UPDATE on Railway Weed spraying meeting TOMORROW!

Yes indeed the meeting is TOMORROW the 26th at 7:30. Sorry for the confusion. the Change is that we are expecting a good sized crowd and the meeting has been moved upstairs to the Recital Hall of the Guelph Youth Music Centre on Cardigan Street. Hope to see you there.  James

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Water Services annual open house promises fun for the whole family


Truckload rain barrel sale part of open house activities

 Guelph, Ont., May 25, 2016—The City of Guelph is hosting an open house at F.M. Woods Pumping Station on Saturday, May 28. The event at the City’s water facility includes the annual rain barrel sale, as well as behind-the-scenes tours, and games and activities for children. The Waterloo-Wellington Wildflower Society and Guelph Enabling Garden is also hosting a plant sale on site as part of the event.



Water Services open house and annual truckload rain barrel sale



City of Guelph Water Services staff will provide tours and answer questions
Guelph Firefighters will show visitors their fire truck
Waterloo-Wellington Wildflower Society and Guelph Enabling Garden will host a charity plant sale (cash only)



F.M. Woods Pumping Station
29 Waterworks Place



Saturday, May 28
9 a.m.–2 p.m.


Family–friendly event!


  • Take a tour to see how water gets from the ground to your home
  • Discover more about Guelph water through fun games and activities
  • Learn about great water conservation programs available in Guelph, including rebates
  • Meet the people who help provide your water and get your water questions answered
  • Pick up a rain barrel for $45 (cash only; rain barrels only available to Guelph residents, ID will be requested)
  • Get a coupon for $5.00 off of a composter and start making your own soil
  • Fill up your water bottle at the Water Wagon
  • Get up close and personal with Guelph firefighters and check out their truck
  • And snack on some delicious popcorn!

Plus, check out the Waterloo-Wellington Wildflower Society and Guelph Enabling Garden plant sale (cash only). Come early for the best selection of annual, perennial and woody plants!


For more information


Emily Stahl, Supervisor Water Efficiency
Environmental Services, Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 3411

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Community meeting May 26th concerning weed spraying on Guelph Junction Railway

Toxic spraying, including RoundUp,  is planned along the Guelph Junction Railway which passes through large sections of Ward 1 and Ward 2. Including right in front of the Guelph Youth Music Centre, behind residences, close to the river and walking trails. The Railway HAS been hearing lots of concern about this, and they appear to be prepared to offer some alternatives.  They have granted a week-long delay in the spraying to allow for more public input. A community meeting is being hosted by Ward 2 Councillor James Gordon on Thursday night the 26th in  Rm 204 7:30 pm at the Guelph Youth Music Centre. City and GJR representatives will be there. We urge you to attend and to spread the word! 


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Guelph Energy Efficiency Retrofit Strategy (GEERS) discussed at council May 24

Hi again Twoville. I want to let you know about an important council meeting this coming Tuesday may 24 at 7 pm concerning the GEERS program, which if implemented would be a major component of our Community Energy Initiative in dealing with Climate Change. Basically the plan would make retrofitting homes with energy saving measures much more affordable for all. THere is much more information about it starting at page 125 of this document.


City Council seems divided on whether we should institute a pilot project to test this programme out. If you have an opinion to express about it, I urge you to attend the meeting, and to speak to council about it. You’ll have 5 minutes, and you need to register by 9 a.m. this Friday. Your voice matters. I hope to see you there



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Guelph Junction Railway spraying RoundUp as weed control next week.

Hi folks, I am getting many calls and emails from concerned Ward Twovians about the notices for chemical spraying along the tracks this coming week. It is planned for the 24th and 25th, but I should tell you that with the many complaints, they have agreed to delay for one week the spraying of the most ‘sensitive’ areas. Many people are saying that RoundUp and the other chemicals being used are no longer viable or necessary in our community, and that the health risks are too high. The Guelph Youth Music Centre is right beside the tracks. They are very concerned as well, so I am working on a public meeting there next week. If you are interested in attending it will be either Wednesday or Thursday evening at 7:30 pm. If you would like to attend, email me at james.gordon@guelph.ca and I’ll provide the details when known. After raising some of your concerns with the GJR, I am copying the letter to you here from Peter Cartwright from City Staff who oversees the city involvement with the railway. Thanks Peter for your informative response. I hope to hear from you folks with your concerns.

