Solar City Graph

This graph says it all.

Look at the uptake on Solar Hot Water alone for Halifax after a unique program called Solar City came into play. I believe Guelph should be looking into this. I’ve had meetings with staff asking them to inform me on how we might be able to go about having this option for our community.

This equipment can help offset up to 20-25% of an annual bill for an average homeowner. The average energy saved (in 2013 energy costs) over the life of approximately 25 years, would be over $5.5million dollars.

The city does not give people solar hot water systems for free. They broker it, administer it and help finance it at about a 3.5% rate. Payback to the city is normally over 10 years. They do this by adding a charge to residents tax bills.

By stimulating these initiatives, I believe it would create more jobs and boost our economy. From the equipment side and the installation side there would be benefits. The city website says “Solar City is playing the lead role in building what the city calls energy-efficient economic development.” I like the ring of that!

Halifax regional council are now looking at expanding the solar options to include solar photovoltaic (electricity) and solar air (space heating), on top of solar thermal technologies.

A current report from city staff indicated that an additional 2,500 homeowners “expressed interest,” and that by the end of January, a total of 388 residents signed on to have new solar energy systems installed.

Go here for more info: SOLAR CITY

What do you think Guelph? Would you install solar panels to pay it back over several years by adding the costs onto your tax bill?

I’d certainly consider it.








A few weeks ago I had the chance to challenge developers during my first state of the city address. 

I challenged them that as the IOR (integrated operational review) program was rolling out through our staff to address their concerns over what was originally coined as the “Guelph Factor”, that when good news occurred to tell us about it. To step up and let staff know, let me know, tweet about it, blog about it and so on.

Well today I received permission to share from Granite Homes an email they sent me about our staff that needs to be out there for all to see! Check this out:

Hi Cam,

I would like to make you aware that since our discussion in March of this year, we have seen many positive results.  We have been getting great response from both, the Engineering and Planning departments regarding our application.

In particular, Sylvia Kirkwood in Planning has been very helpful in keeping our file moving ahead and setting internal dates for review of items, as well as getting us on council agenda for re-zoning.  Mike Witmer has recently been assigned to this project. Mike and Katie (previously on this file) have always been great planners to work with and we look forward to working through the final details with Mike.

Also, we have had very good results from the Engineering department.  Terry Gayman, Michelle Thalen and Allister McIlveen have been highly cooperative and efficient with our file.  

Things appear to be in high gear which should help us get the shovel into the ground as early as this fall, which will save jobs.  We have recently begun the Site Plan Approval process and I would be happy to report back on our progress with that in a couple of months.

I’m not sure how much influence you had with this but appreciate your attention and wanted to update you on how things have turned around since our last discussion.


Terry Ellery
Granite Homes

Hello #Guelph I’m having a community wide townhall meeting this Wednesday at city hall. It’d be great to have as many of you there as possible! If you’re coming, let’s think of others at this time and bring a donation of non-perishable food for the Guelph Food Bank!
Please share this with others! 7pm this Wednesday.

Take care,



Today I had such a great time for the Mayor’s Townhall at GCVI High school today! This was due to the efforts of the Guelph Youth Council. It’s Youth week and several events are happening. Here’s a list of events:


There was about 200 in attendance today and they put on a great event. Honestly, the Guelph Mercury article here sums up perfectly how it all went.

Thank you for having me! 


Over the past two days I had the privilege to be in Ottawa with my mayoral colleagues from LUMCO (Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario). Mayors with populations over 100,000. 
It was packed with meetings  from the moment I landed.

Here’s a copy of the schedule so you can see who I was meeting with:   LUMCO is focused on three main issues at this moment as we head towards the federal election.

1. Social Housing

2. Infrastructure 

3. Transit 

We were able to connect with many members from different parties. That way we got our message across but at the same time we could hear what platforms are being proposed to tackle the very issues we are standing for.

A couple of standouts for me personally were my times with Adam Vaughn, Peter McKay and James Moore. Here we are with MP Adam Vaughn:   

Minister James Moore:  

MP Peter McKay:

We also took time to go to the FCM headquarters (Federation of Municipalities of Canada) to meet with their staff and to see what work they are doing to prepare for the election.

LUMCO Chair – Mayor of Barrie Jeff Lehman, (seen hear addressing the crowd of MP’s, Senators and other staff at our evening function), made his case on our behalf to everyone we met and to the media as well.   

I talked up Guelph and the University of Guelph several times. I talked about Linamar to Minister of Industry James Moore. I talked about waiting lists for social housing with Minister of Housing Candice Bergen. I talked about exploring new levers or tools from the Federal government to help spur on private sector development and partnership with cities for kickstarting more housing for those in need. 

I gave a call to Michael Chong before arriving and he took me under his wing to show me around and introduce me to several members of parliament. By doing so, he enabled me to chat further about our city to several others, even though we didn’t have scheduled meetings with them. (It’s who you know folks!)  

One senator I met was amazing. He spent a lot of time with me telling me about trade opportunities with the Caribbean that might work well with Guelph and our Agri-Food sector. 

Much of what I enjoyed was the relationship building. Getting to know who’s who at the Federal level. Who I should follow up with if our city needs to be heard, and I learned that there may be some that aren’t interested, so I’ll know not to call them.

Speaking of relationship building, the time over breakfast, lunch, dinner and at our reception, offered me more time to get to know my mayoral colleagues. We shared what’s working in our cities, what’s not, what issues we face, what possible solutions some have tried and what some have implemented. 

These people are good folks. Working hard for their communities. 

Cities matter big time. It’s time the Province and the Federal government understands that we should all be working together to find some real solutions to the very real problems we face. 

Overall this was a great trip. Not for me, but for Guelph! 

Here’s a little artistic photo I took:  

Thank you,


P.S I promised I’d always post any receipts of costs for trips, (or anything actually), on behalf of our city for transparency reasons and I will. I will gather them up and post them soon. This trip was worth it folks.