City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the Special November 1 Meeting?

We’re back! Before the new council is sworn in in mid-November, we get two more council meetings to bookend your All Saints’ Day activities. For the morning, it’s a question of heritage: Will council re-commit to the decision they made in July about the demolition of a heritage home to make way for 18 new affordable units? The answer, and the circumstances, might surprise you.

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on Friday October 28. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: Because of ongoing renovations to the council chambers, this meeting will only be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

NOTE #3: This meeting begins at the special time of 9:30 am.

50-60 Fife Road: Consideration of Objection to Notice of Intention to Designate under Section 29, Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, 2022-325 – Back in July, council approved a motion to approve the demolition of the former home of Guelph businessman and mayor F.J. Chadwick on Fife Road with the exception of a couple of key heritage elements.

There was some confusion in the meeting among councillors about what those elements were exactly, but the building’s owner, a non-profit home builder called UpBuilding!, responded directly to the question: The motion brought to council was the motion they were wanting approved… But that was then, and this is now.

A little over a month after council approved the designation, and the intent to designate was served, Upbuilding! president Howard Kennedy has filed an objection to the designation. In a letter to the city clerk and council, Kennedy said that he’s concerned about the approved designation since the staff recommendation was not ratified by the Heritage Guelph committee.

“Should elements of the tower be designated, the demolition and reconstruction of a heritage feature using the conical roof, slate shingles and wooden corbels would, per the Heritage Permit process, be subject to approval by the Heritage Committee once again,” the letter said. “UpBuilding is concerned about the lack of clarity regarding how the heritage attributes should be conserved after the building is demolished.”

Kennedy also added in his letter that, “navigating the Heritage Permit process should the heritage attributes be formally designated would add time and expense to the project.” In conclusion, doing what they initially promised to do might make the project unfeasible, Kennedy added. Staff, meanwhile, are recommending that council reaffirm their decision from July. If council wants to re-open the issue it will likely require a Motion to Reconsider and nine affirmative votes.


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