Photo-Art by Neil de Boer

Posts tagged “Waterloo Region

The Lion and the Lamb

The Lion and The Lamb

The Lion and The Lamb

This past summer the The Waterloo Regional Police Service officially unveiled its new north division station. At the front entrance you are greeted by a bronze statue of the lion and the lamb designed by Ernest Daetwyler, which borrows the two animals from the police insignia. The lamb represents youth getting it’s first shaky legs of independence, while the lion represents the community and the establishment, watchful and protective of youth.

For me, what I first thought of when I first saw this beautiful installation was the Biblical representation of the Lion and the Lamb.


Doors Open Waterloo Region – Berlin Fire Station

Our second stop on this year’s Doors Open Waterloo Region brought us to the Former Berlin Fire Station No.2 / Station 2 Studios. This 100 year old former fire station has been converted to a dance studio, art studio in addition to several apartments. An interesting feature is the 75 ft. hose drying tower which provided a good view of the city.
Note: Dancer, Artifacts and Spot Photographed by Elizabeth de Boer – Post processing by Neil de Boer.

Doors Open Waterloo Region – Rumpel Felt Factory

Doors Open Waterloo Region is an annual event providing visitors an opportunity to tour many noteworthy buildings, interesting places and heritage sites. This year there were 42 sites open to the public! Although the theme this year was Waterloo Region Modern with sites like the Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo I was drawn to the older and repurposed architecture. So with a one day limit we narrowed the list to a few must see locations and set out on an adventure on which the steady rain could not dampen our spirits.

The 1st of 10 location we made it to this year was the Former Rumpel Felt Factory. The original building is 100 years old with several additions added over the years. Today the building awaits its fate as it is being considered to be listed as a property of cultural heritage value. The land it sits on has been acquired by the Region for the new transit centre and hopefully can be repurposed as have other unique building in downtown Kitchener.
Click on one of the pictures below to see them larger.

Doors Open Waterloo Region – The Waterloo Hotel

The Waterloo Hotel - Waterloo Ontario

The Waterloo Hotel – Waterloo Ontario

The Waterloo Hotel was stop number 8 of our Doors Open Waterloo Region Tour. The front part of this building was completed in 1890 so it has been a prominent feature in Waterloo for some time. The building was purchased by the Webers in January of 1997 after it sat vacant for 7 years. It has been painstakingly restored to its Victorian past with modern comforts. The wonderful thing about this tour is finding these treasures that we were unaware of before.

Click on the images to see larger

Next will be the final stop on the tour which took us right to closing time. Stay Tuned!

Doors Open Waterloo Region – Sun Life Financial

The Fourth stop on our Doors Open Waterloo Region was Sun Life Financial in Waterloo. Celebrating 100 years this building was a real treat to tour.

Sun Life Financial - Original main entrance

Sun Life Financial – Original main entrance

In the spring of 1912 24 men and 14 women – Employees of the the Ontario Mutual Life Assurance Co. carried their files and papers from their old location through this magnificent entrance into the Great Hall inside. One employee is said to exclaim, “We will never fill it!”. Eight additions later and 2,600 people working in this location  proved filling it was not a problem.

Sun Life Financial Great Hall

Sun Life Financial Great Hall

This shot taken from one of the balconies of the Great Hall is a panorama composed of 5 pictures.  Great care has been  taken to preserve the original features of the building.

Click on a picture to see them larger


This stop was well worth the time to see and learn about this significant Waterloo landmark and contributor to the economy.

Our next stop – A beautiful 130 year old home! Stay tuned!


Doors Open Waterloo Region – Wellesley Mill

Wellesley Mill

Wellesley Mill – Village of Wellesley

Our third stop on the Doors Open Waterloo Region tour was in the Village of Wellesley. The Wellesley Mill was built in 1856 by the Doering Brothers as a flour mill. As described on their web site “The actual structure is composed of massive timbers, which are mortise-and-tenon-jointed together with brick infill (known as half-timbering), and is set on stone foundation walls 2 feet thick. As such, it is rather rare as most existing gristmills in south-western Ontario are constructed either of stone or brick.”

It was a real treat to be able to get down and see the massive stone walls and heavy post and beam structure.  At one time the mill was apparently powered be a coil fired steam boiler which is still in the basement. There where also many interesting artifacts to be seen.

The rich textures lends itself to a more artistic and grungy approach to the processing of these pictures.

Click on a picture to bring up the Gallery


Wellesley Mill

Wellesley Mill

By the time we finished looking around this site it was time for lunch so we ate at the restaurant and headed back to Waterloo for our next Doors Open site. The next site is very much the opposite of this one. Stay tuned!

Pioneer Tower, Kitchener Ontario.

Pioneer Tower at Sunset

Pioneer Tower, Kitchener Ont.

In anticipation of a nice sunset last night we headed out to the Pioneer Tower in Kitchener. I have never visited this site before and it is a beautiful area with lots of walking trials.
The sunset was pretty good and this is one of the shots I took.

The following is a description of the tower from An Insider’s Guide to Waterloo Region.

Kitchener’s Pioneer Tower is a frequently photographed landmark. The tower was completed in 1926 to celebrate the German origins of the region, particularly to memorialize the Pennsylvania Dutch and Mennonite settlers who settled here in the early 1800′s. The city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed Kitchener during World War 1 and this tower was built in an effort to heal nationalistic wounds. The architecture is Swiss in influence, as Switzerland is the ancestral home of some Mennonite families in the area.

The tower is often open and the steep steel steps lead to an upper balcony which offers a wide panoramic view of the Grand River and surrounding countryside. At the edge of the bluff is a small pioneer cemetery where members of the Sherk and Betzner families are buried. The Schoerg (Sherk) and Betzner homesteads are nearby and the farmhouses built around 1830 still stand. A small park with some playground equipment is adjacent to the tower. The picture above was taken on a summer evening. Sunrise and sunset light are friends of any photographer who may want to take an exceptional picture of this landmark.