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Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry's City Hall Report

Message from Mayor Kathryn McGarry

Earlier this week, Public Health announced that our rate of new cases in the Region currently remains stable and is not accelerating. This is good news; and most certainly thanks to all the hard work that the community has been doing to keep themselves and each other safe

However, we must stay the course and remain committed to following public health practices to ensure we keep our forward momentum. I know it’s been hard and that this situation has gone on longer than any of us anticipated; but we cannot afford to get complacent.

We've also heard that proper workplace precautions will be vital to overcoming this second wave. I urge all workplaces throughout the city to keep public health practices in the forefront of their operations and to make modifications for safety wherever possible.

I know at this time of year kids are busy changing their mind about what they want to be for Halloween. This week Public Health has come out with some advice for parents: 

  • Limit close contact to those within your immediate household.
  • For events such as Halloween, it is recommended that residents stick to low-risk activities.

Some ideas for celebrating Halloween safely with members of your immediate household include:

  • Pumpkin decorating
  • Virtual costume party
  • Halloween movie night
  • Sharing spooky stories
  • Outdoor trick-or-treat scavenger hunt in the back-yard
  • The 2020 Halloween/Fall projection show will be running at the Old Post Office Saturday and Sunday nights. For program times and details, visit Pandemic guidelines and gathering limits are in effect.

The general principles are as follows:

  • Limit close contact to people living in your own household
  • Virtual gatherings are the safest way to visit with people outside your household
  • If you choose to hold or participate in an in-person gathering with people outside your household, you need to take the following precautions:
    • Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild or you recently had a negative COVID-19 test.
    • Physically distance and wear a face covering with anyone outside of your immediate household
  • Regardless of the legal limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, you should:
  • Keep your gathering as small as possible
  • Use outdoor spaces whenever possible
  • Gathering outdoors is safer than indoors
  • The fewer the people, the lower the risk

If you choose to go out trick or treating:

  • Only go out with members of your immediate household
  • Physically distance and wear a face covering with anyone outside of your immediate household
  • Both trick-or-treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. Not a costume mask
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe
  • Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab
  • Use tongs, or other similar tools, to hand out treats
  • Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps. Line up two metres apart if waiting

Take care, stay safe and be kind and try not to eat too much candy!


2020 Cambridge Santa Parade and Hespeler Santa Parade cancelled for community safety

In order to adhere to guidelines on public gatherings, the City of Cambridge, along with the volunteer committees for the Hespeler Santa Claus Parade and the Cambridge Santa Claus Parade, have made the decision to cancel this year’s parades.

The Santa Claus parades are long-standing traditions in Cambridge and I know that much effort has gone into finding alternate solutions, so it really saddens me to announce that the parades won’t be happening this year. I know we will all miss these much-loved events. The decision was not made lightly but the safety of the community must come first.

To celebrate previous years’ parades, the City will be encouraging community members to share some of their favourite memories of past parades on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. The campaign will get underway on Friday, November 27 and last until Sunday, December 6, and participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #santaparadememories.  Prizes will be awarded for Most Creative and Most Nostalgic photos.  

The City of Cambridge extends fast-tracked patio program

In an effort to support local restaurants and encourage outdoor dining this fall and throughout the winter, the City of Cambridge’s streamlined process to accelerate approvals for patios on sidewalks and public spaces will continue until March 2021.

In June, the City waived fees and implemented a fast-tracked the patio permit program enabling restaurants to quickly create temporary outdoor patios across the city and extend onto to sidewalks in the core areas. Since then, 35 temporary patio permits have been issued in the Cambridge.

As well, in September, we approved a temporary use bylaw to help business owners easily facilitate patios on their own private property for a period of three years.

We are committed to doing everything we can to support our local businesses. We have seen great success this summer with the closure of Queen Street on Saturdays in Hespeler to enable an open-air market feel; and we have seen many of our businesses get creative with outdoor space and new patios. I have no doubt this creative spirit will continue into the fall and winter and we, Canadians, will have no problem bundling up with our family bubble to visit patios as the snow falls around us.

Business owners with questions about the extended patio program can call Service Cambridge at (519) 623-1340.  

Small Business Week

It's Small Business Week! I encourage everyone to #ShopLocal and  support your community. 

Many Cambridge businesses have found creative ways to serve the community during COVID-19. Learn more about how you can continue to support them at

It's Flu Shot Season 

I got my flu shot! We've heard from the Province how important it is during the Covid pandemic to get your flu shot. It's recommended for anyone 6 months & older. Call your doctor or pharmacy for an appointment or visit the Region of Waterloo Public Health? drive-thru clinics in November. ? Let's all work together to keep each other safe. 

Cambridge Community Builders - Share your story!

This has been a difficult and trying year for our community but through this pandemic we have seen some amazing stories of people coming together in this amazing city of Cambridge. Whenever possible, we like to highlight good news stories within our community.

If you have a story of a great Community Builder please share it with us at and we will try to share it on our newsletter. 


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