2018 State of the City Address

Mayor Cam Guthrie – Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 State of the City: Printer friendly version


Thank you Kithio, and thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event for many years. Your contributions help make Guelph the great city it is.

I’d like to also thank the sponsors, and specifically Bell. Just two days ago was #BellLetsTalk Day and the efforts put in by Bell towards Mental Health have been outstanding. It’s not only the financial contributions, I believe Bell has helped kick start the much needed conversations around mental health within our community and with each other. So thank you Bell!

I’m thrilled to be here to present my 2018 State of the City address.

I want to acknowledge members of Council here in the audience today:

  • Andy VanHellemond
  • Dan Gibson
  • Cathy Downer
  • Mark MacKinnon
  • Leanne Piper

I also want to acknowledge members of the City’s Executive Team who are here:

  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Derrick Thomson
  • Deputy CAO for Infrastructure, Development, and Enterprise Scott Stewart
  • Deputy CAO for Public Services Colleen Clack
  • Deputy CAO for Corporate Services Trevor Lee

Also in attendance is our Member of Parliament Lloyd Longfield and Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner. Our Member of Provincial Parliament Liz Sandals could not make it today but I want to publicly acknowledge her, especially at this time after her announcement that she will not be seeking re-election. The three of us have worked so well together over these past years and we’re untied in making Guelph better every chance we get.

Saving the best to last, I want to thank my family for being here today. I am beyond blessed to have such a supportive family. My parents Frank and Karen along with my children Anakin and Adelaide and of course, you know her as the 1st Lady of Guelph, my beautiful bride of almost 19 years, Rachel!

I encourage all of you to have those phones out and tweet, Instagram, Facebook or whatever it is you do for the next hour. Did you know that #GuelphProud trended across Canada as one of the top hashtags during and after last year’s State of the city? Let’s make that happen again! I want all eyes on Guelph; I want others to be jealous of what’s happening in our city!

Before I dive in, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the indigenous territory we are gathered on. This is an acknowledgement that I offer at the beginning of each Council meeting.

As we gather, we are reminded that Guelph is situated on treaty land that is steeped in rich indigenous history and home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people today.

As a City we have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work.

Today we acknowledge the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation on whose traditional territory we are meeting.

This is my fourth State of the City – and the last one for this term of Council. It’s hard to believe!

I am privileged, honoured and grateful to be your Mayor during these exciting times. When I look back on the term so far, I’m very proud of how far our City has come.

The yardstick has leapt forward on a number of projects that have been talked about for many, many years.

On several files, the course has been corrected and longstanding issues have been addressed.

The City’s finances are in good shape. Services have been improved, and the infrastructure gap has finally been dealt with.

Each year for my State of the City I take stock of what transpired over the past 12 months and present it to you. I also try to come up with a memorable theme to leave you with.

In my first year, 2015, I talked about moving from “me” to “we.”

In 2016, I took us through a “job evaluation,” outlining the expectations, successes, focus areas, and future goals of the city.

Last year, my theme was “#guelphproud.”

This year, as I was racking my brain for a good, memorable theme, I happened to be out thrift shopping. Some of you may know, I am a huge fan of thrifting and I always like to find a good deal. I always say “Hey, if I’m thrifty with my own money, that means I’ll be thrifty with yours.”

I happened to be at the Salvation Army store and the cashier said, “I have something for you.”

It was this board game called “Guelph on Board.” [Hold it up]. Someone saw me in the store, secretly bought it for me and then asked the cashier to give it to me before I left. To this day, I don’t know who it was who bought it for me.

Does anyone remember this game?

It was a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club back in 2004.

The playing pieces were Guelph icons like the Basilica of Our Lady, Locomotive 6167, and the University of Guelph Gryphon.

The squares on the board were local businesses and landmarks.

Some of those landmarks are still the same today – for example, the River Run Centre and Norfolk Manor Retirement Home.

Some have since closed, like Guelph Place Banquet Hall.

Some have changed – like West End Bakery, which moved up Wyndham from its location on Douglas Street after the Gummer Building fire.

Like the real Monopoly game, Guelph On Board has “Chance” cards. I got a kick out of some of these.

One says: “Hooray, you become Mayor of Guelph for a day. Pay each player $10 for the celebration lunch.”

Another says, “Oops, you didn’t sort your garbage properly. Go back 3 spaces.”

