What a great way to kick off our Saturday! This special event today featured U.S. Olympian and world champion wheelchair tennis player David Wagner. David hosted a free clinic for local coaches and for children with special needs and their siblings in support of wheelchair tennis. Also assisting with the clinic is local Guelph wheelchair tennis player Cyndy McLean.

A big thank you to the U.S. Consulate for making his happen! It was nice to see their staff again here in Guelph! 

David took those in attendance through his life story encouraging everyone about reaching for goals and persevering through the trials that may come to you.

On behalf of the City of Guelph – I was thrilled to welcome this Olympian and world champion wheelchair tennis player to our City. He offering this free clinic for local coaches and children.

Thank you also to Cyndy McLean who is helping coach today. Cyndy is well-known locally as a tennis player and advocate for accessibility!

Thank you also to KidsAbility – a wonderful organization that I’m proud to support. KidsAbility helps thousands of children with special needs each year. I have met families who tell me that – with the support of KidsAbility – their children have been able to achieve things they never thought possible.


Seriously, get down here.

Celebrating John Galt Day with hundreds of people downtown in Market Square! There’s live music, arts and crafts, games and face painting! 

One of the most unique things this year is the closing down of Wilson St. I met with some of the masterminds behind this, Cyrille Viola and Calen Hamelin. Their picture is above. The city partnered with landscaping students and the Farmers Market to pull this off. 

Now listen up. We need to close Wilson Street every Saturday. This is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had downtown. Here are some thoughts captured on a board asking for people’s opinion on the closing of the street:

And this comment is great too:

Under the front entrance of city hall there’s Tshirt making tables! My daughter Adi is making one!

Up on Carden Street there’s even more fun! (I took this shot at 10am. There’s 10 times the people there now!)

It’s always great meeting our great citizens! I ran into Stella who just loved Wilson Street being closed! 

Thanks for your kinds words about our downtown and city Stella!

To sum up this event, I think my daughter said it best:


Join me tomorrow to party on Guelph!

Guelph, ON, July 23, 2015 – On August 1, the City will host its annual John Galt Day celebration featuring free activities and family-friendly entertainment in Market Square.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the public is invited to explore craft zones led by Guelph School of Art and the West End Recreation Centre; take shots on net at the Guelph Storm Hockey Tunnel; play in the interactive water feature; and rock out to the sounds of Envirodrum. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles and temporary tattoos will be provided, and Cleo the Clown and her Painting Pals will be onsite during the festivities. Attendees are also invited to bring along an old T-shirt for re-purposing at the ‘Tread on It’ interactive T-shirt printing booth.
In addition to music, games and crafts, John Galt Day will feature the Wilson Street Promenade—a new placemaking initiative spearheaded by students Cyrille Viola and Calen Hamelin who are enrolled in the University of Guelph Masters of Landscape Architecture program.
The urban design project will include a pop-up park and beach, vendors from the Farmers’ Market, temporary art installations, and activities for visitors.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the City on this project. We want to encourage community members to think about their urban spaces and how they can be further used,” says Calen. The Wilson Street Promenade will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“It’s an ideal opportunity to test out a project like this by leveraging an existing public event,” says Danna Evans, manager of Theatres and Civic Events for the City of Guelph. “Expanding the event space to include Wilson Street aligns with the City’s goal to enliven and animate downtown public spaces.”

More details about the Wilson Street Promenade and John Galt Day festivities can be found at guelph.ca/events.

For the past few weeks I’ve been fielding a few phone calls and emails from kids and parents asking if the city would again find funds available to have a few weeks of skateboarding at The Ward Skatepark. I know that a few other councillors were asked as well. 

I took the request to the CAO and she informed me that her budget had some flexibility in it to allow for sponsoring things like this and she’s be glad to support it as has the city has done a few times already.

Thank you to staff, The Ward Skatepark and the our CAO for making this happen.

Just think, by next year we’ll be skating on our outdoor facility! (Long overdue).

A staff email was just sent to myself and councillors and here it is:

In response to ongoing community need and demand, staff has worked out an agreement to rent the Ward Skatepark throughout the month of August. A similar arrangement was made in years past and the CAO provided the funding to ensure it could be offered once again due to the delay in the construction on the skatepark.
During the month of August all City of Guelph skateboarders and scooter enthusiasts will be able to use the facility completely free of charge.
The hours of operation for this agreement are as follows: 

· August 4 to 7 noon to 6 p.m.

· August 10 to 14 5 to 9 p.m.

· August 17 to 21 5 to 9 p.m.

· August 24 to 28 noon to 6 p.m.

· August 31 to Sept 4 noon to 6 p.m.

Skateboarders and riders who are under the age of 14, and who haven’t used the facility in the past, must have a parent sign a waiver before using the venue, located at 199 Victoria Road South.

My goodness. 150 donations of blood by David Robins today at the Guelph Blood Donor Clinic. How thankful the city is for people like him. But get this, his lovely wife was there also and it was her 120th time giving blood. 
Amazing people that are saving lives!

Speaking of amazing people, the staff at the clinic are the best. All so friendly, so accommodating and they give you free cookies. Can’t get much better than that!

Book your appointment now and join so many others that are giving of themselves to save others.

Take care,