The historic Walper Hotel in Canada’s Silicon Valley North is the new hot spot for Kitchener Waterloo’s growing tech community. With newly opened offices of Yahoo, Google and other major tech players, as well as Waterloo’s RIM and the Perimeter Institute, this area located an hour from Toronto is proving to be one of the fastest growing communities in the country.
Downtown Kitchener’s most recognizable landmark, the historic Walper Hotel played a pivotal role in the city’s social and cultural scene since opening in 1893. Designated as a historic landmark under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1983, the list of luminaries who stayed at the hotel include the Queen Mother, many prime ministers and many jazz greats. Decades later, the heritage site’s dated accommodations were unable to meet the contemporary demands of modern business travelers and locavore millennials looking for a landing spot. The region’s burgeoning tech industry attracts a discerning clientele, and the hotel’s renewal targets these visitors, bringing the best of the old into the future. As a collaboration between three design firms – Dialogue 38, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, and Jill Greaves Design – the Walper was transformed into a modern boutique hotel while celebrating its historic details and pairing them with bold contemporary design. (Published with Bowerbird).