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Preston is a community in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Prior to its amalgamation with the city of Galt, the town of Hespeler and the village of Blair to form the new city in 1973, it was an independent town. It is located near the confluence of the Grand River and Speed River. Downtown Preston is commonly considered to be bounded on the north by the entrance to Riverside Park on King Street, and on the south by the King and Bishop plaza.
Preston was originally formed on land belonging to the German Company Tract, along the Speed River, which was purchased earlier from the Six Nations Indians. It was John Erb who bought the 7,500 acres (30 km2) of land and settled it in 1805. He later built a sawmill in 1806 and a gristmill in 1807. This settlement became known as Cambridge Mills. The settlement grew and by 1879 there were many industries such as a foundry, carriage manufacturer, potteries and a furniture company. This was also the year that the Cherry Flour Mills started, which would later become the Dover Flour Mills, a Preston company that still operates today. Preston became the Town of Preston in 1900, and had a population of just under 11 000 by 1959.
Preston is home to one high school, Preston High; one public middle school, William G Davis; as well as the elementary schools Preston Public, Coronation Public, Grandview Public, Parkway Public, Ryerson Public, St. Michael's Catholic and St. Joseph's Catholic.
Parks and trails
The main park in Preston is Riverside Park. It is Cambridge's largest community park with an area of 256 acres (1.02 km².) The park contains a splash pad, two playgrounds,tennis courts, soccer pitch, a skateboard park, picnic areas that can be reserved, and a multitude of walking trails. The baseball fields are used often and on Canada Day there is always an event at the field whether it is a fair, bands at a bandstand, or fireworks. Riverside Park also hosts a fishing derby on Canada Day when support is available.
The 7.5 kilometer Mill Run Trail runs north-east from the park at Russ Street, along the banks of the Speed River, to Sheffield Street in the town of Hespeler. On its way, it passes through the hamlet of Speedsville, the former site of Idylwild Park and Chilligo Conservation Area.
Also in Preston is Linear Park which has extensive trails for walking, running or biking. At certain points the trail gives a perfect view of the confluence of the Grand and the Speed Rivers.
Preston Towne Centre
This traditional downtown core area remains quite vibrant and through the B.I.A. has organized a closely knit group of merchants providing a wide range of goods and services in office-related industry, business service industries and licensed restaurants. The target market area is predominately the immediate surrounding residential area, which is constantly growing through new high density developments. In addition, high traffic counts through this area adds to the market potential.
The Grist Mill Centre including a new Giant Tiger Department store is a small commercial mall on King Street in Preston.
- Cambridge, Ontario
- Hespeler, Ontario
- Preston Car Company
- Regional Municipality of Waterloo
- Speed River
- "List of Schools". Waterloo Region District School Board.
- cambridgeweb.net: Brief History of the community of Preston
- Preston at Geographical Names of Canada
- Evolution of Preston. City of Cambridge web-site.