South end construction, closures and detours

Press release.

Construction projects along Gordon Street in Guelph’s south end will start today as the City continues improving infrastructure and road conditions.

Gordon Street between Edinburgh Road South and Arkell Road has been reduced to one lane in each direction. The City expects to finish installing underground water, wastewater and utility services for the condominium development at 1291 Gordon Street by August 22, weather permitting.

Clair Road between Gordon Street and Gosling Gardens, at the Birds Landing subdivision, will be completely closed to all traffic starting August 25 as the City works on the sanitary sewer and watermain and installs traffic signals. Construction at this site is expected to be completed by August 29, weather permitting. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes.

Starting September 2, construction will continue at the Birds Landing subdivision on Gordon Street between Clair Road East and Poppy Drive. Northbound and southbound traffic will be maintained with one lane in each direction while the watermain extension and connection and traffic signal updates are completed. Construction at this location is expected to be completed by September 5, weather permitting.

“Bike lanes will be closed but sidewalks will be open so people will have access to a safe crossing,” explained Grant Ferguson, project manager, Engineering Services. “We understand how difficult it can be to get around and through construction zones, and we appreciate everyone’s patience while these projects are completed.”

The City of Guelph appreciates residents’ patience, understanding and co-operation during this important work, and will post updates on, Twitter and Facebook.

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Filed under Traffic Management

King George School playground – needs your help!

A shout out from King George School.

The playscape at King George School is going to get new play equipment and several other elements before school starts, courtesy of the hard work of the parents on the Greening & Grounds Committee. But these tired parents need help! We would love neighbours with some free time on August 30th to pop down to the schoolyard and lend a hand. Everyone welcome! If you bring your teenager with you, we can sign their sheet for volunteer hours that they require to graduate. Please RSVP Full details below.


Jennifer Duggan & Aimee Bartlett

Fantastic news, Ecole King George school community!

We have all of the approvals we need in order to install the linear play structure and monkey bar before school starts!

Members of the Greening & Grounds Committee will oversee the excavation and preparation of the activity pads on August 27 and 28th. On August 29th, ABC Recreation will do their CSA-approved installation.

On Saturday, August 30th WE WILL NEED YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please RSVP with the names of your family members who can help out and approximate timing. We also welcome all the teens you know who would like to earn their high school volunteer hours.

Children will be monitored in the kindy pen by several high schoolers who need their volunteer hours. Once all heavy equipment is off the yard, your kids can join you too.

Light refreshments provided but please bring drinks and lunch, as needed. Bring wheelbarrows, shovels, gloves, hand-weeding tools and wear sturdy shoes!


* There are 76 cubic yards of CSA-rated engineered wood fibre that needs to surround the new equipment. Thankfully Kevin Penson of Penson Contruction (and dad to Teagan, grade 1) will operate a skid steer loader to help us out.

* The play grade mulch that currently sits in the activity pad spaces will need to be redistributed to tree wells and beds around the school yard.

* We hope to complete the trenching in of 15 lengths of white pine logs (if the County gets them felled in time, we need sunny days!) and those will need to be edged with mulch.

* Finishing work may be needed to the Butterfly Garden and the Ornamental Grass Maze.

* We also have to haul out the 3 dead dogwoods and re-plant the holes with the replacement red bud trees being sent to us from Connon’s Nursery.

* There will also be general school yard readiness tasks.


Of course! As always, our work parties are amazing community-building events. We share a lot of laughter together, as well as getting the work done.

Check out how the tree plant went in May:

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Filed under Community, Having fun, Youth

Guelph makes an impression at Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference

Press release.

Guelph was called “the brightest kid in the class” by Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy Bob Delaney during a meeting to discuss Guelph’s Community Energy Plan at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference. Mr. Delaney encouraged Guelph to share its community energy expertise with municipal colleagues across Ontario at an AMO session to be held next year.

The meeting was one of four that a delegation headed by Councillor June Hofland secured with Provincial cabinet ministers and officials at the conference, held August 17-20 in London.

The delegation also met with:

· Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid to discuss the Guelph Innovation District located on former Guelph Correctional Facility lands on York Road.

· Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin to discuss Guelph’s experience in establishing its holding company, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.

· Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (with responsibility for Long-Term Care and Wellness) Dipika Damerla, to share information about Guelph Wellbeing.

“At each meeting, we emphasized that Guelph’s priorities – job creation, economic growth, innovation, and wellbeing – are closely aligned with the Province’s. This message was well received,” said Councillor Hofland. “I’m confident that Guelph is on the radar at Queen’s Park. From these meetings we gained Ministry contacts and commitments to follow-up on issues of concern to Guelph.”

Also at the conference, the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) met with Minister Duguid, Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, and Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca to discuss key issues. LUMCO also participated in a joint meeting with the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) group. As a member of LUMCO, Guelph participated in those meetings.

In addition, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. was featured in a session called “Why Create a Local Services Company,” in which Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. General Manager Rob Kerr participated as a panellist.

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Filed under Branding of Guelph

The Guelph difference: A discussion paper

From the Mayor’s office.

I am pleased to share this discussion paper,
The Guelph difference: economic growth and prosperity
with you.

This is one of a series of discussion papers the City is producing that aim to tell the big-picture story of what makes Guelph different, and why. The papers provide the larger context of how the City’s various initiatives and plans fit together – from growth planning and downtown renewal, to economic development and new financing models, to community energy and wellbeing.

