Plan an event

Submit a request to the events teams to get support planning your event.


On this page

  1. What you need to plan an event
  2. Locations to host your event
  3. Equipment rentals
  4. Permits for your event
  5. Fees and Payment Options
  6. Neighbourhood events
  7. Submit your request for event support

What you need to plan an event

To host an event at a City of Waterloo facility, park, road or sidewalk, you will need to start by submitting a request to city event staff.

Event staff can help you:

  • book a location
  • decide what permits or insurance you need
  • reserve equipment
  • help you finalize your plan with everything you need to host an event on city property

Review the information on this page about locations, permits and fees to help you start planning your event.

Request a space for an event


Locations to host your event

Community centres

Albert McCormick Community Centre (AMCC)

View the AMCC location map.

The AMCC has:

  • twin ice pads (56 x 26m), with off-season floor rentals
  • ice pads have 300 spectator seats on the East Rink and 399 spectator seats on the West rink
  • nine dressing rooms, a referee room, end zone scoreboards and shot clocks
  • upper viewing lounge overlooks the ice with room for 100 people standing or 75 with tables and chairs

Available meeting rooms:

  • two meeting rooms, up to 175 people or up to 50 people
  • larger meeting room has a kitchen with a bar area and a large stage

Read more about the AMCC.

Moses Springer Community Centre 

View Moses Springer Community Centre location.

The location has:

  • arena of size 56 by 26 metres with four change rooms and 200 spectator seats
  • capacity of 1,080 on the arena floor
  • eight-lane outdoor pool with two waterslides and three change rooms
  • holds groups of up to 500 people, with a ramp and stairs to access the shallow end
  • meeting room capacity of up to 30 people

Read more about Moses Springer Community Centre

RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex 

View the RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex location map.

The location has four Olympic-sized ice pads: 

  • Piller's rink has 500 spectator seats, a press box and a sound booth
  • Optimist's and Lion's rinks have 250 spectator seats 
  • Carolyn Fedy Skating Centre rink with an attached fitness centre

Amenities include:

  • 36 large dressing rooms with showers
  • main concession stand and a fully licensed restaurant.

The indoor field house is 3,852 sq. metres, which can be divided into three fields with spectator seating for 300 and true grass-like turf

There are two NBA-sized gymnasiums with sprung maple floors that divide into four single gyms, have a full court capacity of 1300 people, and a stage area is available.

Nine meeting rooms with:

  • capacity from 30 to 80 
  • two rooms have sinks
  • basic audio/visual equipment available for rent

Outdoor spaces include 12 multi-purpose sports fields:

  • two international size artificial turf sports fields
  • four natural grass fields with lighting
  • player benches with spectator seating
  • six enclosed ball diamonds
  • four sand beach volleyball courts

Additional amenities for outdoor spaces include:

  • onsite washroom facilities
  • accessible parking
  • a pavilion
  • community playground
  • walking loop

Read more about the RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex.

Banquet Hall at RIM Park

Located at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex, this 10,000 square foot space has capacity for 500 people (seated, including a head table and dance floor).

Take a virtual tour to get an idea of what the space looks like.

The room can be divided into many configurations to fit your party size and needs. We can accommodate up to 650 guests seated theatre style.

The facility includes:

  • a serving kitchen,
  • walk-in refrigeration,
  • bar services,
  • two elevators
  • 14-foot ceiling
  • upper balcony entrance is available for a receiving line as guests arrive

Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex (WMRC) 

View the WMRC location map.

The WMRC has an Olympic-sized ice pad with 3,400 spectator seats and a viewing capacity of 4,800

  • ice surface can be covered with event decking
  • six large dressing rooms with showers,
  • two referee rooms with showers
  • press box, first-aid room
  • five concession booths
  • event staging of a maximum size of 8.5 by 12 metres

There is also an activity court:

  • 6000 sqft. multi-use gymnasium space
  • moveable basketball nets

The swimming complex (Swimplex) has:

  • an eight-lane swimming pool 
  • three-storey waterslide, diving tower and springboards
  • swirlpool and separate play area for kids

Three meeting rooms with a capacity of 25 to 40 people are available.

Read more about the WMRC.

Parks and outdoor spaces

Bechtel Park 

View Bechtel Park location map.

