Guelph’s city council decided not to go forward with a review of Ward boundaries and representation last year due to budget concerns, but with the Royal City is growing by leaps and bounds. Do the old ward boundaries still make sense? Perhaps not, and one industrious Guelphite took it upon himself to prove it.
I was sent this potential redistricting proposal by Alan Hall, who used the recently released population data from the 2016 census to redraw Guelph’s ward boundary lines; the current ward configurations are in colour on the map, and Hall’s new borders are drawn in thick black lines. Obviously, the new look of the wards reflects the population booms in the east and south ends, which pushes the western boundary of Ward 1 further east, and the northern boundary of Ward 6 further south. Specifically…
Ward 1: In Hall’s plan, Downtown Guelph will no longer be in Ward 1, which will likely promote some strong opinions on both sides. Basically, everything east of Victoria Rd will make up the new Ward 1, representing nearly 21,500 people, which makes a pretty powerful statement about just how much growth there’s been in the area since the Ward lines were last drawn.
Ward 2: Giving up land east of Victoria and north of Eastview, Ward 2 expands south of Eramosa to take downtown and the Ward all the way down to the Eramosa River. Ward 2 and Ward 3 will still share a border at Woolwich St and here down Norfolk to Gordon.
Ward 3: Guelph’s central ward swells slightly moving west to Hanlon, and south to the Speed River.
Ward 4: Perhaps the most unchanged in this redrawing, Ward 4 merely gives up a thin bit of land between Silvercreek and the Hanlon from Wellington to Woodlawn.
Ward 5: What this ward loses north of the Speed it more than gains on the south side. Hall redraws the boundary from Kortright Rd to Hanlon Creek and Arkell Rd. Interestingly, the eastern most boundary between Ward 5 and Ward 6 was redrawn slightly last year, a move that would be rendered moot in this model.
Ward 6: Like Ward 1, the shrinkage in Ward 6 is credited to the population boom in the area. While the area west of the Hanlon remains the same, Ward 6 gives back everything north of Arkell, and the neighbourhoods north of the Hanlon Creek.
Hall says he sent his map to all the city councillors and the mayor but has yet to receive any feedback from them. He’s also come up with two alternative maps, which you can see below.