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Cambridge (Ontario)

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Cambridge [13] is one of the cities that forms a tightly-integrated metro area, along with Kitchener and Waterloo, within the larger Region of Waterloo in Southwestern Ontario. Cambridge was created in 1973 by the merger of the city of Galt, the towns of Preston and Hespeler, and the village of Blair. The four communities still maintain their individual identities to a certain extent.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Highway 401, Ontario's main east-west highway, runs through Cambridge, and there are five exits in or adjacent to Cambridge:

  • Exit 275 (Fountain Street), west of Blair
  • Exit 278 (Shantz Hill Road), northwest of Preston
  • Exit 282 (Hespeler Road/former Highway 24), south of Hespeler and north of Galt
  • Exit 284 (Franklin Street), south of Hespeler
  • Exit 286 (Townline Road), southeast of Hespeler

If arriving from the southeast (Hamilton and beyond), take Highway 8, which becomes Dundas Street in Cambridge.

If arriving from the south (Brantford), take Highway 24, which becomes Water Street in Cambridge.

By bus[edit]

GO Transit [14] provides bus service about once every two hours to Mississauga and Waterloo University. Bus stop is at the Smart Centre behind The Keg restaurant. You must have a pre-purchased ticket, pass, or cash to buy a ticket from the driver (about $15 one way to Mississauga). Buses have bike racks that can accomodate two bicycles any time.

Greyhound Bus Lines[15] provides bus service to Cambridge from London and Toronto. The bus stops on Industrial Road, near Preston.

Coach Canada[16] provides bus service between Cambridge and Hamilton. The bus stops at the Ainslie Street terminal in Galt. The one-way fare from Hamilton to Cambridge is $11.80.

If arriving by bus from Kitchener or Waterloo, take Grand River Transit[17], the public transit authority in the Region of Waterloo. The iXpress, a limited-stop express bus, travels between Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo, stopping in Cambridge at the Bridgecam Power Centre near Hespeler, the Cambridge Centre on Hespeler Road, and at the Ainslie Street terminal in Galt.

By train[edit]

Cambridge does not have passenger rail service. Nearby cities served by VIA Rail[18] are Kitchener, Guelph, and Brantford.

Get around[edit]

Travelling by car is probably the fastest way around the city.

Grand River Transit[19] bus system is ideal for getting practically anywhere in Cambridge, with routes that extend towards Kitchener and Waterloo. The fare is currently $3.00 per ride.

It is also possible to get to many points of interest by walking. Most hotels are near malls and major shopping centers. There are also several reasonably priced car rental services in the city and in Kitchener nearby. Walking is probably most convenient within one of the three communities; it's a bit of a long walk between Galt and Preston and Hespeler.

See[edit][add listing]

Cambridge is an essentially residential city. There are several areas of interest on Hespeler Road.

  • Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, 2500 Kossuth Rd., 519-653-1234, [1]. Daily 10:00AM-5:00PM. Contains a tropical garden containing a large number of butterflies, as well as a large insect collection. Nice gift shop and cafe too. $13 (seniors and teens $11.58, children $6.78).  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Cambridge Arts Theatre, 47 Water St. S. (Galt). Features Theatre Cambridge, which features live theatre in the summer, as well as the Galt Little Theatre, a volunteer troupe.  edit
  • The Cambridge to Paris Rail-Trail, Highway 24 (Water St.) (Trailhead located between Concession and Myers Rd.), [2]. The 18 kilometre (11 mile) trail follows the Grand River through lush Carolinian Forest with spectacular river overlooks en route. Posts mark each kilometre from Cambridge. The trail is level, finished with fine gravel, and provides an easy path for cyclists and hikers. Food and washrooms are available in Cambridge, Glen Morris and Paris. Benches are provided in some areas  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Cambridge Centre, 355 Hespeler Rd., +1 519-624-9415, [3]. M–Sa 9:30AM–9:00PM, Su 11:00AM–5:00PM. Largest mall in Cambridge, with over 140 stores. Home of the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame.  edit
  • Cambridge Farmers' Market, 40 Dickson Street (corner of Anslie), [4]. Sa 6AM–1PM, Wednesdays 10AM–5PM (mid-June to mid-September). The Cambridge Farmers' Market, which has operated at this location since 1837, features farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from the surrounding countryside, fresh meat, baked goods, and other food. The German heritage of the area is well-represented in the foods to be found here. If you find the farmers' market in nearby St. Jacobs a little too touristy for your tastes, you'll enjoy this one. Named one of the top ten farmers' markets in Canada by Best Health Magazine.  edit
  • Green Spot Antiques - TwoJJs Miniatures, 49 Cedar St. (between Grand & St. Andrews), 519 623 4050, [5]. Fri 10-7, Sat & Sundays 10-5. A great source for antiques, salvage chic, and architectural artifacts, they also restore antiques in their large workshop. All in the antique 1800's Cedar Hill Dairy building. Open by appointments anytime (call ahead)  edit
  • Southworks Outlet Mall, 64 Grand Avenue South, +1 519-740-0380, [6]. M-W 9:30AM–6PM, Th-F 9:30AM–9PM, Sa 9AM–6PM, Su 11AM–5PM. Outlet mall with Canada's largest antique mall (30,000 square feet), all housed in an 1800s metalworking factory.  edit
  • Cambridge Flea Market, 261 Hespeler Rd. (4 km south of Hwy. 401 exit #282), 519-623-0540. Sa-Su 10AM–5PM. Southern Ontario's largest indoor flea market has around 30 different vendors Open year-round.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Blackshop Restaurant & Lounge, 595 Hespeler Road, 519-621-4180, [20]. Casual European fine dining.
  • Eagle Restaurant, 1390 Eagle St, 519-650-0013, [21]. Quality food is prepared using fresh ingredients, and the menu choice is extensive.
  • Red Basil, 61 Main St, 519-622-0888, [22]. Vietnamese cuisine is at last attracting a broad audience it deserves.
  • Fifty's Deli & Family Restaurant, 426 Hespeler Road, Cambridge, On, 519) 622-0707. People love going to Fifty’s. It’s the only restaurant in the city where you can almost guarantee there will be a line-up. People feel comfortable there, and it’s a Cambridge classic in so many ways. As it is with all restaurants, the food is the thing that keeps you coming back. At Fifty’s, when the plate is in front of you, there are no real surprises except the automatic reaction of, “they’re only charging that much for this?”. Hours: Open M-Sa 7AM to 10PM; Su 8AM to 10PM Seating for about 200. Reservations accepted M-Th. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, debit. Licensed  edit
  • The Cambridge Mill, 130 Water Street North, 519-624-1828. The Cambridge Mill serves earth to table cuisine sourcing impeccable local, seasonal ingredients from near-by farms and food artisans. This results in seasonally changing menus of fresh, local ingredients  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Argyle Arms, 210 King Street East, 1-519-653-5272, [7]. 9am - 12am. Scottish pub at the end of Preston's main thoroughfare. Has a varied menu and good selection of beer and spirits. Recently renovated, the atmosphere is cozy and familiar. Usually fairly quiet in the afternoon into the evening, traffic picks up on event nights, such as karaoke or live band performances. $.  edit
  • The Black Badger, 55 Water Street North, 1-519-624-0892, [8]. 11am - 2am. An authentic British pub in downtown Galt, right across the street from the river. Warm, cozy atmosphere, live music on the weekends, good pub grub and a large selection of beer and spirits. It can get very busy Friday and Saturday nights, especially in the summer, so be ready for a bit of a wait for your drink. Bring cash to pay to expedite the process! $.  edit
  • Fiddle and Firkin, 707 King Street East, 1-519-653-8835, [9]. 11am - 2am. A small British pub with a working class feel in the heart of downtown Preston. A great spot to meet the locals. Stays open until 2am every night but Sunday, so it's a great spot to end your evening. $.  edit
  • Junior's Sports Bar, 800 Franklin Boulevard, [10]. 11am - 12am. Great wings! A real working man's sports bar feel. Cheap food and beer, but make sure to make reservations if you have a large party and want a table, they are always full for dinner! $.  edit
  • The Temple Bar, 525 Hespeler Road, 1-519-622-8700, [11]. 11am - 2am (Thurs., Fri., Sat.). A British pub with really good food of all kinds. A little pricy for a pub menu, but well worth the cost. Has a large bar and dining area, so they accommodate larger groups well. $$.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a large number of chain hotels near the 401/Hespeler Road interchange. More unique places to sleep in Cambridge can also be found, however.

  • Best Western Cambridge, 730 Hespeler Rd., 519-622-1180.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Cambridge, 200 Holiday Inn Dr., 519-658-4601.  edit
  • Langdon Hall, 1 Langdon Dr. (in Blair), 519-740-2100 (, fax: 519-740-8161), [12]. A luxurious country inn in an old estate toward the northwest side of Cambridge. Surprisingly luxurious, considering it's neither in the middle of nowhere (you can hear the 401) nor in a big city. Excellent food, though quite expensive. Around $200/night.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Rare Charitable Research Reserve[23], a 913-acre natural area in North Dumfries Township, abutting Cambridge.
  • African Lion Safari, near Rockton
  • Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail. This 19-kilometre trail follows a former railway between Cambridge and Paris. The scenery is beautiful as the trail runs near the Grand River for much of its length. Makes for a nice bicycle ride.  edit

Routes through Cambridge
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