Urban renewal is a means for municipalities to maximize built assets/infrastructure, increase tax productivity and strengthen a city’s fiscal standing. To this end I support the concept of downtown renewal in Guelph. Not to be lost in this however, are the growing concerns over the recent tone and direction of our downtown revitalization aspirations. While the vision has merit, the social/economic tradeoffs in terms of increased taxation, affordability, capital project deferral and gentrification need to be better understood. Continue reading
For residents living east of Victoria Rd, the lack of commercial services and business amenities has been a long suffering issue. The reasons are complex but the facts remain true, since the rescinded “Superstore” proposal in 2003/2004, commercial growth in East Guelph has stagnated and frustrations have risen.
Despite the frustration however, there are (in fact) commercial projects working through the planning process for the envisioned East End mixed use node at the Watson/Starwood intersection. Street level commercial along Starwood is intended to create walkable storefronts (as per the 2014 Urban Design Plan), with the larger commercial anchor being situated on the south side of Watson Parkway (i.e. Loblaws grocery store/pharmacy).
District Energy as it relates to Guelph fulfilling it’s economic/environmental and employment potential is a file I am supportive of. I believe publicly owned, district energy is a positive step and one that should be leveraged to create a real competitive advantage in Guelph. Notwithstanding the fact that we MUST be open and transparent to residents on financial matters related to Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc an the investments they are directing/overseeing. Continue reading
A passion for the environment is part of what makes Guelph such a unique and wonderful place to live. In saying this however, an environmental conscious without the counterbalance of economic and societal demands/benefits can quickly spiral into misguided ideology, a dysfunctional planning process and a break down in sustainable development. In these scenarios, innovative solutions to development can be impeded and the City building process can break down. Continue reading
In addition to the traditional communication tools (email, phone), my commitment to building and maintaining the relationships between City Hall and residents will include all forms of social media such as Twitter (@dangibsonward1 and @Ward1Guelph), Facebook (Dan Gibson/Guelph) and a Ward 1 website (www.Ward1Guelph.ca). Continue reading