Blog

 

Below you will find a selection of blog posts that I have written over the past three terms of Coucil, covering a wide variety of issues ranging from water protection and transit, to my personal experiences and reflections. 

The Learning Curve on Electric Vehicles

July 12, 2017 — My trusted Matrix took its dying breath on the Hanlon a few weeks ago.  Saying good-bye was harder than I thought it would be, because so many memories with my kids happened in that car – road trips, camping, horse shows, and teenagers learning to drive with their G1.   But I won’t miss the roll up windows, the familiar rattles...

→ Read More

Committee of the Whole 101

May 29, 2017 — Much ado has been made lately in the press about Council’s Committee of the Whole (CoW).  Opinion within Council is divided — some love it, some hate it — but most of the public don’t even understand it.  Here’s the low-down: Any council or board normally has some kind of committee structure.  The purpose of a committee is to review...

→ Read More

National Planning Conference: Learning how to build a great city

May 15, 2017 — Last week, I had the privilege to attend the 2017 National Planning Conference (NPC).   Each year, city councillors are allocated budget funds for professional development which can be used to attend courses, conferences and/or other learning activities related to our role as members of Council.  Each year, I try to choose something different, based on the needs and challenges facing our...

→ Read More

Online Voting Reflections

April 24, 2017 — Tonight (Monday, April 24) City Council will make its decision to offer — or not offer — online voting as an option in the next municipal election in the fall of 2018.  On April 5th, at Committee of the Whole, I moved a motion to remove online voting as an option, which passed in a 7-5 vote.  Since that day, members...

→ Read More

Online Voting is a Complex Question

April 6, 2017 — Recently, Council as Committee of the Whole voted (7-5) against the use of online voting during the 2018 municipal election.  As one of the councillors who voted to pause online voting for 2018, let me assure you that this issue is not black and white. I try to do my homework before I make a decision — on any issue...

→ Read More

Peeling Back the Petrie: Iconic Downtown Landmark is Coming Back to Life

February 24, 2017 — When Tyrcathlen Partners developer Kirk Roberts bought the landmark downtown Petrie Building in 2015, he knew very well that a heritage restoration would bring a unique set of challenges.  It’s not his first rodeo (The Boarding House Arts and the Granary Building) and he clearly sees both personal, cultural and financial benefit in the restoration of unique heritage structures.  ...

→ Read More

What I Did On My Summer Vacation….

September 6, 2016 — During the month of August, Council takes a short hiatus to allow both staff and councillors the opportunity to enjoy a break.  But rest assured, there is no such thing as a traditional “vacation” in the life of a city councillor.  The daily constituency work – inquiries, emails, calls, re: city issues, problems, ideas – are part of the job all year...

→ Read More

Footsteps in Ward 5: Peterson Creek

March 28, 2016 — Ward 5 is filled with special places.  Is there a unique place, person, building, or geographical feature about which you would like to know more?  Email me your question and I will do my best to tell the story… The first installment of our new series “Footsteps in Ward 5” is the story of Peterson Creek.   You’ve probably heard...

→ Read More

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

February 15, 2016 — I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started noticing the proliferation of mobile signs all over the city, but it was several years ago. A constituent brought to my attention a stretch of mobile sign pollution between Harvard Road and Kortright Road a few years back, and after several calls to our By-law Compliance staff, we have regular monitoring of this...

→ Read More

Closed Meeting Protocol

February 8, 2016 — I have received a number of questions from constituents about Council’s Closed Session (often referred to as In Camera) meeting rules. Here is a link to the City of Guelph Closed Meeting protocol. The City’s protocol conforms to all requirements under the Ontario Municipal Act.  In addition to this policy, there are also rules about what can be discussed publicly...

→ Read More

Stuck on Stage 2: Anger at Demise of Guelph Mercury Print Edition

January 30, 2016 — According to Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, there are five stages of grief when one is faced with the loss of a loved one:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. When Metroland Media announced the end of the print edition of the Guelph Mercury, I spent an hour or two on stage 1 (denial) and then quickly moved to stage 2...

→ Read More

What’s In a Name: Mo, Moe or Mole Hill?

January 26, 2016 — Tradition and names matter in local culture and history.  Urban myths abound in Guelph, whether it be the ghost at the Albion (yes, she exists) or whether John Galt really put his hand on a tree stump when he designed the city (no, he didn’t). We even have our own Guelph pronunciations – it’s “Del-HI” Street and “AR-kul” Road. Here...

→ Read More

Word of the Day: “Makerspace”

December 22, 2015 — The new buzz word in urbanism is “makerspace”.   It follows on the heels of “placemaking”  which is slightly different.  Placemaking focuses on creating a physical built environment that encourages people to congregate, stay and interact within a landscape.   Market Square is a good local example.  Makerspace (aka hackerspace, fablabs) began as shared space where do-it-yourselfers could go to share communal tools,...

→ Read More

Hey What’s That Old Building?

December 22, 2015 — Have you ever wondered about the origin of the Drill Hall?  The what? You know, that building across from the Armoury.  The one by the tracks behind the train station.  Yes, it has a name. The Drill Hall (sometimes referred to as the Drill Shed) was built in 1866 in response to the Fenian raids along the Upper and Lower...

→ Read More

Transit Cuts a Step Backward

November 30, 2015 — Once again, transit service cuts and fare increases are included in the 2016 City of Guelph proposed budget.  It seems that whenever we are looking for savings or revenue during budget season, Transit is one of the first places staff look to offer up big dollars.  This is backwards for so many reasons.  Let me count just a few of...

→ Read More

Road Diets and Reducing Car(b)s

June 30, 2015 — Council will soon deliberate on how to paint the lines on Speedvale Avenue East.  It is down to two options that are being bantered about, as follows: 1.  Traditional Configuration:  four lanes of car traffic, no centre turn lane, no bike lanes. 2.  Road Diet:  two lanes of car traffic, one centre turning lane, with bike lanes. The debate on...

→ Read More

Guelph Transit Challenge – Week One Reflections

May 8, 2015 — The first week of the Guelph Transit (GT) Challenge is over!  Here is my progress report and observations: Progress: Despite temptation, I have not used my car, asked for a ride or accepted a ride in a car.  I am 100% car-free! Approximately 50% of my transportation needs have been met through Guelph Transit.  I have been a passenger on...

→ Read More

Guelph Transit Challenge

May 4, 2015 — It was a sunny 20+ degree day outside when I said “I’ll do it!” to the Guelph Transit Challenge.  Although I am already an occasional transit user, the truth is that my car is my primary means of transportation.  The reasons vary by month:  work requirements, family commitments, weather, etc. Can I shift my 90% (car) and 10% (other) lifestyle in the...

→ Read More

Grow “Up” and Grow “Out”

April 9, 2015 — As a growing city, we have had several community dialogues over the years to address the question “how do we grow responsibly?”   Guelph was well ahead of its time when we initiated SmartGuelph before the Province had legislated Places to Grow or the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan regulations. In 2009, Council approved a made-in-Guelph growth plan — remember Envision...

→ Read More

City Streets for People?

February 18, 2015 — Public “rights of way” existed long before the automobile. It’s Heritage Week in Ontario and I have been looking at old photos of Guelph. Here’s one of many that intrigued me from days gone by. This, and many other photos, depict pedestrians, carts, horses, cyclists and streetcars sharing the streets.  No right angles, fluid and unencumbered.  Yes, I know that times...

→ Read More

Full-time or Part-Time Councillors?

January 17, 2015 — The following article was recently published in the Guelph Mercury:  Opinions Differ on Ward Boundaries, Work Status of Councillors. It’s an interesting and timely discussion on the heels of a recent election, especially as we head into another round of budget deliberations. LEANNE’S OPINION:   Democracy Needs Diversity of Voices I think we can all agree that the role of...

→ Read More

FAQ: What is the Threshold for Snow Ploughing on Residential Streets?

January 16, 2015 — QUESTION:  What is the threshold for the amount of snowfall to trigger ploughing on residential streets? ANSWER:  The Council-approved policy to trigger ploughing on residential streets is 10 cm (cumulative).  Our Public Works staff monitor snowfall throughout the city, but some areas obviously are harder hit than others.  If you are experiencing difficulty driving on your street, the best way...

→ Read More

Zoning Application for 171 Kortright Road West (former St. Matthias Church) Available Online

January 7, 2015 — The Zoning By-law amendment application for 171 Kortright Road West (the former St. Matthias Anglican Church) on the corner of Kortright Road West and Edinburgh Road South was deemed complete on December 22, 2014 and is now available to for viewing on the City of Guelph website under “Active Development Files”. LINK TO APPLICATION HERE Above image taken from GSP...

