New Public Spaces Will Be Awesome
Cambridge on the brink of a renaissance, theme for Mayor Craig’s 2018 State of the City address
Cambridge, Ontario: Mayor Doug Craig opened his annual State of the City address this evening by stating that Cambridge is on the brink of a renaissance.
Addressing a crowd of community leaders, the Mayor pointed out the City’s overall economic growth and development, as well as key municipal initiatives which will enhance downtown life, such as the new pedestrian bridge and the redevelopment of the historic Old Post Office into a digital library and public space. Both will open in the coming months.
“This is all creating more public space to encourage people to be out and about in the downtown core,” he said. “With these projects and more, our vision to revitalize downtown and attract new business and residents to our river-city is becoming a reality. It’s about quality of life. It’s about pride of place. These landmarks are the sort of things that draw people and investment to a city.”
As well, the Mayor referenced the many new businesses and private developments in Cambridge including the Gaslight District where his address was held. Once completed, the space will breathe new life into the old Southworks buildings, he said.
“The end result will be a spectacular 21st century meeting place - a public square, bordered by residential apartments, boutique stores, restaurants, and a dedicated artist space,” he said.
Within the Gaslight District, a tech incubator called Grand Innovations will be opening soon. Conestoga College plans to move its innovation and applied research program to this space with a focus on cyber-security.
“The City is relocating both the small business centre and Invest Cambridge offices there as well in order to support and work directly with entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Mayor Craig. “This is about directly connecting with the community.”
Continuing to build on the theme of creating more public space, Mayor Craig discussed potential future projects in both the Hespeler and Preston areas to enhance walkways and connectivity.
Mayor Craig also talked about the value of our neighbourhood associations and the importance of engaging and empowering youth in our community. He noted projects such as the multiplex recreational facility and an initial concept for new performing arts program.
“I would like to explore the Icelandic model of drug and alcohol prevention,” he said. “Iceland has seen excellent results in the battle against teenage drinking, smoking and drug abuse by implementing more structured and organized activities that truly engage and inspire teenagers.”
While the City of Cambridge has been focused on addressing the infrastructure gap in innovative ways, the Mayor also stressed the need for cities to sit down with their provincial and federal partners to discuss new ways of revenue sharing.