City of Waterloo Museum

Recreation facilities and programs are expected to gradually re-open in July. Sports leagues (CARL) are cancelled for the summer season.

Read our media release for full details on opening dates and restrictions.

Visit our COVID-19 webpage to find out how other city services have changed

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

The museum is closed until further notice.

We're located at 550 King Street North, beside the food court at Conestoga Mall. Regular hours are:

  • Tuesday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • The last full weekend of every month (September to June): Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission is free. 

Upcoming exhibits

Coming in July. Check back soon. 

child colouring chalk rainbow

While the museum is closed, participate in our online curation, Waterloo@home via Instagram or Facebook

  1. Museum Mondays - highlighting artifacts in the collection
  2. Tip Tuesdays - tips on conservation, collection and care of objects
  3. Virtual Wednesdays - architecture in Waterloo, past and present
  4. Take Over Thursdays - guest presenters take over our feeds
  5. Feel Good Fridays - anything that brings a smile!

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

200 Years of Schooling in Waterloo

Thursday July 16, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Sunday August 9, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the little log schoolhouse in Waterloo Park. Visit with museum staff to learn the stories of Waterloo’s early students, teachers and trustees!

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.

Mishap and Murder

Thursday August 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Ever wonder what accidental death or a murder scandal looked like in the early days of Waterloo? Over the years we have uncovered some fascinating tales…not for the faint of heart.  If you are ready, join City of Waterloo Museum Staff at the Moore and Peltz Streets entrance for a tour like no other.

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.

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.