are not allowed with the exception of service animals.

Eby Farmstead

Eby Farmstead is centrally located in the park. It is home to a variety of animals including llamas, peacocks, chickens, potbelly pigs, miniature ponies, goats and more. Please do not feed the animals while visiting. Admission is free.

Skatepark

The Skatepark is located off Father David Bauer Drive and offers ramps, stairs and vertical elements. It is not lit and closes at dusk.

Grist mill

Abraham Erb's Grist Mill is a replica of the first mill built in Waterloo. Starting October 2019 it will be closed due to construction along Silver Lake. It is slated to re-open in 2021.

Park Inn concession stand

The Park Inn concession is open daily (10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) from the Friday of Victoria Day weekend until Labour Day.

It is located near the Lions Lagoon Splash pad and offers a range of drinks, snacks, ice cream and lunch items such as sandwiches, burgers and fries. Cash, debit and credit are accepted. 

Log school house

Built in 1820 by Pennsylvania German settlers and designated as a heritage site in 2012, the Waterloo Park Log School House is located near the main park parking lot off Young Street. It is the oldest standing school in the Region of Waterloo and the oldest known log house in Ontario.

Improvement plans and projects

Written in 2009, the Waterloo Park Master Plan provides a 20-year vision that identifies new park trends, expands on traditional roles and involves the public through an advisory committee.

Silver Lake will undergo renovation from 2019 to 2021. Improvements may include reconfiguration of the footprint and shoreline, changing depth and sediment management. Learn more on our studies page.

Friends of Waterloo Park volunteer group

This group works with the Waterloo Park Advisory Committee to promote the goals of the Waterloo Park Master Plan. Their goals include:

  • raising the park's profile
  • supporting development of new programs and events
  • raising funds to accelerate implementation of key features of the master plan
  • proposing ways of recognizing donations, initiatives and achievements in the park
  • promoting volunteerism and engaging residents in community building

Catch up with Friends of Waterloo Park on twitter, Facebook, Instagram or email them at fowp@waterloo.ca.

Friends of Waterloo Park terms of reference

Our mission

The friends of Waterloo Park is a volunteer group that works in cooperation with the Waterloo Park advisory committee and the City of Waterloo to fulfill the goals of the Waterloo Park Master Plan. The friends of Waterloo Park promotes events, provides volunteer support, and fundraises to maintain, supplement, and accelerate improvements to Waterloo Park.

Our Goals
  • foster public awareness and understanding of the Waterloo Park Master Plan
  • promote and encourage the use of newly implemented features as well as existing park features
  • use sponsorship and fundraising efforts to collect resources for the implementation of new projects and the enhancement of existing park features in support of the master plan
  • promote volunteerism to engage residents in barn-raising activities
Structure

The friends of Waterloo Park was established in April 2015 as a subcommittee of the Waterloo Park advisory committee of council (WPAC). In 2017, the subcommittee was re-designated as a volunteer group (City of Waterloo committee policy, 2007).

The friends take the lead in coordinating fundraising, sponsorship, event planning, activity promotion, and project development in conjunction with the Waterloo Park advisory committee, and in support of the Waterloo Park Master Plan (2009) and subsequent plans.

Following a volunteer position description, working group members become registered City of Waterloo volunteers that may serve a minimum of one year, subject to review at any time.

The friends of Waterloo Park (friends, the friends, or FoWP) consists of a chair, a finance team, multiple specialty teams each coordinated by a team lead, a WPAC liaison and a City of Waterloo staff liaison. A summary of the purpose of each role appears below; individual volunteer position Descriptions provide complete details for all roles:

  • chair - chair the friends of Waterloo Park meetings and oversee all aspects of friends of Waterloo Park event, sponsorship, and fundraising planning and execution in close collaboration with other committee members and City staff
  • finance team co-Lead (two roles) - attend the friends of Waterloo Park meetings and oversee all aspects of friends of Waterloo Park finance and bookkeeping matters
  • communications team and lead (four roles) - coordinate print, website, and social media and communications for friends of Waterloo Park
  • community events team and lead (four or five roles) - program, plan, and coordinate events for the friends of Waterloo Park
  • community fundraising team and lead (four roles) - coordinate fundraising support for the friends of Waterloo Park
  • corporate sponsorship team and lead (three roles) - coordinate corporate support for the friends of Waterloo Park
  • WPAC liaison - a member of the Waterloo Park advisory committee acts as liaison to relay information between both groups
  • staff liaison - a City of Waterloo staff liaison provides expertise, organizational assistance and technical support for full meetings and all approved activities
Meetings

The friends of Waterloo Park meet in three distinct formats:

Joint meeting

At least once each year the friends of Waterloo Park shall hold a joint meeting with the Waterloo Park advisory committee to discuss and decide upon projects and priorities. Joint meetings will take place at a City of Waterloo facility at a time mutually agreeable to both groups. The quorum for a joint meeting must satisfy quorum for a full FoWP meeting and a full WPAC meeting. (50% of FoWP and 50% of WPAC).

Full meeting

The friends of Waterloo Park shall hold at least four (or more, as required) full meetings each year. Full meetings will take place at a City of Waterloo facility at a time mutually agreeable to all the friends. In order to conduct business, the quorum for a full meeting shall be attendance by 50% of the current friends membership, and should include at least one member from each team, if possible. Members of WPAC may attend a full meeting as delegates, but do not count towards quorum.

Team meeting

Each friends of Waterloo team shall hold at least ten (or more, as required) team meetings each year. Team meetings may occur at a site and time mutually agreeable to the current team. Quorum for a team meeting shall consist of the team lead, plus attendance by 50% of the remainder of the current team. The chair, WPAC liaison, staff liaison, and members from other teams may attend a team meeting as delegates, but do not count towards quorum. The WPAC liaison does not contribute to quorum in full meetings or team meetings. The staff liaison does not contribute to quorum in any meetings.

Appointment
  • when a position vacancy exists, a volunteer recruitment notice will be published on the city website and other sources in January of each year
  • applicants must fully read and understand the friends of Waterloo Park terms of reference and volunteer position description
  • to be eligible for consideration, interested applicants will contact volunteer services with a resume and two references before the deadline
  • volunteer services and the city staff liaison will review all applications, carry out interviews and reference checks and recommend appointments
  • preference will be given to those living, working or studying in the Kitchener-Waterloo area
Requirements for friends of Waterloo Park

The list below outlines the requirements for being a member of the friends of Waterloo Park. Refer to the volunteer position description for more details.

  • must be 18 years of age or older
  • have good organizational skills, written and verbal communication
  • show an interest or experience in finance, fundraising, sponsorship, communication, or event and program planning
  • be willing to work cooperatively in partnership with city staff and other friends and delegates
  • be capable of fulfilling the responsibilities of the position held
  • commit to a minimum of one year is required, subject to review with the city staff liaison at any time
  • attend a minimum of four meetings and four activities over the course of one year
  • provide written correspondence of resignation to the city staff liaison