→ Read More

FREE Guelph Transit on New Year’s Eve

December 22, 2014 — The Downtown Guelph Business Association and several downtown businesses are to be thanked for their support to make sure patrons get home safely on New Year’s Eve.   Guelph Transit will operate until the wee hours (last bus 2:15 am) of the morning at no charge on all operating routes. Read more here. LP

→ Read More

Non-Tax Supported Budget Released

December 22, 2014 — The first (in a series) of City of Guelph budgets is now public. Council will hear delegations and discuss this budget on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 beginning at 6:00 pm. To register to speak, or to have a letter included in the Council package prior to the meeting, contact the City Clerk at clerks@guelph.ca. LP

→ Read More

UPCOMING EVENT: Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Craft Night

November 25, 2014 — The Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Group is hosting a Christmas Craft Night! Thursday, November 27th, from 6:30-7:30 pm in the gym at Jean Little Public School, 56 Youngman Drive It will be an evening of family fun with lots of holiday crafts, a glass of milk and cookies! (Children must be accompanied by and adult). Thank you, Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Group...

→ Read More

Upcoming Planning Applications

November 22, 2014 — The first Planning Meeting of the new City Council will take place Monday, December 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm in Council Chambers. Development Applications include 340 Woolwich, 132 Harts Lane and 15 Lowes. For more information on active development files, link here Leanne and Cathy

→ Read More

Revamped Ward 5 Website Coming December 1

November 2, 2014 — Stayed tuned for an updated Ward 5 Guelph website on December 1!! Councillor Leanne Piper and Councillor-Elect Cathy Downer are teaming up to revamp this site as in information portal for residents. What would you like to see?  Add your suggestions… Leanne

→ Read More

Gow’s Bridge Closure Update

June 4, 2014 — Frequently Asked Questions about the closure of Gow’s Bridge… Q:  Why is the bridge closed?  A:   The bridge is closed to vehicles as result of the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain project.  This is a major infrastructure renewal project and the area under the roadway will be excavated and sewer, watermain and storm sewer replacement will occur.  Q:  What exactly is the...

→ Read More

Mayor Karen Farbridge Recognized for Leadership

June 3, 2014 — We often don’t recognize how well-regarded our city and our Mayor are until we leave the city limits.  The Canadian Urban Institute knows that great cities are no accident.  Leadership at all levels — politicians, staff and community — work together to develop and achieve great things. Mayor Karen Farbridge has championed Guelph’s interests for well over a decade, much...

→ Read More

A Race to the Bottom: Public Sector vs. Private Sector

May 31, 2014 — Ontario’s economy shifting from “stable full-time jobs to shaky part-time jobs”? Toronto Star “The wage and pension divide between public and private sector is growing.” Globe and Mail. The latest election trend demonizing public sector workers is disturbing.   Perhaps it’s the ‘Rob Ford’ effect, but it appears that the wages and pensions of public sector workers will be fodder for...

→ Read More

“Why Didn’t You Just Say That in the First Place?”

May 1, 2014 — Yesterday, in response to a question from a local resident, I tried to explain that “Tax-Increment-Based Grants” (TIBG) were not giveaways, nor are they paid for by current taxpayers. TIBGs are the most misunderstood term in the world. We really need to invent a new word for TIBGs. As part of the conversation, I gave an example of a vacant...

→ Read More

Rental Housing Licencing Update

April 27, 2014 — In a surprise twist, City of Guelph staff are recommending that licensing of rental housing be abandoned, and that the city continue enhanced enforcement and education initiatives in its place. The Rental Housing Licensing report is to be presented to the Planning, Building, Engineering, and Environment (PBEE) committee on Monday, May 5 at 2:00 pm.  Any member of the public...

→ Read More

Happy St. George’s Day!

April 23, 2014 — April 23 comes and goes each year and Guelph, like most cities, hums along as if it is any other day.  St. Patrick’s Day gets all the partying!  St. George’s Day, not so much… April 23 honours the patron saint of England, Saint George, slayer of dragons.  It also marks the date that Guelph was founded by John Galt, who...

→ Read More

TIF Grants: Giveaways or Good Policy?

April 20, 2014 — A recent letter to the editor in a local paper decried the use of brownfield grant incentives given to Tricar, the developer who is building on the former Marsh Tire site on the corner of Wellington and Macdonell.  See letter here. This is the not the first time I have heard the sentiment “we shouldn’t be giving away taxpayer money...

→ Read More

PD: A Wise Investment

April 9, 2014 — I can’t think of a single profession that doesn’t benefit from professional development.  I want my doctor to learn the latest research on prescription medication or a new diagnostic tool.  Teachers need to be on top of new curriculum, and IT professionals should be able to troubleshoot new software and hardware systems.  An auto mechanic should know how to fix ...

→ Read More

Blame…and Credit

April 4, 2014 — Anyone who knows me has heard me repeat many times that the most frustrating part of local politics is that Council is “to blame for everything, but gets credit for nothing.” Never has this been more true than this week. The recent judge’s ruling in the Urbacon case is a blow to all of us, inside and outside of City Hall.   I...

→ Read More

How Can We Help You?

March 10, 2014 — Super easy!  The City of Guelph’s new online customer service site is a giant leap forward…have you tried it yet?  Potholes, street maintenance, tree limb down, and so much more — simply go to : http://guelph.ca/how-can-we-help-you/ Yes, it’s that easy!   Once you fill out your work request, you will get an email confirmation (so that you know your request has...

→ Read More

Downtown Investment an Election Issue?

March 9, 2014 — Both local papers have recently featured headlines posititioning downtown investment as a potential election issue. Guelph Tribune article Guelph Mercury article Is it really an “election battle zone”?   I think perhaps it is being positioned as such by the media because mayoral candidates Karen Farbridge and Cam Guthrie voted differently from each other on whether to move forward on the...

→ Read More

Thanks Grassroots Guelph…

March 1, 2014 — No really, thank you.  Any group of citizens who care about the city — its people, its programs, its prosperity, its future, and its finances — who have a concern and bring it out into the open, it is a favour to all of us.  That is the essence of civic engagement and accountability.  It provides the city with an...

→ Read More

Tips, Snitches or Ombuds?

February 28, 2014 — Due to a previously scheduled commitment, I was not able to attend Monday’s Council meeting.  Chris from the Merc asked the next day how I would have voted on the subject of a city hall “tip line” for residents or staff to anonymously submit comments.  Here was my response ….   I see both sides, so my vote would have...

→ Read More

Have Your Say: Overnight On-Street Parking

February 12, 2014 — From Rodney Keller, GM, Public Works: (edited for length) City staff are initiating a review of the current overnight on-street parking restrictions for the City of Guelph. As part of this review, staff will examine options that may potentially maintain, add to, change or eliminate the existing overnight on-street parking by-law. Currently, the by-law restricts parking on city streets from...

→ Read More

Hanlon Creek Business Park Performing Well

February 6, 2014 — Last week ‘s Guelph Tribune featured an article and editorial about the performance of Guelph Hanlon Creek Business Park.  Unfortunately, the article was entirely based on the personal commentary of one councillor. Many of the statements made in the article, are inaccurate.   The Hanlon Creek Business Park is a long-range plan and, based on a land sales to date, is performing...

→ Read More

Heritage Sure Does Gets People Talking

January 22, 2014 — Last night, I attended an event organized by the local branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario about the Wilson-Ingram farmhouse, a north-end heritage asset on the brink of an uncertain end.  It was billed as an opportunity to “celebrate” and “explore ways to secure its future.” It certainly was that.  With well over 50 people in attendance, the event began...

→ Read More

Wilson Farm: An Evening of Celebration and Creative Thinking

January 17, 2014 — Guelph citizens never cease to amaze me…here’s a great upcoming event for anyone interested in our heritage and why it’s important to try to save what we have left…  LP TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2014 7 pm  at the eBar downtown Guelph (2nd floor Bookshelf) Wilson Farm ACO David Knight poster pdf With music, stories and aerial photographs, archaeologist and musician...

→ Read More

Happy Making in Guelph

January 11, 2014 — This new short film made me smile today!  From the heart and mind of local business owner and Ward 2 Councillor Ian Findlay, the #HappyMaking project defined the summer of 2013.  So “Guelph”…. Watch the film on Ian’s blog

→ Read More

It’s official! I’m on the ballot….

January 11, 2014 — Today, I signed all the official forms to stand as a candidate to represent Ward 5 in the 2014 Ontario municipal elections. My past two terms have been incredibly rewarding and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the constituents of my ward to make our city the best in the country. I want to thank all of my supporters in...

→ Read More

Ice Storm Clean Up Still Underway

January 2, 2014 — City Public Works and Forestry staff are still working diligently to clean up after the ice storm. Removal of tree branches from residential neighbourhoods is ongoing. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. The ice storm hit our urban forest harder than the two previous wind storms during the summer. It is estimated that it will take 6-8 weeks...

