Meeting Minutes - Cam Guthrie: State of the City of Guelph - October 17th. 2019
President Julian Sale opened the meeting at 9:55 am with 48 members in attendance. Special welcome to today’s guest speaker, Mayor Cam Guthrie, and a welcome was extended to Murray Stephenson who has visited previously and is interested in joining the Club.
President Sale repeated the request for members to volunteer to step forward to work on the various club committees. In this respect, member Bob Berry has volunteered to assist with the bi-weekly AV set up.
Julian announced that there are Club business cards available on the greeting table for members to pickup to handout to prospective new members in order to keep recruiting new members.
Announcements Activities – Ray Biffis (standing in for Ken Marchant) - Remembrance Day ceremonies are approaching on November 11th at the Sleeman Centre; - Christmas Luncheon is scheduled for December 12th at Victoria Golf Club. Sign-up sheet is on the greeting table.
Coffee – Andy Curtis Next week same as usual at both the Boathouse and Airpark Café.
Julian Sale introduced today’s guest speaker, Guelph City Mayor Cam Guthrie.
Bio:. Cam Guthrie was elected Mayor of Guelph in 2014, after serving as a Councillor for Ward 4 from 2010 to 2014. A licensed insurance broker and local entrepreneur for the past 16 years, Cam has served as a speaker and mentor at the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre. He holds a business diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming College. In 2008, the Guelph Mercury named him as one of the city’s top “40 Under 40.” An avid community volunteer, Cam has served on the Boards of Michael House, the Guelph Neighbourhood Watch Association, and Guelph Crime Stoppers. He is an accomplished drummer, a supporter of the arts, and a loyal Guelph Gryphons and Guelph Storm fan. Cam’s roots in Guelph stretch back to 1919, when his great-grandfather founded Guthrie’s Bakery on Quebec Street in downtown Guelph. Cam and his wife Rachel are proud parents of two children.
Presentation: Mayor Cam Guthrie
Mayor Guthrie began by saying the he was going to give an overview of the current issues facing Guelph.
The Dolime Quarry: Council has recently come to terms with the owner of the Dolime Quarry to purchase the property. This property is not currently within the boundary of Guelph (although many people believe that it is). In purchasing the property the owners are forgoing another 30 years of extraction of limestone. Purchasing the property addresses a major concern the city has about protecting the city’s water supply and protecting the aquitard that protects the water table. It also addresses a concern that the residents living south of the College Street have about the blasting that takes place in the quarry. The long range plan for this property will be to turn it into a residential housing project.
Next he addressed the topic of the Baker Street development. The City is looking at underperforming assets with the intent of turning them into a business development. The recently approved new city library is going to be the anchor of this new development. Included in the development will be a new high-rise residential building with new office space and a new additional educational centre, maybe to include a campus for Conestoga College. This will bring new people to the downtown core and create new customer demand for business opportunities in the downtown core area. This should bring a 80 to 100 million dollar return in taxes. The project also assists with the provincial mandate of population growth expected to reach 191,000 by 2041. A new parking garage is part of this project and will incorporate approximately 280 spaces equal to what will be lost from the existing Baker Street parking lot. Incidentally, the new Wilson Street Parkade, soon to open, is the first increase in downtown parking since 1983. The plan is to increase downtown parking by incremental steps. All of these plans will create an atmosphere to build downtown.
The Clair-Maltby area along Gordon Street is to be widened to make a corridor that will be a living area for about 15 to 20 thousand people.
On November 7th a report is coming to Council to address hospital expansion. The Mayor doesn’t think there will ever be another hospital in Guelph but there is some discussion about carving off part of the old Guelph Correctional Centre property for a new hospital.
There is a commercial policy review underway. The east side of Guelph has been asking for a major grocery store. There is a large property in the Watson Parkway / Starwood Drive area that is owned by Loblaws. However, Loblaws doesn’t seem interested in building a new store on that property at this time and the City can’t force a private company to do anything. The City has been considering re-zoning the area around the old Legion building on York Road or the land where the old Wilson used car lot stood. This might be used for a grocery store and it might force Loblaws to do something with land it is sitting on at the Watson and Starwood area.
Mayor Guthrie addressed the Mayor’s taskforce on homelessness titled, No One Left Behind. The new taskforce has had two meetings and have hired two people who walk the streets all day to help people find resources. There are three programs: Welcoming Streets; Support Recovery Room; and Addiction Court Support Worker (ACSW) which is an $80,000 program. The ACSW is a program whereby they try to break the cycle of addiction and back on the street and then in court and then incarceration. The idea is to break the cycle before the person is incarcerated by offering some alternative to improve their situation.
Mayor Guthrie is proud to have been chosen as the chair of the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO). This is a group of mayors representing the 28 largest cities across the province that come together to address common municipal interests. Together they have stopped the provincial government of Doug Ford from making major cuts to municipal budgets.
A question and answer period followed the Mayor’s presentation and then John Sneyd thanked him for his state of the city address to the RCMC.
Next meeting: Thurs,. October 31, 2019 at which our guest speaker will be Alexander Fitzgerald-Black on Eagles Over Husky, the Allied Air Forces Sicilian Campaign, 14 May to 17 August, 1943.