  • three outdoor soccer fields, one is lit
  • hardball diamond
  • four lit tennis courts

Manulife Financial Soccer and Sports Centre amenities (in Bechtel Park):

  • indoor field house with 33.5 by 61.5 metres of artificial turf
  • two dressing rooms 

Read more about Bechtel Park.

Hillside Park

View Hillside Park location map.

  • two fully lit and enclosed ball diamonds
  • batting cage
  • change rooms
  • pavilion
  • 62 acres and three kilometres of trails

Read more about Hillside Park.

Waterloo Park 

View Waterloo Park location map and view a detailed map of the park.

Rental space options include picnic shelters and gazebos for a variety of possible uses:

  • shelter capacity is 60 to 200 people and some may be combined
  • located on the east and west sides of our park
  • most shelters have access to electricity and water
  • the splash pad is not available for rent, but nearby gazebos may be rented

Other amenities include:

  • hospitality area on the west side of the park has a fully equipped kitchen with a stove, fridge, freezer and counter space
  • wedding photo locations can be booked at Victoria Gardens and Grist Mill for 1.5-hour time slots from May to October

The Grist Mill can be rented for a wedding ceremony with a capacity of up to 75 guests and a rental duration of up to three hours.

Read more about Waterloo Park.

Waterloo Public Square

View Waterloo Public Square location map.

The square has the following options for rental spaces with access to parking:

  • winter skating rink
  • open courtyard
  • amphitheatre seating, chairs, tables

Waterloo Public Square has a dedicated team to support public and private events, and they will be notified when you submit your request for event support.

Read more about Waterloo Public Square.

Westmount Sports Park 

View the Westmount Sports Park location map.

The park has available:

  • three grass sports fields, two with lights
  • accessible washroom
  • trails
  • interactive playground

Read more about Westmount Sports Park.

Walk routes

Routes that do not require a road closure or police services and are accessible to organize charity walks are listed below. Five options include different locations across Waterloo.

Reach out to roads@waterloo.ca to book your walk route.

Fees

Fees include shared use of the space with all available public amenities, such as parking lots and washrooms. Many routes are near other locations with additional rental facilities and services.

Extra costs include rented rooms, fields or picnic shelters, porta-potties, tents, picnic tables, additional waste bins, bleachers, electrical connection and fencing. These rentals may be subject to additional policies and regulations.

Fees for walk routes

  • Up to 75 participants - $83.65
  • 76 to 250 participants - $194.14
  • 251 to 750 participants - $421.55
  • 751 to 1500 participants - $709.47
  • 1501+ participants - $928.27

AMCC/David Johnson Research Park

Located on the west side of Waterloo near the Albert McCormick Community Centre (AMCC) with these features:

  • 3km and 5km routes
  • located through David Johnston R&T Park
  • paved trails and sidewalks that are fully accessible
  • will require a special events permit
  • 3km route requires only a single road crossing to complete
  • crossing occurs at an intersection with traffic lights, allowing for controlled crossings
  • quiet and low in traffic volume on weekends
  • suitable for up to 300 participants

Download route guide (PDF)

Kiwanis - Bechtel Park 

Located on the east side of Waterloo near Bechtel Park with these features:

  • 3km and 5km options 
  • fully accessible and contained to paved sidewalks
  • will require a special events permit
  • 3km route has one road crossing
  • 5km has two road crossings
  • all road crossings at traffic lights
  • parking and washroom facilities are available in Bechtel Park
  • suitable for up to 500 participants

Download route guide (PDF)

Waterloo Park Ring Road 

Located in the central area of uptown Waterloo on the east side of Waterloo Park with these features:

  • 1.5km loop route is paved and fully accessible
  • no road crossings 
  • limited onsite parking
  • accessible washroom facilities
  • suitable for up to 400 participants

Download route guide (PDF)

Waterloo Park West 

Located in the central area of uptown Waterloo on the west side of Waterloo Park with these features:

  • 2km loop route 
  • variety of terrain, including paved roads, sidewalks and stone dust trails
  • will require a special events permit
  • picnic shelter and a servery available nearby that must be booked
  • limited onsite parking
  • accessible washroom facilities
  • suitable for up to 400 participants

Download route guide (PDF)


Permits for your event

Some events might need permits or insurance. A list is provided below. City staff will help you determine what types of permits will be necessary to support your event.

