Plans for Sikh Temple Draw Audience Ire At Public Meeting

February 17, 2010

Author: Vik Kirsch

Source: Guelph Mercury

City staff got a hostile reception at a public planning meeting for a controversial southside domed Sikh temple in a rapidly growing upscale residential neighbourhood.

“It’s a huge change for all of us. I’m against that building — period,” Monica Paredes said to applause from many of the crowd of several hundred at the Salvation Army Citadel.

The Guelph Sikh Society is applying to rezone greenfield land on Clair Road originally slated for a nursing home to allow for a 2½-storey, 18,000-square-foot, multi-domed temple with a capacity for 400 worshippers served by parking for 169 vehicles. Another public meeting is slated for March 1.

Tuesday’s city-sponsored meeting was intended to clear up any misconceptions, but the animosity in the large meeting room was palpable, including a suggestion of political consequences for councillors who approve the development.