Waterloo Region’s rich history of notable residents

ross macdonaldWith Doors Open Waterloo Region this weekend, a great chance to catch up with local history and architecture, I thought I’d have a quick look at some notable residents. This isn’t a complete list. There have been far too many to mention. Many, many hockey players and boxers, business leaders and musicians/artists have called Kitchener Waterloo home. These are only some Kitchener-Waterloo’s past residents that I personally think are interesting (and didn’t know were from here before I moved here).

Walter Zeller, the founder of the discount retail chain Zellers was born in Waterloo County. His great grandfather settled in Breslau Ontario after arriving from Germany.

William Lyon McKenzie King was the longest serving prime minister in British Commonwealth history. He spent 21 years as PM. He was born in Kitchener in 1874. Did you know McKenzie King never married?

Ross Macdonald (pictured above) is one of my father’s favorite authors. He grew up in Kitchener. Macdonald is best known for a highly acclaimed series of hard-boiled novels set in Southern California featuring private detective Lew Archer.

Lennox Lewis was the undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion for four years. He grew up in Kitchener. He won a gold medal for Canada in the 1988 Olympics.

Howie Meeker, former right-winger in the National Hockey League and television sports announcer was born Kitchener in 1923. He beat out Gordie Howe for rookie of the year 1946-1947. He was also MP for Waterloo South riding 1951-1953.

Keith Marshall, notable blogger, and acclaimed realtor at Prudential Grand Valley Realty is a long time resident of Kitchener Waterloo. I am best known for helping people take the stress and mystery out of the home buying of selling process. I like small words and short sentences.

Those are just some of many who have called Kitchener and Waterloo Region home.

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