Once I saw this game, I knew I had my theme for this year’s State of the City. I decided to create my own, updated Guelph Monopoly board.

This morning, I want to put my presentation in your hands.

You’ll notice you each have a set of dice on your tables. I’m going to randomly pick a table and ask someone sitting at that table to roll the dice. Whatever you roll, that’s the square I’ll land on – and that’s what we’ll talk about. The only rule is – if we happen to land on the same square twice – we’ll move to the next square. Is everybody with me?

Baker Street

In a little over a week, Council will receive the business case for a new main library.

If the business case is approved, the library will be the anchor in a major redevelopment of the Baker Street property – a prime piece of downtown real estate that is not living up to its potential, to say the least, as a parking lot. There is extensive private sector interest in this redevelopment. As was announced this week, we had 47 interested parties and 10 have submitted early proposals.

I am going to be totally honest with you. A few years ago, I was not shy about publicly questioning whether this city really needs a new main downtown library. But since becoming Mayor, I have come to see the new main library as not just a want – but a need in our community.

As many of you know I like data, metrics and numbers. I have always appreciated the saying “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Well the library wins hands down. Library services are some of the most well used services in our entire city. With more users coming on stream every year and more items being used than ever before. The current main library is inadequate in almost every way – from size, to accessibility, to parking. I took a tour of the current building a couple of years ago and to be blunt – it’s a disaster and not living up to its full potential.

I’m not afraid to admit, I’ve changed my mind on this one. And so this term of council has finally got the ball rolling on this project that has been talked about for many years.

It’s important to remember though, this is not solely about a library – it’s about building up Baker Street into an economic engine in the heart of our downtown core. Estimates so far have new taxes, new revenue, coming into the city at well over $1 million dollars a year, where it currently contributes close to zero. Remember too that the Library is not fully paid for by taxpayers but with close to 30% paid for through development charges – and hopefully, fingers crossed, with other levels of government pitching in for this project.

Folks, we cannot delay any further on this opportunity. We must seize it now to harness the private sector interest, and turn an underperforming asset into one that gives back to the whole community.

I want to be the first one to make the first ask in this room and to all of Guelph, if you’re interested in ways to explore partnering with the Library on this new project, reach out to the Kristen at the Library. Perhaps you can help furnish a room, buy equipment, or more – If ever there was a community project to rally around, this is it.

I encourage everyone to read the library business case – which is available on the library’s website – and my own blog at www.mayorguthrie.com and let me know what you think.

Building partnerships

In 2017, the City committed to a new way of doing business.

We are making it easier for you to do business with City Hall.

And we’ve put it in writing.

There are four pillars to our pledge:

  1. Get to “yes” – We’ll work together with you and our community to help make your plans a reality.
  2. The tools you need – We have new systems to make the process clear and easy.
  3. The right team – We’ll get the right people working on your project.
  4. Listen, learn, lead – This is our commitment to continuous improvement. We’re going to keep improving how we do business together.

We have heard from businesses that they have seen huge improvements. And our own performance measures tell the same story: development applications and completed more quickly, with fewer internal or client meetings and fewer revisions.

The culture shift at City Hall is significant. We are saying to business, “Your success is our success.”

We are working together with businesses so that they can do what they do best – invest in our city, grow their business, and create good jobs for the people of Guelph.

Rolling out the carpet for the business community is vital, but rolling it out for those in need within our community is important too. We’ve introduced a single-application process for residents who use our programs – such the affordable bus pass, the fee assistance in recreation (F.A.I.R) Program and animal licensing. We’re also allowing support workers the ability to pick up passes and more.

Chance card – Waste collection for condos

The City of Guelph is extending waste collection to your condominium. You will no longer pay twice for waste collection – once in your taxes, and once in your condo fees. Congratulations! Collect $170.

It is estimated, based on anecdotal evidence from condo boards, that they will save about $170 per unit, per year with City waste collection.

We have experience that backs up that number. In 2016, the City brought waste collection to three local condos – and they reported savings of $177 per unit, per year.

This has been a longstanding fairness issue that has been going on for the past 10 years – and became even worse when the City moved to the cart-based collection system. I am thrilled that in the 2018 Budget, Council approved the funds to address this issue for once and for all.

Chance card – Street lights

Guelph is switching each of its 13,119 street lights to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Give yourself a pat on the back for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 464 tonnes per year – the equivalent to taking 98 cars off the road. Congratulations! You save $14.2 million over a 15-year period.

