About Ward 5

The current boundary of Ward 5 is as follows:

Waterloo Avenue to the north,

Kortright Road to the south,

Victoria Road to the east, and

The city limits to the west.

Ward 5 is a very diverse ward, encompassing part of the Downtown district, historic residential neighbourhoods, the Speed River and parkland, sports facilities, schools, the University of Guelph, new subdivisions, the city’s largest commercial district (Stone Road), and a thriving employment sector.   Our vibrant community is home to a seniors, students, families, young couples, and youth.

Interested in Ward 5 history?  Click HISTORY on the menu above.

Other questions about Ward 5?  Just ask.




13 thoughts on “About Ward 5

  1. Topic: John McCrae School
    Does anyone else have concerns about the plans to build a new school? I certainly do. Such as:
    *The new school will be at least twice the size/capacity of the current building-so a much larger building.

    *This is no longer a neigbourhood school. The majority of those attending have to be bused in. There is a minimum of 10 school buses servicing the school currently. Another large percentage arrive by family car. Not a walkable site for majority of students.

    *The students who attend this school live between the Speed River and the 401!! Obviously the school is geographically poorly located to serve the area in question.

    *Water St has been experiencing traffic pressures for sometime, which in turn has had a negative affect on the quality of life for residents of Water St. Expanding the school and the traffic that is generated by the school will make the living environment even less appealing for residents.

    *Residents have not been consulted about the plans for the John McCrae site, by the school board.

    *Who is looking out for the interests of the residents that are going to be most directly affected by this project? I have had no communication from the school board trustees for Ward 5, either to keep us informed or to ask for any input.

  2. There was an article in the July 17 Tribune regarding a “walk-to-school” pilot project. The city plans to help both local school boards try to reverse a trend towards more children being driven to school. This trend has been identified as a health issue as well as a transportation issue.
    Both boards have endorsed the pilot project, which aims to go further in trying to develop strategies to encourage more children to walk.

    I would think one of the strategies would be locating schools where it would be feasible for a high percentage of the students to walk to that school. In the case of John McCrae, the opposite is the case. It is just not possible for a high percentage of the student body to be able to walk to school, given the huge area this school draws from.

    The issue has been well identified, but it seems the board continues along with their plans for John McCrae without any attempt to address this issue, and in fact perpetuating the problem as part of their policy.

    • Gord:
      I have written about this issue a few times in The Merc. Recently, in respect to the School Board’s poor administartion of the FI program.


      Having schools within walking distance of students – is not only cost effective but it is much better for the environment.

      Everybody today wants to be different and they want schools to reflect their sense of individuality. This behavior is a having a detrimental effect not only on public education, but our communities as well. I have to come to this conclusion through my own personal experience this past summer. We just moved to a great neighborhood, with a nice school within short walking distance. There are plenty of fine young families in the area and it was very nice to meet them as we settled in our surroundings. Unfortunately, through discussions it became apparent that nobody was sending their child to that nice school just down the street. Some were bussing their kids to the French immersion school, some were being bussed to one of the Christian schools, and others were going to the Catholic school, while others were deciding whether to bus their kids to the French only school or drive them to one of the host of private options offered. It left me wondering – is anyone sending their kids to that nice school down the street? Now I am no city planner or environmentalist, but wasn’t the idea to build schools in neighborhoods where kids could easily walk to them and people could have a place of common connection within their community. Now we drive or have someone else drive our kids all over the place in order to have choice. Where is the sense of community – at the gas station?

  3. Buses and the city of Guelph

    Recently there have been some major changes to the bus schedules for the city of guelph that, too me, appear to be completely contrary to the spirit of the movement to encourage people to use public transit.

    As I understand it do to the buses consistently running late they are now going to be running every 40 minutes during peak periods. To me this just does not make sense. If the buses were overcrowded before then they will be even worse now. I would like to instead propose another type of solution.

    Previously, when buses were doubled up on a line due to higher volume the two buses would follow each other – this really does not make a lot of sense. It means that the second bus is usually running half empty or worse. Instead I would suggest that the two buses be split so that one is running half way through the schedule – this would mean that some people would arrive downtown 15 minutes early but I do not think they would mind that if it could assure them a spot on the bus.

    Is this an idea that could be brought forward to council?

  4. Lodging House Issue Ward 5

    Quick question…..why will Ward 5 Councillors not take a position on the Ward 5 Lodging House issue currently facing the City of Guelph – as per the meeting at City Hall March 11th, 2009?

    It would seem Ward 5 Councillors either need to support the residents of Ward 5 or disapprove of their actions.

    • Hi Walter – that’s a fair question. I hope the answer below helps to set the record straight.

      Your question is really two questions:

      1) Do I support the neighbourhood in their opposition of the case-specific 29 Hands Drive application?
      2) Do I support the neighbourhood in amending the by-laws of the city to protect and preserve quality of life in residential neighbourhoods?

      The first question is one I cannot, will not and should not answer. It’s not that I don’t want to — I just can’t and won’t — sorry about that. It is a case-specific dispute related to two applicants and the legal interpretation of the Lodging House certification process. A councillor should never take a public position on a matter of potential litigation between two property owners. It would be inappropriate and unwise. It compromises the city and city staff. I have no authority (and neither does Council) to negate a staff decision on a matter within their delegated jurisdiction.

