Cambridge has about 130,000 (2019) residents enjoying 1,100 acres of parks and trails, as well as internationally recognized recreational, arts and cultural facilities.
Cambridge lies southeast of the Grand River and just north of the 401, with good highway connections along #7 and #8, as well as a major airport east of the community.
Cambridge has 1 performance theatres, 1 cinema screen, a museum, and a public gallery. For athletes, there are a series of pathways along the Grand the Speed rivers, are 44 baseball diamonds, 3 public tennis courts, 3 indoor and 3 outdoor swimming pools, 5 public and 1 private golf courses. There is the Chicopee Ski Hill nearby on the city’s NW corner.
Attractions in Cambridge include the African Lion Safari & Game Farm, Wings of Paradise butterfly & bug exhibit, and the Grand River Tour Boat cruise (see below).
The Grand and Speed Rivers, which wind through Cambridge were key resources for the First Nations and early settlers in the area. The community has for areas, each was a separate municipality before 1973: Blair, Galt, Hespeller, and Preston. Preston was once known as “Cambridge Mills”, is located in the northwest area of Cambridge and is the oldest settled area in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, as a centre of manufacturing and known for its mineral baths. Hespeller was long the centre for woollen and textile mills, and their workers. Galt lies in the south of Cambridge, and has majestic Victorian homes (many built of stone), and lighted streetscapes lines with tall maple trees. Blair was home to the area’s earliest Mennonite settlements in 1800, and is still well-forested.
African Lion Safari & Game Farm Ltd. *
1386 Cooper Rd., RR #1
Cambridge ON N1R 5S2
519-623-2620 1-800-461-9453 Fax 519-623-9542
Since 1969, visitors can drive-through this wildlife park with 1,000 birds and animals roaming in large Game Reserves. The Safari has been successfully breeding 30 endangered species and 20 threatened species. .Enjoy animal shows, nature tours, Elephant Swim and Misumu Bay Wet Play. Admission.
Bell Homestead National Historic Site*
94 Tutela Heights Road
519-756-6220 Fax 519-759-5975
Explore the 1870’s home where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Afterwards visit Canada’s first telephone business office.
Cambridge Fire Museum and Education Centre
56 Dickson Street, the Old Galt Fire Hall.
Preserves history with its collection of artifacts related to the Fire Services. Provides heritage and safety programs with a focus on Fire Prevention and interpretation of the history of Cambridge and Regional Fire Departments and the Fire Service in general, for citizens and tourists. Open Wednesday(s) and Saturday(s) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. June, July and August. Special tours can be pre-arranged.
Cambridge Sculpture Garden
53 Grand Ave S, Cambridge, ON N1S 2L7
On the Grand River, this landscaped outdoor gallery displays both temporary & permanent sculptures, with free children’s sculpture programs over the summer.
Flag Raiders Inc.
1500 Kossuth Rd.
Cambridge ON N3H 3M8
519-653-3322 Fax 519-653-4668
Description Outdoor paintball game. 60 acres, multiple fields/scenarios. Great for corporate team building, stags, birthdays and team parties. Group organizers play free.
Grand River, The
Grand River Conservation Authority
400 Clyde Road, PO Box 729
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 5W6
519-621-2761 1-866-900-4722 Fax: 519-621-4844
In February 1994, the Grand River was designated as a Canadian Heritage River. The Grand River Valley is now regarded as a prized and priceless asset, world renowned for its natural beauty. Known as “the place” to fish in southern Ontario, an ever growing number of visitors enjoy camping, hiking, and cycling along the extensive network of trails and in local conservation areas and parks along the watershed. Also a growing number of painters and photographers are being drawn here to enjoy and capture the beauty of the river valley. GRVA hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding holidays
89 Grand Ave S, Cambridge, ON N1S 2L7
(on the banks of the Grand River)
The McDougall Cottage is a 1858 limestone labourer’s dwelling, with spectacular hand-painted friezes and trompe l’oeil ceilings. The McDougalls, born of a Highland clan, first built it from local limestone, and dressed its street-side with carefully-matched blocks of handsome granite. In 1901, newly James & Margaret Baird began renovations, adding exotic landscapes and trompe l’oeil ceilings that James’s brother Jack painted in the young couple’s dining room and study. Open Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m., Thursday, 12 to 8 p.m
