Since 2008, the City of Cambridge has approved 16 master plans and strategic plans. These plans include important strategic directions and actions for the implementation of the Cambridge Connected Strategic Plan and the overall corporate business planning process.

Arts and Culture Master Plan (2009)

The City of Cambridge provides leadership, policy facilities, staff support and funding to help shape and improve cultural life in the community. As part of the Arts and Culture Master Plan, Cambridge has the potential to designate Downtown Galt as a Cultural Precinct.

Contact the Heritage Planner at (519) 621-0740 ext. 4788 for more information.

Learn more about arts and culture in Cambridge.

Bike Your City: Cycling Master Plan (2020)

Bike Your City: Cycling Master Plan is complete and was endorsed by Council on October, 20 2020!  The Plan will guide Cambridge’s investments in cycling over the next 20 years and beyond. The Plan establishes a vision and goals to improve cycling and outlines a series of strategies and actions based on five themes: Connections, Integration, All Seasons, Promotion and Monitor. The 14 strategies and 59 actions provide holistic guidance regarding improvements to policies, standards, infrastructure and programming to ensure that cycling is a safe, comfortable and convenient choice for people of all ages and abilities.

Contact for more information.

Learn more about on-road cycling in Cambridge.

Cambridge Connected Strategic Plan (2016)
Learn about Cambridge's Strategic Plan, Cambridge Connected: Our Voice. Our Vision.
Communications and Marketing Strategic Plan (2011)

The Communications and Marketing Strategic Plan aims to enhance the understanding of the City's positions on emerging issues and participation in City services and programs.

The Plan's key themes and recommendations include:

  • Branding the City's image
  • Delivering accurate and clear messages
  • Promoting civic engagement
  • Increasing employee communications
  • Effectively communicating messages to target audiences
  • Offering proactive, two-way, consistent messaging using inclusive language
  • Offering staff social media, accessible website and public relations training

Contact the Office of the City Manager for more information.

Learn more from the Commercial Implementation Study.

Core Areas Master Plan (2009)

A key objective of the Core Areas Parking Master Plan is to assess existing and future parking needs and develop a sustainable parking plan for the next 15 to 20 years.

A key theme of the plan is to create a user-pay parking system, dependent on taxpayer funding.

Other key recommendations of the Master Plan include:

  • Implementation of comprehensive wayfinding and signage programs
  • Development of marketing and information materials on the parking system
  • Implementation of on-street parking to optimize use
  • Elimination of two-hour free parking in off-street lots
  • Promotion of free peripheral parking lots
  • Increases to monthly parking availability and permit rates
  • Proposal of a two-zone system rate structure
  • Plans for future parking structure
  • Expansion of accessible parking
  • Amendment of the Zoning By-law
  • Introduction of Transportation Demand Management
  • Promotion of active transportation, such as cycling
  • Implementation of parking design standards

Contact the Community Development department for more information.

Learn more about parking in the city of Cambridge.

Corporate Sustainability Plan (2011)

The City of Cambridge initiated a planning process in 2011 to develop its first Corporate Sustainability Plan (CSP). This Plan aims to guide the City's actions and process for implementing ongoing master plans and strategic plans that consider new sustainability initiatives in the longer term.

The CSP promotes a strong sustainability culture within the City's operations that extends to our programs, policies, initiatives and practices. This culture supports the four pillars of a sustainable community - culture, economics, environment and social.

Contact the Community Development department for more information.

Learn more about the Corporate Sustainability Plan.

Corporate Technology Strategic Plan (2014)

Technology is central to the City's ability to deliver its services. While the City of Cambridge has a solid infrastructure, limited staff and funding make it difficult to manage the many City services dependent on technology today, including:

  • Collecting taxes
  • Managing traffic flows
  • Distributing water
  • Managing registrations for recreation programs

The Corporate Technology Strategic Plan aims to help the City take advantage of the technological advances available to improve the efficiencies of our services. Key themes and recommendations of the Plan include:

  • Providing education and improving awareness of technology at management level
  • Adopting a more corporate, planned approach including new governance framework to coordinate and prioritize IT resource
  • Increasing funding and staff
  • Shifting IT staff to ensure increased focus on main business platforms and applications
  • Restructuring departments

Contact the Corporate Services department for more information.

