As a long time blogger I not only appreciate but admire other bloggers and their passion to write, to teach, to share what they know and what they want to share. We do it for ourselves as an exercise in self expression and we do it for a secondary reason, whatever that is. It could be for personal growth or it could be to attract new customers or friends. The best blogs, in my opinion, have a single focus. The best blogs blog about one thing, exploring it at different times from different angles.
Personally, I don’t like the word blog. It sounds bland. It sounds bulbous and blob-like, slow moving and boring. But my favourite blogs are the opposite. They are dynamic and interesting and useful and sharp. The best blogs are really websites and the best websites have a large blog component. In this blog post I use the words blog and website interchangeably.
The blogs below are some of my favourites. If you are new to Waterloo Region or even if you aren’t they are full of great information.
NOTE: This post was written in 2014. many of the links are now broken. Clearly blogs are easy to start but harder to maintain and continue. I think much of the world has moved on from blogging to easier and maybe more expressive platforms.
New to Waterloo. Know what the locals know.
New to Waterloo explores Waterloo’s neighbourhoods and schools. It does a great job in words, pictures and videos exploring Beechwood, Laurelwood, Clair Hills, East Bridge, and all of the other neighbourhoods in Waterloo, including Vista Hills, a neighbourhood that isn’t even built yet. New to Waterloo introduces the local schools both public and Catholic, elementary and secondary.
It has an event page highlighting our biggest festivals and a free e-guide with information about how to find a doctor or licensing your car, things newcomers need to know.
Kitchener Wiki is a collaborative, community driven effort to share local knowledge about Kitchener. It has information about festivals, public art, restaurants, people, anything Kitchener. Sadly, this website effort never really caught on. Kitchener Wiki isn’t updated often.
If you live in Waterloo Region you just have to follow what’s going on in the tech world. Everyone knows someone working at a start up, google, Blackberry, Christie Digital, Open Text…or a related law firm, design house or other related business. Kitchener Waterloo is building its future on the back of the tech world. It’s exciting. Techvibes lets us know what’s going on locally.
Stuff to do with your kids in Kitchener Waterloo is brought to us by those two girls. Bloggers, social media mavens, community activists, you can always count on them for not only being there at social media events, but usually having some part in organizing it. I really don’t know how they do it. Stuff to do with your kids is a website that if you have kids or even if you don’t you’ll visit often.
Streets of KW is a fun site. It is a bike riding and event site. Basically, they ride around neighbourhoods and map their route. It is kind of a personal travel log on the streets and through the neighbourhoods of Kitchener and Waterloo. Also, as every trip needs a destination, they also go to events and write about their experiences. They don’t update near often enough – you can’t really enjoy riding around aimlessly in the winter.
Makebright is a photograph+making+social change blog. It talks about art, music, photography and culture, the Grand Porch Party, and other events.
I started this site and posted a daily something to do for more than three years – more than 1200 posts. I proved my point.
Log Schoolhouse is a local history of Waterloo Region blog. If you want to go back in time, back to a time when we made our own cheese, if you want to learn about how hard (yet satisfying) life in the 1800s was, this is a great blog to follow.
Vintage Kitchener Waterloo is a facebook page with lots of old pictures
Momstown connects moms for support, conversation or just for fun.
Red leather booth is a blog about local arts and culture
The Waterloo Honk is the official fake news paper for the Kitchener-Waterloo area, as dubbed by the Southern Ontario Association for Satire. All Honk stories should be taken with a grain of salt and a large cup of black coffee.
A Photo sharing site
Real estate advice and community events
News and Views
The city of Kitchener has a very comprehensive website.
A weekly round up of real estate news from Waterloo Region and Guelph
Launched in December 2009, Wonderful Waterloo is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. WonderfulWaterloo.com provides a news reporting service, opportunities for event promotion and comprehensive event calendars complemented by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships – North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. In addition to that, Wonderful Waterloo offers a great deal of high quality local photography.
Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News is my newest website. Here I write about Kitchener Waterloo and real estate news aimed at home sellers.
Lots of guest bloggers here talking about crime prevention from many perspectives
This tumblr account makes fun of our local newspaper.
Stay up to date with what’s happening with transportation, technology, local events and everything else in Waterloo Region. From plastic bag recycling to what’s open and what’s closed on holiday weekends, you’ll find it here.
