• The Waterloo Region Courthouse is 446,100 square feet, and is located on a 3.3 acre site, bounded by Frederick, Weber, Duke and Scott streets in Kitchener.  
  • The courthouse has 30 courtrooms, including one multiple accused, high security courtroom for large, complex criminal cases, and eight judicial conference rooms.  
  • The new courthouse consolidates both Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice facilities currently located at:  
    • 89-103 Main St., Cambridge  
    • 20 Weber St. E., Kitchener  
    • 200 Frederick St., Kitchener 

Contemporary Design

  • The courthouse features a contemporary design and provides a new civic plaza in the heart of downtown Kitchener.
  • The design reflects the local landscape by incorporating a Grand River theme throughout the major public spaces.
  • The seven-storey building is constructed with materials such as stone, zinc and custom concrete panels, as well as large amounts of glass to create a feeling of openness and transparency.
  • A three-storey glazed atrium brings natural light deep into the building and  acts as an interior street, with many of the primary public destinations arranged along its length.  


  • Video conferencing and video remand: The courthouse uses video conferencing technology for remote appearances in court. Witnesses can give testimony from a remote location or routine bail and remand hearings can take place through a video connection between the courtroom and someone in a correctional facility. 
  • Remote testimony for vulnerable persons: Using closed-circuit television (CCTV), children or other vulnerable persons can appear before the court from a secure room within the courthouse. The Waterloo Region Courthouse has two remote testimony suites.
  • Audio Uplift System/Assistive Listening Devices: Each courtroom has an audio uplift (amplification) system, which allows everyone to be heard at the same level throughout the courtroom without having to raise their voices. Assistive listening headsets that amplify sound and reduce the effects of background noise are also available.
  • Evidence presentation: Permanent evidence presentation systems (projector, screen and multimedia players) in the courtrooms mean that equipment will no longer have to be transported from one courtroom to another, helping to reduce delays. The system allows counsel to display evidence recorded in various formats for all participants to view.
  • - Simultaneous interpretation: The courthouse is equipped with one permanent simultaneous interpretation booth and three portable interpretation stations that can be moved in and out of courtrooms as required.

Sustainable Construction 

The courthouse is designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards, incorporating environmentally sustainable construction practices and energy efficient design. Some of the energy conservation features of the courthouse include:

  • Motion sensitive lights in courtrooms, interview rooms, meeting rooms, training rooms and boardrooms. 
  • A daylight harvesting system that dims lights as the sunlight increases, reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling. 
  • A building automation system that monitors energy consumption and provides a constant temperature.

Versatility and Flexibility

  • Multiple accused, high security courtroom: One courtroom has been designed to accommodate high security trials involving multiple accused. This courtroom has individual prisoner boxes and additional counsel tables.
  • Sliding back drop: In many of the courtrooms, the judicial Coat of Arms, which denotes which court is presiding, can be changed with a simple slide of a panel. These courtrooms can be shared by the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice and may hear civil, criminal, or family matters.  
  • Courtroom Flexibility: Many courtrooms have been designed to allow for the public rail to be moved to make room for additional rows of counsel tables. 
  • Future Growth: To allow for future growth, the building has been designed to accommodate six additional courtrooms and a possible addition over the southeast corner of the building.    


  • The Waterloo Region Courthouse meets the government's standards for barrier-free design and includes the following design elements to accommodate persons with disabilities: 
  • an accessible route to the main entrance  
  • barrier-free staff and public access, and barrier-free witness stands
  • infrared hearing assistance systems in all courtrooms  
  • space for wheelchairs in courtroom galleries and jury boxes
  • barrier-free access to the dais, in designated courtrooms 
  • automatic door operators  
  • visual fire alarm indicators for the hearing impaired
  • interior stairways with inlaid raised strips at the top and bottom, identifying a change in level
  • braille and high contrast lettering to make building signs easier to read 


  • The courthouse is equipped with a video surveillance system. 
  • Everyone entering the courthouse must pass through a single entry point, equipped with magnetometers and x-ray machines. 


Jennifer Asals  
Infrastructure Ontario Branch

Brendan Crawley
Ministry of the Attorney General Communications 

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