Staebler 150 – Downtown Kitchener History Crawl

Staebler Insurance has called Kitchener home for its entire 150 year history. To pay homage to the history and our many office locations, we created a Downtown Kitchener “DTK” Crawl with some fun locations to explore.

Three intrepid Staebler employees sought an adventure through DTK with the goal of highlighting Staebler’s history, our rich connection with the city, and discovering some gems along the way.

How to Get Around

To begin, we suggest you begin by Parking at the Kitchener Market Underground lot (entrance on Eby Street N), take the ION to the Kitchener Market Station, or use one of the many bicycle parking spaces in the area.

Walking the entire route (except the LRT ride from City Hall to Grand River Hospital), you can expect to log over 12,000 steps. It is a fairly flat walk but it is suggested to wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a refillable water bottle for the journey.

Visit this Google Map for all the stops and directions,

Get the Route Guide Here

Download our Staebler 150 – DTK History Crawl Route Guide (opens PDF) for more details, approximate timings, and some bonus stops!


Share your trip on social media and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter!

Hashtag: #Staebler150

Be sure to stop by Staebler Insurance (871 Victoria Street N) for a special gift after the DTK History Crawl. Our reception hours are Monday-Friday (8 am-5 pm).

Some Highlights Along the Way

Download our Staebler 150 – DTK History Crawl Route Guide for all of the locations.

The Yeti Café

  • 14 Eby Street N., for a famous DTK Breakfast
  • Breakfast items range in price from $8 to $16
  • Pro Tip: You can fill up a reusable water bottle at the café
  • Promo: Mention the Staebler 150 DTK History Crawl at The Yeti to receive a free coffee or tea
Joanna and Chelsea stand outside the Yeti Cafe in Downtown Kitchener
Joanna stands in front of the Buena Vista holding an old photograph of the same house

Buena Vista

  • 379 Queen Street S.
  • Built by J.M. Staebler and was his home (later sold to J.M. Schneider)
  • First known office of Staebler Insurance, circa 1870s

Schneider Haus 

  • 466 Queen Street S.
  • A registered National Historic Site
  • Has five outbuildings and two historical gardens to explore
  • Located directly next to Victoria Park, take the path on the right for easy access
  • Open Wednesday-Sunday, 12 pm-4 pm
Joanna and Jared pose beside the Schneider Haus - National Historic Site sign
Chelsea and Joanna pose on the bridge leading into Victoria Park

Victoria Park

  • 32 Dill Street
  • Opened in 1896, J.M. Staebler was Chairman of the First Park Board which led to he creation of Victoria Park
  • Beautiful, sprawling public park in the middle of Kitchener
  • Walking trails, playgrounds, splashpad, island, and more to explore
  • The Clock Tower was transplanted from the original Kitchener City Hall
Chelsea and Jared stand in front of the Victoria Park entrance
Joanna pretends to pry into a treasure chest sculpture at the entrance of Victoria Park
Chelsea and Joanna pose on the bridge leading into Victoria Park

Café Pyrus

  • 305 King Street W.
  • This locally owned and independent café, makes a great break spot near the middle of the route
  • Vegan food options and a wide selection of hot and cold beverages 
  • Committed to fair and sustainable practices, using local and organic ingredients

Kitchener City Hall

  • 200 King Street W.
  • Splashpad for kids and kids at heart to cool down on a hot day
  • Public washrooms located inside to the left
  • Pro Tip: Take this chance to fill up your reusable water bottle
  • Explore the upstairs for the Wall of Mayoralty (J.M. Staebler, 1891), various art installations
  • Use the rear exit at City Hall to find Duke Street
Chelsea, Joanna, and Jared pose next to the giant KITCHENER sign at Kitchener City Hall
Chelsea and Joanna in front of Kitchener's Wall of Mayoralty and point towards J.M. Staebler's portrait
Kitchener's Wall of Mayoralty includes J. Staebler in the centre
An ION Light Rail Transit train arrives at a station in Kitchener

iON Light Rail Transit

  • City Hall Station, Duke Street, Northbound train
  • Opened in 2019, the ION Light Rail Transit, connects Kitchener and Waterloo, running from Fairview Park Mall and Conestoga Mall
  • Cost is $3.75 per ride. Your ticket is valid for 90 minutes on the LRT and any GRT buses
  • Get off at the Grand River Hospital station and walk south on King Street

Central Fresh Market

  • 760 King Street W.
  • Take a quick break to grab a snack and a refreshment at this independent and locally-owned Midtown grocery store
Chelsea, Joanna, and Jared pose next to the giant KITCHENER sign at Kitchener City Hall

Former Staebler Office

  • 618 King Street W.
  • The site of Staebler’s modern built office from 1964-2005
Old photo of 618 King Street W in front of the actual 618 King Street W building
Joanna poses in front of a mural beside the entrance to 183 King Street W

Former Staebler Office

  • 183 King Street W.
  • Circa 1940
  • Former home to the Public Utilities Commission, before they moved across Gaukel St.
  • Now a pizza shop at the corner of King and Gaukel
  • Side entrance has wall murals and a door to 183 King Street

Former Staebler Office 

  • 144 King Street W.
  • Circa 1920
  • Originally the “Weber Chambers,” the first office building with an elevator
  • Now named “The Chambers” (apartments)
Joanna raises her arms in front of the Weber Chambers, 144 King Street W
Doorway to entrance of 107 King Street W

Former Staebler Office 

  • 107 King Street W.
  • Circa 1955
  • Small sliver (door with stairs up) between Yo Sushi and the former Shakedown Street

Former Staebler Office 

  • 23 King Street W.
  • Circa 1893 (“handsome brick building build by J.M. Staebler”)
  • Unfortunately, could not find a definitive location
  • A beauty salon was closest location to this address, next to The Walper Hotel

Former Staebler Office 

  • 11 Queen Street S.
  • Circa early 1900s
  • Was located where the parking lot now sits behind the bank on King Street
Corner of King and Queen Street in Downtown Kitchener - plaque of Heritage landmark 1893
Chelsea, Joanna, and Jared celebrate the end of the DTK History Crawl by high stepping at the Centre in the Square

Bonus: Centre in the Square 

  • 101 Queen Street N.
  • Opened in 1980, Keith Staebler was instrumental in bringing a performing arts centre in Kitchener
  • KW Art Gallery is also located inside (Admission is free)
Chelsea, Joanna, and Jared celebrate the end of the DTK History Crawl by high stepping at the Centre in the Square

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Staebler 150 Downtown Kitchener History Crawl