→ Read More

A Parking Problem or a Driving Problem?

December 14, 2013 — Streets in Ward 5 have a parking problem, there’s no doubt about it.  Essex Street is overwhelmed, and nearby overflow streets on Kent, Fountain, Surrey and Nottingham are just as crowded.  Why ?  Because they are within walking distance of downtown.   Fairview, Forbes, Vardon, James, Dean, all within walking distance to the University, are bumper to bumper all day, Monday...

→ Read More

Hope for HIV/AIDS

November 26, 2013 —   December 1 is World AIDS Day.  As many of you know, my daughter Lyndsay Piper is currently working in Kenya, a country with one of the highest HIV/AIDs rates in the world.   The children she has met, some of them innocent AIDS orphans, would melt your heart.    Feeling helpless?  Me too.  Thankfully, the caring spirit of Guelph is alive and...

→ Read More

Thanks Ti-Cats!

November 25, 2013 — Could not have said it better myself … so I’m sharing. Mayor Karen Farbridge’s Blog — Hamilton Tiger-Cats LP

→ Read More

Rental Housing Licencing — COMPLETE THE SURVEY

November 22, 2013 — The City of Guelph is looking for your input as they draft a proposed Licencing Program for Shared Rental Housing properties. LEARN MORE and FILL OUT THE SURVEY HERE. Survey closes November 30.

→ Read More

Rental Housing Licencing - Have Your Say

November 21, 2013 — The second open public meeting re: Rental Housing Licencing will take place tonight: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7:00 pm at City Hall Have your say! Here is a link to the CTV news coverage this week.

→ Read More

Weigh In on City of Guelph 2014 Capital Budget

October 10, 2013 — The 2014 Capital Budget was presented to Council in early October. It’s a mixed bag of infrastructure renewal, strategic investments, economic development and upgrading of facilities, parks and buildings. Input, questions, concerns? I would love to hear your thoughts. Learn more about what is in (and what is out) of the 2014 Capital Budget at http://guelph.ca/2013/09/highlights-guelphs-capital-investment-strategy/ LP

→ Read More

Brooklyn and College Hill – Heritage Conservation Workshop

October 1, 2013 — Moving forward with the next phase of community input on the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District. Community Meeting: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 7:00 pm Guelph Community Christian School (195 College Avenue W.) More information available at: http://guelph.ca/city-hall/planning-building-zoning/community-design/heritage-planning/heritage-studies/ See you there! LP

→ Read More

“The City Can’t Be Trusted With Our Heritage”

September 18, 2013 — I overheard this comment last night at the Community and Social Services meeting where the fate of the Wilson Farmhouse at 80 Simmonds Drive was on the agenda. I understand where the sentiment was coming from, because one of the shared reflections from all involved (neighbours, staff, heritage advocates and members of council) is that the Wilson Farmhouse file has...

→ Read More

Who is John Galt?

August 5, 2013 — The opening line of Ayn Rand’s famous novel Atlas Shrugged, Galt is later revealed to be the book’s main character.  Rand’s Galt is a fictional character who, ironically, is the opposite of Guelph’s John Galt. The real John Galt is a more complex and interesting fellow than the fictional one.  The founder of the City of Guelph — celebrated locally each...

→ Read More

Backroom Politics and Trust

August 3, 2013 — We’ve all heard the term “backroom politics”. It is a term used to describe politicians at any level of government who operate outside of established process – the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the backroom as a place where deals are “made in an inconspicuous way : behind-the-scenes.” All decisions made by government should be made with full transparency (unless subject to...

→ Read More

Jury of One Nails It

August 3, 2013 — Mr. Tracey hit this issue squarely on the head.   http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-story/3921530-guelph-on-right-track-with-rental-housing-licensing-proposal/ I’ve heard enough tenant stories over the years (including my own son) to know there is a problem. I will be the first to say there are a lot of legal and safe rooms in Guelph, managed by responsible landlords.  But there are enough rooms out there that would...

→ Read More

A Whole Lot of Mulch for Guelph

July 20, 2013 — I’m feeling pretty good about my city today. You can tell a lot about a place, and its people, by its response during and after an unexpected event, like a massive thunderstorm, for example. We’ve had three major storms since April, all resulting in significant private and public damage to trees, hydro lines, etc. Response is swift to emergency situations,...

→ Read More

Shared Rental Housing Licensing – Cost/Benefit Analysis

July 12, 2013 — In response to Council’s motion to prepare a cost/benefit analysis of a potential shared rental housing licencing program prior to development of proposed regulations, a staff report is coming to the Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment (PBEE) committee on Monday, July 15. Read more here. Comments and input are welcome and encouraged. Rental Housing Licensing is a tool that has...

→ Read More

Waste Carts and Cool Technology

May 9, 2013 — It’s Year 2 and another round of Guelph residents are preparing to roll out their carts!   So far, the majority of current existing cart users are telling us they prefer the carts to the use of bags.   That’s good news.  Read more here. One very cool piece of waste collection technology that is worthy of note:   our collection trucks are equipped...

→ Read More

Change to Delegation Registration

May 6, 2013 — Recently, Council approved a change to the registration deadline for oral and written delegations to Council from Monday at 12 noon to Friday at 9:00 am. There has been some feedback from the community that this change might stifle public participation in matters of municipal government. Let me explain why this is simply not the case…. Historically, the Monday noon deadline to...

→ Read More

Reminder Notice: All Ward 5 Residents Welcome to Shared Rental Housing Info Forum

April 24, 2013 — Reminder: Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Group is hosting a Shared Rental Housing Information Forum TONIGHT! Wednesday, April 24th 7:00 pm St. Matthias Church (corner of Edinburgh and Kortright) ALL residents of Ward 5 are welcome to attend!

→ Read More

Saving Barns

April 9, 2013 — This evening at Council, we removed the Hart Barn at 132 Harts Lane from the city’s Heritage Register. It was disheartening, but necessary. The barn was structurally unsound and the best possible future is to retain, preserve and reuse its architectural elements in the potential new subdivision that is being proposed. Thankfully, the barn’s new owner is someone who understand...

→ Read More

Public Meeting - Potential Closure of Denver Road

April 8, 2013 — The City is holding a public meeting to discuss plans for the proposed permanent closure of Denver Road. The meeting will be held to provide interested parties with an opportunity to review information and provide feedback related to the proposed road closure. You are invited to attend one of the two public meeting sessions: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 2-4 p.m....

→ Read More

Guelph in Mourning

March 14, 2013 — This is one of the hardest days of my career as a member of city council. Guelph has lost a young on-duty police officer, as well as the daughter of one of our colleagues, Councillor Gloria Kovach. May the love and support of our community sustain Gloria and her family and the GPS family, through this senseless loss. LP Guelph...

→ Read More

I Love By-Laws – Part 2

December 31, 2012 — Part One click here. The 1850 – 1880s must have been an interesting time in Guelph.  The transformation from a town of 3,000 to a city of over 10,000 came with significant financial, social and cultural change.   Guelph was given the power to enact by-laws  in 1851, the railroad arrived in 1856, major industry was booming (Raymonds Sewing Machines, Bell...

→ Read More

I Love By-laws!

December 30, 2012 — But not the way you think! By-laws are simply functional rules by which citizens of a municipality govern themselves and behave as a community. They are wide-ranging and in most cases cover everyday governance matters, such as street names, sidewalk widths, plans of subdivision and appointment of by-law officers. What I love about by-laws is how they reflect the community...

→ Read More

What Should I Do With My Christmas Tree?

December 13, 2012 — Guelph never ceases to amaze me! This is why we are the Most Caring City in Canada – a true community collaboration. Not sure what to do about your Christmas tree now that city collection has ceased? Don’t worry – for a donation to Guelph Children’s Foundation –Trees for Tots — your tree can go to a good cause. More...

→ Read More

Guelph Transit Changes Proposed Based on Customer Feedback

December 9, 2012 — The old saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray” (Robbie Burns) is appropriate for Monday’s Operations and Transit committee meeting. It is not easy when a plan does not go exactly as envisioned. The implementation of the Transit Growth plan was a major evolution of the Guelph Transit system, and despite having numerous benefits and...

→ Read More

Ward 5 Community Well-being Forum September 19 at 7 pm

September 18, 2012 — Please join Councillors Leanne Piper and Lise Burcher for a Ward 5 Event: Ward 5 Community Well-being Forum Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7 – 9 pm at Centennial CVI Cafeteria, 289 College Ave West. Share your thoughts and ideas — what makes a great community, what are we doing right, where can we improve?

→ Read More

Guelph Receives Upgraded Credit Ranking from Standard and Poors

August 27, 2012 — It is not very often that a municipality can boast an upgraded credit ranking. Our “AA” rating has been consistent for several years, but has now been boosted to a “+Positive” position (from Stable). This is very good news in a recessionary economy as it points to our resiliency, diversified economy and financial and debt policies and management practices. L...

