Author Archives: jamesgordoncouncillor

Survey about our library ends this week.



Hi again Twovians. This fall council will be considering how to proceed with plans for a new main library branch, which is about 30 years out of date! We’d love to have your input. Here’s a note from Virginia Gilham from the Friends of the Libary, encouraging you to participate in a short survey to help gauge the direction we should be going in.

It just takes a minute. Go for it! And as a member of the library board AND a councillor, I’d be happy to chat with you one-on-one about this.

Virginia writes:
What is your vision for the Guelph Public Library? How do you use the current facilities? The Guelph Public Library needs your help to articulate a new strategic plan for 2018 – 2022. This is your opportunity to let the library know how you use your library, how you find out about what’s going on, and what you would like to see offered in the future. YOUR input into this process is critical as this is YOUR community library!

A short, online survey is available until August 31 at

Please take a few minutes to complete it!

This strategic planning process is an opportunity for you to provide input into how a new main library may serve the public for decades to come. The need for a new main library has never been more critical, but a replacement is still far from a “sure thing”. The building does not meet current barrier-free accessibility standards and is in dire need of repair. The City’s archives, which are housed in the basement, are at risk of flood damage. Librarians have to cull still-current resources as there is not enough shelving to house everything the public demands.

Community support for the library has never been needed more than right now..

Wouldn’t you like to enjoy the same services, programs, and resources that are already being provided in other communities across the country? Show your support for your community library by completing this survey, and encouraging others to complete it, too.

If you have already completed the survey, thank you!

Virginia Gillham,
Friends of the Guelph Public Library


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Backpack project needs help at Brant Ave.

Hi folks, hope you are having a great summer. I’ll be communicating more with you after Labour Day as council gears up again. ( And speaking of Labour Day, it’s a great annual Ward 2 event at Riverside Park. I’ll be there. Come say hi. )

The Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group is trying to make sure kids going back to school next week have backpacks, lunch bags and supplies. They are doing great work in our Ward, and I’d encourage you to help.

Here’s the note I received from them this morning. I hope you can make a donation towards this great cause. I did. It felt like a good way to support this great Ward Two organization.

Lynne Kloostra writes:

“We have currently have a wait list of approximately 15 backpacks and wonder if anyone would be willing to help with a monetary donation or an actual backpack, lunch bag and / or supplies.

We have an organization doing a drive now and they may be able to help with some of these but it won’t be until Sept 6th and we won’t know what we are getting until then either. We would really like to see these kids have their backpacks to go back to school with on Tuesday?

Please ask others in your organization as well and let us know.

We can pick money or supplies up if you are able to assist at all?

Thanks and have a great day!

Lynne Kloostra
Neighbourhood Support Worker
Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group


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Guelph Natural Heritage Action Plan Survey

Of interest to many Ward Twovians, I urge you to add your voice to this discussion. It’s relevant this week in our city after the controversy around the permit to cut close to 2000 trees on the former LaFarge lands was granted.

Do you care about Guelph’s plants, animals and ecosystems?


Guelph is working on its Natural Heritage Action Plan, and we’d like your input.

With your help, the action plan will:

· identify and prioritize Guelph’s environmental and natural heritage goals
· develop actions to encourage healthy communities
· create a framework for Guelph’s Official Plan policies specific to the natural heritage system and watershed planning as they relate to climate change and sustainability planning

Have your say

To get started, we’d like you to tell us why natural heritage matters to you. We’ll use your input to help define major themes of the action plan, and create more community engagement activities later this year.

Take the Natural Heritage Action Plan Survey:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about Guelph’s Natural Heritage Action Plan.

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Ward 2 Meeting about new transit Routes Thursday July 20th

Good morning Twovians…. here’s a note from city staff about upcoming presentations about our new transit routing. The first is in our ward- so hop on the bus and come on down to the Evergreen Centre!

Here’s the schedule: Hope to see you there:

Starting Thursday, July 20, we will be holding a series of information sessions to present the new routes to the community, and answer questions.
We invite City Council and the Executive Team to join us at these sessions to learn more. I encourage you to share on your social media sites!! These sessions are

Thursday, July 20 at Evergreen Centre (Staff presentation)
10:30–11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 23 at City Hall (Staff presentation)
7–8 p.m.

Saturday, August 26 at Stone Road Mall (Question and answer period, no presentation)
11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Details of the new routes are available on

That’s all for now folks. Hope to see you at Hillside tonight. Though It’s just outside the city limits, it’s KINDA in Ward 2!


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Summer water fun starts Saturday!

Guelph, Ont., June 9, 2017 – The City’s splash pads, wading pools and outdoor pool will be open weekends starting tomorrow, June 10, with the exception of Northview, South End and Jubilee splash pads.

Weekend splash pad hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and daily operation begins Monday, June 26.

Construction on the Northview splash pad is nearing completion and the City expects the splash pad will open on June 26. South End should open later this month, and Jubilee will open mid-July once unscheduled repairs are completed. Residents should check the City’s website, for opening dates.

Lyon Leisure Pool, located at 258 York Road, begins daily operation on Thursday, June 29. Public swims are from 1 to 8 p.m. daily with additional swims on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Leisure swims are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Regular admission fees apply.