Here’s the letter… hope this helps…. thanks … James

In response to the inquiries that you have been receiving regarding the weed and vegetation control that is planned for May 24th and 25th I can provide the following background information.

As you may know Guelph Junction Railway (GJR) is a federally regulated railway.  Transport Canada regulations require railways to maintain tracks to Federal safety standards. The intent of the weed and vegetation control that has been communicated to the public is to allow GJR’s tracks to be properly inspected, repaired and maintained to Transport Canada standards.  The intrusion of weeds and other unwanted growth can result in the deterioration and possible failure of rail beds and tracks.  The existence of this vegetation may also cause fire (from engine wheel slip due to vegetation on rails), longer train stopping distances and/or poor site lines at trail crossings and roadways.

In the past GJR has endeavoured to use a bio-friendly liquefied starch to control local weed and vegetation, however this proved to be unsuccessful due to a combination of equipment problems and erosion of the material by rain.

Having stated this GJR still intends to experiment this year with this product and will be using it within those areas that are within 200 foot waterway buffers.

As mentioned within the public notice, which was provided as per the public communications protocol that was created in the May 12, 2011, Governance Committee Report (7A) titled ‘Guelph Junction Railway’s Vegetation Control Practices and Use of Herbicides’, the balance of the weed and vegetation control will use a greatly distilled mixture of Karmex, Overdrive and Round-up.

The application of the above referenced products will be done by the firm Green Stream, which is a provincially registered company and is responsible for all provincial approvals that are required for this work. Green Steam has secured from the Province of Ontario the required licensing and permits to use the noted herbicides.  

The proposed scope of the application is as follows:

  • The vegetation control will be restricted to only the 14 foot wide area directly over the rails and will not cover the entire width of the GJR property.
  • The outside spray nozzles of the equipment that will be used to apply the treatment will be plugged off to eliminate over spraying beyond this area. 
  • While public access may occur one hour after the application, public access to trails and pathways will be closed for three hours. 
  • City of Guelph Parks staff have been advised of the work and have agreed to place closure signs at trail entrances to notify trail users.
  • Additional signage will be installed by the contractor at all entrances and roadways to warn pedestrians and trail users.
  • Additional ads will be placed in the local paper to give notice to trail users not backing onto the railway.

While I hope this response helps alleviate the issues that have been raised I can understand that your constituents may have further questions or concerns. Therefore GJR staff and the contractor would be pleased to meet with any concerned individuals.


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Jane’s Walks are this weekend!

A great tradition in Guelph.. and this year we are honouring Jane Jacob’s 100th Birthday… she taught us a new way to look at cities… It’s a great way to experience our wonderful community… check out the schedule and the website: janeswalk.org 

2016 Schedule

Remember for all walks dress for the weather and terrain. Don’t forget water and sunscreen. All walks are free with the exception of the one hosted by the Guelph Arts Council.

Saturday, May 7th

Why is it named The Petrie Building?


Walk down Wyndham St. with Alexander’s great grandson. Learn about Alexander’s contributions to and influence on local architecture; which buildings are still named after Mr. Petrie and why.

Leader: Alex Christie, A. B. Petrie Heritage Education Trust

Meet: Planet Bean Coffee Shop (corner of Carden & Wyndham),

End: 39 Wyndham St.

Lands, Leaders and Opportunities

10:30pm – 12:30pm

Come meet the people, or share your stories, & learn about the oldest neighbourhood in the city and, how it is ever evolving.

Leader: Barbara Mann, Community Networker, interested in best practices in planning and capacity building issues.

Meet: AY Catering, 23 Garibaldi St.

Magnificant Magnolia Ride


Join in a casual, festive bike ride to kick off Spring and, enjoy the Magnificant Magnolia trees in blossom. The ride is about 12km and ends with a garden party. You can join or leave the ride at any time. Prizes for most outlandish ensemble and best spring bonnets.

Leader: Wendy Gates, hikingguelph.ca, Ned Coates & Yvette Tendick (gcat.ca)

Meet: Speed River Cycle, 135 Wyndham St.

End: Arthur St. N

Sunday, May 8th

There’s no there, there? Walking Wellington St. East

11:00am – 12:00pm

Walk don’t drive! Explore downtown Guelph’s “fast food alley” and help reveal the unique history, ecology and beauty of Wellington Street. Come share your stories of the business that have come and gone.

