Oh how I love the that the weather is finally warm! Spring has officially hit Canada (though with 25°C temperature, it seems more like we skipped spring and went right into summer) after one hell of a winter. The snow boots are put away and I can finally start to explore more of my new town of Kitchener without risking hypothermia. I decided to spend a lovely Saturday walking through the city to see a couple of the main attractions… or at least what the signs on the side of the road like to point towards.
Up early Saturday morning, first on my agenda is to take a look around the Kitchener Market. Located right on King St. East, it is in the heart of downtown Kitchener. The Kitchener Market is open Tuesday to Friday 8am – 3pm and Saturday 7am – 2pm. Personally, I would recommend to go on Saturdays when they have the farmers market is on. Waterloo Region has plenty of great farmland and this is one of the spots the farmers come to sell their meat, produce, dairy products and more to us city folk. This is a personal favourite for me since I prefer eating local produce wherever I find myself. I couldn’t help it and decided to pick up some apples and fresh pretzel buns to take with me for the rest of my day.
With snack in tow, it was then time to get a little dose of cultural history in the form of Joseph Schneider Haus. Joseph Schneider Haus is a historical landmark in downtown Kitchener about a 10 minute walk from the market. Joseph Schneider and his family were part of the group of Pennsylvania-German Mennonites who went looking for farmlands that eventually settled the Waterloo Region in the 1800s. The property has shrunk quite a bit from the 1800s (which is typical of historical properties centered in expanding cities) but it still maintains living historical charm. The house also showcases folk art exhibits that would change every few months or so. The historians and workers at Joseph Schneider Haus were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about not only the history of the house but the entire region. I’m a bit of a history nerd so the conversation I had with them made me happy. The entrance fee to see the house/exhibitions is only $2.25 so it is well worth a visit. The house is open Wednesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 1pm – 5pm.
Joseph Schneider Haus is located right beside Victoria Park (and is actually where a lot of that disappeared farmland turned into). I wasn’t ready to give up on this beautiful day yet so decided to wander the park for a bit. Victoria Park is considered the “jewel of our city” on their website and after seeing it for myself I can see why they would say that about the 24 hectare park. With a gorgeous lake, iron bridge, two cannons, wild fowl, flower beds and hundreds of trees and shrubs, it is definitely a great place to spend my afternoon. There is a playground and splash pad for kids (which I instantly moved away from as I’m not a fan of small children) and went to find a spot that was lacking the local geese and swan population (because like the children, I have have a mild fear of birds). I pull out my snack from the market, a new book, and I enjoyed a few hours reading in the fresh air and warm sunshine. If you’re in the city, I’d recommend spending some time in the park – just watch out for all geese poop.
This is where my day around downtown Kitchener ended. I headed back to my apartment feeling more optimistic that this is a nice town to live in until I figure out where my next big adventure will take me.