      The second question I am quite comfortable to answer. I absolutely support the neighbourhood in making changes to any and all city by-laws that will further enhance the protection of quality of life in our residential neighbourhoods. I have stated this publicly on several occasions.

      I am currently working directly with the Rickson Ridge neighbourhood group and city staff to recommend improvement in the enforcement of noise, parking and property standards by-laws. This small working group has come up with some very constructive ideas to make some positive changes.

      I also believe that (as a result of the current Hands Drive situation) we have identified several potential deficiencies in the implementation of our Lodging House certification process and the wording of our Shared Rental Housing policies. These need to be addressed. I support the neighbourhood in this action and will follow through with my commitment at the March 11th meeting to bring this matter to Council through the appropriate political and administrative process. This does not mean that I support throwing out the by-law. Well-run, well-maintained, well-spaced, legal, certified, lodging houses have a place in our city.

      I do understand the sentiments in your neighbourhood. My initiation into municipal politics was as a neighbourhood activist dealing with a rezoning application for a high density off-campus student residence. I have four lodging houses within two blocks of my house, where my husband and I are raising a family. I know what a good lodging house and a bad lodging house look like and what impact they can have on a neighbourhood — good and bad.

      On a related note, I have serious concerns about the proliferation of “four-up-two-down” houses that can legally exist on a whole street,without any separation distance. We, as a Council, need to look at this concurrently with potential amendments to the Lodging House certification process.

      I hope this answers your question(s). I am happy to continue the dialogue with you and your neighbourhood and look forward to some positive solutions.


  5. Leanne

    Thank you for the speedy and direct reply.

    Two more quick questions:

    1. I read the description of “What do Councillor Do Anyway” on the blog. Good information. However, you missed one very important point, “Who do Councilors Work For”? The City of Guelph or the residents of the Ward they represent?

    2. I respect your position on not wanting to take sides, however last I checked Canada and Guelph were a democracy…..and majority rules. Why would a Councillor in an elected position appear to turn away from the overwhelming majority of the residents of the Ward they work for? That one stumps me! Further why would an elected Councillor appear to side with an out of town “ absentee” owner who has the power to directly reduce property values in the Ward and forever change the complexion of the Ward itself………and not long time residents of the Ward. Some of which are the original owners of their property?


  6. Thanks for the follow up questions — I hope this keeps the dialogue open and interactive. I have moved the subject of “Lodging Houses” to the main page as a heading of its own so it will be easier for others to find.

    Answers to your questions:

    1. Both equally. Geographically, the city is broken up into wards for the purpose of representation so that you don’t have to call 12 people if you have an issue or concern. Each ward has its own unique character and we represent those interests when we come to the “horseshoe”. However, most of the decisions we make are not ward specific, (ie. budgets, library, infrastructure, economic development, etc.) and we must also have an eye for the community as a whole when voting.

    In the 2 1/2 years I have been on Council, I can’t think of a Ward 5-focused issue that has come to Council where I have had to choose between voting with a Ward 5 hat or a city-wide hat. In every situation, what’s good for Ward 5 is good for the whole city, and vice versa.

    The Lodging House issue is a good example. If an amendment is made to the current LH by-law, it would apply to the whole city and should benefit every ward.

    2. I have previously stated that I am in favour of making amendments to the Lodging House by-law and certification process. I’ve stated publicly that I am willing to initiate the process on behalf of my constituents. How can this possibly be seen as unsupportive?

    I must reiterate though, that I cannot take a position on the specific case between two property owners where potential litigation may occur. That does not mean that I am siding with an out-of-town landlord over an in-town property owner. I am not taking sides, period. I have no authority to interfere or intervene in a dispute of this nature.

    In conclusion, you are quite correct that, in a true democracy, majority rules. I represent ALL constituents in my ward, not just the ones who voted (32%) and not just the ones who voted for me. I represent everyone. It is important to listen to both sides of every issue.

    And I cannot go outside the boundary of the law — ie. it is against the Ontario Planning Act to refuse a legal permitted use for a property. We can regulate lodging houses (ie. parking, separation distance, etc.) and we can enforce additional controls (ie. noise, garbage, etc.), but we cannot refuse them. It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with provincial law, it is my responsibility to work within it.

  7. Is this the best we can do?
    The picture of the proposed condo looks to be the typical high-rise. It is indistinguishable from any other condo tower in any other city. By no stretch of the imagination is it beautiful.
    I HOPE we can do better!

  8. Hello Leanne,

    We have discussed this previously but I thought I would put this cooment on your blog in case others my see this and have comments.

    University staff have turned streets north of Harcourt into a parking lot every day during the day, presumably to avoid having to pay for the university’s own parking lots. Fairview Blvd., Forbes and Dormie lane seem to be the most affected. Streets south of Fairview, closer to the university are nice and clear because of “2 hour parking” signs.

    Is there a way to have these signs, or “2 hour parking between 10am and 4pm” signs installed on the affected streets to eliminate these problems?

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