Having been born in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, I feel that I have a very strong insight into what exactly makes up a person from Cambridge. Being born a couple of years after Galt, Preston, Hespeler and Blair were forced to amalgamate, I know we have our quirks. Even within our own neighbourhoods we have certain things that make us unique not only in Canada, but in this region.
You know you are from Cambridge when…
- You can navigate your way through the Delta with ease.
- It isn’t a grocery bag, or a plastic shopping bag, it’s a Zehrs bag and no matter where you are in the world, it will always be a Zehrs bag
- You know at least one person (maybe even you) who has driven in the “baja” and lived to tell about it
- You can still remember the distinctive musk of roller skates at The Forum
- You remember that Galt, Preston and Hespeler all had at least one bowling alley and you secretly wish you could still bowl there one last time.
- You went dancing at Styles, Highlands or The Time Club and still remember how amazing they were and wish we had something that great again.
- Going to Sportsworld meant more than just shopping.
- You don’t even bat an eye when driving under the train bridge on Samuelson Street.
- You wish the movie theatre would bring back “Twoonie Tuesday”
- It will always be “Hostess” no matter the name on the front lawn and you can tell which chips they are making by the smell in the air on a nice summer night.
- You or someone you know is building cars at the Toyota factory as you read this.
- You’re still mourning the closure of the 7-11 in Preston.
- When travelling through Canada or abroad you tell people you are from West of Toronto, in Ontario you are from Cambridge, but in Cambridge you are from Galt, Preston, Hespeler, or Blair (bonus points if you include the area of Galt, Preston or Hespeler you are from.)
- You secretly get annoyed by comments regarding different weather patterns in different areas of town. “It’s always sunny in Galt” or “Always 2 degrees colder on the other side of the 401” Just never sat right with you.
- You loathe driving on Hespeler Road or the 401 and do everything to avoid it including driving through parking lots and behind buildings when needed.
- You complained about the roundabouts but now that they are here you secretly love driving through them and envision yourself as a race car driver.
- You know exactly who John Bell is and realize you haven’t thought about him in years.
- You’ve watched the Cambridge Winter Hawks and/or the Hornets bring home a cup.
- You know we have two different boys hockey organizations and two different Santa Claus parades but after ‘73 you figure it’s easiest to just let them be.
- In high school you hung out in the smoking area even if you didn’t smoke because that was where everyone was (doesn’t matter which school).
- You still refer to Cambridge Centre as the John Galt Mall.
- As soon as Spring starts you wonder why LA Franks isn’t open yet?
- You wish the Sunset Drive-In never left because watching movies in your car behind Ashley Furniture is kind of awkward.
- It’s still a shock to the system to not find animals in Riverside Park and instead see a bike park.
- You’ve sat at the light at the Delta for what felt like 3 hours waiting for a train to cross Hespeler Road.
- You weirdly take pride in the fact you can get the freshest bags of Doritos around.
- Everyone has a story about the “Flood of ‘74”.
- Even if you move to another part of town, the part you grew up in is still the best.
- You rode the escalator at The Right House.
- You know what’s really underneath Wedges & Woods.
- You see old pictures of the Preston Springs Hotel and wonder if it will ever regain it’s former glory.
- You took a special trip to see the bull on top of PHS (bonus points if you know how it got up there).
- You have checked out the sculpture garden or are completely in denial that we have a sculpture garden at all. There is no in between.
- You have driven up to Langdon Hall only to turn around and leave again without stepping inside.
- You know at least one useless fact about Cambridge that you are proud of (Mine is that David Letterman talked about Cambridge, Ontario as being the donut and coffee shop world capital as we had the most per capita.)
- You want the LRT because Kitchener and Waterloo are getting it, but aren’t sure if you will actually ever use it.
- You risked your life by biking along Hespeler Road in a live lane and vowed never to do that again.
- You have canoed down the Grand River to Paris at least once.
- You remember doing “ball throw” as part of track and field in elementary school. Bonus points if you were actually really good at it.
- You participated in the “Skating Races” and can still hear echos of the “Clap” to start the race.
- You thought tobogganing in Dickson Park was too easy and wanted more of a challenge.
- You went to toboggan at Churchill Park and realized it was too much of a challenge.
- You know exactly where “Hill 60” is and wonder why they had to ruin it by building houses.
- Your new Toyota Corolla has the freshest new car smell money can buy.
- You’ve sat and savoured an ice cream cone in Mill Race Park.
- You remember the Sunnyview Dairy Bar and still believe it had the best ice cream in town.
- Going to the Fall Fair is guaranteed to have you run into at least 20 people you know (whether you want to or not).
- You resent being called the armpit of Waterloo Region.
- You go to the river at least once every spring to see if the water will get as high as it was in ‘74 and are thankful that it hasn’t yet.
- Two words: “Dickie Dee”.
- You get a jolt of pleasure seeing our city on the big and small screen. (Handmaid’s Tale, American Gods, Silent Hill, Murdoch Mysteries, Saint Ralph and Bitten just to name a few).
- And finally, you have read through this list and nodded your head more than 10 times.
Think my list is missing something? Leave a message in the comments and let me know your answer to “You know you’re from Cambridge when”.
Update August 16, 2017
Here’s a clip of Corina on 570 News talking about the list.