Following criticism across Guelph and from over 15 delegates, Council on early on Tuesday morning voted 10-1 to backtrack on the re-location of a community park in the south end Clair-Maltby development plan.

On May 2, the city released a new “preferred community structure” for the  future development, that had multiple changes from the plan approved by Council in 2018, significantly the movement of a large park to land designated for affordable housing.

In that updated structure, the park was proposed to be moved north from its original location to the Marcolongo farm property, which the family was preparing to turn into affordable housing in partnership with a developer.

Heather Tremain, the chief executive for Options for Homes, told Council the developer is looking to build between 500 and 1,000 affordable units.

“It’s at minimum a $150-million investment that we are willing to make in Guelph to deliver affordable housing to your workforce,” she said.

There is no timeline for when other location options would come back to Council, but Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart told the chamber that it would be “more like six months than one month.”

The Council meeting on Monday lasted from 6:30 p.m. until just shy of 1 a.m., with only a 10-minute break about two hours in. This did not stop the dozens that came to fill about two-thirds of the seats, with many staying past midnight.

Council had three major items on the agenda: The next steps in the driveway width enforcement suspension initiative, support for MPP Mike Schreiner’s moraine protection bill and the changes to Clair-Maltby.

The driveway width motion was deferred until the June 10 planning meeting at 1 Carden St., after Ward 5 councillors said a motion from Coun. Dan Gibson was unfair to their constituents.

Council unanimously passed a motion supporting Member of Provincial Parliament Mike Schreiner’s Bill 71, an act of conservation for the Paris Galt Moraine — which could be the first-ever legislation passed by the provincial Green Party.


Reporting by Eli Ridder.