Update #2 on Hydro One Clear Cutting In #Guelph

As promised I will continue to update this blog as more information becomes available on this issue. 

I met yesterday at 12pm with Hydro One representatives on site for about 30 minutes.

I was joined by some of our environmental and forestry staff from the city and a few councillors.

I listened to the reasoning for needing to clear cut the area. 

1. Safety is of course paramount (which no one will argue.)

2. Being more efficient (not having to come and continually prune or remove trees) 

3. Regulatory requirements from a North American governing body called N.E.R.C.

I asked several questions:

1. Is it really true that this whole area will be clear cut? – Yes

2. Does it have to be all taken out right up to the fence line of adjoining homes (especially on Pacific Place)? – Yes

3. Is there anything that the city can do to save any of these trees? – We could explore an agreement of taking responsibility for maintaining some areas of the site, but that’s not recommended. (This is a long shot folks and has huge liability & financial issues to explore, this probably won’t happen.)

4. I believe the flyer said You’re using herbicide. Is this true? – No 

5. Would you have a public meeting to properly explain what’s going on to this community? – Yes, we’ll figure out when and where this will occur.

As more info becomes available I will continue to keep you in the loop here.

I’m trying my best folks and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. 

Thank you,


2 responses to “Update #2 on Hydro One Clear Cutting In #Guelph”

  1. cd campbell Avatar
    cd campbell

    Hydro one’s policy on Vegetation Management is useful background reading.

    In particular the material under the following headings:

    “Using an Integrated Approach”
    Hydro One describes an array of options, but have clearly chosen the last and most extreme (clear-cutting) for our park area (because they have allowed it to become “overgrown”.) This is probably the most “cost effective” approach for them. The community (particularly the City of Guelph) needs to push back on this and insist on less drastic measures. We do not need to lose any more trees unnecessarily and the leaflet I rec’d from Hydro One definitely specified the use of a “low volume, government-approved herbicide “.

    “What Are Minimal Clearances?”
    Underneath the graphic the minimal clearance is defined as 4.5 meters. Guelph should require that Hydro One clear 4.5 meters to either side of the voltage towers, which would be in compliance with their own guidelines and the NERC, rather than the huge swath of land represented by the oval on the Hydro One map. There does not appear to be a rationale in their own document for such a huge area to be cleared. Mayor Guthrie should please post the map so all can see how unnecessarily huge this area is. Meanwhile, you can find the map on the blog for the affected neighborhood:

    I don’t think the Mayor and the City should just accept these less than honest answers from Hydro One. Ultimately, Hydro One is still owned by Ontario and many Ontario communities have been affected by Hydro One’s bulldozing approach. Can we get some pressure from local and provincial politicians on Hydro One to abandon its “one size fits all” slash and burn methods? It might save them money, but at too high a destructive cost. Why shouldn’t the City of Guelph agree to do a little maintenance in order to save some trees, the park, and the quality of the neighborhood? Coming up with a compromise is the only way to have a more balanced solution to this situation.

  2. Karen Short Bluck Avatar

    Thank you for your support and communication on this Mayor Guthrie.

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