Orchard Home Farm *
235 Howell Rd.
St. George ON N0E 1N0
519-448-1111 1-888-274-2563 Fax 519-448-4993
Pick apples right from the trees, from late August to early November. Open 9:00 am. to 7:00 pm, 7 days a week (no pets, for health and safety reasons)
Walter Bean Grand River Trail
Grand River Conservation Authority
400 Clyde Road, P.O. Box 729
Cambridge, ON, N1R 5W6
519-621-2761 fax 519-621-4844
The Walter Bean Grand River Trail is a trail network with access points along the Grand River, ultimately connecting Woolwich, Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. The trail includes a broad range of environments, from river shorelines, river flats, wooded slopes, open slopes, and spectacular lookouts. The trail runs along the west bank from City of Waterloo boundary (County Squire Rd) through Kiwanis Park continuing south to King Street East , where it crosses to the east bank, and south to the Pioneer Tower, and eventually connect south into Cambridge and to the Transportation-Canada Trail system.
Westfield Heritage Village
Regional Rd. #552
519-621-8851 1-800-883-0104 Fax 519-621-6897
Any Sunday, step back into the 18th and 19th century. Westfield’s 33 historical buildings and vast conservation area bring Canada’s heritage to life! Special events year round.
White Rock Ostrich Farm*
13085 4th Line
Rockwood, Ontario N0B 2K0
Hay wagon tours, concession stand, picnic area, school/seniors tours, gift shop, meat sales, Screamfest in October.
Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory
2500 Kossuth Rd.
Cambridge ON N3H 4R7
519-653-1234 Fax 519-650-2582
Description Stroll among hundreds of free-flying butterflies in a tropical garden. Discover a honeybee observation hive, an incredible insect collection. The Paradise Cafe is open *daily from 10:00am – 3:00pm (Monday-Wednesday from October 16 – March 1) and a Gift Store which sell butterfly and bug collectables.
Yee Haw Adventure Farm*
1 mile from African Lion Safari, R.R. #1
On Morrison Rd, Concession 8) between Highway 8 and Highway 6, south of the 401.
Cambridge ON N1R 5S2
A family farm since 1830, on the edge of the Beverly Swamp, and converted to family adventure farm in 2002, where you can pick your own pumpkins, pig races, haunted hay rides, boo barn, petting corral, straw castles, Halloween corn maze.
Here are the festivals for the Cambridge community. There are many other festivals in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
|Maple Syrup Festival||March||Each Sunday in March: Displays the making of maple syrup using methods of each of the 18th century Canada’s First Nations, early 19th century pioneers and modern times. Also, horse and wagon rides, rural historical village and popular pancake breakfast. At Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton.1-800-883-0104|
|Doors Open- Westfield Weekend||Start May||Tour Westfield free of charge as the city-wide Doors Open celebration makes a variety of sites accessible and free. For more information call (519)621-8851, 1-800-883-0104|
|Annual Homer Watson Exibition||Early June||Works by Homer Watson, Dan Robert and David Ceaser (recent Works). Opening reception. Homer Watson House & Gallery, open to the public. Held since 1990. For more information visit www.homerwatson.on.ca or call (519)748-4377 ext 233.|
|Father’s day steam and machine show||Mid June||Display of historic machinery including steam engines, working saw and shingle mill, antique machinery, railway displays and antique cars.Father’s Day Brunch and live music. At Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton. 1-800-883-0104|
|Concerts In The Park||Mid July to start September||Live music every Sunday evening in the Cambridge parks. Wide variety of music styles, including concert bands, jazz, and country. Admission free.|
|Downtown Kitchener Ribfest & Craft Beer Show||Late July||The Craft Beer Show showcases many craft breweries while the BBQ Cook-off includes professional teams from across North America competing for the rights to be named best sauce, chicken and ribs. Enjoy samples or entire meals of chicken and ribs with samples of craft beer and live entertainment No admission fee, pay only for food & beer consumed.|
|Pre-mill race festival ceilidh||Start August||Ceilidh-style international folk music. At McDougall Cottage, Cambridge Admission by donation. 519-624-8250.|
|Mill race festival of traditional folk music||Start August||Folk music in beautiful setting of stone ruins and the Grand River. Other attractions include, Arts & Crafts, Children’s Stage and Sidewalk Sale. At Mill Race Park and Downtown Cambridge. Free Admission. (519)621-7135|