→ Read More

Dam Thoughts

June 30, 2012 — Recently, an article in the Guelph Mercury highlighted the conflicting community opinion on the future of the Wellington Street dam. While the debate may be years away — as there is no immediate need for a large capital investment in repairs — it is still a subject that is of high interest to those who care deeply about our river...

→ Read More

River Rant

June 2, 2012 — There’s been quite a flash flood of emails over the last few days about Official Plan Amendment 48 (OPA 48) and a claim that the document ignores how much we value our river systems. Nothing could be further from the truth! From my perch, there is no Council in recent history that values the rivers as much as the current...

→ Read More

Jane’s Walk Guelph 2012: The Hardest Part is Choosing One!

May 2, 2012 — Another amazing line up of Jane’s Walks are planned for Guelph this weekend! Here’s the list — janeswalks_2012 The hardest part will be choosing which one… LP Jane’s Walks are held around the world as a way of connecting people to their neighbourhoods and public spaces.  Named to honour Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of American Cities...

→ Read More

Is This The Best We Can Do?

May 1, 2012 — On April 30th, Council passed an ambitious and inspiring vision for the future of our downtown —  the Downtown Secondary Plan. It calls for preservation of the heritage core, enhanced public realm and parkland, commercial and residential intensification, and demands a high degree of urban design for new buildings.  It calls for us to “build beautifully”. The vision is a...

→ Read More

Feeling Great about Guelph!

April 11, 2012 — This is worth sharing — from the series Profiles hosted by Terry Bradshaw…. As per the Mayor’s blog,  it is worth noting that Guelph is the ONLY Canadian city that was featured in this series.  One of several Canadian cities…. http://youtu.be/Da11A8_6Bv4

→ Read More

Local is the New Global

April 1, 2012 — I had the privilege of waving the Guelph banner today at the Centre for Civic Governance conference in BC — http://www.civicgovernance.ca/events. Guelph is often asked to share its best practices, and we seem to be making a lot of news lately as one of the pioneers in Canada of participatory budgeting. Thursday morning this past week, Kelly Guthrie in our...

→ Read More

Council Decision on 180 Gordon Scheduled for March 5

March 2, 2012 — There has been significant community interest related to the townhouse condominium project proposed for 180 Gordon Street.   The application is scheduled to return to Council for a decision on Monday, March 5th. LP

→ Read More

Museum a Shining Jewel

February 25, 2012 — Friday, February 24 was a day of celebration for the many citizens, organizations and worker bees who made the opening of the new Guelph Civic Museum a reality. The museum is officially open — and it is spectacular. Multiple galleries, a children’s learning gallery, meeting and workshop space, collection storage and a public research and archives area are all part of...

→ Read More

Guelph Ranked # 1 AGAIN!

December 16, 2011 — Guelph continues to be ranked among the best cities in Canada and North America on a number of scales — safest city, most caring community, most liveable, most romantic — and we’ve hit Number One yet again this week. The Martin Prosperity Institute has ranked Guelph as Santa’s # 1 Choice city in North America!   Read the stats here —...

→ Read More

GO Trains Coming to Guelph December 19!

November 26, 2011 — An exciting day in Guelph today with the announcement that GO trains will begin daily service on December 19th, earlier than expected. A long time in coming, this is welcome news to many. And affordable too — $11.70 for a one way ticket to Union Station.

→ Read More

Downtown Rowdiness Cure

August 20, 2011 — At first, I got a good chuckle out of this story, but maybe the City Council of Victoria, BC is on to something….. http://www.npr.org/2011/07/23/138622229/lollipops-pacifiers-for-bar-patrons

→ Read More

Carden Street OPENS TOMORROW!

August 12, 2011 — Carden Street re-opens to traffic on Saturday, August 13 One-way traffic and parking on-street as construction continues in Market Square GUELPH, ON, August 12, 2011 – Starting tomorrow evening, vehicles will be able to travel on Carden Street while construction continues on the rink, water feature, pavilion, seating areas, trees and landscaping in Guelph’s Market Square. “Crews are still working...

→ Read More

Carden Street Response

August 2, 2011 — Like most residents of Guelph, including downtown merchants, I am very much looking forward to the opening of Market Square and the new transit hub. The long term vision for this new civic space will benefit the community for generations to come. Let’s face it, no one likes construction (except perhaps construction workers!). Add hot weather and unforeseen delays, and...

→ Read More

“When They Come for the Libraries”

August 1, 2011 — Had to share this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN-e7xo5Bi8 – Hillside Festival, Spoken Word, July 24, 2011 LP

→ Read More

Lock It or Lose It

July 29, 2011 — I received a request to post the following and am happy to do so: There is a serial thief at work near Water/Cedar St in Old University who has been active for at  least a week (starting approx a week ago). Their typical target is an unlocked car.  They will rummage every nook and cranny, and leave all items   strewn...

→ Read More

Celebrate John Galt Day – Monday, August 1

July 27, 2011 — Looking for family-friendly activities this long weekend? Head down to John Galt Park to celebrate John Galt Day (August 1, 2011)!

→ Read More

Councillor Lise Burcher Re-elected to FCM Board of Directors

June 5, 2011 — Congratulations to Guelph city councillor Lise Burcher on her re-election to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors. The election took place this afternoon at the Annual General Meeting and Conference in Halifax, NS. Burcher has represented the City of Guelph at the FCM national level since 2006.

→ Read More

Election Expense Summary

March 27, 2011 — Next week, the City Clerk’s office will release the details of election expense reports submitted by candidates in the 2010 municipal election. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my supporters for their donations. I am very fortunate to have friends and family who enabled me to run for office. In the spirit of transparency, here is a...

→ Read More

High? Low? Slim? Wide?

March 26, 2011 — I had a call from a constituent today about one of the Environics survey questions re: highrise buildings in Guelph. For those who don’t know, the city is conducting a survey on the many issues that Guelph is currently facing to feed into the upcoming Strategic Plan, ranging from taxes to recreation and everyting in between. The specific question of...

→ Read More

Summary of 2011 Budget Adjustments

March 8, 2011 — Click below for a summary of the adjustments made to the 2011 budget during recent Council deliberations, provided by our Finance staff. Leanne 2011 Budget Adjustments Summary_March 7, 2011

→ Read More

Nature Called

March 4, 2011 — I received an email this morning from a constituent asking how I would have voted (if I had been at the table) on the issue of cutting three part-time library clerks. Answer: I would have voted to keep them in the budget. In other words,  the outcome of the vote (6-6 tie motion defeated) would NOT have changed had I...

→ Read More

Thoughts on Water

February 1, 2011 — From today’s Mercury (with my comments below): Council approves 10 per cent water rate February 01, 2011 Drew Halfnight, Mercury staff GUELPH — Council approved a 10 per cent increase to city water rates Monday evening, the second of four projected consecutive annual increases at that rate. The vote came at the end of an occasionally tense, two-hour meeting, as...

→ Read More

Update on Winter Road Clean-up

January 27, 2011 — 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...

→ Read More

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

January 24, 2011 — 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. LP

→ Read More

CTV News Coverage of 716 Gordon Development Application

January 19, 2011 — Thanks to RR, who sent a link to the CTV news clip re: 716 Gordon Street development application presentation to City Council on January 17, 2011. View it here:  http://swo.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110118/guelph-student-housing-proposal-110118/20110118/?hub=SWOHome

→ Read More

Guelph Tribune Article re: 716 Gordon Development

January 12, 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...

→ Read More

“Be a Good Sort”

January 10, 2011 — 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. ...

→ Read More

Living Sustainably in the City

January 10, 2011 — 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...

→ Read More

Gordon/Stone (Best Western) Planning Application

January 7, 2011 — Monday, January 17th, 2011 7:00 pm in Council Chambers, 1 Carden Street 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...

→ Read More

Hockeyville 2011 Momentum Building

January 3, 2011 — Guelph’s bid to be crowned Kraft Hockeyville 2011 needs more momentum on the final stretch! Share you photos and stories and spread the word to your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers. The deadline is January 30th, 2011. Get out there and show your community spirit!

→ Read More

Farmer’s Market at its Best Today

December 11, 2010 — Guelph’s community spirit was alive and well at the Farmer’s Market today! Thank you to all the vendors who set up shop and to the many, many regular and new customers who came out to support them. Over 2,600 people came out between 7 am and 12 noon to show their Market spirit!  The City Hall venue was bustling with...

