City, Kindle hosting open houses to discuss potential community hub

Guelph, Ont., May 27, 2016 – The City of Guelph and Kindle Communities Inc., are hosting two open houses to hear from residents about a potential community hub within Brant Avenue Park.

The open house sessions, taking place Saturday, May 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and Tuesday, May 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Brant Avenue Public School, 64 Brant Avenue, are an opportunity for residents to learn more, ask questions, and provide input about a potential community hub and park changes.

Alex Goss, the City’s manager of Community Investment, explains that community hubs—typically located in neighbourhood settings—provide a central access point for a range of needed health and social services, along with cultural, recreational, and green spaces to nourish community life.

“The City is excited to work with its neighbourhood partners to support the potential development of a community hub that could make it easier for area residents to access programs and services without having to leave their neighbourhood.”

In its 2013 report, Addressing Social Determinants of Health in the City of Guelph, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health identified the Brant Avenue neighbourhood as an area of Guelph that lacks employment opportunities, access to food/grocery stores, and agency services and programs that improve community well-being.

Goss adds that Brant Avenue Park was selected as the preferred site because of its central location in the neighbourhood and proximity to Brant Avenue Public School.

“A community hub within the park supports the City’s goal of providing the neighbourhood with a place where people can connect to a wide range of support programs and services. A community hub at this location also aligns with the province’s direction of locating community hubs near schools to build on existing community space.”

Earlier this month, the City purchased two acres of land from the Upper Grand District School Board, located between Brant Avenue Public School and Brant Avenue Park, to potentially accommodate a community hub. The City now owns 4.74 acres of park space in the neighbourhood.

Kindle Communities Inc., a not for profit and socially responsible landlord, is interested in working with the City and community partners to develop and operate the hub building. Preliminary estimates indicate that a hub building could be up to 10,000 to 11,000 square feet in size with another 30,000 square feet for parking, under one fifth of the area of the park. The development may be similar to the multi-service community hub model of the Shelldale Community Centre in the city’s west end, which is also operated by Kindle.

All costs associated with the development of a community hub would be managed by Kindle Communities Inc., who would work with the community and non-profit organizations to determine which services and programs should be offered. The City would then potentially lease the land to Kindle.

Feedback received from the open houses will be reviewed and considered by Kindle Communities Inc. as part of their potential development application. Should a community hub proceed, community members will be invited, at a future date, to help the City create a master plan and unified vision for Brant Avenue Park—a vision that connects the outdoor space with the indoor community hub.

For residents unable to attend the open house sessions, but wish to provide comment, they should contact Alex Goss at alex.goss@guelph.ca.

For more information

Alex Goss
Manager, Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2675
alex.goss@guelph.ca                                         

Anne-Marie Simpson
Board Members
Kindle Communities Inc.
519-824-2410 extension 4810
anne-marie.simpson@fcsgw.org