Skip to content

From city hall's green wall to Ice Park ice pads; a look at the city's 2022 capital budget

An overview of some of the 77 capital projects totaling $66 million the City of Cambridge wants to include in its 2022 budget
The green wall at Cambridge City Hall is showing its age and needs to be replaced next year at a cost of $254,500.

In addition to a 2022 operating budget of $132.2 million, next year’s budget includes 77 capital projects totalling $66.6 million, ranging from much needed road reconstruction, water meter replacement and equipment upgrades, to major projects like expanding the Preston Memorial Auditorium and replacing the Riverside Dam. 

Options to downsize the Preston arena project or scrap the Riverside Dam replacement altogether will be on the table as separate agenda items for council to consider.

But other, less urgent projects, like upgrading the greenhouse in Riverside Park and replacing the living green wall at Cambridge City Hall are on the list too.

Here’s a select look at what some of those projects are as budget deliberations get underway in Cambridge this week.

City Hall

The living green wall at city hall is 14 years old and in need of an overhaul according to staff.

Replacing all of the plants and the structure, which is obsolete and can’t be repaired, will cost $254,500. 

Aside from being a key feature of City Hall, the green wall forms part of the building’s HVAC system and provides humidity and additional air filtration to the building, according to the maintenance contractor hired to take care of it. 

Further deterioration will cause humidity levels in the building to rise, resulting in reduced air quality that could create discomfort for staff and visitors, according to staff.

The city's planning and building departments are getting a major upgrade with the implementation of a digitized file system that costs $450,000.

The city will tap reserve funds to make way for the next batch of homes and businesses scheduled for water meter replacement in 2022, at a cost of $480,000.

The project involves the purchase and installation of approx 2,500 meters to replace mechanical meters that were installed from Jan 1, 2006 to Dec 31, 2007.

Reserve funds will also pay the $73,000 bill to refurbish the city fire department’s training tower, which has met the end of its expected life cycle.

Parks and infrastructure

The greenhouse in Riverside Park will get an overhaul for $233,000. The scope of work includes renovating the kitchen, replacing the furnace, ducts, unit heaters, electrical, energy efficiency upgrades to the building interior, and greenhouse lighting (LED).

The city also wants to put $155,000 toward improving the Ring Road and Rogers Drive in Riverside Park, both of which are in deteriorating condition.

The Riverside Dam project isn’t the only dam getting attention in next year’s budget. 

The city wants to invest $170,000 to implement recommendations outlined in a recent public safety assessment of the Silknit and American Standard dams in Hespeler, both of which are now city owned.

Those recommendations include installing seven danger and warning signs on the Silknit dam, while the American Standard dam will get four danger and warning signs, a new safety boom, and safety racks for a sluice gate and pipe inlet.

The city is undertaking a heritage assessment of all of its designated buildings at a cost of $130,000.

The project will look at the condition of the Preston Scout House, Ferguson Homestead, Landreth Cottage, Lutz House, Dickson Park Grandstand, Dickson Centre and Riverside Park Gates. 

The elevator at the Allan Reuter Centre is getting a modern refurb at a cost of $176,800.

The city will support the expansion of the Cambridge Ice Park next year with a $600,000 contribution from the capital levy. The money will be put towards adding two new ice pads to the Buckingham Sports facility on Franklin Boulevard and upgrading its existing two pads.

soper park pedestrian tunnel
The Dundas Street pedestrian tunnel in Soper Park needs attention next year. The masonry on the heritage structure needs to be repointed at a projected budget of $315,000. 

Roads and bridges

Recent work around the Dundas Street pedestrian tunnel through Soper Park isn’t over yet. The city wants to spend $315,000 next year to repoint the masonry on the historically significant piece of architecture.

To prepare for a new bridge on Blackbridge Road, the city will begin relocating utilities next year at a cost of $600,000.

Road projects include resurfacing and sidewalk work worth $270,000 on Fraser and Glebe streets in the Gaslight District, replacing a watermain on Bechtel Street for $970,000, Westminster Drive reconstruction at $1.9 million, and reconstructing Kribs, Henderson and Bella streets in Hespeler at a cost of more than $2.5 million.

Other major road projects include reconstruction of South Street for $1.5 million, First Avenue and Grand Avenue South reconstruction for $3.75 million, and reconstructing Todd and Haddington streets at a cost of around $4.3 million.

The city’s cycling network is expected to grow next year with the second phase of the multi-use trail completed along Dunbar Road earlier this year next to Dufferin Conservation Area. The trail will close a gap in the cycling network and connect to existing infrastructure along Conestoga Boulevard, Concession Road, and future infrastructure along Hespeler Road. The $336,000 project will add a 500-metre trail section from Industrial Road to Hespeler Road. 

Cambridge councillors had a chance to get together with city staff last Friday for three closed-door question-and-answer sessions designed to give them a better understanding of the budget as they enter deliberations this week.

Asked why the meetings weren’t open to the public, communications advisor for the city Erin Haase said the meetings weren’t live streamed because they were organized as smaller sessions that didn’t meet a full quorum of council.

“These meetings are considered planning for the upcoming budget and serve to provide staff with an understanding of what to expect once budget deliberations begin,” she responded.

A full script of what was asked and answered in those meetings is available as part of Thursday’s agenda package.

On Dec. 2, council will welcome public delegations as they deliberate on the budget package from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Council will reconvene the meeting at 5 p.m. to continue those discussions. 

Residents are invited to share their thoughts on the draft budget virtually or in writing and can visit to register.

Budget deliberations will continue on Dec. 7 and 9 if necessary.

All meetings will be live-streamed at