The City of Cambridge was founded in 1973 by the amalgamation of the 3 cities Galt, Preston and Hespeler. The first city which would eventually become part of Cambridge is Galt. It began forming along the Grand River in the early 1800’s. Because the river provided a rich power supply it attracted industries such as grist mills, saw mills, foundries textile factories, distilleries and tanneries. The wealth of jobs and requirement for tradesman attracted many European immigrants.
The railway reached Galt in 1879. This attracted many more businesses. The Galt Grammar School opened in 1852. As a boys only boarding school it quickly gained notoriety as one of the top schools in Ontario. In 1884 it became a day school for both boys and girls. After World War 1 this iconic building was renamed Galt Collegiate institute. A large post office was erected in downtown Galt in 1886. This magnificent piece of architecture was designated a National historic site of Canada in 1993. It is currently being renovated and converted into a public library.