→ Read More

The Market Returns to MARKET SQUARE

December 9, 2010 — It will be a different kind of Farmer’s Market in Guelph this Saturday! Please come out and show your support for our Farmer’s Market vendors! Dedicated city staff have been working non-stop to prepare alternate space for the temporarily displaced Market.    City Hall (galleria and main floor meeting rooms) will become home to the Farmer’s Market until roof repairs allow...

→ Read More

Farmer’s Market Temporarily Moved to New City Hall

December 7, 2010 — The Guelph Farmers’ Market has been temporarily relocated to the City Hall lobby and Wilson Street parking lot. GUELPH, ON, December 7, 2010 – The Guelph Farmers’ Market building at the corner of Gordon Street and Waterloo Avenue is now closed until repairs to its roof are complete. Public safety continues to be of paramount importance to the City of...

→ Read More

New Council to be Sworn in December 6, 2010

November 14, 2010 — The new Guelph City Council (2010-2014) will be sworn in during a ceremony on Monday, December 6th, 2010 at City Hall. The ceremony is open to the public, and will be held in Council Chambers beginning at 7:00 pm.

→ Read More

Ward 5 Candidate Profiles

October 17, 2010 — The following Ward 5 candidate profiles were originally published in the Guelph Mercury, October 15, 2010. Lise Burcher Age: 53 Occupation: Professor, University of Guelph Education: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. Master of Landscape Architecture. Lived here: 30 years About the candidate: Long before being elected to council, in 2007, I had established myself as a dedicated community mobilizer and change...

→ Read More

I’m Thankful for Guelph

October 10, 2010 — Happy Thanksgiving!   My eldest son moved to Kitchener-Waterloo last year to pursue his education.   When he returns home for holidays or a visit, we often end up talking about how great it is in Guelph.   Isn’t it funny that we have to hear it from someone outside the city to appreciate what a truly fabulous community we have? This Thanksgiving,...

→ Read More

MORE JOBS FOR GUELPH!

October 5, 2010 — Two major land sales were announced at the Guelph City Council meeting last night! Two employers, bringing a combined total of approx. 370 to Guelph, plan to locate at the Hanlon Creek Business Park. Due to confidential negotiations re: purchase, the names of the companies cannot be released at this time. This is exciting news for Guelph and its citizens....

→ Read More

Chamber of Commerce - Candidate Questionnaire - Leanne Piper

October 4, 2010 — Chamber of Commerce Candidate Questionnaire 1. Question: Ignoring the current traffic problems caused by the construction, do you feel Guelph is on the right track with its current transportation plan (The Hanlon, Grid System, Public Transit and the new transportation Hub)? Answer:   Yes.  There are improvements to be made in design and implementation, but the overall direction has solid reasoning...

→ Read More

ECHO Weekly - Candidate Questionnaire - Leanne Piper

October 4, 2010 — ECHO Weekly Candidate Questionnaire 1) Why did you want to run again for city council? Guelph is on a forward momentum path.  We are poised to be national leaders on a number of fronts – water conservation, wastewater, community energy, economic development, arts and culture, and more.   We need strong leaders at City Hall to keep us on that path. ...

→ Read More

Guelph Tribune - Candidate Questionniare - Leanne Piper

October 4, 2010 — OCCUPATION In addition to my current position as city councillor, I work in the communications field as a writer/editor/researcher and graphic designer.  I have over 25 years work experience in education, non-profit and the private sector. HOW WILL YOUR BACKGROUND HELP CITY COUNCIL? I never underestimate the importance of thorough research and communication.  Understanding issues, listening to all voices, dissecting...

→ Read More

Guelph Wellington Seniors Association – Candidate Questionnaire – Leanne Piper

October 4, 2010 — 1. What issues do seniors in your Ward have? Seniors in Ward 5 face the same issues that many wards have. Seniors contribute substantially to our community – as volunteers, neighbours, mentors, and as customers of our many facilities, such as recreation centres, libraries, museums, parks, trails, etc., as well as our economic prosperity. Accessibility Our facilities, roadways, parks, trails,...

→ Read More

Canadian Solar Inc. Praises Guelph As Their New Home

August 11, 2010 — A major economic development announcement was made this morning in Guelph — the opening of a new site for Canadian Solar Inc. ,  bringing up to 500 jobs to the city and adding to our growing reputation as a centre for investment in clean and green jobs.   The new facility will be the largest solar manufacturing site in North America,...

→ Read More

Shared Rental Housing Report Available Online

July 31, 2010 — This report will go as an Information Report to Council on Tuesday, August 3rd.  Delegations will be heard, and public input will continue to be received prior to a decision being made on Monday, August 30th.  Why is this on the Council Planning Agenda? The proposed regulations fall under the city Zoning By-law.  Zoning is one tool that municipalities can...

→ Read More

Property Rights – Yours, Mine and Ours

July 26, 2010 — Several years ago, when I was a Community Editorial Board columnist with the Guelph Mercury, I published a column examining the issue of property rights. The column was in the context of property owners having the right to demolish heritage buildings.   How do we define the line that is crossed when individual rights and the public good are in conflict?...

→ Read More

Proposed Tree By-Law Update

July 22, 2010 — I have received several inquiries about the status of the “Private Tree By-Law” that was presented to the Community Design and Environmental Services committee this past Monday.    I am happy to try to add some clarity…. The recommendation in the Tree By-Law report contained 5 clauses.  Clauses 1, 2 and 4 were moved and seconded and supported unanimously.  These three ...

→ Read More

Staying Cool in Guelph - Extended Hours for Splash Pads and Wading Pools

July 7, 2010 — GUELPH, ON, July 6, 2010 – As a result of the hot temperatures this week, the City of Guelph has extended the hours at wading pools and splash pads and opened the Sleeman Centre to help residents cool off. Extended hours are as follows: Sleeman Centre: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wading pools: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Splash pads: Norm Jary: Wednesday 11...

→ Read More

Guelph’s AA Credit Rating is Confirmed

June 23, 2010 — AA credit rating continues for Guelph June 23, 2010 – Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has confirmed that the City of Guelph has maintained its ’AA’ credit rating again this year. The rating reflects Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ view that the City has promising long-term prospects, manageable debt, and adequate operating performance and liquidity. “This rating is good news...

→ Read More

National Public Works Week Celebrated

May 23, 2010 — To wrap up National Public Works Week (May 16 – 22),  the City of Guelph Operations division hosted a public open house at the Municipal Street facility today, as they do every year. Despite the drizzle and chill in the air, the turnout was excellent.  And I can see why!  It is always an impressive display and a reminder of...

→ Read More

Natural Heritage Strategy at Council TONIGHT

May 20, 2010 — Sorry for the late notice – but if you have nothing on your plate tonight, come out to hear delegations and discussions about the City of Guelph Natural Heritage Strategy. The NHS will protect about 2,600 hectares of natural features (woodlots, slope, meadow, riverlands, etc.) as part of the city’s Official Plan. Where: City Hall, Council Chambers When: Thursday, May...

→ Read More

No Jefferson Salamander on Hanlon Creek Busines Park Lands

May 10, 2010 — CITY OF GUELPH NEWS RELEASE Salamander monitoring finds no Jefferson Salamander presence on Hanlon Creek Business Park lands GUELPH, ON, May 10, 2010 – Results of the recently completed salamander monitoring program indicate no Jefferson Salamander presence within the Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP) lands. Natural Resource Solutions Inc. completed a comprehensive salamander monitoring program at the site between March...

→ Read More

U of G Students Overwhelmingly Support Universal Transit Pass

April 9, 2010 — From City of Guelph Communications: University of Guelph students voted in favour of supporting an increase to the cost of the University of Guelph transit pass (U-pass) as a result of a month long referendum process. A total of 5,000 students participated in the decision with 90% voting in support of the cost increase. The University of Guelph U-Pass Program...

→ Read More

Spring Cleaning Underway

April 6, 2010 — A Message from the City of Guelph Manager, Roads and Right of Ways: Operations Roads Staff has transitioned into spring cleanup mode. Winter control (Roads) shifts, days, nights and afternoons ceased over the Easter longhave changed from a three shift rotation schedule to a two shift schedule, days and afternoons, starting yesterday, Monday April 5.  Winter Control staffing has also...

→ Read More

Lessons From London

March 27, 2010 — Earlier this week, a delegation from Guelph (consisting of myself, Mayor Farbridge, Councillor Wettstein, Jim Riddell, Director of Community Design and Development Services and Katie Nasswetter, senior development planner) traveled to London, Ontario to talk with local staff and politicians about implementation of their Near Campus Neighbourhoods strategy.   The goal was to learn from their mistakes and successes, and model...

→ Read More

Public Meeting Notice - 410 Clair Road E. Rezoning

February 28, 2010 — A second statuatory meeting under the Planning Act for the property at 410 Clair Road E. will be held in Council Chambers, City Hall, beginning at 7 pm. on Monday, March 1, 2010. No decisions will be made at this meeting.   The purpose of the meeting is to receive input from the community and to ask questions of staff...

