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LETTER: Increased density concerns resident of Willow Road area

'Congestion upon congestion upon congestion' says letter writer

GuelphToday received the following letter from Benny Monico regarding future developments in the west end:

Dear Mr. Guthrie

Despite its high density, my wife Paula and I have lived an idyllic forty-nine and a half years in the west end of Guelph near Willowdale Park. However, future developments around and near us have us very concerned.

Years ago, together with the late, great Charlie Whittaker as its president, we created the “Willowdale Neighbourhood Association” with the goal of preserving the tenure of life and beauty in our area. We successfully petitioned City Hall to formulate a by-law that shopping carts were not to be removed from their respective parking lots.

With the help of City Hall, we created a parkette at Bagot Street and Willow Road. Now it’s for sale. Another high rise? We were most vigilant, making sure the grass was cut in the parks and that all was maintained in a clean and orderly fashion. Our care and concern always paid off. Mr. Whittaker’s vision of an aesthetically pleasing environment was very near and dear to his heart. Many residents met monthly at my house, all infused with a common goal.

The quantity of people in the area bordered by Edinburgh Road and Silvercreek Parkway with Willow Road sandwiched in between is staggering. Trying to turn left onto Willow Road from Applewood Crescent is a fool’s errand.

Turning right is also problematic. There are high rises and town houses on Willow Road, all filled with citizens of good will trying to integrate and improve their lot in life.

We own rental units on Guelph Street and upon mentioning that they’re near Willow Road all interest evaporates. We have now learned that 148 new units will be built at the Willow West Mall; two or more apartments at Willow and Dawson and several high rises on Edinburgh Road next to the cemetery. Congestion upon congestion upon congestion.

In addition, we understand there’s to be developed a new, third unit project “Permanent Supportive Housing” near Willow Road School, Shelldale Centre and behind three high rise apartments. Not to mention Willowdale Child Care and Learning Centre. Wise choice? Everyone deserves a second chance, a new beginning.

Will this new facility “Permanent Supportive Housing” be staffed around the clock? Will the residents be receiving educational training and be involved in various projects? Healing from addiction can be a most challenging venture. What will be the success rate amidst such congestion?

I sincerely hope that the density in this area will be thoroughly researched. If you need more information, we are available.

Thank you,
Benny Monico