Trailblazer for women in local politics passes away

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Margaret MacKinnon, who served on Guelph City Council from 1973 to 1985.

Margaret was the second woman to be elected to Council (after Elvie Lowell in 1956). She was influential in the establishment of the Guelph Arts Council in 1975. As Chair of the citizens’ committee for a new performing arts centre in Guelph, she was a driving force in the development of the River Run Centre – rallying tremendous support in the face of community controversy over the project. She was also a strong advocate for heritage preservation, speaking out against the demolition of heritage buildings in downtown. Today, heritage, arts and culture, and River Run are fundamental parts of Guelph’s identity – and it is early advocates like Margaret we have to thank for it.

Margaret was a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women, a group that was established nearly 70 years ago in Guelph and encouraged women to become engaged in civic affairs. She was a pioneer who paved the way for other women to consider running for City Council – including myself.

We honour Margaret for her years of service to our community, and thank her for being a trailblazer in so many ways. City of Guelph flags are at half mast today in her honour.

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