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Is Guelph's "Lego" building ugly?

City councillor uses Solstice 1 when asking about what city can do to improve look of future developments
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Solstice 1 located at 1291 Gordon Street. GuelpToday photo

The physical attractiveness, or lack thereof, of a prominent building in Guelph's south end was on the floor at Guelph city council meeting Wednesday night.

The special meeting was an opportunity for city staff to give council an extensive picture of Guelph's planning and design landscape, both past, present and future.

At one point the discussion turned to the Solstice 1 building at 1291 Gordon Street.

"I call it the Lego building," said Ward 4 councillor Christine Billings said of the relatively new student-oriented cube-like structure with red, white and yellow exterior panels.

"I realize beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think most agree this building isn't very attractive," Billings said.

The councillor was asking senior city planner Melissa Aldunate about what control the city has regarding how future developments look.

"Is there any way to enhance urban design to enhance beautiful buildings?" Billings asked.

Aldunate said the city does not have legislative control over the facades and types of materials used to finish buildings. The best they can do is have strong guidelines for developers, but not rules.

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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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