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Wilson farmhouse will be a neighbourhood fit, backers say

A group that is pushing for the Wilson farmhouse to become a community centre and “green living showroom” says it is pleased with feedback it got from neighbours at a meeting on Thursday.
More than 30 local residents who gathered at Guelph Lake Commons to brainstorm ideas for community use of the building proposed “50 distinct ideas,” a news release said.
These ideas are to be summarized in a formal proposal that the group will submit by the city’s March 20 deadline for Expressions of Interest.
“Organizers felt the evening to be very successful, as many participants stayed an extra 40 minutes overtime to continue developing the exciting ideas generated for how Wilson farmhouse could serve its community,” said the release from Ben Barclay, the manager of the project proposal.
The project team also includes Matt Vermeulen, executive director of the Elora Environment Centre, and John Farley, a development consultant for Creating Homes Inc., which has built “many social enterprise housing developments in Guelph,” the release said.
Barclay told the meeting that the farmhouse on Simmonds Drive is in good shape.
It would be carefully restored to preserve heritage features, while adding environmental displays to help homeowners cut their utility bills, the release said. It would be “harmonized” with Wilson Farm Park by well-designed landscaping and preservation of mature trees.
The centre would pay its own way by offering affordable rentals of a community kitchen and meeting spaces, supported by a small food concession, the release said.
In addition, “local programming such as parent-child drop-in, post-natal fitness classes and seniors’ social programming would be offered, potentially in partnership with established groups such as the nearby Trillium Waldorf School and the Guelph Wellington Seniors’ Association.”

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