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 The reasons are complex but the facts remain true, since the rescinded “Superstore” proposal in 2003/2004, commercial growth in East Guelph has stagnated and frustrations have risen.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).
As part of my advocacy, I have been meeting with one of the current Ward 1 councillors since February in order to build relationships and maintain momentum for East Guelph. As the only council candidate living east of Victoria Road, how these developments proceed is deeply personal for me. I am focused on the final vision for the area, which is to deliver modern, sustainable, East End commercial services to the community.
I credit all East End residents for voicing their concerns and desires for our community in recent years. I share this passion and am committed to seeing a modern urban node akin to a small downtown for East Guelph. As such I’m supportive of a mixed use node but am also advocating that Council finally commits to the York Road corridor upgrades that have been waiting in queue since 2007. Upgrades that will support density, instill investor confidence, and provide a modern four lane corridor to the East End. To wait on the development of the provincially owned York District Lands to the south is no longer a reason not to proceed. We need to end the annexation of the East End and seize it’s commercial/employment potential.