November is the month for fall open houses at Wilfrid Laurier University, an exciting time to highlight our beautiful campuses and surrounding communities.
If you’re planning to join us in Waterloo on Friday, Nov. 1 for the Faculty of Music open house, on Saturday, Nov. 2 for the Waterloo campus open house, or at our Brantford campus on Saturday, Nov. 9, consider exploring off campus as well. Brantford and Waterloo Region have so much to offer. Get a feel for these communities and see if you want to call them home for the next four years.
Here are some suggestions for you and your family to check out.
Brantford is home to hidden gems and an abundance of interesting things to do. Explore the city and find out why Brantford is an exciting place to study.
Step back in time and see one of the only royal chapels in North America, Her Majesty's Royal Chapel of the Mohawks. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Canada. Here you'll find one of the earliest written records of the Mohawk language plus incredible stained glass windows.
Explore critical junctures of conflicts such as the First and Second World Wars, the Boer War and the Korean War at the Canadian Military Heritage Museum. Check out exhibits exploring the contributions of women and local Indigenous People throughout Canada’s history.
Discover the history of the telephone at the Bell Homestead National Historic Site where Alexander Graham Bell came up with the idea of the telephone.
The Woodland Cultural Centre is a gallery, museum, library and educational centre on the site of the Mohawk Institute Residential School, the first in Canada. After it closed, the centre was set up to preserve Indigenous history and culture lost during that dark period in Canadian history.
Wayne Gretzky, AKA "The Great One," was born and raised in Brantford. Gretzky played ball hockey at the former Boys and Girls Club in Brantford, which is where Wilkes House Residence and Hall are located today. You can take a selfie with him – well, a statue of him – at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford.
If you enjoy arts and culture, then check out Brantford's small but mighty art scene. Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant houses hundreds of artworks both inside, with permanent and limited galleries, and outside in its sculpture garden. Laurier also has an always-changing art exhibition venue called the Yellow Brick Wall.
With nearly 100 parks and 70 kilometres of trails in the City of Brantford, why not take a walk to find out why this city is called the Hub of Ontario Trails? Three major trails – The Trans Canada Trail, Brock's Route and Grand Valley Trail – all intersect in downtown Brantford, just steps from the Laurier campus. You can also check out the fall colours at Mohawk Park, an enormous forested park near downtown Brantford. Don't miss the lookout over Mohawk Lake!
After a tour of Laurier's Brantford campus, you're bound to look for somewhere to eat. There are several restaurants within steps of the campus, from a burger place to a bistro, a café and other international cuisine eateries.
Alternatively, check out the Brantford Farmers' Market, which has been operating since 1848. From home-baked goods to fresh produce and portable meals like sausage on a bun, this year-round market has something for everyone.
Waterloo Region is well known for its thriving tech industry, but that’s not all that makes it special. Its unique mix of small-town vibes and big-city culture helps it feel like “home” to students from all walks of life.
Kitchener-Waterloo is a hot spot for entertainment. On open house weekend, you can cheer on the Kitchener Rangers hockey team at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Music lovers can enjoy a performance of Water and Ice by the KW Symphony at Centre in the Square. Rock the Rink, a touring figure skating show featuring stars like Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, makes a stop in town on Saturday night. And siblings of all ages will love the interactive exhibits at THEMUSEUM.
The fall leaves are in full colour right now, so take some time to take them in. (Or at least use them as a backdrop for your open-house selfie.) There are plenty of parks and trails near the Waterloo campus, like Waterloo Park, the Walter Bean Trail and the Laurel Creek Conservation Area. On your way home, hike on the 4.5 kilometre-loop trail at Snyder’s Flats.
Laurier students are lucky to have a couple of great farmers’ markets just a short bus ride away. On Saturdays, you can buy locally grown produce, as well as local meats and dairy products, at the Kitchener Market. At the St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market, you’ll discover a variety of vendors, baking and shopping outlets in addition to the fresh fruits and vegetables.
You’ll probably be hungry after a big day of touring. Thankfully, Waterloo is a hub of incredible cuisine. Check out this list of restaurants in Uptown Waterloo that are walking distance from campus. If you’re looking for something quick and inexpensive, here’s a list of 10 amazing $10 dishes in Waterloo Region.
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