Most Guelphites that I talk to are proud of their city and have an innate sense that it's a special place to live but the amount of accolades recently achieved by the Royal City would make even the most ardent Guelph-booster blush. Apart from being named among the top 10 places to live in Canada, Statistics Canada recently named Guelph Canada's safest city. Based on volume and severity of police-reported crime, Guelph didn't just edge out other Canadian cities, it won by a mile!
But what makes Guelph so safe? Is our police force better trained than those in other cities? Are our politicians wiser than other politicians? I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Guelph was also named Canada's most caring Canadian city by McLean's Magazine. That's right! The "Volunteer Capital of Canada" topped other Canadian cities with 69.7% of its population doing some kind of volunteering. Our residents take care of each other or simply put our city has a soul. Guelph was thrust into the spotlight again this year when St. Patrick's Ward or "The Ward" was named among the best old neighbourhoods for 2009 in This Old house Magazine. Did the soul of our city have something to do with that distinction?
The inevitable result of all this positive press will be that more people will want to live here, more homes will be built, more jobs created, property values will increase. Good news as long as we don't lose our soul.