Skip to content

LETTER: Yet more changes proposed for Gordon Street

'How much is too much?' reader asks
Stock image

GuelphToday received the following Letter to the Editor from reader Claudia Espíndola, who expresses concerns with recent changes to Gordon Street: 

It seems like every few weeks there is something affecting this area, from re-zoning the area to increase the density zone, to parking reductions on unmarked and visitor spots, to now the newest and greatest idea of implementing a dedicated bus lane for Gordon St,

I would like to share my thoughts on these changes and the impact all these changes are having to residents in the area.

Rezoning: There are multiple projects that have been approved for Gordon already, high-rises, mid-rises, senior communities, plazas, gas stations etc. and there are more to come now that the current single homes have been re-zoned to allow for higher density,

Higher density zoning will inevitably translate into those single homes turning into condo developments with their corresponding increase of people and vehicles.
Parking reductions: City is weighing (not sure if approved yet) on proposal from developers to offer less visitor parking, fewer unmarked spaces, and driveways with less width. The “reasoning” behind it, as I heard it from some councilor, is that residents and visitors will then be “encouraged” to use transit rather than drive.

Dedicated bus lane: The transportation Master Plan is proposing a dedicated one lane for transit, this obviously will mean that local drivers will only have one lane to commute and to merge, because as Gordon residents know, centre lanes are only available in very few locations, must locations you have to actually stop in a live of traffic, pray that drivers noticed you and stop to avoid ramming into you.
I already feel unsafe when trying to enter my condo, so I dare to imagine how much this problem will be compounded when all drivers and “mergers” will have only one lane available.

All this is causing me to feel a great sense of injustice, as all these restrictions are imposed to us - Gordon dwellers, when people that own mansions with huge driveways can - and have - as many cars as they can afford, with absolutely no restrictions to their visitors or parking spaces.

And I understand that Guelph is not like Hamilton, where people actually voted 'no' to the Plan To Grow mandate issued by Doug Ford to all Ontario cities,
I get it, our city must grow and cater to developers, and I am grateful that the city is “at least” trying to keep development within the city boundaries, but how much is too much? How much can constituents living in this area can be squeezed? And more troublesome - What will happen when all the new zoning is approved, and we see all these high and mid raises go up?

Sure, there are plans to expand Gordon St. a whole one kilometre of it! which is great, especially considering that the expansion will take place where a huge development is going to take down almost 1000 trees to make room to a huge condo complex, but how is the city going to address the remaining 11 km of Gordon Street? Are we just going to have an expansion with bottle necks on both sides?

We condo dwellers buy condos for many reasons, but I think is fair to say that most of us buy condos because we don’t have enough acquisition power to buy a single or semi-detached home, so all these measures make me feel like us, less wealthy people, are being forced into all these “environmental measures”, while I do not see these measures applied on wealthier, more established neighbourhoods, it is okay for the city to expect me to carry my groceries, or take my child to the hospital using transit, but not the rich people?

I feel a deep sense of injustice and unrest having to deal with all these measures while others are not.

As a Canadian citizen I have the right to live in a safe environment, and there is nothing by law that prohibits car ownership.

Again, I am all for the environment and mindful use of vehicles, but that has to be my choice, not something that is forced upon me.

Claudia Espíndola,