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With parking issue resolved, group home prepares to move to Speedvale Avenue

Vacant office building to be renovated into seven private bedrooms, common areas and staff space
20210222 222 Speedvale Ave Guelph RV
Thresholds Homes and Supports Inc. plans to convert the vacant office building at 222 Speedvale Ave. E. into a group home. Richard Vivian/GuelphToday

Plans to convert a vacant Speedvale Avenue office building into a seven-unit group home can move forward, thanks to a Committee of Adjustment decision to reduce the required parking by two spaces.

Committee members unanimously approved the decrease for 222 Speedvale Ave. E. on Thursday, after hearing a handful of questions from nearby residents – none of whom expressed opposition to the plan from Threshold Homes and Supports Inc.

“We think this is a good thing in general,” commented Clive Avenue resident Andrew Donovan. “We just want to make sure it works well for everyone.”

He expressed concern the parking reduction, which is intended to increase outside amenity space, would be used for garbage storage or a smoking area for residents.

Allan Wong, Threshold’s director of finance and operations, explained the additional amenity area is a city requirement and would be used as simple “green space” for residents.

Laurie Gamble questioned whether the added amenity space would result in noise issues for neighbours, which prompted Wong to point out the facility will be staffed 24/7.

“We want to be a good neighbour,” he said. “The staff will take measures to ensure neighbours are happy, as our residents will be happy.”

The plan for the building, Threshold executive director Lisa Voll-Leggo previously told GuelphToday, is to see the structure converted into a congregate living situation with private bedrooms, common areas and dedicated staff space. 

Residents currently living at another facility, and enrolled in Threshold’s Extraordinary Needs Program, will be moved to the Speedvale Avenue site mid-summer following renovations.

Prior to the approved parking reduction, zoning required the building and a neighbouring property to have 42 parking spaces collectively, which they do. Now there will be 40 spaces available.