Go Train Service in Guelph

With my current listing only an 18-minute walk from Guelph Central Go Station it has caused me to ponder all of the benefits of this service. By my count, we now have 8 Go Trains into Union Station every day. This is up from an original 2 or 3 trains each way.

Back when there were only 2, I was still able to get to New York City without the stress of driving a car. It was as easy as, walk to the train station, Go Train to Union, shuttle to Billy Bishop, ferry of course, and a Porter flight to Newark followed by a train into Penn Station. It was easy, relatively inexpensive, and I arrived more relaxed than if I had driven through morning traffic to YYZ.

Now with more trains, it’s convenient to grab a train in for a matinee at any of the theatres, or even the Blue Jay’s opening day, and still take a train home. You just might have to stop for dinner or lunch too. You can even grab the 3:15 pm train, watch a game or concert and get a 10:53 pm train home.

So, while all of this will make our lives more convenient, it will also increase the desire for downtown homes and condos. Which is why you see RiverHouse, RiverMill and Metalworks doing so well. It also means that the downtown Guelph businesses like Tomme Cheese (pronounced like home) that embrace this increased traffic will prosper, and we’ll see some more great restaurants and cafe’s looking to feed and quench the thirst of commuters and tourists getting off the train.

Now if only we could get some weekend service and a connection between Go and the UP Train at Brampton Station. Then, I could just take the train to YYZ and never have to try to remember which level and letter I parked on after a week in the sun. Yes, I’ve walked around Viscount Parking Garage pushing the alarm to find my vehicle!

94-240 London Road West, Guelph

First Time home buyer, downsizing to a townhouse or looking for an investment, you need to read below.

London Lane is a community located near the intersection of London Road West and Edinburgh Road in Guelph. According to Google Maps it’s only a 4-minute car ride or a leisurely 18 minute walk to the Go Train for commuters or a similar walk to the beautiful cafes and restaurants of Carden Street and Downtown Guelph.

If you have little ones, it’s not far to either St. Joseph’s Catholic School or Central Public School, and both the catholic and public high schools are right around the corner.

This particular Unit is one of the two-bedroom options with a bedroom in the basement and features a bright sunlit kitchen and dining nook, and spectacular main bathroom upstairs that you will definitely want to check out for yourself. A fully finished basement presently serves as an extra bedroom but could easily be used as a media room, lounge, or games room.

Call Michael Bennett today to learn more about this townhouse listed for only $425,000. It’s clean, updated and a pleasure to show, so just ask, I’ll arrange a tour for you. Click here to see the Realtor.ca Listing

Starbucks on Edinburgh Road now open

Life as a Realtor often leads to meeting clients in various public spaces to discuss business, or just to catch up on life. While Tim Hortons are plentiful in Guelph, they are often loud, busy and not as well equipped with outlets to allow MLS searches and document preparation. So, when a new place to meet opens, a morning coffee to see if it fits my needs is in order.

Unlike the other Starbucks locations in Guelph, the Edinburgh location is spacious with 4 high tops down the middle and other tables on one side. There are even 8 comfy chairs for gathering with friends tucked into the corner.

Overall, i’m impressed and happy that this location is open, with easy parking, space for clients and outlets for laptops. I’ll be back. Even if it is to just soak in the atmosphere while writing a blog post.

Speaking of Coffee, if you would like to have coffee with me, Michael Bennett, just send me a note at michaelbennett@royallepage.ca. I’m trying out a new application called Calendarly. So, I’ll just send you a link and you pick the time and place. I would love to connect and discuss your real estate needs.

101 Wyndham St. Guelph, ON

Michael Bennett talks about 101 Wyndham Street N. Guelph, Ontario as well as some of the exciting changes affecting downtown Guelph.

Do you have an entrepreneurial side? This downtown Guelph retail space is highlighted by the iconic front awning sheltering passersby and others from the rain, snow, and sleet. While those elements are part of the downtown shopping or dining experience, this location can allow your client’s dry passage to waiting cars and taxis just like some high-end restaurants in Manhattan.

2550 sq. ft. available for lease, this space located on upper Wyndham St. is arguably the best location currently available downtown. It is near the future library, and a rumoured new restaurant up the street as well as only a short walk to the Sleeman Centre, River Run Centre, and Farmers Market. Call Michael Bennett at 519-820-6979 for more details.

Click here for details on Realtor.ca

Cheesy Downtown Guelph Gem!

Every once in a while, a store opens that makes the city, and in this case a neighbourhood so much better and more cultured. Tomme Cheese Shop in Downtown Guelph does just that. A cheese shop, after all, has to provide some culture, right?

Yesterday I picked up my first of 3 Cheese of the Month boxes from Tomme and enjoyed it along with some other appetizers with friends. A quick stop was made easy by parking in the new Wilson Street parking garage and walking across the street. My mystery package was in a nice box secured with a piece of stylish string, presentation reminiscent of traditional retailing.

Those who know me, know that I love cheese, even a simple grilled cheese sandwich. So, as I opened the box of cheese, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning opening the big gift. This was a Christmas Gift after all. Inside, individually wrapped was 3 kinds of cheese, a Chutney, and cue cards describing each cheese along with pairing notes.