|Beach Day At Valens Conservation Area||Early August||Games, sand sculpture contest, prizes and more! Valens Conservation Area, Ancaster. For more information please call Valens Conservation Area 905-525-2183 or visit email@example.com|
|Westfield ice cream festival||Early August||Ice cream from Pioneer and Victorian times to the sixties. Other attractions include live music, horse and wagon rides, magic shows, period crafts and games. At Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton. Adults $9.50, Seniors/Disabled $8.50, Youth 6-12 years $5.50, Children 5 years and under free. 1-800-883-0104|
|4th Annual Million Dollar Swing||Mid to late August||Fund raiser for Big Brothers and Sisters. Test your golf skills while supporting a good cause. At Wedges’N Woods, Cambridge. 519-651-0404|
|St. Swithin’s Day Weather Contest||Late August||St. Swithin’s Day. You know what they say – “St. Swithin’s Day if it doth rain, for forty days it will remain.” If ye can guess how many day the Cottage will get rain before August 23rd, you’ll win a wee prize. Give us your best guess McDougall Cottage, Cambridge Call 519-624-8250|
|Cambridge Fall Fair||Early September||Entertainment at the Fall Fair includes a demolition derby, agricultural events, large family midway and a tractor pull. Don’t miss the vendors’ area in Dickson Arena. Adult Fair tickets are only $6 on Thursday, $10 Friday and Saturday and $8 on Sunday. Child Fair tickets are only $6 on Thursdays, and $5 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday family passes are available for only $25. 519-621-9140|
|Annual Cambridge Warriors Day Parade||Early September||Wreath-laying service at Galt Cenotaph, Queen’s Square at 10 am. Parade from Shade St. & Main St. at 12 noon Route: West on Main St. to Water St. Proceeding South on Water St. to Galt Branch 121 of the Royal Canadian Legion. North on Ainslie St. Parade will include veterans and current military personnel, bands, WW11-era ,military vehicles and more Contact Derek Mills 519-658-0532|
|Doors Open Waterloo Region||Mid September||Doors Open Waterloo Region has an annual “Doors Open” with free admission to more than 25 local heritage & architecture sites,some not normally open to the public. For more information call 519-741-5139|
|Annual St .George Apple Harvest Festival||Mid September||Sample apples of all varieties, homemade pies, dumplings, antique shops, on-going entertainment, children’s activities. Located in the quaint village of St George – mid-way between Cambridge, Paris and Brantford. Free admission. 1-800-684-9262|
|Grand river film festival||Early to late October||Showcases a variety of Canadian and international films. Special events include special, screening, red carpet gala,, hosted parties and air-guitar championship. 519-749-9387.|
|Annual Harvest Hillbilly Hoedown||Early October||Good old fashioned country fun for whole family, with Racing Hogs, a spook house and live entertainment., wagon rides through the “spooky” The event is open to the public. YeeHaw Adventure Farm, Cambridge 519-624-0085|
|Military Heritage Day -Open House||Early November||Join the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada for their annual open house. This event is suitable for all ages. Every year the RHF of Cambridge open their headquarters to the puplic and put on an exciting display of military history including vehicles and equipment, paintings, photographs, documents, uniforms and artifacts tracing the lineage of the current regiment which dates back to at least 1837. Colonel J.A. McIntosh Armoury , 1 Valour Place (beside the Ainslie St. Bus depot) 519-623-4568|
|Cambridge Santa Claus Parade||Mid November||The Annual Santa Claus Parade is held on Hespeler Rd., Cambridge. Come out and see all the amazing floats and happy faces. Parade Route: Parade starts on Hespeler Rd. at Dunbar Rd. and goes north to Langs Drive. 519-740-4681 X4214|
|Hespeler Santa Claus Parade||Start December||The Hespeler Santa Claus Parade in the Hespeler Village Area of Cambridge has been held since 1978. Come for the parade and stay to enjoy live entertainment and a festive Kris Kindle Market. Holiday fun for the entire family! Hespeler Village, Cambridge (519) 658-4721 for details.|
Here are the more popular Cambridge municipal parks:
Cambridge Heritage River Trails
73 Water St. N., P.O. Box 669
(519)740-4681 Fax (519)740-3011
Description Free brochure/map – 30km of natural and built heritage. All trails are easily accessed and suitable for walking and cycling.
