In the late 1790's early settlers called the Kitchener area Sand Hills because of the surrounding sand dunes. The name was later changed to Mount Pleasant. In 1807 Mennonite Benjamin Eby settled in the area and the community was renamed Ebytown. He became Canada's first Mennonite bishop. For forty years he was Minister of Canada's first Mennonite church.
By 1830 immigrants were arriving from Germany and in 1841 Ebytown was renamed Berlin after their homeland. When the First World War was being fought in 1916 anti-German sentiment ran high in Canada. The name of Berlin was changed to Kitchener in honour of Lord Kitchener of Khartoun, a British war hero who drowned at sea that year. Many consider Joseph Schneider to be the founder of Kitchener. He arrived in the community in 1807 and established a meatpacking plant, which continues to this day. In 1820 he built a second house at Kitchener, the city's oldest building, which is now a museum.
Today, Kitchener is located in one of the nation's richest industrial areas. Approximately 600 manufacturing industries, many of which are nationally important firms, are established here and provide a broadly diversified industrial base to the community. Kitchener is well known for its furniture, meat-packing, brewing, distilling, rubber and textile industries.
The City of Kitchener is situated in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, on the Grand River. Kitchener is located on Highways #7, #8, just north of Highway #401 and is directly adjacent to Waterloo on the west and Guelph to the southeast.
The population of Kitchener is approximately 204,668.