From "Busy Berlin" to Tech Corridor

Did you know Berlin (now Kitchener) had a thriving eco-system of industry “clusters” that began over 100 years ago? It’s not just a tech town! 

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We think of business or industry “clusters” as a modern phenomenon, with Waterloo Region’s technology cluster as a prime example. Yet, as we walk through Downtown Kitchener’s Innovation District, we follow the footsteps of the people of “Busy Berlin,” a largely German 19th century community that worked in equally successful clusters for their time.

They left a legacy of yellow-brick buildings transformed from the factories of yesterday to meet the needs of today’s tech sector. They also left us a culture of innovation and community building. We will explore those early clusters and the sometimes forgotten but often fascinating people and stories behind them.

Led by: Mary Sehl

Accessibility: Route follows paved surfaces on city sidewalks. Accessible for scooters & wheelchairs.

Busy Berlin Walking Tour Details

Of course, we have the obligatory Liability Waiver and Release form that must be signed by each person in advance of joining the walk.  Why a waiver for a walking tour, you ask? Couldn’t get insurance without it. Stroll pays insurance… you sign the waiver. 

A sense of curiosity, a few questions and a willingness to learn something you didn’t know before.

Of course, dress for the weather; bring a hat, water bottle, umbrella, solid walking shoes (no flip flops!) and anything else you need to be comfortable on the walk. 

We walk rain or shine or snow! 

However, we do heed storm watches and warnings and would never put you in danger. Stroll may cancel and reschedule a walk due to an issued weather advisory. 

We don’t make scheduled bathroom breaks along the walking route. Please attend to personal needs before or after the walking tour. 

Twice a year Stroll hosts a series of public walking tours in the spring and fall. Make sure you are on the Stroll newsletter list so you know when they are available! 

Absolutely! The walking tour guides have chosen routes with the best possible accessibility in order to accommodate as many people as possible. However, construction happens and we do our best to re-route safely.

If you have any questions about the accessibility of a specific walk, please contact us in advance of booking. 

We’ll say it again… Always arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time! If you arrive exactly at departure time, you’re already late! If you arrive really late, your walking tour will likely be shorter than you planned for. 

Public Tours: We start on time so you might miss the introduction. If you’re really late, you might miss the tour if we’ve already moved on. 

We know you’re a curious bunch so we’ve been preparing blog posts with additional resources from many of the walking tours. Happy reading!

Attended the “Busy Berlin' to Tech Corridor: Industry Clusters Then & Now” Tour and loved it. Super informative and even learnt some of the scandalous history in Kitchener’s past! A great way to get your bearings in the city and highly recommend!
Devon F.