→ Read More

Statement from Mayor Farbridge Re: Arbitration Outcome

January 26, 2010 — Statement from the Office of Mayor Karen Farbridge GUELPH, ON, January 26, 2010 Earlier today the City and the County received Arbitrator Colbourne’s decision relating to the apportionment of prescribed costs for Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, child care, social housing, and land ambulance between the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington. Arbitrator Colbourne has ruled...

→ Read More

Canada’s Most Caring Community Comes Together to Help Haiti

January 26, 2010 — From the organizers of the Help Haiti Benefit Concert: Following the recent earthquake in Haiti, members of the Guelph community have pulled together to organize a benefit event featuring a wide selection of our amazing and world-class local-area talent. With overwhelming support from the local community, event organizers (Rev. Paul Clarkson, Dr. Ajay Heble, Sam Turton) have set a goal...

→ Read More

City Hall Rink Almost Ready!

January 12, 2010 — Thanks to numerous downtown volunteers (DGBA, including Counc. Ian Findlay, Ward2) the City Hall rink is almost ready for skating!   The weather has been conducive to a natural rink this season, so a group of dedicated “rink rats” decided to go for it ….

→ Read More

Shared Rental Housing Open House

January 11, 2010 — A public open house is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm to provide an opportunity for public education and dialogue re: shared rental housing. Date:     THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010 Location:    City Hall Time:  7:00 pm The format is a casual Open House.  There will be information displays and staff on site to answer questions.

→ Read More

Guelph Commemorative Naming Policy

January 5, 2010 — From the Community Design and Development Services department…. The City will be looking for suggestions from the public for naming new and unnamed parks, trails, bridges, squares, gardens, buildings, structures and rooms within buildings. Early in 2010, the City will post a complete list and map of City-owned assets to be named. First consideration by the Naming Committee will be...

→ Read More

Brooklyn Ice Rink Now Open

January 4, 2010 — Announcement from OUR 3 Bridges Neighbourhood Group: Hi Everyone, This announcement is a little tardy but for those who haven’t been down to Water Street in awhile, the rinks are open! There are 2 rinks this year, an enlarged main rink and a small toddler rink. People were actually skating on them as early as Dec 22. Enjoy! Volunteers required...

→ Read More

Proposed Amendments to Lodging Housing & Two Unit Zoning By-Law

December 12, 2009 — An update report seeking direction on changes to the Lodging House and Two-Unity House by-law is coming to the Community Design and Environmental Service committee on Monday, December 14 12:30 pm. The report can be found on page 67 of the CDES committee agenda. LP

→ Read More

University Bus Pass Rate Comparisons

December 9, 2009 — City staff have posted answers to all of Council’s various questions from the November 30th budget presentation.  Of particular interest to those following the University of Guelph bus pass rate discussion is a comparison chart of municipal transit fares and university bus pass rates in Ontario.

→ Read More

Police Chief’s Perspective on Student Bus Pass

December 7, 2009 — From Chief Rob Davis to members of Council: December 7, 2009 Hello to All: At the council meeting of November 30th when budget cost cutting measures were being discussed, one of the proposals put forward by transit staff was to eliminate the U. of G. student buss pass and implement a new city-wide bus pass for all students with a...

→ Read More

University of Guelph Bus Pass

December 4, 2009 — Oh my!   What a day.  1600 emails and counting.  There has been a great deal of confusion building between Monday night’s Council budget meeting and today about the alleged termination of the University of Guelph universal bus pass system.    Although there was discussion about increasing fares and making transit more affordable for high school students,  I maintain that there is...

→ Read More

City of Guelph Budget Public Comment Period

December 1, 2009 — Over the next two weeks, we invite public comment on the proposed 2010 City of Guelph budget. As we contemplate efficiencies and possible changes to services, we need your input more than ever. The budget vote will occur on December 14 (user pay budget) and December 15 (operating and capital budgets). By letter: mail or drop off to 1 Carden...

→ Read More

City councillors hope to avoid cutting jobs from budget

November 30, 2009 — The article below appears in the November 30, 2009 Guelph Mercury. My comments:  Trimming staff at any level is difficult.  Efficiencies in the delivery of municipal services come in many forms and neither front line staff, union or otherwise, or managers should be specifically targeted.   The only good reason for cutting staff should be if a service is no longer...

→ Read More

Group Plans to Honour Royal City Park Trees December 4th

November 29, 2009 — An Excerpt from an Information Release from Friends of Royal City Park Group: “The Friends of Royal City Park have organized a 1 hour vigil on Friday, December 4, 2009 from 7 to 8 pm at Royal City Park. We will assemble at the entrance trail to the park located at Gordon and Water Street to honour and thank the...

→ Read More

SUBBOR to Pay City of Guelph $2.5 Million

November 24, 2009 — The following media release was sent out this evening… SUBBOR to pay City of Guelph $2.5 million Settlement brings successful conclusion to court battle with SUBBOR, avoiding need for future court proceedings. GUELPH, ON, November 23, 2009 – The City of Guelph will receive $2.5 million in legal costs from SUBBOR (Super Blue Box Recycling Corporation) and its parent company...

→ Read More

Let’s Talk Trees…

November 19, 2009 — Our urban forest is a major municipal asset. Cities spend a lot of time, money and resources maintaining “grey” infrastructure, but not enough on “green” infrastructure. Green infrastructure is linked to quality of life, recreation, air quality, urban cooling, carbon offsets, and so many other intangible benefits, such as aesthetic beauty. Grey infrastructure is, let’s face it, boring. It’s underground,...

→ Read More

Royal City Park

November 18, 2009 — The Royal City Park Material Management Plan went to the Community Development and Environmental Services committee this past Monday. One of the key recommendations in the plan is to remove and replace 52 high-risk trees in 2010. The loss of 52 trees will have a significant impact on the look and feel of  the park.   As a regular user of...

→ Read More

REMINDER: Ward 5 Meeting Tonight

November 4, 2009 — Residents of Ward 3 and 5 are invited to attend a Ward meeting tonight, hosted by Councillors Hofland, Laidlaw, Piper and Burcher.  City Hall, Room 112 at 7:00 pm. Tonights Topic:  Securing a Prosperous and Affordable Future Bring your questions about capital projects and budgets.

→ Read More

Region of Waterloo Organics Coming to Guelph

October 9, 2009 — Dean Wyman, Manager of Solid Waste Services for the City of Guelph, announced some fantastic news today!When Council awarded the design-build contract to Maple Reinders to construct and operate the new Organic Waste Processing Facility, Council asked “with 20,000 tonnes of excess capacity will staff be able to source that much tonnage?”.Today, Mr. Wyman wrote:“I’m pleased to inform Council that...

→ Read More

Breaking Ground for New South End Emergency Services Station

October 2, 2009 — Another first for Guelph — an integrated fire station, police station and land ambulance station — the first in Ontario!  The ground breaking ceremony for this new facility was attended by local, provincial and federal representatives this morning, October 2nd, at the site of the new station.  The facility is expected to be completed in the fall of 2010.  The...

→ Read More

Grand Opening of New City Hall

September 19, 2009 — New City Hall Grand Opening! Saturday, September 19, 2009 Come and help celebrate the Grand Opening — local live music, refreshments, tours — between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. This only happens every 152 years so don’t miss it! Free transit downtown between 10 am and 4 pm. LP

→ Read More

Yes, I support the Hanlon Creek Business Park

September 5, 2009 — A friend asked me last week why members of Council have been “silent” on the Hanlon Creek Business Park issue. I suppose I never thought that I was being silent — because Council unanimously endorsed the project. Our collective position is very clear. The recent events (most notably the on-site protest, injunction, Minister’s approval and the decision to resume work...

→ Read More

Why Do We Celebrate John Galt Day?

August 4, 2009 — John Galt portrait by Charles Grey In October 2006, City Council enacted a bylaw creating John Galt Day, becoming the 7th municipality in Ontario since 1969 (when the Civic Holiday was created) to give a name to the civic holiday. The impetus to name the civic holiday after our founding father, John Galt, came from citizens Peter Anderson and Gil...

→ Read More

Moore Avenue Neighbourhood Meeting

May 10, 2009 — Residents of the Moore Avenue/Hales Crescent area are invited to a neighbourhood chat on Thursday, May 14th at 7:00 pm in the Friendship Room at Harcourt United Church (Dean Avenue). Ward 5 Councillors Lise Burcher and Leanne Piper, along with University of Guelph Off-Campus Living Manager, Kathryn Hofer, will be in attendance. Topics for discussion:  current conditions in the area,...

