Cambridge is home to three historic core areas, each with their own unique shops, vistas and vibe. These are the original downtowns for each of our founding communities of Galt, Preston and Hespeler, and within each you will find a Business Improvement Area (BIA). This page will be the home for news and upcoming events within each of our core areas, and businesses and residents alike are encouraged to subscribe to this page to stay up to date on issues impacting these areas.

Core Area Transformation Fund (CATF)

The Core Area Transformation Fund (CATF) recognizes that vibrant, healthy core areas are a fundamental building block of great cities. It is an opportunity to work with city staff and your project sponsor to contribute to the cultural fabric of our community. For more information regarding this fund and approved projects, please visit the Core Area Transformation Fund webpage.

Core Areas Community Improvement Plan (CIP)

The Core Areas Community Improvement Plan (CIP) 2021 provides the basis for improvement programs and initiatives within designated CIP Project Areas in the City of Cambridge. It focuses on Cambridge’s three core areas as designated in the Official Plan and Community Improvement Project Area By-law. CIP's, programs and initiatives facilitate the planning and financing of development activities that effectively use, reuse and revitalize lands, buildings and infrastructure. They prioritize municipal investment and are intended to stimulate private sector investment, property maintenance and revitalization within the project areas. For more information on the proposed programs, please visit the Core Areas Community Improvement Plan Webpage.

Core Area Safety

The City is committed to ensuring that residents feel welcome and safe in our downtown areas. For more information regarding our core area safety team and how to contact them, please visit the Core Area Safety webpage.

Core Area Maintenance and Beautification

Our Core Area Ambassador Team provide a friendly and welcoming presence in each core area providing public areas within Galt, Preston and Hespeler with maintenance, ambassador and beautification services. For more information regarding our Ambassador Team and how to contact them, please visit the Ambassador Program webpage.

Downtown Development Team

In recognition of the complexities of downtown developments, a multidisciplinary team of experts from the Planning, Building and Economic Development Divisions has been formed to collaborate and facilitate development applications within our core areas.  This staff team will be the first point of contact for proposals that require cross-divisional coordination and will provide a platform to help support infill development throughout our community.

For a listing of all current development applications, associated reports and studies for Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments and Plans of Subdivision received by the City of Cambridge - please visit the Development Planning webpage.

Developments of note in Downtown Cambridge (Galt):

Developments of note in Preston Towne Centre: 

Developments of note in Hespeler Village: 

  • Redevelopment of 215 Queen St W
  • Milling Road: development of a streetscape plan and guidelines for Milling Road. For more information and updates, visit the Engage Cambridge project page!

Picture of building being constructed

Core Area Real Estate

Are you looking to renovate your core area property?  The City of Cambridge has numerous incentive programs available to encourage revitalization of assets within our cores, visit our Core Areas Incentives page to get started.

Have you always dreamed about operating your business out of a store front in one of Cambridge's historic core areas?  See what properties are for lease or sale by using our Canvas for Success map! Do you have a property in one of our cores that you would like to include on the map? Contact our staff at to have your property listed!

Parking in the Core Areas

Are you wondering where to park when you visit your favourite core area shop? Check out our downtown parking page to discover parking maps for each core area, find out how long you can park in any given lot, and where parking fees might apply.

Special Events/Notice

Special Events Calendar: Quick links to all scheduled events, not only within the core areas, but the city as a whole.

Newsletters and Filming Notifications: Stay in the loop with what is happening in our community by subscribing to our INVEST Cambridge newsletter or filming notifications.

Cambridge Road Closure Calendar: Plan ahead and know which roads to avoid as you travel throughout the city using our road closure calendar.

Region of Waterloo Road Closure Map: The road is closed, but doesn't appear on the Cambridge road closure calendar?  It might be a regional project. Visit the regional closures map to stay informed of regional roadwork and what it means for your commute.  Regional road closures are also available in list format.

Digital Projection Light Shows: In 2018, the City of Cambridge installed a digital projection system to display light shows on the facade of the Old Post Office building located at 12 Water Street South.  These shows have quickly become a community attraction and run nightly (Thursday to Sunday) throughout the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Holiday Season.  Content is scheduled to change seasonally and is appropriate for all ages.

Public Engagement Opportunities

Council/Committee meeting agendas and minutes

Galt Core Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Project - On July 28, 2020, Cambridge City Council directed staff to commence the Galt Core Heritage Conservation District Study and conduct it concurrently with the Galt Core Area Urban Design Height Guidelines, Growth and Intensification Study, and city-wide zoning bylaw review to prepare an updated, coordinated planning framework for the Galt Core Area.  Updates for this project may be found on the Planning Division Galt Core Heritage Conservation District webpage.

Urban Alleyways Reimagined - This proposal is part of placemaking efforts to beautify and activate some of the more unique areas downtown. Prompted by the Core Areas Transformation Fund (CATF), this project was initiated by the Downtown Cambridge BIA to support the City's transformational efforts.  

Engage Cambridge is an online engagement site where you can share your ideas and feedback on the city projects and issues that are important to you. Join the conversation and help shape the future of your city.

Engage Region of Waterloo is the Region of Waterloo's online engagement site that allows you to contribute your ideas and feedback on regional matters important to you! We will listen to what you say, take your opinions into account and report back to you on how decisions were made using public input.  Get involved, provide your input, and stay connected to projects that interest you.