This project will pay for itself in 6 years.

Energy and maintenance cost savings will incredible.

The new LED control technology will give staff centralized control of street lighting – allowing staff to identify burned out lights, lights that stay on in the daytime, and to dim and turn off lights when they are not needed. No more calling the City to report a burned-out light on your street!

The technology also offers smart city opportunities, if the City decides to invest in them in the future – including smart parking, transit and emergency vehicle intersection priority, and remote water meter reading.

Clair Maltby

The South End is growing, there’s no question. I feel like I am there almost every week cutting the ribbon on a new business. Most recently I was at the new Longo’s grocery store – which created 180 new full and part time jobs in our city.

Did you know, the boundaries of Guelph actually extend further south, all the way out to Maltby Road? That area, called Clair/Maltby, is the last unplanned and undeveloped greenfield in Guelph.

We are currently in the Secondary Plan process on these lands.

In 2017, Council approved a blueprint– called a “conceptual community structure” – that defines this area as primarily residential with a range of housing types, schools, parks, and trails.

The next step is technical studies on things like water, wastewater, and storm water, as well as a comprehensive environmental impact study.

Thanks to the excellent work of our Planning staff, we have shortened the planning timeline for Clair/Maltby by about 12 months. You heard that right! We are a year ahead of schedule!

Community Chest

Federal and provincial funding

A Community Chest card – my favourite! Let’s see what it says.

Congratulations! Your municipality has successfully applied for more than $27 million in federal and provincial funding over the past two years. Collect $27 million and get building!

This funding is being invested in a wide range of priorities –roads, Transit, bike lanes, facilities, equipment, programs for seniors, asset management planning… and the list goes on.

And this doesn’t even include our annual federal and provincial gas tax allocations. In 2017, our federal allocation was $7.5 million. Our provincial allocation was $2.8 million for 2016-17 and $2.9 million for 2017-18.

I can’t stress enough how important this funding is. It allows us to invest in much-needed infrastructure and services – without placing the whole burden on the local property taxpayer.

The federal and provincial governments promised to invest in infrastructure and municipalities – and they are living up to that promise. I want to thank our local Member of Parliament, Lloyd Longfield, and our Member of Provincial Parliament, Liz Sandals.

I also want to note the hard work of City staff who put a lot of time and effort into funding applications – that work is paying off.

Guelph Hydro/Alectra

As many of you know, in December Council voted to merge Guelph Hydro with municipally-owned utility Alectra Inc.

For me personally, this was one of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make during my years on Council.

The electrical utility landscape in Ontario (and across Canada) is in a period of massive change. In 1996, Ontario had 307 electricity utilities. Today, that number has shrunk to roughly 70.

Guelph Hydro is an extremely well-run utility. The question for me was – should we merge now when we come to it from a position of strength? Or should we wait and risk being left behind?

There is no way I would have hit the “yes” button if I did not believe the merger would have multiple positive benefits for Guelph. Those benefits include:

  • Fewer rate increases. Rates will go up less than they would if Guelph Hydro continued to operate alone. The merger will allow customers to avoid an estimated 5% rate increase in 2021, and another estimated 5% increase in 2026.
  • Higher dividends. Guelph is expected to receive $10 million more in dividends over the next 20 years. We’ll also receive a special dividend of $18.5 million in 2018.
  • Local crews. Guelph will be home to Alectra’s Southwest Ontario operations hub for 10 years.
  • New technologies. Guelph will be home to a new Green Energy and Technology Centre that will focus on energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy.
  • A seat on the Alectra Board.

Out of 130 Guelph Hydro jobs, 30 will be addressed through retirement and voluntary separation if possible; another 30 will be offered positions outside the city; and 70 will stay in Guelph.

This decision was more than a year in the making. Council listened to a huge amount of feedback from residents and businesses. We listened to technical experts. We asked a lot of tough questions – about jobs, about customer service, and about the culture at Alectra for employees.

It wasn’t an easy decision. But I think history will show it was one of the best ones Guelph City Council has ever made.

Guelph Innovation District

In December, Council voted to submit an Expression of Interest to the Province to acquire real estate located in the Guelph Innovation District.

It’s a 243-acre parcel of land that includes the former Wellington Detention Centre and Turf Grass lands (not the former Correctional Facility lands).

The City will then conduct its own Request for Proposal Process to select a developer who will be able to fulfill our vision for these lands.

