More Residents = More Patios
by 
Jeff Neumann
Coldwell Banker Neumann

A downtown neighbour of mine recently approached me with a request. He has been a good neighbour for almost 20 years now, never bothering me with noise, never interfering with the enjoyment of my property by either myself or my client residents. His request seemed simple enough and, furthermore, I supported his vision.

His property is an old warehouse-type structure that has over the years housed small local businesses. It is not an eyesore. But no one would call it an architectural credit to the neighbourhood. It is the type of property that tends to be re-developed in progressive burgeoning communities. In struggling communities, they linger. (Suburban Buffalo is full of them.)

His request: ‘Would I be willing to write a letter of support for his efforts to repurpose his property into a 14-storey condo complex?’ My unarticulated immediate thought, was: ‘Wait a minute – you want to remove this old underdeveloped hodgepodge and replace it with 140 tax-paying families, within walking distance to downtown shops, restaurants, and the Go Station?’

That his plan should be in need of an extra shot of support frankly astounds me. There is no loser here. Downtown businesses will benefit. An additional 140 families will add to the burgeoning cultural mosaic of the downtown core. And, generally speaking, the metamorphosis that began to transform Downtown Guelph the instant the first high-rise condo was announced will continue. For those of us who prefer a bustling boutique restaurant patio on a warm summer’s night to the downtown student bar scene, bringing in residents has been and will continue to be the solution. To those who would like to keep the 140 families out, I have a plea: we were all newcomers once; let’s embrace those who follow with open arms.

Thanks for reading, Jeff Neumann