City releases 2023 Year in Review

Posted on Monday January 15, 2024

The City of Cambridge is pleased to share its 2023 Year in Review highlighting the City’s progress and achievements during the 50th anniversary of its incorporation as a city.

The 2023 Year in Review is a key component of the City’s corporate performance management framework. Within this framework, and in partnership with our internal and external stakeholders, the City can continue to focus on key projects and core services that the community identified were most important. It also provides an annual progress report on the City’s goals of People, Place and Prosperity  through the advancement of 13 strategic actions as outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan: Cambridge Connected. In late 2023, Council endorsed the strategic priorities for 2024 – 2026, guiding our direction over the next three years.

“As I look back over the last year, I can feel the momentum happening here,” said Cambridge Mayor, Jan Liggett. “Our 50th birthday allowed us to celebrate the union of Preston, Hespeler, Galt and Blair and appreciate the uniqueness each area contributes to making Cambridge a special place for residents and visitors alike. Together with City Council and staff, I look forward to continuing this momentum into 2024, delivering the services our residents rely on, while seeing some key projects come to fruition, all towards our goal of creating a better place to live, work, play, innovate and invest.”

The 2023 Year in Review also provides the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the collective accomplishments of Council, City employees, our community partners, committee members and other volunteers. “I am very proud of our dedicated employees who continue to improve the way we serve the people of Cambridge,” said City Manager, David Calder.

Key 2023 Strategic Action Highlights include:


  • Construction of the Fountain Street Soccer Facility was substantially completed in 2023, with finishing touches to be completed early 2024. A grand opening is scheduled for Spring 2024.
  • The grand re-opening of Ed Newland Pool in Preston was hosted in August. This project involved the creation of one pool tank from two, enlarging the footprint of the pool, and adding a graduated (beach) entry that made the pool more accessible to community members.
  • The Schematic design for the Recreation Complex project was approved by Council in October, and the detailed design is currently underway. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.
  • Construction began on the renovation and twinning of the Preston Memorial Auditorium and associated amenities, approximately 77,000 square feet including new and renovated areas. Once completed, the Preston Memorial Auditorium will welcome approximately 600,000 visits annually.
  • Over 10,000 people attended activities at W.G. Johnson and John Dolson facilities for swimming lessons and aquatic programming.


  • The City held events and activities throughout the year to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
    • Implemented a 50th anniversary Community Grants Program that provided funding for the community to host celebrations across the city.
    • Cambridge 50th Winter Levee was hosted on February 18, which included free ice skating, disco party DJ, ice sculpture carving, and food trucks.
    • Cambridge Celebration of the Arts returned in June, showcasing fantastic live entertainment and local artists connected to our community. Awards were given out for the top pieces in the categories of Juror’s Choice, 50th Anniversary Commemorative and Peoples’ Choice.
    • Hosted the first ever Cambridgelicious food event in October to mark the City’s 50th anniversary and support local restaurants and the city’s unique culinary scene.
    • Over 3,000 flowers were grown, including Cambridge yellow and blue, at the Riverside Park greenhouse to place floral displays across the city to celebrate the City’s 50th anniversary.
    • Council approved a Placemaking Study and Pilot Project to provide a shared and creative space within the Downtown core to foster community pride and attract people to the core to live, work and play.
    • Key projects to preserve our heritage facilities included Ferguson Homestead Roof replacement; Riverside Grandstand seats’ replacement; and Dickson Stadium renovation including structural work, roof replacement and seats’ replacement. 


  • Continued to support small business including responding to 1,087 small business centre inquiries, conducting 133 new client consultations, 32 repeat client consultations and leading 16 workshops and seminars through our small business centre.
  • There were 75 new businesses and expansions in 2023.
  • Work continued the development of the Economic Development Review and Action Plan which will provide a road map of activities for the City to grow and enhance the Cambridge local economy. Expected completion date is summer 2024.
  • While there was a steep drop in film inquiries and days filmed due to the Writers Guild of America strike that impacted markets across the country, staff still fielded 22 film inquiries and hosted 12 days of filming. Some highlights include the movie “Christmas Casanova”, “The Invisibles”, and the Disney channel series “Ruby and the Well” resulting in an economic impact of approximately $1.1M.
  • Continued revitalization in the city’s core areas continued via the Core Areas Community Improvement Plan which provided 16 grants totaling $754,292 and resulting in $8.6M of private sector spending on revitalization efforts, a ratio of approximately 11.5 to 1 of private to public dollars invested.

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