Cambridge (2006 population 120,371) is a city located in Southern Ontario at the confluence of the Grand and Speed rivers in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is an amalgamation of the City of Galt, the towns of Preston and Hespeler, and the hamlet of Blair.
Galt covers the largest portion of Cambridge, making up the southern half of the city. Preston and Blair are located on the western side of the city, while Hespeler is in the most northeasterly section of Cambridge.
History of Cambridge
Cambridge began as a composite city in 1973, when the City of Galt, Towns of Preston and Hespeler, and the hamlet of Blair were amalgamated.
There was considerable resistance among the local population to this "shotgun marriage" arranged by the provincial government and a healthy sense of rivalry had always governed relations among the three communities. Even today, residents will tell the outside world that they call Cambridge home, they will often identify themselves to each other as citizens of Galt or Preston or Hespeler. Each unique centre has its own history that is well documented in the Cambridge City Archives.
The first mayor of Cambridge was Claudette Millar, who at the time was one of the few female mayors and, at 35, the youngest mayor, in Canada.
As Cambridge has developed and the open spaces between the original municipalities have been filled in, a fourth commercial core, entirely modern in its construction, has emerged. The Macdonald-Cartier Freeway (401) runs through its midst.
On May 17, 1974, flooding on the Grand River was so intense it filled city streets with water to a depth of about four feet. Hundreds of businesses and homes were severely damaged.