Food 

You will need approval from Public Health Inspectors at Waterloo Region Public Health if you:

  • rent a location that allows on-site food preparation or
  • serve food prepared off-site or
  • serve prepackaged food 

You can apply using their form and need to apply a minimum of 45 days before your event.

Review the catering services that the city can provide.

Alcohol

You need a license to serve alcohol at a city recreation facility, and these rules apply:

  • a caterer or event organizer can get a license
  • a Certificate of Insurance is required when serving alcohol on a City of Waterloo property with proof of $5 million of Commercial General Liability Insurance
  • one of the events teams can help you obtain insurance while booking a facility
Insurance

Insurance is required for your event if you have alcohol, amusement rides, inflatables, fireworks, or live entertainment. It is required to cover liability in certain situations. Insurance protects participants, volunteers and organizers. The City of Waterloo must be named on coverage for up to $5 million, depending on your event activities. 

The events team can help you obtain insurance.

Music and live entertainment

Playing music at your event requires an Entandem licence that allows you to play licensed music, recorded or live, at a public event.

A music vendor may have an existing license, or you may need to obtain a license.

Amusement rides

TSSA certificate and insurance is required for an amusement ride at your event. Read more on the TSSA website.

Animals

Review information about animals for entertainment licence, which is required for live animals at an event. Not all city facilities or properties permit animals.

Fireworks and open flames

Fireworks and open flames have these rules:

  • learn more about fireworks in Waterloo
  • In Waterloo, you can set off fireworks from dusk until 11 p.m. on these recognized holidays:
    • throughout Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year
    • Victoria Day (including one day before and one day after)
    • Canada Day (including one day before and one day after)
    • throughout Diwali or Deepavali
  • only the owner of the property is allowed to set off fireworks as per section 5.4 of the Fireworks bylaw
  • open flames or campfires can be permitted for culturally significant group or community events
    • minimum of 25 people is required at the event
    • permit fee is $79.05
  • propane BBQs are available for rent with our pavilions at Waterloo Park
  • charcoal BBQs are not permitted
Noise exemptions

An exemption is required if your event will have excessive noise between 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Sundays). Apply for a noise exemption through our bylaw division.

Road and sidewalk use or closure

Use or closure of a road or a sidewalk requires completing a special events permit form. Note that we have pre-planned routes to host a walk event that does not require a road closure.

Permits and approvals have these timelines:

  • approval for events along the light rail transit route takes 60 to 120 days
  • events requesting road and/or lane closures require a minimum of 60 days
  • events using only sidewalks or trails require 30 to 60 days.
Tents

Tents may require approval from our building division if they are more than 60 square metres in area or more than 60 square metres in combined area for a group of tents.

Read more on the tents page

Security

Your event may require security if a large number of people are attending or if alcohol is being served.


Equipment Rentals

Rentals from the city include:

  • chairs, tables, benches, picnic tables, people fencing, garbage cans, recycling bins, AV equipment or any event-style equipment

The events team will help you book any required equipment when booking a location, including equipment from other vendors.


Fees and payment options

Review event-related fees (PDF).

Payment options are:


Neighbourhood events

A neighbourhood event involves people who live in your neighbourhood, multi-residential building, on your street or block, and want to develop and maintain community connections.

The neighbourhoods team can help you:

  • find a location
  • apply for potential grants
  • brainstorm event ideas
  • support planning for your gathering 

Learn more about neighbourhood events or email the neighbourhood team at neighbourhoods@waterloo.ca for help planning your event.


Submit your request for event support

Be aware:

  • you do not need to know all of the details for your event before you submit your request
  • event teams will support you to finalize details and make bookings for locations and equipment
  • submission of the form does not guarantee your preferred locations, but it does start the location booking process
  • submitting a request will begin the planning process with the correct team

City of Waterloo staff will contact you within two business days to help you finalize your event details, help with permits or insurance if needed and secure the location booking.

Submit your request for booking a space or to plan an event

If you have questions and are not ready to start planning, contact the Facility Allocation and Bookings team (FAB) by emailing fab@waterloo.ca.