The Kitchen, the Loo, and the Bridge

It has come to my attention that the three cities in Waterloo Region (in Ontario, Canada) all can have derived architectural nicknames.

Kitchen can stand for Kitchener. Indeed that city uses the slogan “Keep Kitchener clean as a Kitchen”. Loo can stand for Waterloo, meaning a toilet in the English of certain parts. Waterloo is actually shy about promoting this tie, not unlike the shyness of many in regards to toilet conversation. Bridge could stand for Cambridge, an architectural improvement on the “ford” city names like Brantford and Stratford. Yes my biases are showing, I really prefer a bridge to fording a river.

Kitchener only got its name when it was decided during World War I that total war against Germany should involve changing the name of a city called Berlin to something more palatable to the British Empire. Thus the year 1917 I see as the age when Kitchener (or the Kitchen) came to be on the inside.

It took longer for the Loo to arrive on the inside. Indeed in the 19th century the vast majority of loos existed on the outside. Indeed these constructs were called outhouses, thus trumpeting the fact they were on the outside. After enduring much, sometime in the 20th century, the Loo started cosying up to Kitchener and eventually got in the inside by calling itself Kitchener’s twin city. With Kitchener’s approval, the Loo became part of the inside.

Doesn’t the Bridge (or Cambridge) just scream being on the outside? Indeed Light Rail Transit (something between a bus and a subway) is coming to the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in only a couple years from now. The region can only afford this in the well built up areas of the Kitchen and the Loo. Years after that completion, the region will expand Light Rail Transit to the Bridge.

Cambridge politicians opposed the LRT for Kitchener and Waterloo. Why should they have to pay for something that doesn’t benefit themselves (although initially they get bus rapid transit)? And mostly it feels like the Bridge is on the outside and might never be on the inside.

Houses are much more common for people to build than bridges. And the vast majority of houses have a sunken basement. What makes a house the most habitable is that we don’t stop there, we add at least another level. This other level bridges the basement. What I am trying to say is that sure some bridges are outside, but by far the most common type of bridge is in almost every home.

I have no doubt that the Kitchen and the Loo are going to bring the Bridge clearly inside. Sure it might take more years but Cambridge is going to get the LRT, too. How do I know? Well decades ago all Canadian cities were clamouring for the plant Toyota planned to bring to Canada. Instead of offering competing bids, both Kitchener and Waterloo backed the bid by Cambridge. The Cambridge Toyota plant employs thousands to this very day.

Maybe the Bridge was on the inside all along. Well at least since 1973 when it was formed from towns and one small city. I think all three cities are now on the inside track in Waterloo Region.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
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