Discover Cambridge, Ontario: A Blend of History and Modernity

Cambridge, Ontario, a city nestled in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Canada, is a charming blend of history and modernity. Located at the confluence of the Grand and Speed rivers, Cambridge is one of the three core cities of Canada's tenth-largest metropolitan area, along with Kitchener and Waterloo. As of the 2021 census, the city boasts a population of 138,479.

The Formation of Cambridge, Ontario

Cambridge was formed in 1973 by amalgamating Galt, Preston, Hespeler, the settlement of Blair, and a small portion of surrounding townships. The southern half of the city is made up of the former Galt, while Preston and Blair cover the western side. Hespeler makes up the most northeastern section of Cambridge. The Cambridge City Archives houses well-documented historical information and records of each entity.

A Glimpse into the History of Galt, Cambridge, Ontario

Galt, the largest portion of Cambridge, is situated on land once granted to the Iroquois people by the British Crown at the end of the American Revolutionary War. In the late 1700s, developers began to buy land around the Grand River from the Six Nations who were led by Joseph Brant. One speculator, William Dickson, a wealthy immigrant from Scotland, bought 90,000 acres (360 km2) of land along the Grand River in 1816; this was later to become Galt and the Dumfries Townships.

Galt was primarily agricultural in its early years, but by 1840, it had attracted industry and became the largest town in the Grand River area until the early 1900s. The town continued to grow, however, based on a large industrial base. In fact, Galt was called "Manchester of Canada" because of the extensive industry, powered by the Grand River.

The Historical Journey of Preston, Cambridge, Ontario

Preston was formed on land belonging to the German Company Tract, along the Speed River, which was purchased earlier from the Six Nations Indians. The name Preston is from the hometown of William Scollick, who was a surveyor and a native of Preston, Lancashire in England. In the 1800s, a group of German-speaking Mennonites from Pennsylvania arrived in the area and purchased land.

The Evolution of Hespeler, Cambridge, Ontario

The area that eventually came to be Hespeler was also on land purchased in 1798 by Mennonites from Pennsylvania from the Six Nations Indians with the assistance of developer Richard Beasley. The first settler, in 1809, was Abraham Clemens who had bought 515 acres (2.1 km2) of land from Mr. Beasley on the Speed River.

The Story of Blair, Cambridge, Ontario

The land that would eventually become Blair, including Carolinian forest, was purchased from the Six Nations, through land speculator Richard Beasley. It was settled in 1800 by Samuel D. Betzner, one of the Mennonites from Pennsylvania.

The Galt, Preston and Hespeler Electric Railway

A new electric street railway system, the Galt, Preston and Hespeler Street Railway (later called the Grand River Railway Company) began to operate in 1894, initially connecting Preston and Galt.

The Climate of Cambridge, Ontario

The climate in Cambridge is typical of southwestern Ontario, and has a humid continental climate under the Köppen climate classification (Köppen Dfb) with mostly moderate winters but the occasional deep freeze.

Attractions in Cambridge, Ontario

Cambridge is home to many cultural events and activities, including the Mill Race Festival and the Rock the Mill music festivals in downtown Galt, and the Cambridge Highland Games in Churchill Park in July.

Demographics of Cambridge, Ontario

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Cambridge had a population of 138,479 living in 51,269 of its 53,013 total private dwellings, a change of 6.6% from its 2016 population of 129,920.

Ethnicity in Cambridge, Ontario

According to the 2021 census, Cambridge is approximately 74.3% White, 23.9% visible minorities and 1.9% Indigenous.

Transport in Cambridge, Ontario

Cambridge, Ontario is well-connected by roads, bridges, public transportation, railways, and air.

Sports and Recreation in Cambridge, Ontario

Cambridge has 365 ha of parkland, 99 parks, over 140 sports fields, and many golf courses. As well, the city has over 70 km of urban and natural trails, 18 km of which run along the Grand and Speed Rivers.