Economic Development Strategy (2008)

The Economic Development Strategy allows the City of Cambridge Economic Development Division to identify key priorities and optimal areas of activity in the community. We take an action-oriented approach to our Economic Development Strategy. At the same time, we also consider changes to local, national and global economies. Our Economic Development Strategy includes plans for:

  • Industry sector opportunities and priorities
  • Business expansion and retention issues and approaches
  • Workforce development strategies
  • Industrial and employment lands development issues
  • Economic development marketing tools, tactics and targets
  • Business development positioning statements and guiding principles

Learn more about:

Energy Management Plan
Learn about sustainability in the city of Cambridge, including the Energy Management Plan.
Five-Year Strategic Plan for Libraries (2008) and Galleries (2010)

The City of Cambridge Corporate Sustainability Plan reviewed the Five-Year Strategic Plan for Libraries and Galleries (Libraries 2008, Galleries 2010). These plans identified the following actions for libraries and galleries in the city of Cambridge:

  • Implementing self-serve, automated check-outs and redeploying staff to other points of contact where personalized, high value service can be offered to patrons
  • Creating a marketing document and implementing a marketing strategy and branding exercise to bring the libraries and gallery under one common brand
  • Preparing for the shift in demand away from books over the next 10 years and providing cultural service offerings, such as children's services, art appreciation and events for adults

Learn more about Cambridge's libraries and galleries.

Heritage Master Plan (2008)

The Cambridge Heritage Master Plan is both a response to current challenges related to the conservation of heritage resources. The Plan also includes ideas to improve treatment of these resources in the future.

The Heritage Master Plan:

  • Guides the City's plans for finding, assessing, conserving and celebrating heritage resources
  • Encourages development that respects the heritage character of Cambridge
  • Recommends policies for inclusion in the City's Official Plan
  • Provides priorities and timelines for the City's actions in heritage conservation
  • Builds community support and makes heritage important to local residents
  • Provides heritage "product" to conserve, interpret and market
  • Establishes framework to deliver heritage projects and programs
  • Fosters cooperation and partnerships

There are currently three priority actions included in the Heritage Master Plan related to our heritage inventory and evaluation, including:

  • Expanding the inventory's scope to include a broader range of heritage resources
  • Focusing on new listings within the character areas identified in the Heritage Master Plan

Contact the Planner - Heritage at (519) 621-0740 ext. 4788 for more information.

Learn more about heritage in Cambridge.

Master Fire and Emergency Services Plan (2013)

The Master Fire and Emergency Services Plan (MFESP) provides the City of Cambridge with a strategic framework to help Council make decisions regarding fire protection services based on local needs and circumstances. The analyses and recommendations of the MFESP were prepared in accordance with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

The MFESP recognizes three strategic priorities for delivering fire protection services within the Cambridge community, including:

  • Using a comprehensive Community Risk Profile to determine the level of existing and projected fire safety risks within the municipality as the bases for assessing the current and future fire protection services
  • Optimizing the first two lines of defense (public education and prevention) and using fire safety standards and enforcement to provide a comprehensive fire protection program within the municipality based on the results of the Community Risk Profile
  • Emphasizing strategies that support the sustainability of fire protection services to provide the most cost effective and efficient fire protection services

The MFESP includes recommendations for various divisions of the Cambridge Fire Department, including:

  • Administration Division
  • Fire Prevention Division
  • Public Education Division
  • Training and Development Division
  • Fire Suppression Division
  • Mechanical Division
  • Communications Division

Contact the Fire Department for more information.

Master Plan for Leisure Services and Facilities (2010)

The Master Plan for Leisure Services and Facilities is an update of the Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space. The Plan provides a framework for the planning, development and management of recreation services and facilities owned and operated by the City of Cambridge. We review this Master Plan every five years to monitor data and re-visit future plans.

Contact the Community Development department for more information.

Learn more about our recreation programs and facilities.

Sanitary Sewer Servicing Master Plan (2014)

Funded through Wastewater Long Range Financial Plan, the City issued a comprehensive sanitary sewer servicing master plan in 2012 to identify gaps in the City's ability to sustainably meet sanitary sewer services to City's residents and businesses.