That includes creating an urban village with innovation-sector businesses, good jobs, and exceptional residential development that fits with the natural landscape.

It’s a bold move. The City is taking on the risk of acquiring the property up-front. But Council is confident that the risk will be rewarded.

This is an extraordinary piece of property. Most municipalities would be ecstatic to have a piece of developable property like this within their urban boundary. As a city, we’ve been talking about these lands for many years. This is an untapped opportunity. I am thrilled that we are finally moving the ball forward.

Guelph Police Headquarters

The three-year renovation and expansion of Guelph Police Headquarters is more than 60% complete.

This is the first large capital project to go through a new project management office and process – which was set up under this term of Council in response to the Urbacon fiasco that plagued the construction of City Hall.

I am pleased to report it is tracking on-budget, and it’s moving in the right direction for being on-time, after some minor delays.

This much-needed project will bring our police service more space, better security, a parking garage, and up-to-date equipment. We are providing our police service with the facility and the tools to do their job in our growing city.

The current police headquarters was built in 1959, and expanded in 1989. Not only has our city grown and changed a lot since then – but policing has changed and become more complex as well.

A perfect example is the police service’s role in the substance use problem.

I am often asked what the City is doing to address substance use, especially in our downtown, and especially in light of the opioid crisis. So last October, I held a community forum to talk about it.

Our Police Chief was there and he had the line of the night: “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this.”

Of course, our Police Service has an important role to play in making arrests and seizing illegal drugs – that hasn’t changed. But they also play a role in education, prevention, and in helping connect people to the supports they need. They are at the table with other agencies in our community, working together on collaborative solutions to this complex problem.

We just approved four new officers for the Guelph Police Service, and two of those officers will be dedicated to the downtown. This is going to make a difference in some of the issues we’re seeing. And again, those officers do far more than make arrests – they build bridges, they build relationships, and they become a familiar and trusted presence in our downtown.

High speed rail

Two years ago, a Guelph station stop was not on the table in any discussions about the Province’s proposed high-speed rail line.

Many scoffed at the idea and people said it wouldn’t work. The headline in the Guelph Mercury said “High-speed rail line likely to skip Guelph.”

Not so fast. I like a challenge.

Together with the Chamber of Commerce, our MPP Liz Sandals, and the University of Guelph, we spent more than a year making the case to the Province for a Guelph stop.

I brought a resolution to Council calling on the Province to include Guelph. We met with David Collenette, the Province’s special advisor on high speed rail. We wrote letters and made phone calls.

Actually, I’m sure they got tired of hearing from us! But when Mr. Collenette released his report – a Guelph stop was in it.

This is a game-changer for our city. It could cut travel time between Guelph and downtown Toronto to as little as 39 minutes – and to Pearson International Airport in as little as 23 minutes.

Let’s let that sink in for a minute. 39 minutes to downtown Toronto. 23 minutes to Pearson.

This is about way more than avoiding gridlock on the 401. Think about the options it will open up for talent attraction, for start-ups, for attending meetings and conducting business in Toronto or Waterloo Region. The other week I had a meeting at Queen’s Park and sat in traffic for close to three hours. Think of how the game changes if I could reliably get to Toronto in less than 40 minutes.

The Province is currently in the preliminary design and environmental assessment phase, and has said the high-speed rail line will be operational by 2025. In the meantime, they are still moving ahead with their promised delivery of two-way, all-day GO rail service, with a stop at Guelph Central Station.

This isn’t really about transportation – it’s about unleashing our economy. It’s about functioning as one large economic region – the Innovation Corridor – instead of as individual municipalities competing against one another.

I’m ready for this. Guelph is ready for this.

Our city was part of the Toronto Region’s bid for the new Amazon headquarters – the only Canadian bid to make the short list. Of 238 cities, only the Toronto Region and 19 U.S. cities are still in the running.

The Toronto Region bid highlighted the University of Guelph’s world-renowned agri-food expertise as a particular strength, in light of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and their interest in the food sector. It also highlighted Truleaf – a 50,000 square foot vertical farm facility currently under construction in Guelph. The bid even mentioned the Hillside Festival as an example of our area’s incredible culture.

We knew from the beginning that Guelph doesn’t have the size or capacity to be the location of Amazon’s next headquarters. But we were proud to bring our strengths to the table as a partner in the Toronto Region bid.

