A Geeky Guide to Waterloo

Waterloo is a diverse and accepting community. People from all walks of life call this city home and some of the people who live and thrive in this city are geeks.

Geekiness is synonymous with being very passionate about something, regardless of the topic. Geeks know how to enjoy themselves and how to continue to learn and grow in their shared interests.

Waterloo is the perfect place for geeks and geek-wannabes to embrace who they are and explore their passions.

One business that seeks to showcase all that geek culture entails is Watchtower Restaurant. This hot spot of nerd life serves up all kinds of appropriate and awesome food and drinks. They host weekly trivia nights and other fun events to bring geeks together.

Other local businesses seek to bring this community together as well. Games on Tap is a board game café that has a fun atmosphere encouraging customers to play card and board games while they enjoy some delicious treats. This establishment also hosts weekly trivia nights with a great prize.

Crossroads Board Game Café also has splurge of games for customers to play. In addition, Crossroads also hosts weekly Super Smash Bros. Melee Tournaments and Magic: The Gathering events. For social nights out, consider these locations for all things fun and games.

Check out other local places that could help fulfill your geeky interests. J&J Cards & Collectibles is a shop that sells board games, card games, books, figurines, puzzles, toys, and everything in between. This is a one-stop shop for any enthusiast.

Also make your way over to Carry on Comics. This comic book store has a wide selection of your favourite comics, new and old, just waiting to be thumbed through.

Head over to Just By Chance Games next. This gaming gathering place is perfect for fans of role playing games, collector card games, Warhammer, and more.

Consider joining Ctrl-A (Club That Really Likes Anime) run out of the University of Waterloo. This group is open to everyone (not just students) and meets often to discuss and watch anime, both new and old.

Lastly, spend some time at Orange Monkey Music checking out their selection of vinyl, cassettes, eight tracks, CDs, and more. Waterloo businesses and groups are ready to support your geeky endeavours.

Waterloo is also a great city for geeky activities. One such place to have fun is Ctrl-V, Waterloo’s virtual reality arcade.  You will feel like you’re stepping into the game and becoming a part of the adventure.

 Photo: Chris Hussey

Photo: Chris Hussey

When you’re ready to enter the real world again, visit Paintball HQ for an energetic and intense paintball experience. Shop their store full of merchandise and challenge your friends to a round at their affiliated paintball club, Shoot 2 Splatter.

If you want to go back in time and take part of some action, attend the Royal Medieval Faire. This annual fall event brings Waterloo back to the Middle Ages where kings and queens ruled and knights fought in jousting competitions. Walk through the grounds and visit the vendors and makers, or participate in the festivities yourself and act the role of brave lord or lady during the festival’s presentations and shows. In all of these activities, you can jump straight into your favourite geeky hobbies.

Geeks are well-known for their desire to keep learning about their favourite subject areas. If history is that subject area, then Waterloo can support your continuing education. Visit one of the local museums to learn about local and international history. Stop by the City of Waterloo Museum to brush up on the city’s history from the Indigenous peoples who called this area home to Mennonite settlers travelling north from Pennsylvania to the present day municipality. It offers free admission and is conveniently located in Conestoga Mall.

For more information on Mennonite history of the area and early settlers check out Brubacher House, located on the University of Waterloo grounds. This homestead is frozen in time and allows visitors to experience what life was like for Pennsylvanian-German immigrants at the end of the nineteenth century.

For even earlier history, visit the Earth Sciences Museum, also located at the University of Waterloo. View fossils and skeletons of plants and animals from a time before humans walked the earth. Take a step back in time and embrace your geeky history buff side.

Finally, participating in local events and festivals is the perfect way to embrace your geekiness. Waterloo always has free talks and discussions on a wide range of topics. Look for public lectures being put on by the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Perimeter Institute, Waterloo Public Library, and many more.

In addition, you can visit a lot of these institutions to learn more about them, as well as other local businesses and places, during Doors Open Waterloo Region. During this one day event in the fall you can catch a behind the scenes glimpse into some famous Waterloo buildings and businesses.

Be sure to attend Geek Week in the fall as well. This week long festival is a collaboration of community members in acts of making, moving, and innovation. Participate in activities of hacking, coding, and so much more in an environment that is all about celebrating geek culture. Mark all of these events on your calendar so you won’t miss them!

Waterloo is a city that loves and supports geeks. Through the local businesses, clubs, groups, museums, public events, and festivals, geekiness is something to be proud of here. Waterloo is the perfect home for you because you will always find a welcoming community and tons of friends, many of whom will most definitely be geeky!