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The Waterloo Hotel

4, King Street, City of Waterloo, Ontario, N2J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/03/16

View of the Waterloo Hotel as seen from the intersection of King and Erb Streets, 2007.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Northeast View of the Waterloo Hotel
The Waterloo Hotel's central date stone located on the west façade, 2007.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
The Waterloo Hotel Date Stone
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Other Name(s)

The Waterloo Hotel
4 King Street North

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/12/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Waterloo Hotel is located at 4 King Street North, on the northwest corner of King and Erb Streets, in the City of Waterloo. This three-storey yellow brick building was designed in the Victorian style and was constructed in 1890.

The property was designated, for its historic and architectural significance by the City of Waterloo, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 90-34.

Heritage Value

Located at 4 King Street North, the Waterloo Hotel has been a focal point in Waterloo for over a century. The hotel is physically prominent in its setting, and continues to be appreciated by the public.

The Waterloo Hotel is the site of the first hotel in Waterloo. There has been a hotel on the property since 1835 when Henry W. Bowman first constructed the Farmer's Inn. Bowman's hotel was a focal point in Waterloo, attracting many farmers who chose the hotel as a place to eat and sleep when they came to town to do business. This original hotel was a two-and-a-half storey, stucco over brick building, which burned to the ground in 1850. A similar structure was immediately constructed, and sold to W. Young in 1876. He built the two-storey addition along Erb Street East in circa 1880, making this section the oldest part of the present structure.

In 1882, the property was sold once more, this time to Henry Zimmerman. During his ownership the front section burned down again and was replaced with the present three-storey Victorian structure. The date stone indicates that the new portion was opened in 1890. Zimmerman sold the hotel in 1904, and the property changed hands a number of times. In 1935, the building was sold to Stanley Chadder, who named it the Waterloo Hotel.

The Waterloo Hotel is representative of the Victorian style. The existing structure consists of two elements, the rear two-storey section built in circa 1880 and the front, three-storey section built in 1890. The two portions of the building compliment one another both in materials and design. The building is a handsome yellow brick structure with a simple form. The most striking element is the cornice which is supported by ornate brackets. A date stone is central in the cornice, illustrating the year of construction, 1890. A corbelled brick course along the roof line accents the cornice.

Sources: Designated Landmarks - City of Waterloo, LACAC, 1995; By-Law 90-34, City of Waterloo.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Waterloo Hotel include its:
- continued use as a hotel since its construction
- south and west elevations
- yellow brick cladding
- cornice with a central date stone and supported by ornate brackets
- corbelled brick course along the roofline
- hood mouldings over each window
- foundation of rough cut stone
- central windows framed with stained glass
- location at a prominent focal point in Uptown Waterloo
- important architectural contribution to the streetscape




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1990/01/01 to 1990/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer



W. Young

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Waterloo 100 Regina Street South Waterloo, ON N2J 4A8

Cross-Reference to Collection


Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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