Leader: Daniel Rotsztzain, Urban Geographer & Masters of Landscape Architect Candidate

Meet: Cash Money, NE corner of Wellington & Gordon. Please park across the street.

End: Mr. Sub, at Wellington & York.

Spring Wildflowers at Starkey Hill


The deciduous forest floor explodes with white, pink and yellow wildflowers, for six short weeks, every spring. Don’t miss the show!

Leader: Judy Brisson, optometrist, active member of natureguelph.ca &

Meet/End (Loop): Strarkey Hill Trail Parking Lot

Park Avenue Stories – a child’s perspective


Porches play a transitional role between inside and outside play. Local, past and, present residents show you Park Avenue from some of the most majestic porches in the city.

Team Leader: Wilfred Ferwerda, PEng and active member of http://www.intbau.org.ca

Meet: London Bed and Breakfast, 80 London Rd. ( outside on Park Avenue.)

THE SLOPES OF THE SPEED ($5 charge for Guelph Arts Council)

2:00 – 3:30pm

Participants will explore the slopes of the Speed River between Norwich and Macdonell Streets, where many of Guelph’s largest and most distinguished historic homes are located.

Leader: Guelph Arts Council

Meet: Guelph Public Library, 100 Norfolk Street

Sustainable Infill: What does that mean & what can it look like?


See how existing neighbourhoods can be integrated with diverse, small scale complementary infill development. These healthy, low impact design and construction buildings will support sustainable lifestyles.

Leader: David McCauley

Meet: GCVI Highschool, 155 Paisley Rd. (Yorkshire St. parking lot)

Why is it named The Petrie Building?


Walk down Wyndham St. with Alexander’s great grandson. Learn about Alexander’s contributions to and influence on local architecture; which buildings are still named after Mr. Petrie and why.

Leader: Alex Christie, A. B. Petrie Heritage Education Trust

Meet: Planet Bean Coffee Shop (corner of Carden & Wyndham),

End: 39 Wyndham St.


Barbara Mann barbaralmann@gmail.com (519) 400-1348

Susan Ratcliffe susarat@gmail.com 518 822-8236

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Thoughts on the Guelph Clean and Green Community Cleanup

Thanks to all who came out in the Royal City to celebrate Earth Day by helping to clean up our boulevards and public spaces.

Yesterday, along with a brave group of volunteers, I did a shift with Councillor Andy Van Hellemond collecting trash around Ward 2. Happy to say that it’s a pretty clean ward.

Like last year, it’s been very informative analyzing what gets thrown onto our boulevards. Here are the three worst offenders year in and year out for roadside waste:

#1 by a long shot in garbage:  cigarette butts. All of our green public spaces are totally covered with them. Much more than goose poop. Geese can’t help it. What about smokers? Why has it become part of smoking culture that it is ok to just throw your butts  out the window or drop them on the ground?  Does disregard for our natural environment go along with this habit? It’s so hard to figure out. Who should pay for this cleanup? It’s of such epic proportions that it seems like a tax either on manufacturers or consumers has to address this, or bigger fines if butt flingers are spotted.

2.Tim Horton’s Coffee Cups — After cigarette butts, this is the next biggest offender. The plastic cup lids don’t decompose at all and are a hazard. I filled garbage bags full of cups yesterday. Think of the cost to taxpayers for this cleanup. I believe that we need to encourage re-usable coffee containers by forcing Tim’s to charge heavily for the disposable ones, and the company should be contributing to the cleanup in a much more major way. Just like initiatives to ban plastic bags, I think we should envision the end of disposable cups. Want a take out coffee? Get a re-usable mug, or else.

3. Nestlé water bottles. They are everywhere. Don’t get me started  on this. This is the most un-necessary product anywhere. It’s the same water that comes from our taps. You can use a re-fillable bottle. Is there something about having a disposable bottle that makes us think we can just throw it on the ground?  Bottled water must go. The only way to really drive Nestlé out is to take away the market. They are marketing geniuses. They have convinced us that they can sell us our own water that we can get for free. They are threatening our aquifer. They have publically stated that clean drinking water is not a human right, it’s a marketable commodity. Don’t buy plastic bottles, please and thank you.

4. I’d like to know your thoughts on this.  Thanks … James

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