Cathy Downer



Grassroots community work is what originally inspired Cathy to become involved in local politics and it is what continues to inspire her to continue to serve the residents of Ward 5 on Guelph City Council.

Cathy was first elected to City Council in 1994. Yes, a long time ago! She did not run for re-election in 2006 but continued to stay active in the community for the next 8 years volunteering and serving on community boards. She was elected again in 2014 and continues to serve as a Ward 5 Councillor. Cathy is a Board Member on the Association Municipalities of Ontario.

Cathy has an Advanced Mediation and Conflict Management Certificate from the University of Waterloo – Conrad Grebel Peace and Conflict Studies. She also holds a Chartered Mediator designation from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario/Canada and works in private practice as a Conflict Management Specialist.

In 2007, Cathy received the Guelph YM-YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Public Service. She is a long time resident of Ward 5 where she raised three children with her husband, Bob.  

Community Organizations

  • Guelph Youth Music Centre – Board Member
  • John Howard Society- Restorative Justice Mediator
  • Community Justice Initiative – Volunteer Mediator and Coach
  • Guelph Community Health Centre – Board Member
  • Suzuki String School of Guelph – Board Member – Treasurer
  • Guelph Planning Advisory Committee – Board Member
  • Old University Residents Association – Board Member

Council Committees

  • Planning, Engineering and Environment – Chair
  • Public Works – Chair
  • Finance and Administration
  • City Administration Centre and Courthouse Redevelopment Committee – Chair
  • Loretto Convent Task Force

Boards as Council Representative

  • Town and Gown Committee
  • University of Guelph’s Homecoming Committee
  • Downtown Guelph Business Association
  • Heritage Guelph
  • G & W Family and Children’s Services – President, 2000 -2006
  • Kindle Communities – founding Board member
  • Guelph Non Profit Housing