Councillors Giving Up Their Board Game Dreams for Council Work

Although Mark MacKinnon and Rodrigo Goller are well-known as two of Guelph’s 12 city councillors, they’re slightly less well-known as the proprietors of one of Downtown Guelph’s two board game cafes, The Boardroom. As it turns out though, life around the horseshoe means less time for fun and games.

In a press release sent out Tuesday morning, MacKinnon and Goller announced that they’re in the process of looking for new proprietors for the Boardroom so that they might be able to focus more on their council responsibilities; MacKinnon is a city councillor for Ward 6, and Goller is a councillor for Ward 2.

“We are proud of the space and culture we have created with our downtown gaming cafe,” said MacKinnon in the release. “Everyone has a wonderful time when they visit and many new friendships have developed since we opened.”

The Boardroom opened on Wyndham Street in the summer 2016, and further satiated Guelph’s seemingly bottomless appetite for mixing food and drink with socializing and board games. They’ve also been known as a community space for unique and sometimes political gatherings, including a games night with Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner last December.

Still, despite their business success, running the Boardroom has put MacKinnon and Goller in a sticky wicket. Both councillors have had to declare a ‘pecuniary interest’ or ‘conflict of interest’* when council deals with downtown matters, and with a major new development coming a few doors down from the Boardroom, MacKinnon says that sitting out major decisions just isn’t an option.

“With council’s plan to activate and open upper Wyndham and Baker Street for redevelopment in the coming years, we can no longer continue as owners of The Boardroom while performing our full councillor duties due to that pecuniary interest,” MacKinnon said. “Consequently, we are searching for passionate new owners to continue what we have started or perhaps move the business into an exciting refreshed direction.”

If you to keep hope alive for the Boardroom’s vibrant clientele of happy gamers, and you’re interested in making an offer on The Boardroom and its collection of over 650 board games, you can reach out to the owners at If you’re interested in learning for about the Boardroom, you can visit their website here.

*You can check out the complete and ongoing list of conflicts of interests on the City’s website here.

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