As described here, this 9.0 km, urban loop begins and finishes at Victoria Park, Kitchener [43.445477, -80.498916]. I chose to start this walk at 10:00 a.m. and walk counterclockwise so that the group would be at City Café Bakery (175 West Ave, Kitchener) for the option of having lunch at the Café or proceeding a short distance to the cars and heading home. This walk may appeal to those interested in urban history. Note that at "noonish" the City Café Bakery can be busy so seating space may be an issue especially if the outdoor patio is closed in cold weather.
GPS Track of Loop Walk in Google Maps ... with trail description and links below
Trail Route Description (counterclockwise)
- Note: Depending on the time of day and time of year, the various park toilets may be open. Start in the parking lot at the Kitchener Victora Park at the pavillion (43.445477, -80.498916).
- Follow the paved path north east towards Roland Street to the bridge that takes you over to the island (43.446392, -80.497915). Cross the island to a second bridge (43.447093, -80.497165).
- Turn right along the path a short distance and veer left (before reaching the boathouse) and cross Jubilee Drive (43.447479, -80.496290).
- Continue along the path towards the Dome of the Old Kitchener City Hall building (43.448513, -80.493879) crossing Joseph Street and follow the Gaukel Street sidewalk to King Street.
- Cross King Street at the traffic light and proceed straight to the fron doors of Kitchener City Hall where some may wish to take advantage of public toilets. Also, if you are doing this in the winter you may wish to take a few minutes to watch families skating on the outdoor rink.
- From the front of City Hall head north west along a ramp (43.451709, -80.492812) and out to and across College Street entering Bell Lane (43.451898, -80.493217).
- Follow Bell Lane to and across Francis Street to and into a large parking lot.
- In the parking lot veer right (north east) and walk to the sidewalk on Duke Street (43.453614, -80.495584).
- Proceed along the Duke Street sidewalk to and across Victoria Street and continue along Duke Street crossing the railway tracks and turn right along the sidewalk of Breithaupt Street. North of here is a red brick building that was Fire Station No. 2 (1913).
- At the Breithaupt Street cul de sac, veer left (43.455901, -80.495035) along a new pedestrian path (sidewalk parallel to Weber Street) and continue to Wellington Street (43.456798, -80.495384).
- At the traffic light cross Weber Street to the east side, cross over the new sidewalk and turn right (43.456769, -80.494940) along an old portion of Weber Street and along an older sidewalk with house on the left.
- When you get to Breithaupt Street continue straight for about 50 m past an old factory building and turn left. Proceed eastward along the "workyard" between some old factory buildings and the VIA rail line for about 200 m to the deadend of Ahrens Street (43.456254, -80.492269). As you proceed along this segment note the VIA Train Station.
- When you are standing at the end of Ahrens Street (43.456254, -80.492269) look through the chain link fence to the left (east) and locate a small, blue street-name sign that says Gzowski Street (43.456056, -80.491910). This street was named after Sir Casimir Gzowski who was acting Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1896 to 1897. He was an engineer and was involved with the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway line from Toronto to Sarnia (1852-60). Peter Gzowski was the great-great-grandson of the engineer Sir Casimir Gzowski.
- Now, head north for about 100 m along the Ahrens Street sidewalk crossing Breithaupt Street until you reach the entrance to the Spur Line Trail and veer left (43.456867, -80.492718).
- When you reach Weber Street veer right along the sidewalk and past George Lippert Park (43.458607, -80.496385). At the intersection of Weber and Wilhelm Streets use the traffic lights to croos to the north west side (43.458949, -80.497396) where the Spur Line Trail continues towards Waterloo.
- Continue along the Spur Line Trail and shortly after crossing Allen Street note St. John's Lutheran and Elevation Church (two congregations) on the right (43.464955, -80.516859) and Waterpark Place condominium apartments.
- After crossing Willow Street you will come to a spot where you should notice Laurel Creek (43.464676, -80.519222). [At this point one could hop on the Laurel Trail and head in a northerly direction.] Here the Spur Line Trail ends and you continue west (towards Regina Street) on the Laurel Trail past the former Waterloo Train Station [Paul Puncher Men's Clothier] (43.464635, -80.520636) crossing Regina Street.
- Proceed west along the side of the old Button Factory (43.464369, -80.521251) and out to King Street and turn left along the King Street sidewalk to the traffic light at Willis Way (43.463698, -80.521863).
- Cross King Street at the traffic light and walk up the Willis Way sidewalk to the side entrance of Waterloo Town Square (43.463093, -80.523363) ... just inside are toilets.
- Leaving Willis Way and the Waterloo Town Square, turn left (south east) along the Caroline Street sidewalk, cross William Street and continue to and across Allen Street.
- Opposite Vincenzo's veer right onto the Ironhorse Trail (43.459165, -80.519493).
- Continue on the Ironhorse Trail in a south east direction and just after crossing Gage Street notice, off to the left (east), a small wooded area that is Raddatz Park (43.447750, -80.511581). This small woodlot is the home of the start of Schneider Creek.
- Eventually the trail crosses Victoria Street but use the traffic lights to cross (43.445377, -80.505870).
- Enjoy an optional lunch at the City Café Bakery and then cross West Avenue (43.444612, -80.505625) and continue along the Irornhorse Trail. Schneider Creek passes under Victoria Street and is hidden in a wooded area off to your left as to continue along the Trail.
- About 200 m after West Avenue the trail passes over a creek on a wooden tressle-like bridge (43.444070, -80.503313). This is Henry Sturm Creek bringing water from the west side of Kitchener (e.g. from Monarch Woods) to Victoria Lake. Also, before crossing the bridge you will note another communuty trail on the right. That trail (with a few interuptions) can be used to walk or cycle westward through Monarch Woods and eventually ending up at Ira Needles Blvd and the "Boardwalk". About 100 m off to the left (towards Victoria Park) the Henry Sturm Creek forms a confluence (see confluence here 43.445034, -80.503136) with Schneider Creek and the combined waters flow into Victoria Lake before passing under Queen Street as Schneider Creek near Joseph Schneider Haus. Then Schneider Creek twists and turns making its way through Upper Doon to Lower Doon to its confluence with the Grand River.
- Staying on the Ironhorse Trail continue for about 300 m where you will veer left across a second railroad spur (43.443653, -80.499585). Here you exit the trail and proceed north through a parking lot (43.443963, -80.499452), a children's playground before arriving at the Victoria Park parking lot near the pavillion (43.445477, -80.498916).
The Spurline-Ironhorse Gang, 2015 Dec 31
We walked this loop in an attempt to "work off Christmas". Our thanks to Ken who took our group picture in front of the Button Factor in Waterloo near where the Spur Line Trail joins the Laurel Trail and connects to the Ironhorse Trail via a bit of sidewalk. For historical information on the Button Factory check out the links on this "our Ontario" web page.