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Visiting St Jerome's College, Kitchener, Ontario: established 1864, now part of Wilfrid Laurier University

Updated on December 6, 2012
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
St Jerome's College, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario
St Jerome's College, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario | Source
St Jerome's College, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario
St Jerome's College, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario | Source
St Jerome's College, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario
St Jerome's College, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario | Source
Map of Kitchener, Ontario
Map of Kitchener, Ontario | Source

Sedate, academic architecture

The main building of St Jerome's College, in Ontario's Kitchener, is among the most impressive buildings possessed by Wilfrid Laurier University, the name of which features at the structure's prominent pediment.

As an institution, the College was founded in 1864 by clergyman Dr Louis Funken (1). Among the most striking features of St Jerome's College is its pillared frontage. The actual building, formerly a Roman Catholic high school, seen in the main photo, above, was erected in 1907, and has been designated a Heritage Landmark by the City of Kitchener. Its building materials are a combination of red brick, and stone for the arching and pillars.

The building houses the School of Social Work, of Wilfrid Laurier University (often abbreviated WLU)(2). It was recently renovated by Cianfrone Architect, Inc., in collaboration with Ball Construction, Inc. This $12 program of transformation, during the course of which the interior of the building was completely reconstituted, was awarded the City of Kitchener's Wagner Heritage Award.

Historical references to the building will sometimes be seen as St Jerome's College, Berlin: prior to World War One, Kitchener was known as Berlin, but in the midst of intense Imperial war propaganda it was decided to give the city a resolutely British-sounding name in honour of Field Marshal, The 1st Earl Kitchener (1850-1916).

St Jerome's College, WLU, is situated at 120 Duke Street West, near the intersection of Duke and College Streets, Kitchener (3), in Ontario's Region of Waterloo.

December 6, 2012


(1) The premises were originally situated in Erb Street; a plaque commemorates this.

(2) Perhaps conveniently, the University's previous name Waterloo Lutheran University, named as such in 1959, also abbreviates 'WLU'. The current name honors Canada's Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier (1841-1919), who served in that office 1896-1911, and Canada's longest-serving Parliamentarian (almost 45 years, 1874-1919).

(3) Its location is opposite Kitchener's City Hall; the City Council has taken an active interest restoration work carried out at the building (see above).

Also worth seeing

In Kitchener/Waterloo itself, visitor attractions include: Woodside, Kitchener, the boyhood home of Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, now a museum; in Waterloo Park, Waterloo, is an 1820 Schoolhouse; and many others.

West Montrose (distance: approx. 20 kilometres) has an historic covered bridge.


How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson to Kitchener: approx. 88.8 kilometres.) WestJet and Bearskin Airlines fly to Region of Waterloo International Airport, from where car rental is available, from Calgary and Ottawa respectively. (Distance from Reg. of Waterloo Int. Airport to Kitchener : approx. 14 kilometres.) Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


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