Without ruining the surprise for others, all 3 of the cheeses were delicious along with the Chutney and I recommend you check out Tomme Cheese Shop soon. After all, everything tastes better with cheese, and downtown Guelph is better with Tomme Cheese Shop. Thank you Beverly-Ann, it was an awesome Christmas Present. I can’t wait until next month.

Guelph Mercury – My Thoughts 4 Years Later.

Marking the end of an era, the Guelph Mercury’s last edition rolled off the presses 4 years ago today. As someone who identified himself as a “Newspaperman” and advertising Sales Representative for nearly 27 years of it’s existence, it was a very memorable day.

Michael Bennett Photograph The last locally printed edition of the Guelph Mercury rolls off the Guelph press on February 7, 2014. The Mercury would go on to be printed at the Hamilton Spectator until it’s final edition on January 29, 2016

From inside its walls, The Guelph Mercury represented a tight-knit family of employees who continually achieved more. Our journalists often won big awards at the Ontario Newspaper Awards and our local advertising reps worked hard to maintain strong local ad revenues despite a national downward trend. On January 24th, 2016 we found out it wasn’t enough. It was announced that Metroland Media Group would be shuttering the Guelph Mercury on Friday, the 29th, 4 years ago today.

From this writer’s perspective, it was the people who made it last that long. The Guelph Mercury was the underdog. It was the small daily paper in a medium-sized market that continually saw it’s national advertising revenue decline, and yet the local revenues were stable amongst a small group of dedicated sales representatives. The people, sales reps, journalists, circulation, production and support staff together were the heart of the Guelph Mercury.

Some of those same people who made the Guelph Mercury overachieve have gone on to be integral in our community through new jobs at CJOY/Magic106.1, Defined Space, Guelph Sports Journal. the Guelph Tribune, OMAFRA, Guelph Today and more.

In January the following year, I started a career as a Real Estate Sales Representative with Royal Lepage Royal City Realty in Guelph and as much as I enjoy my new colleagues, they will never replace the group that worked late, met deadlines, won awards that the big dogs wanted, and occasionally threw nerf footballs around the office.

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We Get Outside In Guelph

One of our guests stops to read an interpretive sign while Gayle Labuz of Sometimes Eventful leads an informative hike through the trails in Pine Ridge Neighbourhood.
Michael Bennett loves Guelph and it’s outdoor spaces

We’ve all heard that getting outside is important for our mental and physical fitness. Have you considered that there is another benefit to getting outside which we don’t often hear about? A stroll around our neighbourhood, a wander along urban paths or a hike on a rural trail on the outskirts of town can do wonders to strengthen your knowledge and connection to our community.

Time spent outside can take you along pathways through historical parts of our city that were (and still are) critical to giving Guelph it’s unique personality. You can also experience an almost hidden wilderness where plants and animals flourish just steps away from our busy roads, our schools and our very urban homes. 

Preservation Park is a well-known natural oasis in the city. But did you also know the south-end communities of Pineridge, Westminster Woods and Clairfields have a connected network of trails and greenways?  Known as the Westminister Woods Subdivision Wetlands, the trail system was designed to be a storm water management area and to preserve some sensitive conservation lands. These outdoor spaces provide a flourishing habitat for flora and fauna that are as much a part of the community as any of the humans and domestic pets living in the suburban neighbourhoods. The trails allow urban hikers to walk for hours, leading them around a kettle lake and through wetland and forest. Remnants of pioneer fences and stone walls can be found just off the trails. And if you are very fortunate and walking the trail at the right time of year, you may be able to pick luscious raspberries from long-abandoned vines or possibly spot a deer. 

Last summer Michael and a group of friends and colleagues spent an hour on a portion of the Westminister Woods Subdivision Wetlands trail and experienced an incredible taste of the urban wildlife living there. Birds were singing, frogs were croaking and the breeze rustled the leaves of the tree canopy.  It was interesting to see how a modern subdivision used the natural environment for both practical reasons and recreation for the people living in the city.

In Guelph, we are fortunate to have access to the Westminister Woods trail, in addition to over 1000 hectares of parks and open space; more than 70 km of trails and paths, two rivers and Guelph Lake which is maintained by Grand River Conservation Authority. We also have the renowned University of Guelph Arboretum offering an incredible natural space to anyone looking for a place to get a taste of nature. Ranging from maintained, stroller and wheelchair friendly pathways to wilder trails left almost in their natural state, there is get-outside option for everyone in this town.
Helpful links:

Official City of Guelph Trails

The Arboreteum, University of Guelph

Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA)

Sometimes Eventful Outdoors Blog

Now that’s a snowman!

One of the cool things about living downtown Guelph is some of the really neat and creative people who I get to call neighbours. Every once in a while following a big snowfall, this downtown resident busts out the creative skills and make some truly remarkable things. In this case, likely the largest snowman in Guelph, and I would say, one of the coolest.

Beside the railroad tracks on Glasgow St. N. in Guelph sits one big snowman!

IM in a car with Rob Murray from Intrigue Media

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to go for a drive with Rob Murray and talk about the void left in Guelph by the closing of the Guelph Mercury. Almost 27 years of my life was spent selling advertising and helping to produce the Guelph Mercury, which was one of Canada’s oldest daily newspapers.

In this video, I shared some honest observations about missteps in the newspaper business as a whole. These are lessons for any business faced with a disruption such as The Internet.