Originally published in the seventh and final edition of #AloneTogether: A Cambridge Quaranzine. This special edition was created to be part of the Welcome Cambridge virtual event, and to celebrate the stories of our thriving and diverse community.
I’m a relative newcomer to Cambridge; to be honest, I only moved here from Guelph in 2019 because my partner, Blake, already had a place here. So while I have come to appreciate the natural beauty, people, and local businesses here, I decided that it made sense to include Blake in this article for the Welcome Cambridge edition of the Quaranzine.
Blake loves mornings. A natural early riser, he enjoys eating a quiet breakfast before heading outside for his “morning commute”. These days, his usual route takes him across the pedestrian bridge, through Queen’s Square and back across the river for a wander downtown Galt before heading back to start work in his home office.
“It’s a nice start to my day,” Blake tells me. “It’s good to get some exercise and see the neighbourhood.”
Blake first moved to Cambridge in 2015 when he got a job with Gore Mutual Insurance. He quickly fell in love with the architecture and history of the Galt area. On his lunch breaks, he would often take a walk outside or meet his colleague for coffee downtown. He joined the local chapter of Toastmasters to practice his public speaking, which used to meet every week at Monigram. Eventually, Blake decided that he no longer wanted to commute from Waterloo, and bought a condominium in the Galt area.
“I was inspired by the potential in the three city cores of Cambridge,” he says. “I like this area and wanted to invest in its future. I’m glad I found a place within walking distance of downtown Galt.”
Together, we enjoy driving around old neighbourhoods to look at heritage houses, or walking along the trail behind Preston Memorial Auditorium. Before COVID-19, we often went to the Queen’s Square Idea Exchange or Old Post Office to read, study, and work. I particularly enjoyed eating at local restaurants.
What do we hope for the future of our adopted home city? Our dream is to see even more independent stores and businesses thriving in each of the three downtown cores; for increased walkability and bike lanes; and for more inter-city transit (we’re looking forward to the ION light-rail system extending to Cambridge!). I hope for greater diversity and cultural celebration. And, of course, we can’t wait for the day when we’re allowed to meet with friends and neighbours again. Until then – we wish all newcomers a warm welcome to Cambridge. We hope it becomes your home too!