Core Areas Transformation Fund Framework will help stimulate economic growth and increase vitality of core areas

Posted on Tuesday June 23, 2020

City of Cambridge Council today approved the framework for the Core Areas Transformation Fund (CATF), an initiative that allocates $20M for investments to stimulate economic and residential growth and promote urban vitality in the city’s core areas of Galt, Hespeler and Preston. The Fund was approved in 2019, and the approved framework today sets out how the City will be guided in identifying projects and initiatives that can be used for this core area transformation.

“We recognize that vibrant, healthy core areas are fundamental building blocks of exceptional cities,” said Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “Partnerships will be key to the success of this program, and we are looking to the entire Cambridge community to come together and contribute to this community-focused program.”

The Core Area Transformation Fund Framework sets out three Investment Pillars thatwill act as a guideline to allocating funds from the CATF:

  1. Private Sector Stimulus – to make projects financially viable and help lead transformational change.
  2. Strategic Land Acquisition/Disposition – The City has an opportunity to take the lead on future buying of property to support growth of residential and workforce population in the core areas, while preparing for the future expansion of LRT. Over time, selling property will also spur development and help generate revenues.
  3. Placemaking and Experiences – This funding pillar will help enhance capital projects or partnerships that encourage experiences and create a unique sense of place. Placemaking projects are collaborative and initiatives that create welcoming and authentic spaces, support community connections, and help drive local economic development in our core areas.

“This next step in our Core Areas Transformation initiative creates a vital program to further enhance and position our downtown cores as desirable places to live, work, play and invest,” said James Goodram, Director of Economic Development at the City of Cambridge. “We have an exciting opportunity to transform our core areas into destinations within our community for residents and visitors alike.”

Criteria to evaluate whether a project could qualify for CATF funding include alignment with the City’s strategic direction, project cost, operating impact, risk, infrastructure impact and community benefit.

Community members and groups will have the opportunity to provide input and propose ideas under the approved Framework. For more information about the Core Areas Transformation Fund, visit:

If you have a proposal for the CATF, please contact our INVEST Cambridge staff at