CITY PAGES: Tree City, Lafarge Meeting, and Hammill’s Passing

The City of Guelph puts out a lot of information on a weekly basis, and while it all ends up on the City’s website somewhere, wouldn’t it be easier to just scroll through it all on one easy-to-read article on Guelph Politico here…?

Bright Lights; Tree City

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Arbor Day Foundation, two organizations that are actually real, has named Guelph one of the first official Tree Cities of the World. “We congratulate the first cities to be recognized,” said Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department. “Together, the mayors of these Tree Cities form a new global network of urban forestry leaders that share the same values for city trees and forests. We are proud to recognize these cities for their actions toward healthier, greener places to live.” Guelph is one of 59 cities to become the first class of Tree Cities, with Edmonton, Halifax, Regina, Surrey, Thunder Bay and Toronto are among the eight other Canadian municipalities named.

Feedback Wanted for Water Supply Plan Update

The Water Supply Master Plan is getting updated, and the City of Guelph will be hosting its first two open houses on the matter this coming Thursday. On Thursday February 13 between 2-4 pm, and then again from 6-8 pm, the City is looking to get the feedback from the public on a number of issues including the objectives and overview of the WSMP update; the City’s current drinking water supply; proposed alternatives for meeting our drinking water supply needs; proposed criteria and methodology for evaluating new drinking water sources and; and next steps as we update the WSMP. The open house will take place in the Marg MacKinnon Community Room at City Hall, but if you can’t make it, you can post your feedback digitally here.

More Murals, Now Shortlisted

The second phase of the Main Street Mural Project is now shortlisted to three potentials for each of the two projects after staff sorted through 84 different applications. The money comes from one-time funding from the from Ontario’s Main Street Revitalization Initiative, which is meant to help revitalize downtown cores through public art. The first phase of this project went to four murals that can be seen along Wilson Street between the Market Parkade and the Farmer’s Market while the new sites will be on the east parkade at Old Quebec Street and the Sleeman Centre. The final selection will be made by the end of the month, and the art work is expected to be installed by April.

A Planning Conference

The City of Toronto’s former Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat will have a chat with Guelph’s Chief Planner Todd Salter at an event called Guelph 2041: A conversation about a growing city. “Guelph is growing and changing,” said Salter, who also announced his retirement this week, in a statement. “Creating the community we want takes time and requires thoughtful planning and engagement with the people who live and work in our city.” It’s a free ticket, but you have to register here.

Silvercreek Developments

The proposed development for the area called the Lafarge site at Silvercreek Parkway South will be coming before council during March’s planning meeting. The plan will see the old quarry site developed into a mixed-use commercial and residential subdivision with up to 772 townhouse and apartment units and up to 6,500 square metres of commercial space plus parkland. This land, which is bordered between two sets of CN tracks and the Hanlon Expressway has been the subject of much controversy for the years as the City, area residents, and nearby commercial property owners tried to come up with a deal that would address all concerns about the site. Hundreds of trees that had grown there were cut down in the summer of 2018 in preparation for this development.

The Passing of a Local Legend

It was announced Thursday that former City Councillor Ken Hammill has passed away. Along with his 29 years as a Ward 5 City Councillor, Hammill is fondly remembered for his role as a community builder and being founder of the Guelph Community Foundation and the Friends of Guelph. “Ken’s dedication to Guelph was exemplary in so many ways, and his legacy lives on in the numerous programs, services, and places he helped shape. I join the community in mourning the loss of one of Guelph’s most devoted and thoughtful champions,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie in a statement.

Guthrie was joined by many of Guelph’s political leaders in honoring Hammill’s legacy:

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