The 10 Carden Vision

10 Carden and its members will inspire people to break new ground through collaborations fueled by effective relationships, entrepreneurial spirit and dynamic research. We will spark new ways to imagine, think, behave and work together – putting Guelph on the map for community-driven social change.


The Story: 10 Carden – What it’s like when it’s full.
(We wrote the story in 2008. By 2011, 10 Carden was living up to the vision!)

After looking at other shared space models, we know the potential. For us, it’s easy, we can see the vision, the implementation and the long-term impact. Our challenge now is to make it happen. But, the shared physical and mental space concept in Guelph is relatively new. As we can’t fast forward to the future (yet) we thought the best way to ‘show’ you what 10 Carden will be like when it is fully operational is through a narrative – a story that speaks to connection, to collaboration and to creating space for change. Let’s begin.

Paloma, a university researcher enters through the front door. She sees the listing of over 100 organizations and individuals who ‘share’ in this space – every day this makes her happy. As she walks up the ramp to enter the shared space, she looks at the new local artwork on the historic stone wall. She is greeted by Gemma, the 10 Carden “community animator” who signs her in, gives the latest scoop on a local news story, and reminds her that at 7pm a local group is screening an independent movie about participatory budgeting with a panel discussion to follow. Gemma checks the registrations, and there are 2 seats left. Paloma registers herself and a friend, feeling lucky to get the last of the 80 seats.

Paloma says hi to Julian and Tayler. They are working on a community health project that will help engage all residents in walkability and urban transportation issues. They’re using one of the hot-desks, but at the moment are putting up sticky notes on the workspace wall as they put together the ‘big picture’ for their project’s engagement campaign rollout. Paloma unpacks her laptop at one of the ‘hot-desks’, gets a coffee from the lounge, and gets ready for an afternoon of work on her research.

Shane walks in. He’s saddled with a two boxes of paper and obviously has a tonne of organizing to do. He asks Gemma if he can take over two hot desks so he can spread out to do his work. Gemma tells him he has two hours, as there are bookings at 3pm. This gives Shane lots of time, and he begins to organize his community surveys, inputting data into his organization’s online data collection tool that he easily accesses through a shared computer and 10 Carden’s wireless connection.

Whoosh. Matthew, Alex, Sally and Anna pull open the sliding door to the 10 Carden board room. Their monthly meeting is over and as the others in their meeting check out the community board, the smaller group of four takes a few moments in the Cornerstone Lounge to plan their next moves for their healthy kids program. Alex surveys the room, he sees a few new faces and one familiar face – Tayler. Alex and Tayler one night at one of the long-table dinners hosted by 10 Carden and they recalled a chat they had about walkability research. Alex introduced Tayler to his colleagues. Suddenly, here at 10 Carden – people, ideas – walkability, healthy kids – the connection happened.

Matthew, Alex, Sally, Anna and Tayler would spend the better part of the next year working on a local program to improve walkability now and into future decades. Their program takes off across Canada. They met in a little place called Guelph, which some refer to as the Center of the Universe. 10 Carden, created the space for change.

And, the independent movie was a hit, the 80 people in attendance were amazed by the possibilities and within months, three new projects were created out of the discussion. Gemma added their names to the wall, as their home was of course – 10 Carden.