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Guelph Lake: A beautiful isolated elitist paradise at our doorstep

by rmcaleer,
Just a few background facts.
  1. It now costs $15 for two people to visit Guelph Lake - just to walk around for a few hours. In the winter it now costs a family of four about $21. For the previous 46 years - walking in the park in the off-season has been free. Annual membership is $140.
  2. There is no access to Guelph Lake conservation area via city trails.
  3. The entire GRCA system is supported by taxpayers (51% of their revenues come from municipal levies). The remaining 49% is from user fees.
  4. The current trail system forces families onto Conservation Road to access the park. This is absolutely not suitable to young families as the road is fast and hilly.
  5. The GRCA has been abetted by the County of Wellington by ensuring that ALL of the roads around Guelph Lake are now entirely a No Parking Zone. Thus eliminating casual winter access.
  6. Over the last 10 years the GRCA has eliminated services throughout the park: Lifeguards were eliminated about 10 years ago. Water testing at the beaches was eliminated a few years ago. User fees have soared. And yet they found the money to build a new garage warehouse at the entrance of the park.

Here is the proposal: Force the GRCA to give the citizens of Guelph access to the park without paying a fortune. Not all families can afford the $140 a year. Let alone the $21 cost of a short visit. It is unconscionable that the City of Guelph and the GRCA have not developed a co-use agreement that would open up the park to all users - regardless of their ability to pay.

It now appears that The GRCA are doing their best to eliminate access to the park except for those in cars and those with disposable income. The current situation is an immoral abuse of process. The Ontario Conservation lands were set up to protect our waters (flooding / drinking) and lands for all citizens. Right now I suspect that they view the citizens of Guelph as an inconvenient cash-cow. Sincerely Rob McAleer


As a side note. To illustrate how removed and isolated the Guelph Lake conservation area has become. One only has to look at the Map contained in the Guelph Have-your-say consultation process. One can see immediately that the Guelph Lake property is not even defined. It is just grey on grey. No borders. Nothing.
It is not even outlined in green. Golf courses are defined in green. How is it that Guelph's greatest park & open space is not even mentioned on the map. Sadly I suspect that someone in authority determined that the park is out of bounds to the consultation process. This is the core of the problem. Guelph Lake belongs to all of the citizens of Ontario not just those who can afford the entry fee. And more importantly Guelph lake belongs to the citizens of Guelph.

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