Park Your Car and Explore Waterloo By Foot This Summer

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BY MEGAN HONAN | July 2022

While gas may be at an all time high, that doesn’t mean you can’t visit, stay and explore Waterloo by foot this summer! If you’re looking for an escape, check into a hotel for the weekend, park the car and set out to see all that the City of Waterloo has to offer both visitors and locals alike. 

There is a lot to explore within walking distance across the city of Waterloo, both helping stay within a budget and promoting an environmentally-friendly way to travel this summer. Looking to explore beyond the city limits? You can even rent a bike from King Street Cycles, or a fat bike from McPhail’s Cycle & Sport if you want to explore the trails! 

Get ready for the perfect summer staycation and hit the pavement across Waterloo with these fun summer activities.

Discover the City on a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Those looking to explore more of Waterloo––whether it’s your first visit or one-hundredth–– should experience one of the three UpTown LOOP walking tours. Set out on this self-guided adventure, choosing from: the Lake Walk, the North Walk and the South Walk. Each one offers a plethora of sights, shops and snacks as you journey through the heart of Waterloo. The South Walk focuses more on the natural beauty of the city, weaving your way through Waterloo Park and further onwards towards Silver Lake. For a stroll through popular Uptown Waterloo, take the North Walk tour, discovering the restaurants and shops that make up a beloved section of the city where you can #shopsmall. And last, but not least, the South Walk introduces visitors to the past and present of Waterloo history, including a walk through Heritage Park. 

Enjoy a Unique Art Installation at the Canadian Clay Glass Gallery 

Sample a unique take on Canadian art through the methods of clay and glass at the local Waterloo gallery. Just steps away from Waterloo Park, enjoy an afternoon wrapping up the UpTown Loop walk with a break from the sun indoors––while connecting to the natural environment outdoors. The building itself was inspired by nature, with plenty of natural sunlight pouring in through skylights and bay windows to illuminate the space and art. The Canadian Clay Glass Gallery celebrates contemporary ceramic and glass artists engaged in conceptual, technical or material research across Canada and continually offers rotating exhibits––so you can visit time and time again. 

Spend the Day with Your Toes in the Sand 

Yup, there really is a spot to hit the water in Waterloo. While it may be our best kept secret (we’re friends, so we’ll share!) Laurel Creek is a fantastic spot for a hot, summer day. From swimming, to canoeing, to windsurfing, to suntanning––there is plenty to fully immerse yourself in nature. Laurel Creek Park also offers over 120 campsites, so you can easily stay for the entire weekend and continue to explore on foot. For more walking adventures, there are over 4km of trails to be discovered and plenty of picturesque picnic spots along the way.

Discover Local Talent at the Uptown Waterloo Night Market 

For a taste of Waterloo all in one spot, check out the beloved night market running all summer long! Every Thursday night head towards the upper parking lot at the Waterloo Public Library to find local treats and shopping opportunities from some of our favourite vendors. Spend the night wandering the stalls in search of treasures to bring home, while enjoying some of the musical talents of Waterloo musicians. 

Enjoy a Movie Under the Stars 

As the weather warms up, there is no better time to enjoy a movie under the stars than in summer. For family-friendly fun, visit Waterloo Park near the Bandshell to enjoy a themed Movie in the Park night. Grab your blanket, snacks and cozy up for a feature-length film that will delight everyone. The event is completely free, but a donation towards the local food bank is greatly appreciated. Movies this summer include Mamma Mia, Encanto, Sing 2 and more. You can find the full 2022 schedule here


Megan Honan is a seasoned travel, food and lifestyle writer based in Waterloo Region. Megan currently holds bylines for Suitcase Magazine, NUVO, S/Magazine, Canadian Traveller, Days to Come, Swanky Retreats and more. She’s worked with some of the top travel companies across the globe to create content and help with overall brand strategy, including G Adventures and Cosmopolitan Hotels. To connect, please visit


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