Cambridge Sculpture Garden
Grand Ave South
Description The Cambridge Sculpture Garden on the Grand River is a landscaped outdoor gallery displaying both temporary & permanent sculptures. Children’s sculpture programs are free during the summer.
Highway 24, or Christopher Drive, in Galt
(519) 740-4681 ext. 4214
This 27 hectare park, at the south end of Cambridge hosts several annual events, including July’s Cambridge Highland Games. There are nature trails, a small animal viewing area (with deer, pheasant and waterfowl), children’s playground area, splash pad, five ball diamonds, five soccer fields, picnic area (can be pre-booked), the Duncan McIntosh Arena (use the Christopher Dr. entrance, 519-740-4681 ext. 4017), and a 14-site campground (no reservations but call 519-740-4681, ext 4214 for fees).
Cruikston Charitable Research Reserve
1679 Blair Rd.
(519)650-9336 Fax (519)650-5923
Canada’s Largest Urban Greenspace, managed by a registered charity.The Confluence of the Grand and Speed Rivers is home to the Linear Trail in Preston-Cambridge, with the reef-formed limestone outcrops along the south shoreline of the Grand River and a 14-metre cliff face. The Indian Woods area of the parkland is a rare old-growth remnant of upland forest. The area also holds archaeological clues to early First Nations human settlement in the area.
Mill Race Park
Water Street North (at Parkhill Road), in Galt
740-4681, Ext. 4214
Mill Race Park is the site of various festivals Mill Race Folk Festival, Living Christmas Pageant) has concession booth, picnic area with washrooms, and is popular with wedding photographers (please make reservations). The ampitheatre is built inside the ruins of the old Dickson Textile Mill and the park still has the excavated “raceway” which once powered the mill.
Moyers Blair Landing
Fountain St (between King St and Blair Rd), Preston
(519) 740-4681, ext. 4214 Fax: (519) 740-3011
This small park area is a heritage site, with picnic area, and has a popular fishing spot with access to a canoe and boat launch on the Grand River, and is popular for bird watching.
Puslinch Lake (Conservation Association)
1947 McClintock Old Marina Bldg.
RR 22, Cambridge ON
This 156 hectare lace is located in Wellington County just northeast of the City of Cambridge, and is a glacially-formed kettle lake, and has five islands. The lake has 16 fish species, including largemouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch and walleye.
King Street (Preston), in Preston
519-740-4681 ext. 4214
Riverside Park, at 42 hectares (102 acres), is Cambridge’s largest community park, and has recreational trails, baseball & softball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, grandstand and snack bar, playground structures, and picnic areas, washrooms and a children’s spray pad.
Shade’s Mills Conservation Area
412 Avenue Rd.
(519)621-3697 Fax (519)621-4844 Toll Free (866)668-2267
This 177-hectare park has 14 km of hiking trails through a mature hardwood forest that winds along Mill Creek, as well as swimming, canoeing, hiking. fishing and picnicking.
Dundas Street/Marion Way/Shade St., in Galt
519-.740-4681 ext. 4214 Fax: 519-740-3011
This 16.5 hectare Soper Park provides access to the Mill Creek Trail (which connects to the downtown core) lies on both sides of busy Dundas Street. On the southwest side, is the Galt Arena Gardens with two ball diamonds, open green space and floral display (popular with wedding photographers). A pedestrian tunnel under Dundas St. which has a summertime outdoor pool, the Cambridge Tennis Club, and the Galt Lawn Bowling Club. This side of the park also has a covered picnic area, splash pad and playground.
Fishermills Rd (at Clemens Ave), in Hespeler
519-740-.4681, ext. 4214
This park has a children’s spray pad, playground, picnic tables, washrooms, a seasonal concession boot, and four lighted ball diamonds (home of the Silverheights Softball Association, 519-740-4681, ext. 4214)