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Cambridge is a city in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, located at the confluence of the Grand and Speed rivers. The city had a population of 138,479 as of the 2021 census. Along with Kitchener and Waterloo, Cambridge is one of the three core cities of Canada's tenth-largest metropolitan area.
Cambridge was formed in 1973 by the amalgamation of Galt, Preston, Hespeler, the settlement of Blair and a small portion of surrounding townships. The former Galt covers the largest portion of Cambridge, making up the southern half of the city, while Preston and Blair cover the western side. Hespeler makes up the most northeastern section of Cambridge. Historical information and records of each entity are well documented in the Cambridge City Archives.
The first mayor of Cambridge, taking office as of the city's creation in 1973, was Claudette Millar. Most recently, Kathryn McGarry was elected in the 2018 municipal election to succeed Doug Craig as the city's sixth mayor, taking office on December 1, 2018.
Cambridge City Council consists of the mayor and eight councillors, each representing a ward.
A referendum question asking municipal electors if they wished to change to ranked voting was approved on October 23, 2018.
In 2020, Scott Hamilton was elected in a by-election for Ward 7 to replace Councillor Frank Monteiro who passed while serving the community.
City councillors by ward:
Cambridge is also represented on the higher-tier Waterloo Regional Council which consists of the regional chair, the mayors of the seven cities and townships, and eight additional councillors - four from Kitchener and two each from Cambridge and Waterloo. Ken Seiling has held the position of regional chair from 1985-November 30, 2018. In the 2018 Region of Waterloo elections, Karen Redman was elected as Regional Chair.
The City of Cambridge is represented by:
Cambridge (electoral district) is represented in Ottawa by Bryan May (Liberal), the federal member of Parliament who defeated the previous incumbent MP (Gary Goodyear, Conservative – 2004 to 2015) in the October 2015 election. The second federal representative for Cambridge is Valerie Bradford (Liberal), who represents the federal riding of Kitchener South—Hespeler.
The MPP for the provincial district of Cambridge is Brian Riddell (Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario), who defeated New Blue Party of Ontario co-founder Belinda Karahalios in 2022. The second provincial representative for Cambridge is Jess Dixon (Progressive Conservative), who represents the provincial riding of Kitchener South—Hespeler.
In 1988, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada opened a plant in Cambridge, which employs approximately 4,500 people and is the city's largest employer. Several other industrial companies also have locations in Cambridge, including Rimowa, Gerdau, ATS Automation Tooling Systems, Loblaw Companies Limited, Dare Foods, Frito-Lay Canada (formerly Hostess), Babcock & Wilcox, Rockwell Automation and COM DEV International in addition to service companies such as Coronation Dental Specialty Group.
The city encourages the filming of movie and TV productions and many have done location work here. Filmmakers come to the city for the unique European looking buildings and proximity to Toronto. Cambridge has become more "film-friendly" and has an increase in filmmakers coming to the city, with 15 projects filmed in 21 days in 2016. According to an interview with the Cambridge Record, Devon Hogue, economic development officer with the City of Cambridge noted what draws filmmakers: "First and foremost, they come for the river... Once they are here, they fall in love with the built architecture. That's not something you can get very easily in Toronto or Hamilton." In 2016, filming in Cambridge contributed $1.2 million to the economy and Hogue states that: "Seeing Cambridge on the screen creates a sense of community pride." Notable films shot in Cambridge include John Q (2002), Red (2010), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012) and Flatliners (2017). Notable television series filmed in Cambridge include Murdoch Mysteries (2008-), Between (2015–2016), Bitten (2014-2016), 11.22.63 (2016), The Handmaid's Tale (2017-), Designated Survivor (2016-), V-Wars (2019-), The October Faction (2019-) and American Gods (2017-). In 2019, Cambridge was nominated for "Outstanding Film Office" by the Location Manager's Guild International for their work on The Handmaid's Tale. This was the first time in the history of the award that a Canadian office was nominated.
English-language public schooling is provided by the Waterloo Region District School Board, which operates 26 elementary and five secondary schools in Cambridge. Public high schools in the city include the 165-year-old Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School; Preston High School, Glenview Park Secondary School; Southwood Secondary School; and Jacob Hespeler Secondary School.
Publicly funded Catholic education is available through schools operated by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. The WCDSB runs 15 elementary and two secondary schools in the city. St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School & Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School. Cambridge is also home to École secondaire Père-René-de-Galinée, the only French-language Catholic high school in the region. There are also a number of private elementary and secondary schools in the area.
The University of Waterloo School of Architecture campus is located in Cambridge in the Riverside Silk Mill, also known as the Tiger Brand Building. Inside there is a theatre, a fitness room, and the gallery "Design at Riverside", which is one of two publicly funded galleries dedicated to architecture in Canada. The School of Architecture is home to 380 students who live, study, and learn within the Cambridge community.
In 2009, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning set up a new School of Engineering Technology specializing in advanced technology programs related to Robotics, Process Automation, Electronics, Communications, Engineering, and Information Technology. With over 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of applied learning and research space.
An announcement in mid-December 2019 indicated that Conestoga College had decided to purchase 42 acres of land in this city with the intention of relocating all of the trades and apprenticeship programs (offered at various other campuses) to Cambridge at a future date. Specifics were not immediately provided.
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