Mico Valeriote Park wading pool will open daily beginning Friday, June 30 from 11 a.m.. to 3 p.m. and the wading pools in Sunny Acres and Exhibition parks will open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m.

The splash pads, wading pools and Lyon Leisure Pool close for the summer season on Tuesday, September 5.

The Market Square water feature operates daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until September.

Admission is free at the splash pads, wading pools, and water feature. Residents should check, Twitter or Facebook for any closure notices due to inclement weather or maintenance.


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Concerning the proposed Emma-Earl Bridge in Ward 2

It was a very informative information session at the Evergreen Centre last night about the proposed Emma-Earl Bridge. I was able to speak to a number of Ward 2 residents about their take on the impact this bridge would have on the neighbourhoods adjoining the site.
Here’s what I learned from the open-house:

*There is a real diversity of opinion on the merits of the bridge. Most of those opposed are on the West side of the river.
*Safety is a big concern. On the East side, residents want to have safe access, especially for their children, to the Trans-Canada Trail and the downtown, without going across the Speedvale Bridge which is considered dangerous for cyclists. On the West side, there is increased criminal activity along the trail, and there is fear that the walking bridge would become a gathering place for more of this activity.
*Cycling commuters in the North-East of Ward 2 want connectivity to the downtown with a safe, efficient route that, again, avoids the congested Speedvale.
*On the east side, safety for children in the busy Speedvale corridor is the biggest reason for wanting the bridge. Currently they will not use Speedvale for cycling, feeling it’s too dangerous, so the statistics get skewed around how many MIGHT use the bridge. In other words, since they don’t feel safe cycling, some residents say “there are not many cyclists in that area, so why do we need a bridge?
*There is a feeling that the city missed an opportunity, when addressing infrastructure improvements along Speedvale, to have a dedicated bike lane that would have made the bridge unnecessary. A painted line is NOT a bike line to many cycling advocates.
The walking bridge would be, to some, a real civic amenity, enabling an enjoyable recreational experience from the NE through to the downtown, and our trails are known as one of the main contributors to our reputation for having high marks in ‘community well-being’.
*Many residents along Dufferin Street feel that the additional foot and cycle traffic from the Emma-Earl bridge would affect the pristine natural environment of the river corridor along the Speed River
*There is a sense with some that safety issues along the trail need to be addressed first with lighting and increased police presence. Encampments along the West side of the river of homeless people, many of them addicts, has created fear amongst the residents. Many wonder if the expense of the bridge should be a top priority when there are so many socio/economic issues to be addressed.
*There is an acknowledged “Nimby” aspect to this issue: the bridge would have a negative impact on the west side residents, who have little reason to cross the bridge themselves, ( though better, safer access to the Speedvale/Stevenson plaza would be appreciated by some)
*Some feel that the Emma-Earl bridge would be GOOD for the environment because it would enable more people to cycle safely: they’d be using their cars less and exercising outdoors more, which has health benefits too.
*Some feel that a north-south trail connection UNDER the Speedvale bridge would be more of a priority, while others feel these two trail enhancements should go hand in hand.
*The cost of the bridge is a concern, though it may cost less than the appropriation of property and construction costs along Speedvale that would be needed to make that street a safe thoroughfare for cyclists
*There is a sense that not enough people would actually use the bridge to justify the cost and impact of the project
*The “do nothing’ option seems to be growing in popularity for a number of reasons
There is confusion around the decision making process. Some are worried that it’s already a ‘done deal’ that the bridge is going in, and that their voices were not heard. *Nothing will happen until the issue comes back to council for discussion after the environmental assessment report, and some residents are unaware of this.
*The residents along the west side of the river, who are NOT in favour of the bridge, seem more active and organized in their opposition than those on the east side who favour it. Along the east side there is a sense that as a result of this their voices are not being heard.
*There is confusion around the timing of the project. It is not generally understood that if approved, this project could take years to actually happen, especially since other trail and cycling activists around the city feel that the Emma-Earl bridge may be ‘jumping the queue’ ahead of other bridge and trail projects already in the master plan.
*The conversation around this has been divisive in the ward. Much work needs to be done to reach consensus.

I will be doing more outreach in the community around this, and would encourage all those with concerns to make their voices heard when the issue DOES come back to council. I really appreciated the civil tone of the discussion despite conflicting, passionate, viewpoints. I welcome more dialogue around this. I’m available at 519-827-6481 or to talk to anyone interested. You are also encouraged to add comments here on “the Deuce”. As for myself, there is a lot to digest here, and I will not make a decision personally on what makes sense, till the issue is fully discussed at council and all concerns are heard. There is more to learn. Sometimes, I find, what’s best for the city as a whole is not what’s best for a particular neighbourhood. I am committed to finding a solution that IS of lasting benefit to the city, and still feels acceptable to the neighbourhoods along both sides of our beautiful Speed River.
Here is the link to the information currently available on the city website

thanks! James


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Guelph Multicultural Fest in Ward 2 Next week!

This is always a real highlight of the year for us Ward Twovians…In Riverside Park! ( We may be #2 but our Park is #1!)

I hope to see you there, and I urge you to check out the schedule at



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