September 28, 2020

BY MATT HOWELL

In the simplest of terms, I come from an ugly city.Matt1

Lambridge, oh sorry, I meant Cambridge, is a blue collar-enriched town of around 135,000. Morale seems low and desperation high.

You can easily judge me as being too harsh but if you happen to stroll through here, open your eyes and perk your ears to the cityscape that surrounds you.

Barren wastelands of former commerce take up large areas of land that could be utilized in so many different ways. Grass and weeds run rampant though the cracked concrete. No one cleans these places up, and you wonder why they have been vacant for as long as they have been.

A great example of what I’m talking about can be seen on the corner of Hespeler Road and Dunbar Road. This location has been empty for my entire life. It looks like a scene from an apocalyptic movie, and this is on a highway that brings visitors into the city!

It’s not just the empty spaces that I question. It’s also the massive office buildings that get built without anyone planning on moving in. Pinebush Road showcases this irritating trait of the city quite well. There have been buildings that were erected more then five years ago that still remain unoccupied. I mean, the windows get washed and the grass cut, but why?

Cambridge to me is like the crazy uncle you only see at select family gatherings. Sure it’s nice to catch up and hear some old stories, but you wouldn’t want to have to see him every day.

Cambridge has no real identity. The only thing that really sets it apart from surrounding cities is that no one goes there.

I bet one person reading this is shouting, “What about the new theatre they just built there.” Well, like most Cambridge citizens, I haven’t had the money or interest to step into the $14-million monstrosity known as the Dunfield Theatre.

This city needs to stop giving out building permits for strip malls and restaurants that no one cares about, and start thinking about how to make this city more viable to residents and to visitors who may stay here longer then the duration of a hockey tournament.

Hopefully with the municipal election coming up soon, someone will see a new and fresh direction for this city. And maybe one day I will be proud to call Cambridge my home – instead of wishing I lived in Guelph.

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