→ Read More

Public Tours of New City Hall

April 22, 2009 — Guelph’s New City Hall is likely to be one of the most popular buildings during this year’s Doors Open Guelph event on Saturday, April 25. The building’s impressive design and the restored Winter Fair Wall are the most striking exterior features, and the event gives the public one of its first opportunities to see the inside of the building. Visitors...

→ Read More

Lodging Houses

March 12, 2009 — I am opening a new blog heading about Lodging Houses.  There has been a lot of discussion on this topic lately in Ward 5.  Let’s open the dialogue…. To start the discussion, here is a post added to the W5 blog this morning (followed by my response). From Walter: Lodging House Issue Ward 5 Quick question…..why will Ward 5 Councillors...

→ Read More

March Move-in For New City Hall

January 22, 2009 — From Hans Loewig, CAOI’m pleased to be in touch with good news this morning about the completion of City Hall and our move-in schedule. Resulting from a thorough inventory of work that remained after Urbacon’s termination, the City’s general contractor estimates that City Hall will be substantially complete by the end of March 2009.  Departmental move-ins are being scheduled to...

→ Read More

New Main Library - Size Matters

January 16, 2009 — From Norm McLeod, Chief Librarian Dear Council Members: Numbers often tell a compelling story. For 125 years Guelph has enjoyed the services of a highly successful public library. In recent years demand for all of the GPL’s expanding services has grown exponentially. As Rob O’Flanagan reported in a recent article in the Guelph Mercury (Feb11, 2008), the age of the...

→ Read More

December 24 Winter Snow Removal Status

December 24, 2008 — An update from Murray Cameron, Operations Department: On behalf of the Operations Department, I’d like to advise that our staffing and equipment resources are being tapped to assist with the prompt clean-up of this latest snow event.  The clearing of arterial and collector roads is well under way and as of 8:00am, a plow out of our residential streets commenced...

→ Read More

Winter Snow Removal Measures

December 24, 2008 — The month of December has delivered a higher than average snowfall.   We receive many calls about snow removal this time of year.   Rest assured – our city staff are working to keep our roadways clear and safe — before, during and after an anticipated snowfall. If you have questions or concerns about your neighbourhood, please do not hesitate to contact...

→ Read More

Conservation Review Board Recommends Designation of 47 Alice Street

December 24, 2008 — The Conservation Review Board has released its decision with respect to 47-49 Alice Street.  The CRB conclusion is: “Based on the evidence heard, it is the recommendation of the Conservation Review Board that the property know municipally as 47 Alice Street and described at Lot 40 and Part Lot 39, Plan 244 in the City of Guelph be protected under...

→ Read More

Sidewalks are For Walking

November 28, 2008 — I’ve been asked by several constituents about my lone vote against residential sidewalk clearing last Monday evening… I support the city clearing arterial road sidewalks, bus stops, central business district sidewalks and public facilities.  However, I believe residential side streets should be eliminated from the 2010 budget (not this year).  I also support an assistance program for residents who are...

→ Read More

Community Event - Order of Canada Recipient Celebrated

November 24, 2008 — A Community Recognition of Sister Christine and her appointment to the Order of Canada Join us in Celebration Featuring: James Gordon Sam Turton Brad Wood Dennis Gaumond Tales by: Ann Estill Brian Holstein The Ghost of Sister Romano Sya VanGeest Father Bill Clarke, S.J Wednesday, November 26th from 7:00 until 9:00 at St. James Anglican Church Hall86 Glasgow St N,...

→ Read More

What Do Councillors Do Anyway?

November 20, 2008 — It’s a question often asked — and a good one that deserves an answer.  This week, the Governance and Economic Development committee considered a report on Full-time vs. Part-time Councillors.  The report compares other Ontario municipalities and the bottom line is that all of them are very different.  Burlington (population 151,000) is the closest municipality in size to Guelph with...

→ Read More

Mayor Delivers Annual State of the City Address

November 13, 2008 — Mayor Farbridge delivered her annual State of the City address to the Guelph Chamber of Commerce this morning, where she received a standing ovation following her presentation. The Mayor focused on key achievements within the Strategic Plan, as well as the principles of good governance that Council follows in order to achieve our goals. LP

→ Read More

Construction Halts at New City Hall

September 19, 2008 — The following press release was issued by the City of Guelph this afternoon: City terminates contractor’s right to continue work on new City Hall; is working with bonding company to address next steps GUELPH, ON, Friday, September 19, 2008 – The City of Guelph has terminated Urbacon Buildings Group’s – the contractor hired to construct Guelph’s Civic Administration Centre –...

→ Read More

Guelph Hydro Business Case BDR Review Summary Available

September 19, 2008 — Findings of GHESI–Horizon business case analysis made available GUELPH, ON, September 19, 2008 – The City of Guelph has received agreement from BDR to allow it to release a summary of its analysis of a business case concerning the proposed merger between Guelph Hydro Electric System Inc. (GHESI) and Horizon Utilities Corp (H.U.C.). BDR is the consulting firm retained to...

→ Read More

GO Transit - Public Information Centre

September 12, 2008 — The first Public Information Centre (PIC) for the EA to expand GO Transit service from Guelph to Kitchener (including Guelph) will be held: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 6:00 – 9:00 pm Italian Canadian Club, Ferguson Street, Guelph

→ Read More

Water Conservation Update Meeting

August 26, 2008 — Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy Public Information Centre Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Holiday Inn, Scottsdale Drive The Public Information Centre will provide the community with an introduction to the strategy update and showcase project activities and progress to date. Residents will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed study methodology and...

→ Read More

John McCrae – Down Comes the Chimney

August 7, 2008 — I was in the right place at the right time today. Here is footage of the chimney tower coming down at John McCrae School, Water Street. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbi6soYR7iQ Leanne

→ Read More

Reminder - Tax Chat Tonight

July 23, 2008 — Wednesday, July 23, 2008 7:00 pm Harpo’s – 89 Dawson Road, Guelph Hosted by the Guelph Civic League Come out and ask the tough questions. See you there! LP

→ Read More

Amazing Website - Manor Park Neighbourhood

July 23, 2008 — I’ve added a link to the website of a small neighbourhood group in Ward 5 – what a great site! http://www.25manorpark.ca/ LP

→ Read More

6&7 Zoning Application Not Dead Yet

July 11, 2008 — NEWS RELEASE: On July 21, 2008, Guelph City Council will consider a report with a recommendation from the Chief Administrative Officer to defer the application by 6 & 7 Developments Limited until September 15 in order to allow time for staff to respond to concerns raised with respect to the proposed development. A motion to approve the application was defeated...

→ Read More

A Better Vision for 6&7

July 8, 2008 — The application to expand the Woodlawn/Woolwich (6&7) commercial node failed last evening on a 9-4 vote.  The 6&7 application was a zoning by-law amendment to expand the uses and square footage of the site.  6&7 has proposed a 62,000 sqft expansion of the existing Wal-mart store, with 135,000 sqft of additional retail on the rest of the site.  Currently, most...

→ Read More

No Rogers Feed for July 7th Council Meeting

July 7, 2008 — Due to a summer staff shortage at Rogers 20 Cable, there will be no on air broadcast of the July 7th Council Planning Meeting tonight. Come on down in person – 59 Carden Street.  It’s a full agenda…. LP

→ Read More

City and Chamber Host Meeting on Capital and Financial Plan

July 5, 2008 — The City of Guelph and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce invite you to attend a discussion on the capital development and financial planning process on Tuesday July 15, at the Italian Canadian Club from 10am to noon. Guelph has major capital projects planned over the next few years to meet Ontario?s Places to Grow initiative. Along with the residential and...

→ Read More

South End Loses Another Piece of History

June 22, 2008 — An 1870’s farmhouse at 132 Clair Road West burned to the ground in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 21. The house has been vacant since 2006, and yes, it had heritage value. The land was originally part of Puslinch Township and was annexed by the City of Guelph. The land was first settled in 1830 by Simon Eustace...

→ Read More

Hugh Guthrie Park Design Concepts

May 24, 2008 — This spring, University of Guelph Landscape Architecture students tackled a redesign of Hugh Guthrie Park (Edinburgh Rd. and Municipal St.) as part of their course work. Councillor Lise Burcher brought along their artwork to the Annual General Meeting of the neighbourhood association last evening.

→ Read More

Join Us on Jane’s Walk

May 2, 2008 — Join Councillor Lise Burcher and Leanne Piper on a tour of the historic Brookly and Old University Neighbourhood – one of many Jane’s Walk opportunities this weekend. Date: Sunday, May 5 Start time: 10 am Meet at the Boathouse on Gordon Street For a complete schedule of Jane’s Walks throughout the City, go to: http://www.janeswalk.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=195&Itemid=81 See you there Advertisements Like...