The Sanitary Sewer Servicing Master Plan incorporates multiple perspectives, including:

  • Defining service level objectives
  • Determining existing gaps in resources to support existing services and meet future service level objectives
  • Determining the current systems ability to meet demands of current users and estimated future development from both a growth and intensification point of view
  • Updating governance, policy and design standards that align with current and expected future issues
  • Adopting the following service-level objectives:
    • Provide Service Reliability
    • Provide Adequate Service Capacity
    • Protect Public Health and Safety
    • Protect the Environment
    • Provide a Safe Work Environment
    • Provide Good Customer Service

Other objectives of the Sanitary Sewer Servicing Master Plan include:

  • Increase management and support staff to focus on pump stations, customer-crew coordination for lateral issues, public education, standards, and staff training and certification
  • Increase crews and/or contracted services to support proactive and reactive programs
  • Develop standard operating procedures and training for all operating programs
  • Conduct pump station priority upgrades, repairs, component replacements and maintenance items
  • Complete siphon repairs and maintenance
  • Negotiate easements for existing pipelines under private property
  • Improve maintenance access to pipelines
  • Upgrade existing pipes to support growth and intensification
  • Adopt new sewer policy
  • Update Sewer Use By-Law in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo or create a local Cambridge Sewer Use By-Law
  • Establish Annual Sewer Model Calibration and ongoing flow monitoring program
  • Develop policy, by-law, incentive and support programs for private side lateral issues contributing to Inflow and Infiltration
  • Educate the public about Inflow and Infiltration and its impact
  • Develop servicing allocation and reserve practices for new development
  • Follow-up with a detailed review of pump stations to determine if they should be replaced or remediated
  • Develop an acceptance protocol for new infrastructure
  • Reduce water consumption by adopting 300 L/cap/d as the design standard for sewer systems instead of 350 L/cap/d
  • Simplify the design calculations and become more consistent with the industry standards by adopting 300 L/ emp/d as the dry-weather design standard for employment lands
  • Increase the Inflow and Infiltration allowance from 0.150 L/s/ha to 0.200 L/s/ha which better reflects local conditions

Contact the Community Development department for more information.

Stormwater Management Master Plan (2011)
The Stormwater Management (SWM) Master Plan includes prioritization of necessary upgrades to the City's drainage network:
  • High Priority upgrades are needed immediately, within 5 years at an estimated cost of $16,900,000
  • Medium Priority upgrades are needed in 6 to 15 years with an estimated cost of $17,300,000)
  • Low Priority upgrades are needed in more than 15 years with an estimated cost of $15,300,000

These cost estimates cover:

  • Capital costs
  • Annual and major maintenance costs
  • Stormwater management facilities
  • Replacement of bridges and culverts at river crossings

The purpose of the SWM Master Plan is to evaluate existing infrastructure and policies, identify drainage system deficiencies and develop an implementation plan, including capital planning estimates and potential funding mechanisms for a long-term sustainable program.

Contact the Community Development department for more information.

Learn more about our SWM Master Plan.

Trails Master Plan (2010)

The Trails Master Plan aims to review and update the existing City of Cambridge city wide, multi-use trail system that was completed in 1996. The Trails Master Plan includes an update to the existing City of Cambridge Trails Maintenance Manual that was completed in 1999.

Key themes and recommendations of the Trails Master Plan include:

  • Trail principles
  • Communication and promotion
  • Trails Advisory Committee
  • Accessibility
  • Trail width, surface and grades
  • Signs and way finding
  • Operational maintenance
  • Major capital infrastructure maintenance
  • Trails safety
  • New trail construction
  • On-road links
  • Trailheads and signage
  • Regional multi-use trails

Contact the Community Development department for more information.

View a list of trails in the Cambridge area.

 Transportation Master Plan (2020)

Moving Cambridge the City's Transportation Master Plan. The recommendations of the Plan were endorsed by Council at the May 7, 2019 General Committee Meeting.  See the Moving Cambridge Brochure for plan highlights.

The plan is a tool and a policy that guides the City’s investment in transportation to support growth and help shape the City towards its vision. The Master Plan provides the need, justification, and preliminary planning for City investments such as road improvements and expansion of the walking and cycling network.

This Transportation Master Plan deals with automobiles, public transit, cycling, walking, trucking, commuting, traffic management and system maintenance. The plan will help guide City and Waterloo Region decisions on how to maintain and improve the Cambridge transportation system as the City continues to grow over the next 25 years.  Master Plans are living documents updated every 5 to 10 years, each update will account for changes since the previous version and identify the course for the next 25 years.

Moving Cambridge was completed in conjunction with the Region of Waterloo's Transportation Master Plan Update - Moving Forward.

Additional Materials:

Appendix A - Consultation Summary

Appendix B - Needs & Opportunities Assessment

Appendix C - Network Assessment

Notice of Study Completion

May 2019 General Committee Presentation


Supporting Strategies for Road Classification, Goods Movement, Cycling, Transit, Transportation Demand Management, Parking, Traffic Safety, Traffic Calming and Substandard Rights-of-Way are available upon request.  


Contact the Transportation Section for more information.