City of Waterloo Museum

The City of Waterloo Museum re-opened on July 28. Guidelines for COVID-19 will be in place, including visitor screening. 

For more information view our COVID-19 response page.

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:

New! Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Special dates: open Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until December 13.

Admission is free. 

Current exhibit: Back 2 Basics REBOOT: Timely pieces from the collection

Back to basics reboot imageMuseum staff have looked at our emerging activities and trends throughout the pandemic, and cleverly assembled the historic equivalent from our collection. Each object is timely and historic offering a reboot to redefining the new normal. 
The exhibition runs July 28 to June 18, 2021.


Online exhibit: Waterloo@home

child colouring chalk rainbow

Participate in our online curation, Waterloo@home via Instagram or Facebook

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 jennifer.huber@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

The Ultimate Sacrifice: Stories of War, Influenza and Loss

Sunday November 8, 12:30 p.m. (11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. SOLD OUT).

This free walking tour will last for approximately one hour, please dress appropriately for the terrain and the weather. 

Preregistration is required, as are face masks.

Space is limited. To register, call the City of Waterloo Museum at 519.885.8828 or email museum@waterloo.ca. Meet at the Moore Street and Peltz Street Entrance.

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.