→ Read More

Overnight On Street Parking Pilot Project

May 2, 2008 — Council has approved a Pilot Project to allow on street overnight (2:00 am – 6:00 am). The pilot project will run from May 1 to November 1, when staff will report back on their findings (complaints, impediments, service issues, cost implications, etc.) I believe Ward 5 will have some area-specific issues related to overnight parking issues. Namely, there are many...

→ Read More

Trying to Do the Right Thing

April 29, 2008 — Last night, Council voted to eliminate the cosmetic use of pesticides within the City of Guelph. There are exceptions, but for the most part, the days of indiscriminate spraying of pesticides on lawns in Guelph is over. Exceptions for insect infestation (grubs and chinch bugs) will end January 1, 2009. The new pesticide-free Guelph will require a cultural and behavioural...

→ Read More

Clean & Green Our Neighbourhoods

April 11, 2008 — On April 19th, consider spending a few hours in your neighbourhood or your favourite community park removing unsightly litter. You’d be surprised at the difference we can make in just a few hours when we all work together! When Saturday, April 19, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Where Anywhere within Guelph city limits including neighbourhood streets, parks and greenspaces. You choose...

→ Read More

Civic Museum $5 Million Comes Through

March 28, 2008 — It’s official!  MPP Liz Sandals announced today that the Province of Ontario’s MIII infrastructure program has awarded the $5 million request from the City of Guelph towards the restoration of the former Loretto Convent into the expanded Guelph Civic Museum. This is exciting news, because it means the $6 million threshold in government-level funding has been reached, and the project...

→ Read More

Boby Rub Parlours Rub Me the Wrong Way

March 20, 2008 — A posting at the 59 Carden blog accused City Council of being morally righteous in trying to establish a by-law to regulate body rub parlours. Running a “common bawdy house” is illegal. Enforcing the law is not a morally righteous act. The problem with the law as it currently is enforced has been problematic for police forces in Ontario. They...

→ Read More

The Future of Community Sports

February 20, 2008 — The following column appeared in the Guelph Mercury, December 28, 2007. by Randy Norris Guelph needs a recreation master plan designed for today’s pressures RANDY NORRIS I remember my parents telling me that time speeds up as Father Time gets older. I much prefer being called mature compared to what my teenagers could call me. It allows me to retain...

→ Read More

Sidewalks in Winter

December 19, 2007 — Increased public transit or residential sidewalk clearing? More frequent yard waste pick up or sidewalk ploughs? These are some of the trade-offs being examined by Council in the upcoming budget. Guelph is one of the last communities in the province to clear residential sidewalks. Is it an effective use of tax dollars? I have heard a range of comments this...

→ Read More

108 Forest Perspective

December 9, 2007 — Preamble: Infill and intensification are widely-used buzz words these days. Places to Grow and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan (GGHGP) will put pressure on municipalities like Guelph to grow smarter. Terms like “mixed-use” and “walkable communities” are being used by planners and the development industry to describe desirable forms of growth. But it remains unclear — in Guelph at...

→ Read More

Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Group Fall Meeting

November 10, 2007 — Date:  Thursday, November 15, 2007 Time:  7:00 pm Place:  Fred A. Hamilton School City Councillors Leanne Piper and Lise Burcher will be in attendance.

→ Read More

Old University Neighbourhood Fall Meeting

November 10, 2007 — Date:   Wednesday, November 14, 2007 Time:  7:00 pm Place:  Harcourt Church, Dean Avenue, Chapel 2nd Floor City Councillors Leanne Piper and Lise Burcher will be in attendance.

→ Read More

Mayor Delivers State of the City Address

November 6, 2007 — The Mayor’s State of the City address, delivered last week to the Chamber of Commerce, contains lots of interesting statistics of Guelph’s position compared to similar sized municipalities in Ontario, as well as a picture of where we are heading in the future. Leanne

→ Read More

Party Politics

November 2, 2007 — The ousting of local Conservative candidate Brent Barr is a stunner. I’m so glad municipal politics is not tied to the political party system.  I don’t consider myself to be an indoctrinated member of any political party.  I have voted all over the map since I cast my first ballot at 18. If our current City Council was beholdin’ to...

→ Read More

City Logo

September 16, 2007 — From Guelph Mercury – September 15, 2007 The city’s logo is too important not to be great TONY LEIGHTON The path to mediocrity is paved with good intentions. I have no doubt that our city government intends to provide Guelph with a world-class logo. But between intention and delivery something has gone wrong. The two logos — rightly called “wordmarks”...

→ Read More

Welcome Students

September 2, 2007 — Yes, it’s that time of year again. University of Guelph is welcoming new and returning students back to Guelph this weekend. Gordon Street (between Stone and College) will be closed Sunday, September 2, for the move-in mayhem. Each year, Ward 5 (and the city) welcomes students into our neighbourhoods. In most cases, students add vibrancy and diversity to our community....

→ Read More

Essex & Waterloo Road Access

July 27, 2007 — Dear Mayor Farbridge and City Council Members, We are aware that a road has been proposed to be cut through the small park between Essex Street and Waterloo at the corner of Gordon Street in order to accommodate a large truck that occasionally uses the street. Apparently two large trees have already been removed to create a turnaround where Essex...

→ Read More

I’m a Taxpayer Too

July 24, 2007 — On occasion, I get calls or emails from constituents reminding me that they are taxpayers and have certain expectations about the services they receive for their tax dollar. Many residents are worried about facing significant tax increases over the next few years. As a taxpayer, I share these concerns. My teenage children are eating me out of house and home,...

→ Read More

The Business Case for Saving the Convent

July 24, 2007 — Future site of Guelph Civic Museum framed by Guelph’s most recognized landmark. A recent commentary in the Mercury is critical of the concept of putting a civic museum in a building the city does not own. The writer compares it to building a swimming pool in your neighbours backyard. Personally, that sounds like a great deal. The business case for...

→ Read More

John McCrae School

July 24, 2007 — Sorry – I accidentally deleted a post re: John McCrae School so I am creating a new thread so that the discussion can continue. I’ve reposted it below: Comment from Gord Sloan: Thanks Leanne Could I suggest that a more appropriate site for a “core area” school would be College Ave School. JMS site is not appropriate when it can...

→ Read More

John McCrae School Post 1

July 8, 2007 — Posted by Gord Sloan 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...

→ Read More

Reformatory Lands - Have Your Say

June 12, 2007 — The former Ontario Reformatory Lands represent the most significant piece of undeveloped land in the city. The outcome of the York District Land Use study will impact the city’s economic development potential for years to come. Let’s do it right. Have your say. Share your ideas. The Province of Ontario and the City of Guelph are working together to build...

→ Read More

Naming Public Spaces

May 19, 2007 — Should the City honour the memory of fallen police officers and firefighters who gave their lives in performance of their duties? Absolutely. But what is the most appropriate way? Earlier this year, I moved a motion for staff to bring forward a new-and-improved process for naming public spaces. Public spaces are for gathering, celebrating and inspiring our citizens. The naming...

→ Read More

Hanlon Changes Proposed

May 11, 2007 — The Ministry of Transportation is planning some major changes to the movement of vehicles along the Hanlon – interchanges and flyovers (overpasses) at every intersection to provide an unimpeded route. Much of the northern portion (Speedvale, Willow, Paisley, Westwood) was approved back in 1995. The southern intersections (College, Stone, Kortright, Laird) are all being examined now with environmental assessments underway....

→ Read More

Upcoming Event - John Calvin Everything Sale

May 9, 2007 — John Calvin Christian School announces.. Neighbourhood “Everything” Sale Including household items, gardening, perennials, compost, mulch, etc. Saturday, May 19th 9:00 am  – rain or shine

→ Read More

Upcoming AGM - Old University Neighbourhood Association

May 9, 2007 — Upcoming Event – Old University Neighbourhood AGM Date: Thursday, May 17th Time: 7:00 pm Location: Harcourt Memorial United Church, Dean Avenue

→ Read More

Speed River Dam

May 9, 2007 — I happened to be in the right place at the right time this year!  I’ve always wanted to see the dam go down behind John McCrae School and I happened to be biking by this Monday at 2:00 pm as the dam was lowered.  Very cool – very noisy!   I came back around 6:00 pm and the pond was...

→ Read More

Pesticide Issue To Council in May

May 9, 2007 — The Draft By-Law to restrict the use of cosmetic pesticides has passed the committee stage and will come back to full Council at its May 23rd regular meeting. Still lots of time for citizen input or to sign up as delegation if you feel strongly one way or the other. I get the feeling not a lot of people have...

→ Read More

Hello!

April 15, 2007 — Thanks for visiting. We’ve decided to move the FIVE ALIVE blog to a more interactive space. It’s not much fun to write about Ward 5 issues and events if we can’t hear back from you in return. We’re new to the whole blogging thing, so please don’t be too hard on us with formatting and design comments – but we...

→ Read More