In March, Toronto Mayor John Tory will be coming to Guelph to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Regional Economic Summit. Mayor Tory has been a strong advocate for commuter rail and the Innovation Corridor, and a good friend to Guelph – and I’m thrilled he is bringing his message to our city. I know tickets are now on sale through the Chamber – and I hope to see many of you there.

Property tax

I am proud that in the 2018 Budget process, Council passed the lowest budget increase in four years, with a 2.95 per cent increase.

That increase includes operating, capital, and 1% dedicated to the half a billion dollars in infrastructure our city needs.

This Budget is not only affordable, it’s sustainable.

For too long, there was discussion, hand-wringing and the kicking of cans down the road about our infrastructure gap. This Council has done something about it. In addition to dedicated funding for infrastructure, we have embarked on a new, comprehensive asset management plan to make sure we are replacing the right infrastructure at the right time – to get the most bang for your buck.

In 2017, the City maintained our AA+ credit rating for the fifth straight year.

During this term of Council, we have built up our financial reserves. Our Tax Rate Contingency Reserve has been built up from $1.6 million to a forecasted $6.5 million in 2018. We have increased our affordable housing reserve from $429,000 to $880,000. And, we paid off $14.3 million of debt in 2017.

The city is experiencing healthy operating surpluses – including a $1.2 million surplus in 2015, a $3 million surplus in 2016, and a projected $2.4 million surplus for 2017.

We are also looking within City operations to find all the efficiencies we can.

I’m proud that for the first time ever, this term of Council has directed the Administration to conduct service reviews. These are a comprehensive look at whether we’re delivering the right services in the right way.

In 2017, we undertook the first service review, of our Solid Waste operation. Initial findings are that in 5 out of 6 areas, Solid Waste is in line and cost competitive with comparator municipalities. In particular, curbside collection performs very well – exceeding most of the comparable municipalities.

Yet the review also showed that the cost to process recyclable material at the Material Recovery Facility is significantly higher than in other municipalities. So that is the area the rest of the service review is now focusing on – to find solutions and make improvements to that aspect of the business. The final report is expected to Council in March.

It is thanks to the detailed service review process that we were able to identify this issue. While it’s fair to be disappointed with the performance of our recycling operation – I certainly am – it also shows that the service review process is working. This is exactly what it was meant to do.

Careful management, finding efficiencies where we can, and prioritizing the “need to have” items like infrastructure – these are all improving our bottom line, and will continue to do so.

South End Community Centre

The South End Community Centre has been long-awaited and long-anticipated. Whenever I speak to youth groups or at town hall meetings, I get asked “when is the South End Community Centre going to be built?”

In 2017, the City hired an architect to complete the detailed design work for the facility. Once we have a detailed design, we will be in a position to apply for infrastructure grants and other opportunities.

The Centre – which will be located immediately south of Bishop Macdonell High School – will be 150,000 square feet and will include two rinks, an aquatic complex, walking track, multi-use gym, and programming space.

If we stay focused and keep moving forward with this project, we could be cutting the ribbon in 2021.

The south end has completely taken off during the years we’ve been talking about this community centre. I think we can all agree that it’s high time we move forward.


There was lots of good news about Guelph Transit in 2017.

Ridership has increased dramatically – 44% compared to 2016 – and we did it within the existing budget.

We revamped routes, including launching a new “99 Mainline” route that runs every 10 minutes and takes you from the south to the north without having to change buses.

In 2017, we received more than $10 million in federal and provincial funding for new buses, fare boxes, shelters, equipment, a new Transportation Master Plan, and upgrades to the traffic signal control system that co-ordinates traffic signals along major streets.

I cannot recall an investment this large in Guelph Transit infrastructure, ever. It is going to radically improve the system for everyone.

Of course, Transit is a complex system that has its share of challenges. It’s not perfect. Over the past year there’s been a major culture shift, where Transit is making an extraordinary effort to listen and respond to feedback. We saw this a few weeks ago in their response to the outcry over removing printed schedules and maps from bus stops. Criticize Transit all you want for removing the schedules – they themselves admitted this was a misstep – but you have to give them credit for listening and putting the schedules back up in under a week.

For me, by far the most important and exciting news about Transit is the service review that is happening this year – and in fact is already underway.

Some have said we need to pause the service review until we find a new permanent General Manager. Some have suggested we need to “throw more money at it!” This is nonsense, and not how government should be run. A service review of Transit has been needed for the last 10 years. There have been many studies and plans for Transit over those years – but never a full service review.

