Ward 5 Heroes: Lisa Mactaggart and Moritz Sanio


Last year when the Silvercreek Park Community was upset and disheartened by the clear cutting of the Hydro Corridor, LIsa and Moritz stepped up to demonstrate how this land could be transformed into a different, attractive space with many environmental benefits for the birds, insects, wildlife and ultimately the community. Lisa, a local landscape architect, and Moritz, from Trees for Guelph, lead groups of local students and residents to plant 2100 wildflowers and over 700 shrubs and trees. What an inspiration they are! They are now known as the ‘Dynamic Duo’ .We plan to recognize the members of the Silvercreek Park Community in one of our future Ward 5 Heroes posts.


Ward 5 Hero: Dorothy Scott

Dorothy Scott

If you’ve ever admired the Victorian cottage garden at the Lt.-Col. John McCrae Birthplace Museum on Water Street, you have Dorothy Scott to thank.   Her dedication to the creation of an authentic perennial garden circa 1870s – just like the one Mrs. McCrae might have had – is an inspiration.  She doesn’t let age or weather deter her from getting into the dirt to keep the gardens looking their best.  A resident of Ward 5 for decades, we are thankful for the gift of her talents to the community.


McCrae House volunteer, Mrs. Dorothy Scott, weeding and planting a new section of the authentic Victorian cottage garden.

Ward 5 Heroes: Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Group

Hanlon  Creek Neighbourhood Group Leaders

We are happy to announce the Team Leaders of the Hanlon Park Neighbourhood Group (HPNG) as the first to be recognized as Ward 5 Heroes.

This group faithfully meets once a month to plan events to connect individuals and families together in their neighbourhood.  They organize events such as Moonlight Sledding, Clothing Swaps and the upcoming Food Forest Spring Festival (May 14) to mention just a few of many. Community building at its best!

This ‘team’ has developed special friendships with each other over the up to eleven years together going on road trips and participating in a Try-a-Tri.

Thank you for making Guelph a great place to live!


Photo (left to right):  Xin Pan, Karen Bechard, April Nejedly, Valerie Smith, Claudia Berke, Jennifer Craig, Michelle Wall and Gail Francis.

Mixing Ice Cream and Politics

Yes, politics and ice cream do mix.  Join Councillor Cathy Downer and myself at the Boathouse for Poli-Licks, a chance to chat about local issues that matter to you.

When:  Wednesday, April 27

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 pm

Where:  The Boathouse Ice Cream and Tea Room  (Gordon Street at the Speed River)

How:   Grab a cone or a tea or whatever you fancy on your own, and then join us in the Tea Room to chat about local issue.  We will have a group of chairs at the back (east) of the Boathouse.




We Need Bold OMB Reform

On Monday, March 21st, I will be bringing forward a motion to put the province on notice that municipalities want to see significant and substantial reform of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Many municipalities across Ontario are passing similar motions.

The City of Guelph and the Province approved our Official Plan in 2012 after a lengthy and inclusive public engagement process. Four years later we still cannot implement our community’s vision and aspirations because of appeals to the OMB. Residents have a very difficult time participating in the OMB process due to the costs and complexity of procedures. Staff time and resources spent defending local planning decisions at the OMB significantly impact the City’s budget. We are seeing a trend in Councils being completely bypassed with developers going straight to the OMB as was recently the case if the Solstice 3 application on the corner of Kortright and Edinburgh. Locally inspired land use planning policies and zoning bylaws can no longer create predictable and stable development for our communities.

We have an opportunity to advocate for bold OMB reform in the Province’s upcoming review. We need to send the message that tweaking here and there will not be acceptable to municipalities.

Here is my motion


That the City of Guelph requests the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s (MMAH) upcoming review of the OMB be viewed as an opportunity for significant and substantial reform, including the limiting of its jurisdiction

And that the review also consider the issue of lack of accessibility for interested residents into the OMB’s processes as it relates to costs and knowledge

And that the City of Guelph develop an education and communication plan to encourage participation into MMAH’s OMB Review

And that the City of Guelph request the MMAH to host a public meeting in Guelph during the consultation process of the OMB review

And that a copy of this motion be sent to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and the Honourable Liz Sandals, MPP, Guelph

And that a copy of this Motion be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and all Ontario municipalities for their consideration
Let’s make our collective voice be heard!