Cambridge lies just southeast of Kitchener in southeastern Ontario and spans over 112 square kilometres. The city of over 129,000 people is situated where the Grand River and Speed River meet, close to the communities of Branchton, Breslau, Guelph, and Glen Morris. Transportation options provide access to nearby communities, and the city is just big enough to offer a variety of amenities, but small enough to be a quieter option for residents.
Cambridge is an affordable place to live, with its average house prices ranging from $350,000 to $500,000. Cambridge’s northern section offers a mix of older and newer single-family homes, commercial space, and high-priced vacant land.Single-family homes, plenty of condo options (large and small), vacant lots, and commercial space (industrial and retail) can be found in the city’s central section. The southern section of Cambridge is made up mostly of large, newer built single-family homes and high-priced vacant land.
Cambridge’s vacancy rate has remained fairly steady over the past several years, sitting around 2%, which has made for a tight rental market. Cambridge has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the area.The low vacancy rate is a result of increased employment among younger residents, and more senior residents moving from homeownership to rental units.Vacancy rates for three-bedroom (or more) apartments are higher than the rates for other bedroom types. The average rent costs for apartments in Cambridge range from $680 for a bachelor apartment to $990 for a three-bedroom (or more) apartment. Rent costs have stayed about the same over the past few years, with rent for two-bedroom apartments even decreasing slightly as more units become available.
Major industries in Cambridge include manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, professional services, trade, technology, and movie and TV production. The city’s largest employer is Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, and other large employers include Loblaw Companies Limited, Frito-Lay Canada, Rockwell Automation, Rimowa, Coronation Dental Specialty Group, and Gerdau. The City of Cambridge has been encouraging film production crews to shoot television shows and movies in the city (using offers of various resources and benefits) to help boost the local economy. Several major projects have been shot in the city over the past few years. Cambridge’s unemployment rate has been sitting at around 6% over the past couple of years, which is on par with the national rate.
Grand River Transit operates public bus transportation in the city, which services about 20 routes with accessible vehicles. Some of the routes travel outside of the city, linking it with communities like Kitchener. There are plans to operate rapid transit bus lines into and out of the city in the near future. Residents can also travel via Greyhound (long-distance bus), GO Transit (rapid transit), and Coach Canada (long-distance bus).
The Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board both operate primary and secondary schools in the city. Examples of schools in Cambridge include Avenue Road Public School, Blair Road Public School, Centennial Public School, Central Public School, Grand View Public School, Manchester Public School, Parkway Public School, Glenview Park Secondary School, Preston High School, Southwood Secondary School, St. Anne, St. Gregory, and St. Peter. Private school options are also available. Cambridge’s post-secondary options include Conestoga College (Cambridge campus), offering programs in engineering, information technology, trades, and food processing; and the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture (with undergraduate and graduate studies). Other options can be found in nearby Kitchener, Guelph, Hamilton, or Mississauga.
The Fire Hall Museum and Education Centre is located in the Old Galt section of the city and serves to teach visitors about the history behind the area’s firefighters. The museum is located in a fire hall built in the 19th century that is now considered a heritage building. Artifacts on display include vehicles, photos, clothing gear, and equipment. There is also an onsite gift shop with a wide array of souvenirs, gifts, and clothing. Located along the Grand River, the Cambridge Sculpture Garden is an outdoor display of four permanent sculptures and a variety of temporary sculptures. The greenspace provides an area to walk, picnic, or just relax in, and is connected to the Trans-Canada Trail. The garden is open year-round and is free to enjoy.