The Cambridge Centre for the Arts (CCA) opened in May 2001. The City of Cambridge owns the CCA and works in partnership with the Cambridge Arts Guild (CAG) to manage and operate the Centre.

How did it start?

Approved by Council in January 1998, the CAG guided the development of this participatory centre for the arts from conception to completion. The first Chair to lead the CAG was Jill Summerhayes.

The CAG formed partnerships with all levels of government - municipal, provincial and federal - to raise funds for the Centre's $2.6 million renovation cost. They raised $500,000 toward the project and the City of Cambridge funded the remaining cost. At that time, no other community group had raised this amount of money for a municipal project.

About the building

In 1921, the Public Utilities Commission (now the CCA building) was the first all steel structure to be built in Ontario. There was great civic pride when Sir Adam Beck, the father of Ontario Hydro, officially opened the building in 1922.

It was the Ontario Hydro building for more than 60 years before they relocated. The building was vacant until 1990 when the City renovated the front half for a seniors' centre, located at the corner of Dickson and Wellington streets.