8-14 Macdonell Street,
In a little over a month I will be in Guelph to visit relatives there. No welcome parades, thank you.
I always look forward to enjoying the Royal City Park and the neighbourhood of Gow’s Bridge, the Wellington Street Dam and the Mill Pond because when the weather is fine, the dam down and the river swollen it is picture postcard-perfect and one of Guelph’s primary boasts. But who knew before 2008 when the City’s lease of the Wellington Street Dam expired that the City did not own it but only leased it from the Grand Valley Conservation Authority for a prescribed term?
I confess to a nostalgic investment in that stretch of river, park, trees and dam not least because it is my childhood haunt. I also own property in the neighbourhood, so I have an inkling of the commercial implications of esthetic changes to the area. I appreciate the concerns of taking over and operating the dam: ecology, safety, cost-effectiveness, etc. But even so, losing the dam and its summer time reservoir to accounting projections and liability estimates seems a terrible price. A City committee must now measure and weigh all features of the dam, river, park and drainage, none of which are related to my desire to slake my sentimental romanticism in its bucolic shade.
My image of Guelph features the dam and the seasonal rise and fall of the river handsomely dominated by mature elms. It wouldn’t be home any other way.
Published on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 as “It’s worth the effort to keep the dam.”
I did not know that the newspaper printed this letter until Tuesday 14th when, just by chance, I looked at the Mercury online. The paper did not try to contact me as it had always done before when it printed one of my letters. This is the fourth letter.