City Council approves 2020 City of Cambridge Budget

Posted on Monday February 03, 2020

City Council approved the 2020 Operating Budget this evening, concluding the 2020 Budget process. The 2020 Capital Budget was approved in December 2019 and represents a $50.9 million investment for new infrastructure and to support growth of the city as well as the rehabilitation and replacement of existing infrastructure, while the Operating budget dedicates $124.2 million towards the daily costs of running city services, excluding water and sewer services.

“We are committed to investing in the future growth of the city and making improvements to existing infrastructure, while providing excellent value for taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “Our 2020 Budget focuses on meeting the evolving needs and expectations our residents and dedicates targeted resources to our collective goals and priorities.”

“By investing today, we can continue to provide a high level of  effective and efficient services that keep our neighbourhoods vibrant, encourage business growth, and make Cambridge the best place to live in southern Ontario,” added Budget Chair and Ward 3 Councillor Mike Mann. “I would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2020 Budget process, including members of the Budget and Audit Committee, staff, and the residents and businesses who shared their thoughts and insights with us.”

Capital investments include new projects, such as the design of the new Cambridge Recreation Complex, and significant upgrades to roads, stormwater infrastructure, public trails, parks, and heritage preservation.  The tax-supported Operating Budget covers the daily costs of running city services. This includes everything from our crossing guards, maintaining our roads, to special events and emergency management. 

2020 Budget Highlights

  • Dedicating $50.9 million of capital investment in our city’s core infrastructure – including roads, recreation facilities, and parks.
  • Investing $200,000 in a new traffic calming program to ensure public safety
  • Upgrading more than 3 km of city roads to be reconstructed to improve aging infrastructure
  • Moving forward on design work for important projects including the Fountain Street Soccer Park, the new Cambridge Recreation Complex, and the Preston Auditorium expansion
  • Allocating $20 million under the Business Plan for the Core Areas Transformation Fund to help drive change in Hespeler, Galt, and Preston
  • Investing $204,000 for development of new multi-use trails throughout our city
  • Replacing the pedestrian bridge and trail connection behind Galt Collegiate Institute
  • Investing $265,000 for improvements to both Hespeler and Galt Arena
  • Developing and building a brand new city park – Highland Ridge Park
  • Investing $170,000 for new play structures in two city parks – Gail St. Park and Northview Heights Lookout Park
  • Advancing the Galt Core Heritage Conservation District Study
  • Continued implementation of smart meter water technology to increase efficiencies and customer service
  • Implementing the Climate Adaptation Plan and energy conservation initiatives
  • Implementing recommendations in the Transportation Master Plan to help improve transportation options and traffic flow throughout the community.
  • Commitment to public safety through continued investment in our Ambassador Team, fire equipment and emergency response planning.
  • Delivery of a wide range of recreation programing for youth and adults; as well as the operation of the Farmer’s Market and City- supported special events.
  • Continuing the implementation of the Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plan.
  • Encouraging a strong and dynamic local economy though ongoing support of local businesses in our community and continued promotion of Cambridge film industry. 

Household Impacts

The approved 2020 Budget increased by 3.73 per cent. Please note that the City’s portion of your overall tax bill is 36 per cent, with the Region of Waterloo and local school board portions making up the remainder (64 per cent). Once the regional and education portions of the tax bill are included, the City’s tax levy increase will raise the overall property taxes paid by 1.34 per cent for the average household. This represents approximately $51/year for the average household. 

In December, Council also approved a water utility increase of 3.4 per cent in 2020 ($39/year) which is lower than the initial projection in the long-range financial forecast. The overall household impact is $90/year.

Budget highlights and the full 2020 draft Budget and Business Plan can be found at


Primary Media Contact:

Susanne Hiller
Director, Communications
City of Cambridge