At the end of the day I blog about stuff that is on my mind. It might be real estate, local politics, traveling, or just working out ideas.
Tips are included is a unique food blog, a he said, she said perspective on everything foodie.
Maple is my favourite Kitchener Waterloo food blogger. Her food philosophy is my life philosophy – food can only be tow of three things – good, fast and cheap.
- If it is cheap and fast, it will not be good.
- If it is fast and good, it will not be cheap.
- If it is cheap and good, it will not be fast.
Maple writes about food. She searches out the newest and the best restaurants and she tells us about them. She also takes great pictures.
The Regionalist is a food blog. It goes to local food events, events with food and restaurants. It is a tumblr blog so there are lots of wonderful pictures.
The Taste of Phd drinks a lot of coffee. In Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, and in Italy, BFE where there is coffee to be consumed you can find it here. “A beautiful day starts with a cup of hand crafted espresso-based drink with a lovely company and the sun.”
Luigi is a food blogger. He writes well and eats even better. In both his writing and his eating, he is not afraid to try it and to tell it like it is. A lot of food bloggers rave about the good things and sugar coat the bad. Not Luigi. Around the region (and sometimes Guelph) he searches out and destroys wild and exotic meals.
Andrew Coppolino is the Duke of Food. He eats, he drinks, he write about food and farmers, restaurants and chefs. He blathers as he slathers. If it is about food and drink in Waterloo Region, he knows.
There are a lot of community associations around Waterloo Region. Many of them have websites and some of them are very good. They are all very different; some are very active and updated regularly, others not so much. Below are some links and some examples. You can find more on the Kitchener city and Waterloo city sites.
Westvale is a popular neighbourhood on the west side of Kitchener Waterloo, near Beechwood and Laurelwood.
Although the website has long been abandoned, the facebook page provides regular updates to what is going on in one of my favourite Waterloo neighbourhoods. This page covers events, news and development issues.
The intersection of Mary and Allen streets in Waterloo is at the centre of this historic neighbourhood. This website shares stories new and old about the interesting places and people of the Mary-Allen neighbourhood.
Cherry Park Neighbourhood Association
Potlucks, book clubs and an actual Cherry Festival!
Yard sales, community clean ups, free skating at the community rink
Terry usually writes about jazz and that’s OK with me.
When no one else will tell the story, Paul Langan will.
Paul Langan is a passionate man. He’s an advocate for high speed rail, and walkable cities. He has been fighting for increased passenger rail service in Canada for more than twenty years. Paul loves sports. He is an avid cyclist. He coaches. He founded the Scorpions Youth Volleyball Club.
I like Paul. He blogs a lot and about a lot of things: sports, trains, music, history, health, local politics.
I know Paul because our kids were on the same soccer team together for a couple of years a few years ago.
Follow this blog as Tia and Jeff renovate their home in UpTown Waterloo
And then there is this is my personal blog. I usually find time to write and like and write when I’m travelling. Be it a Christmastime trip to Florida and its highways, Wal-marts and amusement parks or a business trip to China and its train rides, hotels and wild food, I like to write. I’m no Paul Theroux, but it’s good to get it down.
I have several blogs but I write here when it doesn’t really fit anywhere else. This is the festival seating for my thoughts.
She quit her job to find her passion on this planet. This is her journey.
I used to work with Michelle, first at the Guelph Mercury and then at the Record. I like the honest of her blog.
Roi and his spouse have a little boy with cancer. This blog is their journey to recovery.
This a personal blog and a great resource. Lisa writes about things that are important like, what to do if you lose your power during a winter storm or a collection of recipes from food bloggers. I met Lisa MacDonald way back when we were trying to bring Ellen Degeneres to KW for Oktoberfest. Lisa is a twitterholic and a social media maven. She knows everyone. She is everywhere. She is half of those two girls.
There are many more I’m sure. When I was looking at my list, some had been abandoned, some hadn’t been updated for a while. Blogs come and go, but please feel free to leave other great local blogs in the notes below if you’d like to share.
And a podcast
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Real estate is local. If you are relocating within the region or to Kitchener Waterloo or from another part of Canada or the world, you need a local real estate expert who understands the culture, the neighbourhoods and how you fit in. Contact me. Helping you is what I do.