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'Our community has changed:' After challenging year, mayor gives state of the city address

From affordable housing to a safe consumption site, Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry breaks down city's accomplishments

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry urged residents to be proud of all they have accomplished during a difficult year during her first in-person state of the city address since the start of the pandemic at the new Tapestry Hall in downtown Galt on Monday. 

“Our community has proven itself resilient, our community pivoted in ways that we never thought possible to support one another,” McGarry said. 

The last year has been a struggle for many due to the pandemic, rising costs due to inflation and everyday stressors, the mayor said. 

2021 was a record breaking year for the city. Filming in Cambridge was at an all time high and they have approved over $500 million worth of construction permits.

Cambridge is also on track to help meet the region's goal of 2,500 affordable housing units in five years with multiple sites under construction and many more being approved. 

Habitat For Humanity is returning to Cambridge for the first time in a decade and will help build affordable housing in the city.

City council also approved a safe consumption site at 150 Main St., a service she calls a perfect example of the city and experts coming together to save people and ultimately help them overcome their addictions. 

While the safe consumption site is a step in the right direction, she thinks that more progress needs to be made with the region when it comes to helping those in need.

“This should not be up for debate,” McGarry stressed. 

Cambridge is also partnering with the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture to create a tiny home solution with ‘housing first” in mind. 

This would allow unsheltered people a place to live without having to meet certain requirements.

According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, “The basic underlying principle of Housing First is that people are better able to move forward with their lives if they are first housed.”

McGarry looks forward to the rest of 2022 and thinks this will be a prosperous year for the city, especially after the difficult times during the pandemic.

“We will continue to be fierce advocates at the regional and provincial and federal levels… It's city building, It's big picture thinking, It’s every decision, even the hard ones weaving together like that proverbial golden thread to create the city that we all want for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren,” McGarry said. 

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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