This discussion paper is an outcome of the two Economic Summits held in Guelph in 2013 and 2014. Participants agreed that, while Guelph’s economic development strategy in on the right track, we could do a better job of telling our story. The paper was developed through interviews and research, and presented to a group of local leaders at a Mayor’s Round Table gathering in June.

On the City’s behalf I have also shared this paper with a number of community leaders and stakeholders.  KF

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Filed under City Policy, Growth

5 Arthur Riverwalk

A resident’s perspective.

I am writing in regard to a resident’s letter that was posted in Councillor Findlay’s blog today, August 20, 2014.

The writer, HW, raises concerns with the staff proposal to leave the 15-metre “Riverwalk” adjacent to the 5 Arthur development in the hands of the developer. I fully support this writer’s position and agree that the city should be taking all necessary steps to acquire this riverside land for use as a public park.

I am, frankly, surprised that the idea of leaving the land with the developer would even have been considered, nevermind recommended. The city has long proceeded on the principle that riverside lands should be held and administered as a public amenity. This past conduct has given us the riverside parks that we enjoy today, and has guaranteed public enjoyment of and access to our river system. As this parcel of land is one of the few remaining that have not been yet been added to city inventory, it only makes sense to move on it now that the opportunity has presented itself. I suspect that if the city does not act at this time, the opportunity to acquire this land will not arise again.

The principles that led the city to designate the Wellington triangle lands at Wellington and Gordon as a long-range site for parkland apply with equal strength as concerns this parcel. To be honest, I cannot even imagine why the developer might want to own the riverside lands, given the sheer number of non-residents who are expected to use them.

I hope you will take these concerns under advisement when reviewing the staff proposal for this property. Thank you for your time. LW

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Filed under City Policy

Guided tour will showcase Civic Precinct artworks

Press release.

To celebrate the completion of the Civic Precinct art project, members of the public are invited to a reception to meet celebrated Canadian artist Ted Fullerton.

Fullerton’s artworks—Birds of a Feather, A Bird in Hand, Bird/Watching, and Perch—were installed last month and unite City Hall, Market Square, Guelph Central Station, and the Guelph Farmer’s Market building. The sculptures establish a sightline for people to engage with the installation as they move along Carden Street.

Following a short reception at City Hall, Fullerton will lead a guided walking tour and share stories behind each sculpture’s creation.

The total budget for the art project was $150,000, approved by City Council through the 2013 capital budget process. This was the first project to be commissioned through the City’s
Public Art Policy
, and was coordinated by the Public Art Committee, a subcommittee of the Council-appointed Cultural Advisory Committee.

Meet the artist and guided walking tour

Ted Fullerton

Guelph City Hall, 1 Carden Street

Friday, August 22, 2014
7-8 p.m.

About Ted Fullerton

Ted Fullerton is an acclaimed artist who works in contemporary painting, printmaking and sculpture. He has achieved numerous awards such as the Juror’s Award in the CIM Centennial Art Competition and the Boston Printmaker’s Juried Exhibition award. He has exhibited his work across Canada, England, Australia, Spain, and Yugoslavia. Locally, Fullerton’s work can be seen at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Sculpture Park in Guelph, and at the Benton and Charles Street municipal parking garage in Kitchener. Fullerton lives in Tottenham, Ont., and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. To view his work, visit

Ella Pauls

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Filed under Arts, Going Downtown, Having fun

Safe Semester starts August 29 in downtown Guelph

Press release.


The project is designed to create a safe and enjoyable environment for downtown patrons including the influx of students who settle in Guelph each year.

“With the start of each new school year, we see a significant increase in activity in our community,” says Deputy Chief of Police, Jeff DeRuyter. “In response to the increased demand for service, Safe Semester was developed with our partners to make this busy time of year a safe and positive experience for our citizens.”

The task force — which includes representatives from the City of Guelph, Guelph Transit, Guelph Police Service, Downtown Guelph Business Association, University of Guelph, the Downtown Residents’ Neighbourhood Association and several downtown businesses — is working to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and drivers getting in and out of downtown on weekends, and to prevent littering, public urination and other nuisances.

The program will run every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night until September 28.

What to expect downtown on weekends

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.:
·Macdonell Street will be closed to traffic between the Macdonell parking lot and the West Parkade.

·Wyndham Street will be closed to traffic between Carden Street and Cork Street.

· One accessible portable washroom will be placed at Guelph Central Station

. One taxi stand will be located on the north side of Carden Street across from Guelph Central Station.

· All parking lots will remain open and accessible.

“We hope the  Safe Semester project
will prevent collisions and increase safety for
those walking and driving downtown,” says Allister McILveen, Guelph’s traffic and parking manager. “We want everyone to get home quickly and safely at the end of the night.”

New this year

Cars parked on the closed sections of Macdonell Street and Wyndham Street after 11 p.m. will be towed and impounded at the owner’s expense.

Late night bus service

Guelph Transit offers late night bus service, funded by the undergraduate and graduate student associations at the University of Guelph. The service starts on the night of Saturday, August 30, with buses traveling from Guelph Central Station to the University of Guelph and surrounding area. Late night service will run from 12:30 a.m., until the last bus leaves the University Centre at 3:30 a.m.

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Filed under Going Downtown, Having fun, Traffic Management