Leanne's Blog

 

 

The Road to Net Zero Starts Today

June 10, 2019 —   Congratulations to us!  Guelph City Council set a goal to be a Net Zero community and we created an Action Plan to reach that goal by 2050.  Now we can pat ourselves on the back and let businesses, developers and residents get us there.     Wait a minute . . .    Let's have a look at that Our...

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The Idea Bank

June 7, 2019 —     Some of the best city-building ideas come from you!   Perhaps you were lying awake at night and came up with a great idea to make your neighbourhood a better place, or solved a problem that's been bugging you.  Or perhaps you were travelling or reading an article and saw a brilliant project or initiative that you think would...

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Taking Action on Climate Crisis

May 28, 2019 —   On May 27th, Guelph City Council voted to “acknowledge the climate crisis.”   It is not the exact wording that I put on the floor as a motion, nor is it what all of the passionate and articulae delegations were demanding.    Democracy unfolds like that sometimes.  Democracy is not always unanimous, nor should it be.  When we are in...

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The Learning Curve on Electric Vehicles

July 12, 2017 — My trusted Matrix took its dying breath on the Hanlon a few weeks ago.  Saying good-bye was harder than I thought it would be, because so many memories with my kids happened in that car – road trips, camping, horse shows, and teenagers learning to drive with their G1.   But I won’t miss the roll up windows, the familiar rattles...

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Online Voting is a Complex Question

April 6, 2017 — Recently, Council as Committee of the Whole voted (7-5) against the use of online voting during the 2018 municipal election.  As one of the councillors who voted to pause online voting for 2018, let me assure you that this issue is not black and white. I try to do my homework before I make a decision — on any issue...

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation….

September 6, 2016 — During the month of August, Council takes a short hiatus to allow both staff and councillors the opportunity to enjoy a break.  But rest assured, there is no such thing as a traditional “vacation” in the life of a city councillor.  The daily constituency work – inquiries, emails, calls, re: city issues, problems, ideas – are part of the job all year...

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Footsteps in Ward 5: Peterson Creek

March 28, 2016 — Ward 5 is filled with special places.  Is there a unique place, person, building, or geographical feature about which you would like to know more?  Email me your question and I will do my best to tell the story… The first installment of our new series “Footsteps in Ward 5” is the story of Peterson Creek.   You’ve probably heard...

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

February 15, 2016 — I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started noticing the proliferation of mobile signs all over the city, but it was several years ago. A constituent brought to my attention a stretch of mobile sign pollution between Harvard Road and Kortright Road a few years back, and after several calls to our By-law Compliance staff, we have regular monitoring of this...

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Word of the Day: “Makerspace”

December 22, 2015 — The new buzz word in urbanism is “makerspace”.   It follows on the heels of “placemaking”  which is slightly different.  Placemaking focuses on creating a physical built environment that encourages people to congregate, stay and interact within a landscape.   Market Square is a good local example.  Makerspace (aka hackerspace, fablabs) began as shared space where do-it-yourselfers could go to share communal tools,...

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Hey What’s That Old Building?

December 22, 2015 — Have you ever wondered about the origin of the Drill Hall?  The what? You know, that building across from the Armoury.  The one by the tracks behind the train station.  Yes, it has a name. The Drill Hall (sometimes referred to as the Drill Shed) was built in 1866 in response to the Fenian raids along the Upper and Lower...

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Transit Cuts a Step Backward

November 30, 2015 — Once again, transit service cuts and fare increases are included in the 2016 City of Guelph proposed budget.  It seems that whenever we are looking for savings or revenue during budget season, Transit is one of the first places staff look to offer up big dollars.  This is backwards for so many reasons.  Let me count just a few of...

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Road Diets and Reducing Car(b)s

June 30, 2015 — Council will soon deliberate on how to paint the lines on Speedvale Avenue East.  It is down to two options that are being bantered about, as follows: 1.  Traditional Configuration:  four lanes of car traffic, no centre turn lane, no bike lanes. 2.  Road Diet:  two lanes of car traffic, one centre turning lane, with bike lanes. The debate on...

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Guelph Transit Challenge – Week One Reflections

May 8, 2015 — The first week of the Guelph Transit (GT) Challenge is over!  Here is my progress report and observations: Progress: Despite temptation, I have not used my car, asked for a ride or accepted a ride in a car.  I am 100% car-free! Approximately 50% of my transportation needs have been met through Guelph Transit.  I have been a passenger on...

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Guelph Transit Challenge

May 4, 2015 — It was a sunny 20+ degree day outside when I said “I’ll do it!” to the Guelph Transit Challenge.  Although I am already an occasional transit user, the truth is that my car is my primary means of transportation.  The reasons vary by month:  work requirements, family commitments, weather, etc. Can I shift my 90% (car) and 10% (other) lifestyle in the...

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Grow “Up” and Grow “Out”

April 9, 2015 — As a growing city, we have had several community dialogues over the years to address the question “how do we grow responsibly?”   Guelph was well ahead of its time when we initiated SmartGuelph before the Province had legislated Places to Grow or the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan regulations. In 2009, Council approved a made-in-Guelph growth plan — remember Envision...

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City Streets for People?

February 18, 2015 — Public “rights of way” existed long before the automobile. It’s Heritage Week in Ontario and I have been looking at old photos of Guelph. Here’s one of many that intrigued me from days gone by. This, and many other photos, depict pedestrians, carts, horses, cyclists and streetcars sharing the streets.  No right angles, fluid and unencumbered.  Yes, I know that times...

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Full-time or Part-Time Councillors?

January 17, 2015 — The following article was recently published in the Guelph Mercury:  Opinions Differ on Ward Boundaries, Work Status of Councillors. It’s an interesting and timely discussion on the heels of a recent election, especially as we head into another round of budget deliberations. LEANNE’S OPINION:   Democracy Needs Diversity of Voices I think we can all agree that the role of...

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Saving Barns

April 9, 2013 — This evening at Council, we removed the Hart Barn at 132 Harts Lane from the city’s Heritage Register. It was disheartening, but necessary. The barn was structurally unsound and the best possible future is to retain, preserve and reuse its architectural elements in the potential new subdivision that is being proposed. Thankfully, the barn’s new owner is someone who understand...

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I Love By-Laws – Part 2

December 31, 2012 — Part One click here. The 1850 – 1880s must have been an interesting time in Guelph.  The transformation from a town of 3,000 to a city of over 10,000 came with significant financial, social and cultural change.   Guelph was given the power to enact by-laws  in 1851, the railroad arrived in 1856, major industry was booming (Raymonds Sewing Machines, Bell...

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I Love By-laws!

December 30, 2012 — But not the way you think! By-laws are simply functional rules by which citizens of a municipality govern themselves and behave as a community. They are wide-ranging and in most cases cover everyday governance matters, such as street names, sidewalk widths, plans of subdivision and appointment of by-law officers. What I love about by-laws is how they reflect the community...

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River Rant

June 2, 2012 — There’s been quite a flash flood of emails over the last few days about Official Plan Amendment 48 (OPA 48) and a claim that the document ignores how much we value our river systems. Nothing could be further from the truth! From my perch, there is no Council in recent history that values the rivers as much as the current...

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“When They Come for the Libraries”

August 1, 2011 — Had to share this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN-e7xo5Bi8 – Hillside Festival, Spoken Word, July 24, 2011 LP

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