Throwing more money at Transit is not going to solve core issues. Not having the willingness to explore all options to better its service is a disservice to riders. We owe it to Transit customers to build the Transit system our city truly needs, today and tomorrow. I look forward to engaging Transit customers through the service review process.

Wilson Street Parkade

Many people are surprised to learn that parking inventory in downtown Guelph has not increased since 1983.

1983! It was a time of Miami Vice. Boomboxes. Kids playing with Popples.

Well, good news.

Construction on a new parkade for Wilson Street will begin soon. We’re going to have 496 parking spaces on Wilson – up from the current 86.

Council voted to add two more floors of parking to the project by moving up funding that had been allocated for a future parkade on Neeve Street.

The parkade will be built by a well-known local developer – the Newton Group Ltd. It’s going to have green features like bicycle parking and EV hookups.

I can tell you, when I get to cut the ribbon on this new parkade – I’m going to party like it’s 1983!

I assure you: this is not about building parking for City Hall employees. It’s about supporting the economic development of our downtown – and actually catching up to the incredible growth and development that has taken place in the past few years.

A couple of weeks ago, the scaffolding came down from the Petrie Building, and we got to see its amazing restored façade for the first time. Let’s watch a short video of the scaffolding coming down. PLAY VIDEO.

The Petrie building has now been combined with the building next door.

These buildings used to have two businesses in them – the Apollo restaurant and Dino’s sporting goods.

The new building has six businesses – including a brew pub, a restaurant, a bridal shop, an advertising firm, a software company, and soon a financial services company.

We need more parking to support businesses like these. It’s the number one message I hear from businesses and the Downtown Board. The Wilson Parkade is going to help fill that gap.

End of Monopoly board

That concludes our trip around the Monopoly board.

Now, I’d like to switch gears a bit and take a look forward at the year ahead.

One of the major projects that is going to define our year in 2018 is the Community Plan.

Public engagement on the plan will take place throughout 2018, and then the Plan will be developed and brought to the next Council for endorsement.

The Community Plan is going to chart our city’s course for the next 10 years. It’s going to help us define, together, what our city is – and what we want it to be.

It’s going to drive and inform the priorities, plans, and strategies that will be coming out of City Hall in the months and years to come. These include:

  • The priority list for the new term of Council
  • The City’s Corporate Administrative Plan (strategic plan)
  • The next economic development strategy – what comes next after Prosperity 2020.

And that’s just a start. In your business, your workplace, your neighbourhood, your volunteer work, your experience of living and working in Guelph – the Community Plan is going to impact you in the years to come.

So, we want you to help shape it.

The Community Plan team is here this morning – Can you all wave, so that we see who you are? [Community Plan team will have an information table at the back.]

Please pay them a visit on your way out – they have materials and information that you can take back and share.

On your tables, you each have a card where you can finish this sentence: “In 10 years, my Guelph will…”

Some of the things to think about are:

  • What would make Guelph an even better city to grow your business in? Or an even better city to live in?
  • What do you want Guelph to be known for? We’ve been called most caring, safest, smartest, even the most romantic!
  • What’s in the way? And how can we get there together?

You often hear politicians talk about “vision.” I actually try to avoid using that word, because it’s become so over-used.

But when I think about the Guelph of the future – I see a city where everyone has the chance for a good job, a home they can afford, access to healthy food, and opportunities for their kids. A place where the word “poverty” is no longer in our vocabulary, and no one is left behind.

I see a Guelph where it’s safe and easy to walk, bike, or take Transit to work – in all corners of the city.

A city that is leading the way on addressing climate change.

And yes – I see a Guelph that does have a grocery store in its East End!

On that topic – the City has launched a review of the commercial policies in our Official Plan. While it’s too soon to know the outcome, this review could have an impact on what land is available for grocery stores in the East End.

Thank you for playing Monopoly with me this morning.

When I look at our own Guelph Monopoly board, I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together – and what we will continue to accomplish.

There have been a lot of #guelphproud moments for me in this term of office. All of them involve people working hard to make Guelph the best place it can be. People pouring their heart and soul into their businesses, their employees, their families, their neighbourhoods, their volunteer work.

So I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, for all you do to make Guelph a better place. Thank you for continuing to make us #guelphproud.

Thank you very much.