Update on Winter Road Clean-up

A message from our Manager, Roads and Rights of Way:

Just a quick note to inform you of winter control housekeeping activity currently underway with regards to our residential roads.

As a result of the sustained cold temperatures and the intermittent continual snowfall received since our last residential plowout of January 15th, we have found it necessary to provide a “housekeeping type cleanup” of required areas of residential roads which have become congested with the gradual snow accumulation of 8cm.

This activity began yesterday and should be complete later today. This will allow us to be in a better position to receive the additional 4cm of snow being forecast into tonight as well as the anticipated 10 cm that is forecast for this coming weekend.

Sam Mattina
Manager, Roads / Right of Ways,

Canada’s Number ONE Next Most Livable City? GUELPH!

MSN.com has ranked Guelph as Canada’s # 1 Next Most Livable City.    We are no stranger to being in the top 1o or 15, but this ranking is especially sweet  because our Community Energy Initiative, our world-class university and our stong neighbourhoods are mentioned as some of the reasons Guelph ranks so high.


Check out the article here…



Guelph Tribune Article re: 716 Gordon Development

Scaled back high-rise plans likely: councillor

By DOUG HALLETT, Guelph Tribune
Jan 11, 2011

The proposal for two university student high-rises is likely to be changed significantly before council holds a final vote on the issue, says Coun. Leanne Piper.

The developer’s application for zoning and Official Plan changes goes to council’s Jan. 17 planning meeting. It could be altered later as a result of public feedback, said Piper, a Ward 5 councillor. Her ward is where the proposed 16- and 14-storey student high-rises would be built at the corner of Stone Road and Gordon Street. “I suspect that this application . . . may not be the final proposal that we see when it comes back for decision, based on the questions and the concerns and the input” heard by council during the public consultation phase, Piper said.

Until she sees a final proposal, Piper won’t be commenting on whether or not she supports it, she told the Tribune.

People living near the site, where a thre estorey hotel now sits, have formed the Mayfield Park Community Association to fight the developer’s application. The group holds its second big meeting tonight (Jan. 11) at 7 p.m. at Harcourt Memorial United Church.

“This is an unprecedented development with far-reaching implications” for the city, the association said in a news release Monday.

Piper said she has been getting “significant correspondence about this application, primarily because it brings up a lot of questions and issues that we haven’t had in this community since Places to Grow came about. This is a much more dense application than any other Places to Grow application we’ve had in the last few years.” Guelph is designated as a growth centre under the province’s Places to Grow legislation, which requires more intensification of development within built-up areas of affected cities.

The application from Mississauga-based developer Abode Varsity Living calls for a total of about 1,500 student bedrooms to be built in the two high-rises, within 341 apartment units each containing four or five bedrooms.

In addition to the density issues, Piper said, the application “also raises the debate whether or not students should be housed all in one location or integrated into the community.

“So that is a debate we should be having,” she said.

Randy Reimer, a spokesperson for the Mayfield Park Community Association, said the proposal for two high-rise student buildings “raises serious issues related to parking, shade, light pollution, privacy, traffic congestion, security, respect for property, vandalism, noise, litter and, last but not least, our property values.

“We would think that any increase in the tax base as a result of this development would, in the longer term, be offset by decreasing taxes as a result of decreased property values,” he said in an e-mail sent to Ward 5 councillors and to the media.



I have had a few questions from residents about why I would not publicly declare my opposition or support for this development application.  To clarify:  I do have many questions, concerns and opinions on aspects of this application.  However, it is never appropriate for a city councillor to form a final position until the planning process is over.    The “planning process” involves giving the applicant an opportunity to formally present the proposal to Council (coming up on January 17th) and then a period of feedback and consultation with the public, where many voices and arguments are heard for and against the proposal.   Until this process is complete, and until a final plan is brought back to Council, accompanied by a detailed planning analysis by professional city staff, it would be premature and irresponsible to state a position.   Feel free to contact me if you have questions or want to provide your feedback about this development application.  leanne.piper@guelph.ca or 519-822-1260 ext. 2295

“Be a Good Sort”

During the holidays, I noticed that my own family have become lazy sorters, so I reminded them (again) that it is important to keep recyclables out of the clear bag.

“But it all goes to the same place, Mom,” they said.

Oh no!  If my own family has fallen into the trap of thinking that, it’s time for a reminder.  Yes, your blue, green and clear bags all go to the Guelph Waste Resource Innovation Centre (WRIC) — but that’s not their final destination.   Each waste stream goes somewhere else from there.

Blue bags are the most imporant stream to keep “pure” in my opinion.  The blue bags are seperated into different recyclable commodities and sold to generate revenue that goes towards the city’s bottom line.

Clear bags are going to a landfill in St. Thomas, Ontario.   Green bags are going to a energy-from-waste facility across the border (but not for long).

A new year’s resolution for my family is to “be good sorts.”

Living Sustainably in the City

This article from the weekend Guelph Mercury is a good opportunity to talk about how city dwellers can live more sustainably within the urban environment.


Obviously, city residents can’t live off of the land to the degree that Arlene Slocombe is doing, but there are ways that the City is encouraging us to move in that direction — through the Community Energy Initiative and Water Conservation Strategy — with stated targets such as “lowest energy use per capita than comparable Canadian municipalities” and increasing locally-produced clean energy (solar, co-gen, etc.)

Here’s a sampling of initiatives already underway:

  • rainwater collection incentives
  • urban farming / community gardens
  • solar installations / green roof buildings
  • pollinator park
  • increased tree canopy targets
  • adding bicycle lanes
  • improvements to public transit
  • by-law allowing backyard chicken coops
  • district heating and cooling precincts

Any more ideas?  Share them here…

One idea I heard recently was to add canoe docking facilities along the two rivers, so that residents can paddle to work and/or school.  I like it!


Gordon/Stone (Best Western) Planning Application

Monday, January 17th, 2011

7:00 pm in Council Chambers, 1 Carden Street

All of the planning documents related to this application can be found here.

To register as a delegation to speak at the council meeting, contact the City Clerk’s office at clerks@guelph.ca.   If you do not want to speak, you can still submit your comments in writing to the same email address and your letter will be circulated to all members of Council and city planning staff.